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Best time to visit Switzerland in June or October?

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zelda062
zelda062
2 posts
new member
Sep 5, 2019 - 12:57 PM

First I have to say this website is an amazing fount of information! It is going to help tremendously in planning our trip.

My husband and I are starting to plan our trip to Switzerland for next year. We are trying to time our trip to have less crowds but most cable cars still running and many higher elevation hiking trails open. We have narrowed our visit down to the last 2 weeks of June, the last 2 weeks of September or the first 2 weeks of October. I know the weather varies year to year but typically what dates would be best to see the lush green valleys?

Thanks!

Rail Europe
pvonk
pvonk
266 posts
top member
Sep 5, 2019 - 1:59 PM

Some of the frequent travelers who post here favor September. I've done October, but ran into the issue of closed hotels and restaurants in the Alps during the transition between early fall and ski season. I'm taking off in three days and am hoping the September recommendations will be perfect this year.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Sep 5, 2019 - 2:10 PM in reply to zelda062

Hi Zelda-

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

Good to see that you are planning ahead.

Not sure what specific areas you will visit.....?

<<"We are trying to time our trip to have less crowds but most cable cars

still running and many higher elevation hiking trails open.">>

I'll focus on hiking at high altitudes. if you want to hike at lower altitudes, for example in the Emmental, June is good; I prefer late May for that. Cities are good any time of year.

Lots of pictures of the Emmental in this long thread:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may

The high trails typically open in mid-June, varying from year to year.

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland/nature

Keep in mind that the climate and seasonal weather are quite different at 2000 meters in the high Alps, vs. 400-500 meters in the "Mitteland"

June will give you green valleys at lower elevations, where Spring begins in May or even late April. They are starting to appear as Spring starts up in the high Alps in mid June. Wildflowers in Alpine meadows are good in June.

It also rains a bit in June. Often very nice, but one year a while ago we had 2 weeks of cloudy skies and rain. In 2019, 2 weeks in early-mid-june gave me beautiful weather, with a couple of rainy days that I worked around.

On average, September is best for clear weather and low crowds. I'd pick late September, personally...Some of the green is going away, but it is not yet really brown in the valleys.

Even early September has reduced tourist density compared to the Summer

Early October is good,too. Cableways still run, but things are slowing down, and a few hotels have started to close in th Alps. No issues in the lower areas, more signs of Fall, especially at high altitudes.

The attached image from Wengen was shot on a very clear day in late june....unusual in June.

The images on the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail ( Th e Grannies' Walk as the locals call it) were shot on approximately September 26th, 2009.

The panorama of Trachselwald, shot on April 14th 2014 was at about 700 meters. A very unusuakl period of two weeks or so of warm suny weather had accelerated Spring a bit. Trees are just blossoming, and the lowest fields are getting green. Alps still have lots of snow, as does the lower elevation ridge of the Schrattenflüh in the mid-ground between the Alps and Sumiswald at about 2000-2100 meter..

Slowpoke

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Ildiko
Ildiko
1018 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 5, 2019 - 6:34 PM

Hi Zelda,

it is true, the best time to visit Switzerland depends on your itinerary. This could help you too: www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit.

Also see this about the weather: www.myswissalps.com/we ather

Ildiko

zelda062
zelda062
2 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2019 - 2:25 PM

Thanks for the information!

We are tentatively looking at Lucerne, Wengen and possibly Zermatt as bases for a 2 week trip. I still need to do more research on what all we would like to do. At this point I think we are leaning toward mid to late September.

Thanks!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Sep 6, 2019 - 3:06 PM in reply to zelda062

<<"I still need to do more research on what all we would like to do. ">>

Hiking? Walking? Lake boat rides? Photography? Art museums? Other museums? Historic buildings? Architectuire? Old cities? Shopping? Wine? Food? Good restaurants? Country villages? Trains? Mountain trains and cableways?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
14373 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2019 - 3:14 PM

Hi Zelda,

Our town pages will help you with things to do, hotel suggestions and more:

September is a good time for all these places.

1960man
1960man
2739 posts
top member
Sep 8, 2019 - 12:45 AM in reply to zelda062

June has one big advantage over September/October - that is the length of the day. You can fit in many more activities in daylight hours as it doesn't get dark until late evening

Arno
Arno
14373 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 8, 2019 - 9:57 AM in reply to 1960man

That's a significant difference indeed. If you're very active you may appreciate the 5 hours of extra day light in June versus October.

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