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2 Trips to Switerzland

My wife wants to go to see it snow for a few days(7-10) in the Swiss alps and ride some of the trains for a snow\scenery viewing vacation. So for this trip we'd like to go when the chances of snow are high. But for me it has to be after superbowl weekend.

I want to go again in the summer and spend as much time as possible(30-40 days). We just spent a 35 day vac in Peru and jumped around every 3 days to a different location. This became very tiring over time. I want to do all kinds of activities especially some of those I see from the tour folks in Interlaken. (I'm sure there plenty other places). I need to be home sometime during the 1st week of August.

So I have been studying/researching a lot about these types of trips but with so many options I am TOTALLY confused when it comes to nailing down the exact itineraries.

Would love to hear from folks on when to go and towns to stay in and for what amount of time in each. O and need to ride at least the Glacier Express.

Thanks Randy!

Posted by
1108 posts

I have never been to Switzerland in the winter so I cannot give you any insight. In the summer however, it really depends on what your interests are to plan an itinerary (Hiking, boating, etc.) I have spent as much as 3 weeks in the summer. I found basing myself in locations and taking day trips worked best for me. I rented an apartment in St Gallen and explored the Appenzell region and the northeast part of the country, Rheinfalls, Stein am Rhein, Ebenalp, St. Gallen Abbey, Lake Constance, etc. I also based in an apartment in Wengen and had access to the entire Bernese Oberland region. Lucerne is also an nice city to base and you have access to Mt. Pilatus and Rigi, plus Lake Lucerne as well as Lucerne itself. Bern is another place to explore along with a nice little village of St-Ursanne. Montreux will give you access to Gruyeres, Chamonix, Mont Blanc and Zermatt/Matterhorn. The south of Switzerland opens the door to Lugano, and the northern parts of Italy. In the end read about sights in Switzerland and make a list. Plot them out on a map and see where you might want to base. The trains in Switzerland give you access to the entire country. Good luck with your planning.

Posted by
8889 posts

I have no idea when "superbowl weekend" is (look left to see where I live). And I am not sure where you live, "NC" is the country code for New Caledonia, is that really where you are from?

I am assuming 7-10 days is the time in Switzerland, from landing to takeoff. That s 6-9 nights. Since you don't like jumping around (and neither do many people, but that doesn't stop them doing it). That means maximum 2 places.

And are you flying into and out of Zürich, or travelling by land from and to and adjacent country?

You can see snow any time of the year in Switzerland. There are glaciers which stay frozen all year (but are slowly melting).
See here:
And here:

For a 6-9 night trip, I would suggest first 1/3 of the time in Luzern (nice town, boat trips on lake, mountains to go up). The other 2/3 in the Jungfrau Area (one of: Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Grindelwald). Train in between, the route goes over the Brünig Pass and is scenic.

For a 30-40 day trip, you would have time to go on one of the other scenic train routes (Glacier Express, Bernina Express). You could add Montreux (on Lake Geneva), Zermatt, Lugano. You could also add in time in surrounding countries. The Bernina Express is a route to Italy, so you could include some of the cities in Northern Italy, Milan, Venice, Florence and many more.

Paris combines well with Switzerland. It is only. The Alps are only about ~4-5 hours from Paris by train. So you could fly into Paris, some days there, train to Switzerland, time there, on to Italy and fly back from Venice or Rome.
With 30-40 days, you could even do London as well before Paris.

It would help if you could say what things you like doing. Are you into hiking?

Posted by
2 posts

I am in North Carolina, USA. When I mention that she wants to see snow in winter, I mean she wants to see a good snow actually falling, aka, snowstorm. We haven't made any kind of flight reserves yet, so we'll be free to fly into any city\country to do our trips.

We into a little bit of hiking, but we did a 40mile 4 day trek in the Peruvian Andes back in June and we don't want anything like that again. VERY TUFF!

I like the idea of a few home bases to do day trips, just not sure what would be best for the long 30+ day trip. I kinda like the idea of hitting some nearby countries on a quick train ride, but no expensive flights in my plans. I like Germany, Italy, and maybe Austria. Thanks for any further input!! Randy

Posted by
10053 posts

Randy, The Jungfrau Region is perfect for a winter escape. February (after Superbowl) is high season for a reason as there is SNOW! We spent 5 nights in Lauterbrunnen one winter allowing us to explore both sides of that valley by train, lift, and on foot. You will get your fill of snow and winter scenes. You can hike in sturdy Gortex hiking shoes as the trails are groomed. It is a marvelous thing!

Posted by
5784 posts

Switzerland should still be experiencing winter in mid-February. Valley floors may be starting to green but mountain resorts will be in mid-winter operation.

We spent a week and a half in Davos-Klosters early February 2017. We experienced a range of weather contitions from blue sky to snow and a day of rain-snow mix. While snow was adequate for skiing, locals complained that snow depths were half of normal. (Global climate change?) Davos and Klosters are high elevation mountain resorts with high elevation increasing your chances for snow. Low elevation population centers are population centers because precipittion is more likely rain than snow.

One of our day excersions from Klosters was a Bernina Express to Torino Italy. The route crosses treeless snow covered passes before descending to a spring like Torino. Locals will ride the train to the mountain passes to ride sleds down on snow covered roads. Ideally you would not want to do the Bernina Express route on a snow blizzard day.

PS We flew in to Zurich, took the train to Luzern for couple of days (including Luzern Carnivale( before taking the train to Klosters.

And adding some statistical data:
The Norwegian weather data site has statistical climate data for Swiss locations. To use Davos as an example:

Average days of precipitation during Feburary = 8 days (Typicall 1 mm
liquid or more, with 1 mm liquid = 1 cm snow)

Normal February temperature = -4.2C, with warmest = +1.1C

Posted by
300 posts

If your wife wants Christmas-card snow, I think you have to be there no later than February. Friends who live there report that spring in Switzerland these days starts very early in the year (March-April for sure). We were there last December and it was beautiful and snowy indeed.