Hello friends, Vacation is coming up soon and I need to pick some place to go! With 8-10 days off or so I'm torn currently between a trip to the Berner Oberland or splitting time between Greece and Istanbul. I'll be traveling from about May 2-10 and air travel is not an issue (I work for an airline). I am curious if anybody can tell me what weather conditions I might expect in the Berner Oberland/Interlaken region during that period of time. Will things be too slushy/snowy to enjoy? Will the hills have greened up enough to be picturesque and beautiful? I am hoping it is not too mediocre of a time of year. Thanks, as always, for your help, everyone.
Don't bother with the Berner Oberland in May this year. Even in a good year, late May is just about the earliest you would want to visit for non-winter sports activities. But this year, early spring was much colder and snowier than normal. We've just barely begun to experience anything resembling spring temperatures this week, so the process of snow melting was delayed this year by several weeks. Barring much higher than normal temperatures over the next few weeks, early May is going to be a lousy time to visit this year.
This winter season has been amazing with the ski area above Mürren still open until the 21st April (good news for us skiers). I would suggest coming here from June onwards (when the hotels open up again too)
(Grumble) I picked a bad year to get a stress fracture!
Greece and Istanbul without question. Its been a long and wet winter and unless we have a massive heat wave, the higher parts of the Berner Oberland will either still be snow covered or incredibly muddy. Early may is also a time when many of the hotels, restaurants and lifts are shut as they transition from the ski to summer season.
Thank you all so much for the information. Looks likes Switzerland is off the map for now, but there's a new contender: Provence. We shall see!
Switzerland goes beyond the Berner Oberland... you should have no problems visiting urban Switzerland like Zurich, Luzern, Genève, Lugano...
Andre is exactly correct. There's a lot more to Switzerland than just the Swiss Alps!
I very much agree, but I plan to see urban Switzerland on the same trip that I see the Alps, just for the sake of efficiency.
It's still a month out, so check the webcams on this site closer to your trip: Feratel.com The Berner Oberland cameras are of the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch, so the images aren't necessarily representative of the conditions you would expect at hiking elevations. But there's plenty of other webcams of the Alps, so you can get a better idea by choosing other locations.
PS Eli: Here's the webcam you want to monitor, the one at Männlichen: Mannlichen Looks like there's still plenty of snow at this elevation, would could mean a lot of run-off lower. I'm going to guess that at a minimum, it's going to be wet in late May.
If you want to wee what it looks like in Mürren, use the Hotel eiger webcam: http://www.hoteleiger.com/seiten/livecam.htm A small snow patch, but most of the ground is bare, with green grass starting to appear.