First time Switzerland: best time/places for snow

First time Switzerland: best time/places for snow

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Shahidar
Shahidar
2 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2018 - 8:12 PM

Good Day from South Africa

I am planning to travel first time to Switzerland in December.

We have never seen snow and we are two adults and two kids aged 9 and 4.

First question when is the best time to see snow but not too cold as we not used to it.

Our main aim is to go to Jungfrau with the train. What route would o you recommend?

I was thinking since we will fly via Paris. Paris to Geneva 2 nights by train then to Lauterbrunnen for 2 nights and fly out to South Africa from either Geneva or Zurich?

Last question is on cost from Paris to Geneva, Geneva to Lauterbrunnen then to Jungfrau then go any of the airports?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3709 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2018 - 11:54 PM in reply to Shahidar

Hi Shahidir and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

If you want to see plenty of snow I would suggest skipping Geneva and spending 2 nights in Zermatt then on to Lauterbrunnen (or Wengen which is nearby but up above the valley with fabulous views) and fly out of Zurich.

You might want to read this www.myswissalps.com/tr ain and check out the timetables and pricing using the link on that page.

Also see this page for travelling between France and Switzerland. www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/france

You should also look at a travel pass so read www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass

How much time are you spending in France? If you plan to travel much within France a Eurail 2-Country Select Pass may come into play. See www.myswissalps.com/eu railselectpass

Last modified on Jan 8, 2018 - 10:27 AM by Chantal
Mark
Mark
179 posts
active member
Jan 8, 2018 - 12:28 AM

Hi shahidar

Rockoyster’s itinerary will certainly expose you to snow. I would agree Wengen and Zermatt are spectacular.

As to the cold, that’s hard to predict but I would expect it to be cold and plan accordingly, plenty of layers, hat, gloves, etc. in my experience if you are outside for any length of time the amount of wind is at least as important as the temperature. Accordingly the higher you go the colder and more windy it will be. So if you visit Gornergrat summit in Zermatt or Jungfraujoch or First near Wengen, it will be cold but well worth it for a unique experience ( provided it’s not to cloudy). Mark

Last modified on Jan 8, 2018 - 10:30 AM by Chantal
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Jan 8, 2018 - 10:40 AM in reply to Shahidar

Hi shahidar,

More about the weather and how to prepare can be found here. If you visit Gornergrat or Jungfraujouch for example, the best thing is to check the weather forecast 24-48 hours beforehand, then on the day you want to go up, check the webcam for visibility at the top before buying a ticket. You don't want to go on a day where the weather is poor and there is no visibility.

Shahidar
Shahidar
2 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2018 - 2:00 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks so much most helpful I think I'm curious as I'm completely flexible on my dates if I have indeed chosen the next time of year. I want to see some snow even if it's just on jungfrau. I don't think we'll manage terribly cold. What about first two weeks April?

We will be flying from South Africa to Paris stay for 4* nights then onto Switzerland

Would you recommend the swiss pass?

I was looking for the cheapest way from Paris into Switzerland and Geneva came in cheaper and within 3 hours

rockoyster
rockoyster
3709 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2018 - 9:34 PM in reply to Shahidar

April is a bit dead in Switzerland. A lot of things close down.

Late May will get you warmer temperatures down low but snow still at altitude.

A Swiss Travel Pass is very convenient but to be sure it is economic you need to do the sums. See www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass

The fastest route Paris to Zermatt is via Lausanne not Geneva.

cam223
cam223
66 posts
active member
Jan 9, 2018 - 3:38 PM

This year we were in Paris for our Thanksgiving (November 23) and the weekend. We took the fast train from Paris to Basel and then Swiss trains to Zermatt arriving on November 27. This year there was snow. Zermatt was not cold ( but I am used to snow and love walking on a cold day). The village was simply gorgeous getting ready for Christmas. The train up to the Gornergrat is warm but the gondola "bubbles" up to the Klein Matterhorn are not heated so you may want to avoid the bubbles. The Klein Matterhorn park for sledding, tobogganning was not open.

Keep in mind that the "season" doesn't start until mid December so some restaurants, hotels, stores are closed. Only a cafeteria was open at the top of the Gornergrat--the hotel, restaurants and shops up there were closed, which was a shame since they are supposed to be wonderful. Prices for accommodations are much less before the season starts--the loft that we rented was a fraction of the price charged just a week later. We were there to snowboard so there was plenty for us to do and see but you may have different expectations.

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