Berner Oberland/Alps in early May

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.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9084 posts

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.

Posted by Chris
Jersey CI & Mürren CH, Twitter :@murrenlover
386 posts

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)

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9084 posts

(Grumble) I picked a bad year to get a stress fracture!

Posted by Marcus
Kansas City, United States
205 posts

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.

Posted by Christopher
Los Angeles, CA, United States
7 posts

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!

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2171 posts

Switzerland goes beyond the Berner Oberland... you should have no problems visiting urban Switzerland like Zurich, Luzern, Genève, Lugano...

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3058 posts

Andre is exactly correct. There's a lot more to Switzerland than just the Swiss Alps!

Posted by Christopher
Los Angeles, CA, United States
7 posts

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.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9084 posts

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.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9084 posts

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.