Switzerland, when to visit Aug/Sep or Sep/Oct?

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Posts: 7
Floyd
Floyd
6 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2019 - 7:37 PM

Hello, We have been planning a two week trip to Switzerland in Late August/Early September but have read a lot about the crowds and warmer weather. Our trip will start in Zermatt for three full days then on to Wengen for four full days and end in Lucerne for three full days. Due to scheduling issues, our only other option would be late September into early October. We plan to spend a lot of time hiking in the mountain regions. I am trying to get a feel for the comparison of the weather and crowds based on the two time tables available for the visit. Do we stand to run into inclement weather with the later visit? I have searched many weather sites and they all report the same. "The weather changes all the time." I was just looking for another perspective prior to making a decision on when to go. Thank you for your time.

Snowman
Snowman
370 posts
top member
Mar 14, 2019 - 10:29 PM in reply to Floyd

Hi Floyd,

It is correct to say that the weather changes all the time, or, rather, that it is impossible to predict the weather more than 10 days ahead. But, generally speaking, September is a rather nice month.

If you go on hiking trails, you don't really have to fear crowds. They tend to stick to Gornergrat/Klein Matterhorn (Z'matt) or Jungfraujoch/Schilthorn (Wengen).

Until 27 October you will be in Daylight Saving Time, but, of course, daylight time gets shorter.

www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

1960man
1960man
1321 posts
top member
Mar 15, 2019 - 1:20 AM in reply to Floyd

I'd go for late August/early September.

It will be a bit warmer at high altitude which will be better for hiking. You won't see big crowds on hiking trails...

Floyd
Floyd
6 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2019 - 3:50 PM

Thank you all for your input. One other quick question. Do you anticipate Lucerne being extremely crowded the first week of September as this would be our final stop on our trip. We plan to do the mountain trips of Rigi/Pilatus/Titlis and also some wandering around the city. Any other "do not miss" items in Lucerne or our other base stops you might suggest. This forum is wonderful. Thank you again.

Maria
Maria
394 posts
top member &
moderator
Mar 16, 2019 - 2:50 PM

Hi Floyd,

Great trip you are planning and how wonderful to have a wide choice of when you go.

I also second the previous advice, late Aug/early September would be better than late Sept/early October as the weather will tend to be nicer and the days longer.

In addition, something to account for in Switzerland is that places tend to close specially in mountain areas if there are not many tourists, so you will have a wider choice specially when hiking as to chalets, etc.

For more information on what the weather is like and the weather forecast you can visit this page: www.myswissalps.com/we ather

The only reason I would think to go in late Sept/early Oct is to see more autumn colours if you're into photography or something (a friend of mine is and that's a lovely season to go hiking for that).

In terms of Lucerne, the city is the picture-perfect postcard town of Switzerland, so you will find crowds year round... it will not make much difference if you go there in late Aug or late Sept.

Here are some links to Lucerne day trip activities and some of the places you mentioned:

Hope this helps and have a wonderful trip!

Maria.

Last modified on Mar 16, 2019 - 2:52 PM by Maria
Floyd
Floyd
6 posts
new member
Mar 17, 2019 - 3:22 PM

Thank you again for all your input. I have another question and not sure if I should post this on another forum section, but here I go anyway. With the 4 full days we have in Wengen plus the partial time we will have the day we arrive and depart, we plan to go all over the area hiking and sight seeing. Which means many cable car rides to the other areas in the region. Our plan is to get a Swiss Pass for our entire stay, but would it make more sense to get a Jungfrau region pass for the days we are in the Wengen area to cover all the cable car rides and get a Swiss Flex Pass for the other days? I have gone over the calculator you have on your site and still struggle with this question. Is cable car transportation expensive enough to entertain this thought? I don't believe that the Swiss Pass covers any of the cable car transportation in the Wengen area. I may be incorrect on this, but wanted another opinion. Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thank all of you again for your comments. What a great help you all are. Have a good day.

Steph
Steph
424 posts
top member &
moderator
Mar 18, 2019 - 9:49 PM in reply to Floyd

Hi Floyd,

I see you're getting along with your planning.

Regarding the best rail pass option(s) for you I'm afraid the detailed maths will be up to you. The Swiss Travel Pass doesn't entirely cover cable cars in the Wengen area but it does offer you discount.

Check the map in the validity section of each of your mentioned passes for details:
- www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass
- www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex (tends to be an expensive option)
- www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrautravelpass

Also look into the Saver Day Pass for the days of arrival and departure:
- www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass

Happy calculating. :)

Best,
Steph

Last modified on Mar 19, 2019 - 6:25 PM by Arno

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