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Switzerland in late April/early May

Will be spending 10 days in Dordogne & Toulouse in France (April 15-24) . Plan to spend 2 more weeks in Europe on this trip (April 25-May 6) and Switzerland is on my bucket list BUT concerned about weather. Need help with following:

  1. Is it too early to enjoy spring flowers, do some light hiking (no climbing the mountains) and enjoy the beauty of the Alps?
  2. We would fly from Toulouse to Basel/Lucerne (?) and go to the Berner Oberland area with a base in Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Murren (?) Any suggestions on flight and base?
  3. Are there other must see/must do towns or sights we should not miss while in Switzerland? Should we do a scenic rail trip.....if so, any recommendations on which one?
  4. If this area isn't good during early spring, recommendations for perhaps other area of Switzerland that would better choice at this time of year.

Also considered Portugal if too early for Switzerland. I would appreciate any suggestions you can provide as I plan our trip. Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge of the area.

Posted by
571 posts

Kyle - you might want to repost this in The Destination Q&A section - Switzerland. You also will see lots of discussion about the great where to stay question. (My vote is Lauterbrunnen - lovelt village and east access to both Jungfrau and Shilthorn)

Posted by
2921 posts

Sorry, but Late April/early May is too early for the Berner Oberland. You will find snow, slush, and/or mud and no flowers yet. You need to find someplace at a much lower elevation---not in the mountains. Maybe someplace on Lake Geneva ( Lac Leman) would work but I have not been at that time so do jot know. Or maybe Lugano but it feels more like Italy than Switzerland ( except for the prices which are Swiss!)

Posted by
3551 posts

Laussanne is a great base with olympic museum ,tour lake geneva on historic paddle wheel ferry to chateau chrillon, see vevey and Montreux take train up to villages nrby very picturesque affectionately called chocolate train. Take free tour of Cern research centerminutes from Geneva airport.
If u ski more options avail in switz.

Posted by
7205 posts

Assuming that when you say "see the alps" you're not coming just to see wildflower then ANYTIME is great. Weather is a hit or miss any time of the year. Even in the absence of wildflowers the alps are stunning as are the alpine villages.