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Hiking in May in Switzerland

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Posts: 9 
AndyDG
AndyDG
5 posts
new member
Jun 9, 2021 - 7:46 AM

Hello. We have flights booked for first two weeks of May next year as had to use airline voucher. Where would be a good area/place to go hiking ? We are used to hiking. Understand weather is unpredictable but any recommendations would be brilliant.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1114 posts
top member &
moderator
Jun 9, 2021 - 9:04 AM in reply to AndyDG

Hi AndyDG,

From your other post, I know that you are coming to Zermatt and the Jungfrau region. Correct?

You should be prepared that everything above 1800 m will be covered by snow. Perhaps even under 1800 m if that May will be similar to this years. High altitude hiking trails open only in mid or late June or even in July.

In this case you can also try snowshoe hikes. (You can rent snowshoes even just for a few hours too). If you haven't tried it before I recommend not to choose a long walk for the first time. :)

At www.myswissalps.com/hiking you'll find a list of hiking routes. Use the filters to narrow down your search. (For Jungfrau area: Region is Bernese Oberland and Subregion is the Jungfrau region; for Zermatt: Region is Valais and Subregion is Matter Valley.) Then look for the elevation in the list of the results and try to search for under 1600 m. For example this one is doable for sure: www.myswissalps.com/hiking/lauterbrunnen-stechelberg and also this one: www.myswissalps.com/hiking/wilderswil-zweiluetschinen

Otherwise have a look at www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/summer-sport/hiking/ and use the filter for "Status" as "Only cleared trails".

Read this one too, you might find it useful: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/traveling-to-berner-oberland-in-late-may.

Also note, that in May some of the cable cars &funiculars are not operating, for example the trains to Schynige Platt e operate from 22 May to 24 October 2021 this year (and it will be similar next year too). Services on the route Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp-Mürren aren't available from 3 May to 12 May 2021. But no worries there will be still plenty of funiculars. :)

Take care,

Ildiko

Snowman
Snowman
773 posts
top member
Jun 9, 2021 - 5:02 PM in reply to AndyDG

Hi Andy,

As Ildiko suggests, it is likely that areas above 1800 m elevation will still be snow-covered in May.

You could consider visiting another area, such as the Jura mountain range (north of a line stretching from Geneva to Basel). Vallée de Joux is a very scenic area there.

Another alternative would be to go south of the Alps, in the Italian-speaking part, Ticino. There, you could hike along the Lago Maggiore or the Lugano Lake, or in one of the side valleys such as Valle Maggia or Centovalli.

Enjoy,

Snowman

Last modified on Jun 9, 2021 - 5:08 PM by Snowman
Snowman
Snowman
773 posts
top member
Jun 9, 2021 - 5:17 PM in reply to AndyDG

In case you don't know it already, the Switzerland Mobility map is a key tool for planning your hikes. It is a zoomable map. For the major hiking trails (shown as numbered green lines), if you click on the trail you will get additional information. The second choice in the menu allows you to toggle winter/summer suggestions.

Snowman

Ildiko
Ildiko
1114 posts
top member &
moderator
Jun 9, 2021 - 5:39 PM

Right, great advice Snowman thank you! :)

@AndyDG, if you don't stick to the Jungfrau region nor Zermatt, then canton Ticino, Vallée de Joux or canton Neuchatel would be a great choice for lower hiking (www.myswissalps.com/northwestswitzerland). It is also a beautiful part of Switzerland and not so touristy.
Ildiko

AndyDG
AndyDG
5 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2021 - 1:41 AM

Thanks for all your replies and advice. We will stick with Interlaken but for 4-5 days only. We are now looking at taking the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Andermatt. So now my question is.....Andermatt for hiking ? 4 days ? Stay in Andermatt is a good idea ? Lastly, thanks for all your patience. It is much appreciated.

AndyDG
AndyDG
5 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2021 - 2:51 AM in reply to AndyDG

Alternatively anywhere along the Glacier Express route even if that means a 2 hour train ride to another location.

Snowman
Snowman
773 posts
top member
Jun 10, 2021 - 7:04 AM in reply to AndyDG

Andy,

Andermatt is at 1445 m elevation, in May it could be snowfree, or not.

You could break your GE trip at Brig, take another train to Hohtenn, and hike along the South Ramp of the Lötschberg railway line, the so-called Südrampe. That would be most of Stage 3 of the Walliser Sonnenweg Trail (#61 on the map mentioned in post #4 of this thread).

You could also travel the GE beyond Andermatt to Ilanz and hike along the Rhine River and see the Rhine Canyon. The extra train ride fulfills your constraint (1 hr 54 min, one way). To that you have to add the hiking time so be careful when planning!

Last modified on Jun 10, 2021 - 7:06 AM by Snowman
Ildiko
Ildiko
1114 posts
top member &
moderator
Jun 10, 2021 - 8:09 AM in reply to AndyDG

AndyDG, you won't regret the extra ride in that area, here you can see what you can expect while traveling on the Glacier Express: www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress/gettingthere.
I've been to Andermatt this year, end of April and people were still skiing there. 2-3 weeks later, that means a lot, although as Snowman wrote, it could be snow free, or not. Bytheway the snowy Alps is charming too, just more difficult to find hiking trails.
Ildiko

Last modified on Jun 10, 2021 - 8:11 AM by Ildiko

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