Switzerland weather conditions mid Oct-early Nov

Switzerland weather conditions mid Oct-early Nov

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debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 12:54 AM

I am planning a trip in mid October from Basel and am wondering about weather conditions. WE would want to hit the highlights like Matterhorn, Bern, Zermatt, Luzerne , Geneva and any other places you might suggest are "must-sees". We really dislike overly ambitious itineraries so we prefer at least 2-3 night stays and don't want to stay more than two weeks. We think the best way to see Switzerland and travel appears to be via rail and ,in fact, are excited about the Glacier Express and other scenic rail trips. So we plan to buy a 1st class rail pass as primary means of travel. Is cost of Glacier Express included ? Does it need to be pre-booked? If not included, how much more is it to book? I appreciate any and all advice. We started out trying to do this with private guides but the cost was about $26,000 for all proposals. Can it be done for about $15,000 without staying in dives?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3931 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2018 - 4:06 AM in reply to debraquade

Hello debraquade and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

$15,000!? I'm tempted to offer my services as a private guide for that price. 😎

Weather in Switzerland is pretty changeable and October is the tail on of Autumn so potentially heading downhill. See www.myswissalps.com/we ather

Rail is the way to go. Use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to plan your travel. If you haven’t used it before it will pay to read the instructions on that page before delving into the timetable.

A clearly mapped out itinerary is the basis for deciding which pass (if any) suits. Based on your itinerary you need to do the sums based on the cost of all your planned trips on trains, boats, cable cars etc. You can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out the fares for any trip. When you go to buy a ticket the fare you see on the right hand side of the page will normally be the half-fare price. Double it to get full fare. With A Swiss Travel Pass it is free provided it is shown as free on the Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity).

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math.

If you get a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass you can always upgrade to 1st Class for specific trips at half the cost difference between 1st and 2nd class fares. 2nd Class is perfectly adequate on most journeys.

The Swiss Travel Pass covers the Glacier Express (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress) but a separate seat reservation of around CHF33 or so applies.

You can search this site for more information on the all the usual attractions.

Happy planning.

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 4:08 AM by rockoyster
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 4:52 AM in reply to debraquade

Hi Debra,

Here is some info to supplement what rockoyster has already provided.

>> I am planning a trip in mid October from Basel and am wondering about weather conditions.

The weather will be very chilly. There may or may not be snow at higher altitudes. Other aspects such as rain and cloud cover are unpredictable.

>> WE would want to hit the highlights like Matterhorn, Bern, Zermatt, Luzerne , Geneva

Zermatt

  • The Gornergrat railway in Zermatt, from where you can view the Matterhorn, will be running.
  • The winter 2018/19 timetable for the cableway from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise has not been released yet, but based on the 2017/18 timetable, the top section (between Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise) will probably not be operating between 29 October and 9 November 2018.

Luzern

  • Pilatus: The cableway from Kriens to Pilatus Kulm will be closed for maintenance from 22 Oct until 9 Nov 2018, but you can still go up and back on the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm. The cogwheel railway operates until 18 November before closing for the winter.
  • Rigi: all modes of transport to the Rigi will be operating in the second half of October.
  • Stanserhorn funicular and cable car: operating until 18 November.
  • Titlis gondola: operating until 4 November, before closing 5-16 November for maintenance.
  • The Schwyz–Stoos funicular (world's steepest funicular) will be operating until 18 November.

>> are excited about the Glacier Express and other scenic rail trips.

The Glacier Express and Gotthard Panorama Express trains only run until 14 October, before taking a break. You could still travel along the same routes in regional trains though.

If you plan on incorporating scenic train trips into your itinerary, your overnight stops should be chosen with those routes and travel times in mind. There is a map of the panoramic routes to help with your planning: it is attached to the map showing where the Swiss Travel Pass is valid, and you can download it from the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

Approximate travel times for the scenic routes (one way) are as follows:

  • Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz: 8 hours
  • Golden Pass Line (part) from Luzern to Interlaken Ost: almost 2 hours
  • Golden Pass line (part) from Interlaken Ost to Montreux: 3 hours
  • Gotthard Panorama Express (boat and train) from Luzern to Lugano: 5.5 hours
  • Palm Express (PostBus) from Lugano to St Moritz: almost 4 hours
  • Voralpen-Express from Luzern to St. Gallen: 2.25 hours
  • RegioExpress Lötschberger (full) from Bern to Brig: 1.75 hours
  • RegioExpress Lötschberger (part) from Spiez to Brig: Just over 1 hour
  • Centovalli Railway from Locarno to Domodossola: 1.75 hours

If you want to calculate travel time for short sectors along these routes, you can use the Swiss Timetable:

http://www.myswissalps .com/timetable

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 8:17 AM by Arno
Lucas
Lucas
8955 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2018 - 7:26 AM in reply to debraquade

Hi Debra,

If you'd like help on trip planning, we have some helpful links here.

Along with Rockoyster's and Alpenrose's helpful advice perhaps some basic information about Switzerland will help you form your own itinerary:

If possible, I'd try to come earlier in October as you'll have more luck with weather, hiking and operating cable cars etc.

debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 6:25 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks to rockoyst

debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 6:48 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks rockoyster for all of your very helpful information. I agree $15000 (for 2 people) for a privately guided trip seems like a lot. But, all of the quotes II have received thus far have been in the $25,000 for two weeks!! We nearly decided to forgo Switzerland entirely. My husband and I have really enjoyed our travels with personal tour guides, finding them culturally & historically enriching especially when there is a language barrier. I am really conflicted about whether we will run into a lot of rain this time of year but our travel plans leading up to this trip cannot be changed.

debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 6:52 PM in reply to Removed user

Many thanks Alpenrose666 for your information regarding availability of the various means of transportation. I will be able to utilize this information in scheduling our trip. I had no idea these lines would be closed for maintenance. I have been unable to find any organized tours in Switzerland to the areas I noted in my original post after mid-October and I suspect this is the reason. Thanks again for your help.

debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 7:01 PM in reply to Lucas

Lucas, Thanks for the links and suggestions. I have requested a service from one of your partners to organize a self-guided trip and hope they can provide a quote that is more reasonable than the privately guided tours I received previously. Your website is a wonderful resource!!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3931 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2018 - 9:23 PM in reply to debraquade

Hi Debra,

Not sure if this is of interest www.bemyguide.ch/en/.

You’ll find a real-life example of the program’s use at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/part-1-of-16-day-trip-report-swiss-riviera.

debraquade
debraquade
12 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 9:36 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks! This is a great resource!

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