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In between seasons?

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florida
posts: 239
reviews: 19
In between seasons?

We are looking to spend 3,4, or 5 days in Switzerland(Gstaad, La Gruyere,...) before heading to Provence,France.

Is the last week of October going to be in between seasons?

Silly question, but when is snow usually on the ground? After working the long , hot summer tourist season in Florida, I loved reading about carriage rides & husky tours in Gstaad, just not sure if we will be there much to early for snow. :-(

My thanks in advance,

Bondgirl

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage, Zermatt
posts: 14,425
reviews: 8
1. Re: In between seasons?

Hi, snow on the ground in Gstaad is often not before Christmas and maybe much later. October will be Autumn, cooler than Florida but not snowy. There isn't any village in Switzerland where you would be guaranteed snow in October but there are places where you can go up into the snow using the lifts and mountain trains. Gstaad is unlikely to have snow on the mountains surrounding because they are very low for Switzerland. Zermatt is one that will have snow on the surrounding mountains and might, tiny chance, have snow in the village on a morning or two..

In Zermatt they put the horse drawn carriages on wheels most of the time now because even though Zermatt is one of the highest villages, there is often not enough snow to run the sleighs on runners - it's the tale of the warming climate of the Alps. You could easily take a carriage ride through the village but on wheels. You could go up onto the surrounding mountains and there will be snow on the ground - you could probably do some sledding. Husky tours - they can do those using sleds on wheels (that's what they do here in the summer) but I don't know of any husky tours in Zermatt (I should warn you that a dog sled is not particularly comfortable to ride in!)

You can get lots of information on Zermatt at the village website

www.zermatt.ch

and you can get lots of information on all of Switzerland in an easily digestible form on the English pages of the Swiss Tourism office website

www.myswitzerland.com

Hope this gives you some ideas and places to consider.

florida
posts: 239
reviews: 19
2. Re: In between seasons?

Kileysmom, what a wealth of information!!!! Thank you so much. Guess we will just suffer with stunning scenery in every direction, and Fall weather!!!!

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 21,281
reviews: 132
3. Re: In between seasons?

the Gruyère region is very pretty in the autumn with the leaves changing. And the village of Gruyères itself is so popular with tourists that the hotels and restaurants there stay open all year. You won't get snow here but you will get charm in plenty, especially since the peak tourist season will have passed.

There are quite a lot of other things to see and do in the area... Chocolate Factory at Broc for one. (Spend at least an hour there, and go hungry!!) Bulle is a pretty little "market" town. bern and Fribourg are both worth a visit, especially Bern.

Gstaad is another issue. It becomes pretty dead at the end of the summer season - end September - and restaurants, hotels etc will re open in late Nov early Dec. But Gstaad is a very low resort and as KM says might not have snow, even at Christmas. by all means stop and visit Gstaad but don't expect too much at that time of year.

Zweisimmen...
posts: 58
4. Re: In between seasons?

Hi Bondgirl

I can give you some more informations about Gstaad. It's correct that in October there is mostly no snow yet in the village. Snow normaly arrives during beginning or middle of December and normally we have white christmas. At least for the last 10 years, since I'm living here. September and Octobre is still a nice time to visit the area. Only November is very quiet.

Autumn time is wonderful with fresh mountain air, clear view of the mountains, great hiking&biking possibilties and cable cars open til end of Octobre. At the Arnensee you can experience a kind of indian summer.

Some luxury hotels will already close around end of September, but you wil find still a lot of offers, which will suit your wishes. Carriage rides will also be on wheels.

On Glacier3000 near Gstaad you can enjoy the high alpine mountains all year round. Husky tours are possible and a ride in the snow bus to the cabane. www.glacier3000.ch/en/Summer/

And some words about wintertime. Because Gstaad is not on this high altidude, big advantage to skiing is: you don't need a lot of snow to ski as in higher places. Ski slopes are on grass and not on big stones. So during bad winters it's possible there is better skiing in lower ski areas than in high alpin areas. And since more than 60% of the slopes are with artificial snow, there is skiing season from December to March in the lower slopes and November to Mai on the glacier.

Happy planing

pb

Zurich, Switzerland
posts: 1
reviews: 6
5. Re: In between seasons?

Whatever you do, don't use a company called Husky Zermatt owned by a guy called Wouter Decaluwe. I paid 480CHF for a weekend husky sledding trip with him, and he never turned up at the agreed meeting point and never refunded me. I tried taking him to court but they told me he had left Switzerland and so could not bring the case against him. That was over 4 years ago and still I do not have my money back. I know that from time to time he tries to run trips here. His website is www.husky-event.eu. Please avoid it unless you want to lose money like I did.

Edited: 7:40 am, January 09, 2013
6. Re: In between seasons?

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