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Alps in late October?

I was originally planning to hit the alps in last week of october, but it seems from reading the posts here that might not be the best plan? seems like there is some sort of off season or it shuts down for a few months?

is there a big difference in going the last week of october versus earlier in the month? if i need to go earlier i can, it just makes more sense to go then.

thanks,

Posted by
193 posts

Murren pretty much shuts down in October before the ski season starts, I'm not sure about the other OB towns.

Posted by
2723 posts

Hi Lisa,

If you're thinking Switzerland (Berner Oberland), we stayed 4 nights in Wengen in mid October. It was pretty quiet, yet spectacular! A few restaurants and hotels open, Jungrau trip, etc. Even though it was a bit quiet, we didn't want to leave. We would do it again. If you thinking Alps (Bavaria, Austria or Dolomites), we've been 5 times in the last 7 years, anywhere from early October to late October/early November. We wouldn't travel any other time of year.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Posted by
98 posts

which did you prefer out of each of those alps trips? should i do one or the other?

so it sounds like much of the action shuts down in october, but that even if i went the last week of october i would still have a place to stay (prefer hostels or cheap) and eat. and preferable hiking.

i don't much care about nightlife or even lots of people being around.

Posted by
6898 posts

Lisa, much of the Lauterbrunnen Valley shuts down in preparation for the winter ski season. It's called "shoulder season" The dates vary but it's often from mid-October to the beginning of December. You should check with your hotel. We have stayed at the Hotel Silberhorn in Lauterbrunnen (www.silberhorn.com) and they emailed us in great English when they shut down. If you can find a nice hotel that stays open, it should be cooling down but quite spectacular. It will be quiet but so what. Try Florence, Venice or Rome in the busy season. It's masses of people.

Posted by
2723 posts

Hi again Lisa,

While we liked all of our trips, for the best options on places being open, accomodations, restaurants, attractions, hiking and walking and beautiful scenery in late October... I'd go with Mittenwald, Germany. Simply the quintessential Bavarian village surrounded by Alps. Very easy by train or car. Close daytrips could include:

Karwendelbahn cable car (right in Mittenwald)
Ettal Monestary, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Seefeld, Innsbruck, Hall in Tirol, Ludwig's Linderhof Castle, Oberammergau to name a few.

This is not to say we didn't love Switzerland (especially Wengen), Mittenwald would just give you more options and be easier on the budget.

If you're intereted, our recent photo's are at:

www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/travel11.html

We can also recommend the place we stayed twice. The Pension Schwalbennestl. Very nice place, buffet breakfast, very friendly owner at unbeatable rates (in my opinion).

www.schwalbennestl.de

The website is only in German, yet you can correspond (Frau Bader speaks some English) in English.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Posted by
98 posts

thanks for the suggestions paul. i'll consider that.

what if i went earlier in october? would that change things at all?

Posted by
2723 posts

Hey Lisa,

That's a tough one. That would really be a matter of preference. As I mentioned, we loved Wengen (and switzerland), but Mittenwald and Bavaria is just so...hard to put in words. We had the one trip to Switzerland, yet we continue to go back to Bavaria, Austria, Dolomites instead, so that must say something about what we prefer. I'd just say earlier in Oct. may be a little better than late Oct. in the Berner Oberland. Sorry if that doesn't help much.

Paul

Posted by
8995 posts

All my four trips to this area have been in the second week of October. My experience is that there is no set date for when hotels close down for the season. Some do it early in October, some later in the month. So there should be something open in the smaller villages if you look hard enough. But I've found them to be deserted, with a lot of the restaurants and stores closed. For me it was a little spooky-but I'm sure others would love that kind of tranquility. The last two trip I've stayed in Interlaken, which is still in full operation this time of year and had a wonderful time.

Posted by
430 posts

We stayed in Lauterbrunnen from October 23 to 26 a few years ago. The weather wasn't real cooperative that time of year. We had to go up the Schilthorn on three consecutive days to catch good visibility from the top. We were there to just relax and enjoy the swiss mountains, so the visibility issues didn't bother us. We didn't find any amenities closed in that final week of October, either.

What we did get that last week of October was almost no American tourists, and hotels willing to negotiate rates -- which were nice.

Posted by
70 posts

I've been in Bavaria the last week of October/first week of November and found it to be significantly less frequented by tourist.

Posted by
98 posts

okay - i revised my plan so that i will be visiting both interlaken/gimmelwald, mittenwald and salzburg. as of now i will arrive in interlaken 10/8 - 10/11.

my question is this, should i even bother with interlaken? i've read some things about it as well as gimmelwald, and i know that gimmelwald is about a 30 minute trip from interlaken. i'm thinking about spending two nights in interlaken (because there is more to do there?) and one night in gimmelwald but i'm not sure if i shouldn't instead spend all three nights in gimmelwald. i love the mountains and scenic places if that helps at all . . .

does anyone have any thoughts? thanks!

Posted by
8995 posts

Be it Interlaken, Gimmelwald, (or any of the other mountain villages), you should lodge in just one place. This is a fairly compact area that is well connected by rail, and cable car. Stay in one place and use the excellent transit system to travel to your day's activities

Posted by
98 posts

say i ended up lodging in gimmelwald - is the transit to interlaken and/or to murren or some of the other cities alot? i see that to go up the mountain it's quite expensive at around $80. i'm wondering how much it would cost each day to ram around to the little cities -

Posted by
7205 posts

If you have a Swiss Pass then all of your excursions to the alpine villages of Murren, Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Stechelberg, Wengen, Grindelwald will be covered 100% as many times as you like.

Posted by
408 posts

Lisa,
I was in Grindelwald last Oct. and we loved it. Around the middle of the month some of the restaurants were closing for repairs and such. There were still lots of places to eat. I did buy the flexi swiss pass and I found that I did save money on some of the high mountain lifts. I love Switzerland the most and Bavaria comes in a close 2nd. The scenery in the Berner Oberland is just awesome. Bavaria is beautiful too and there is lots to see. Have a great trip.

Posted by
11450 posts

Noone has mentioned this, but there are some amazing hikes in Switzerland, and in late October you do run more of a risk of trails closed because of snow. Yes, snow. Wengen is a great jumping off place for hiking, but one of the most popular hikes was closed for a short time this past JUNE because of snow, so I would personally go earlier rather then later in season ( oct)

I would spend all three nights in one place, and that place would be Gimmewald over Interlaken.

The gondolas and train rides in Switzerland ARE very expensive, I would consider getting a pass...

Posted by
98 posts

thanks - i am going to be hitting interlaken/gimmelwald on 10.8 - that is the earliest i can get there. and i think i will stay in gimmelwald all three nights.

Posted by
152 posts

My husband and I have stayed in most of the villages on the train path. We have even camped twice. We liked all the places, but our favorite one is Lauterbrunnen. Hotel Staubach was open late last year. If you email them, the manager, Miarian last year, will answer your questions if she is still there. She speaks and writes English. The view is wonderful from their breakfast room of the waterfall. We buy a pass and jump off and on the trains. It is my favorite place to go. Berner Oberland has many level hikes and walks. My husband hikes and I walk. Downhill only! The next best place I have seen is up the ski lift in Zell am See, Austria. Beautiful snow covered mountains all around. We spent a month last summer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Posted by
116 posts

Austria has no school holidays between Sept-Christmas, but Germany does (Oct-mid Nov. diff states for diff weeks). You can find German school holiday schedules online to see what you'll be up against, but I'd only worry about that if you're thinking of staying somewhere for a week at a time.

Generally the high-season hotel rates stop after the second week in October. Those mountain luge rides seem to all stop at the end of Sept. and some hotels close down for a bit, but most things are open. I'm taking my parents to Bavaria and Upper Austria during the first week of October and it's looking great.