10 days touring Swiss ski resorts in May

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Heidi
Heidi
5 posts
new member
May 13, 2019 - 2:00 PM

We will be taking the Transatlantic on QE2 from USA to Southhampton. Will ship formal wear home and take small suitcase and backpack each (2 of us). The objective is to visit ski resorts and are flexible in time. 10 or more days, we assume. Should we fly from London to Geneva or Zurich to start trip? We will fly home from Zurich.

We are hoping to do this by train, stay in 4 or 5 star hotels and know some of those will be closed for off season so are flexible. We are in 60's but very fit (ski 100 plus days a year in our home of Aspen). We also want to include the train (1st class) from St. Moritz to Zermatt or vice versa.

Our places to visit: Davos, Klosters, St. Moritz, Gstaad, Zermatt, Verbier, Chamonix, Megeve, Murren, Courcheval. Possible trip to include Lake Geneva and Montreax. This trip will start May 2, 2020. Any tips, advice etc is appreciated. We can also rent a car if more suitable but concerned about mountain passes being closed at this time of year.

Thank you.

Arno
Arno
14080 posts
expert &
moderator
May 14, 2019 - 10:24 AM

Hi Heidi,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! I don't know about Megève and Courchevel in France, but the other towns are easy to reach by train. I would certainly prefer that over renting a car.

What's the main objective regarding activities? Ski season will be over by early May, apart from a few higher areas.

Heidi
Heidi
5 posts
new member
May 14, 2019 - 6:17 PM in reply to Arno

Yes, we live here in USA at a ski resort so are aware of that. We like to visit the Alps and enjoy seeing other ski resorts in the off season. The Swiss travel company suggested here is helping me put together an itinerary. Thank you for your response.

1960man
1960man
2182 posts
top member
May 15, 2019 - 12:28 AM

A few points :

QM2 I think you mean (!) (I'm going the other way this August)

Not sure about in May but there are flights from Southampton Airport to Geneva

Probably only Zermatt will have skiing. Megeve and Gstaad especially are very low altitude and have a short season. Gstaad is not a full blown ski resort and is not worth visiting in my view. Courchevel is a 'created' resort with little charm...

Last modified on May 15, 2019 - 12:28 AM by 1960man
Heidi
Heidi
5 posts
new member
May 15, 2019 - 12:50 AM

Yes, QM2. Thank you for correcting. However, we decided to cancel the cruise and just focus now on the Alps and ski resorts. No skiing, we live in Aspen and ski all Winter. We enjoy going to the mountains in off season and that is why we will do this trip during this time. Fewer crowds, snow on mountains, etc. We live at 9000 ft and therefore understand how it works. We did same with Dolomites and Kitzbuhl a few years ago. Just wondering the towns, sipping wine and enjoying the mountains. We have skied in Austria prior, Lech, Zurs, St. Anton. Thanks for the tips.

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
May 16, 2019 - 12:46 PM in reply to Heidi

Hi Heidi,

Your trip sounds really interesting... I ski in the winter but never thought of going to the ski resorts off season! Do you hike as well or just check out the facilities for when you want to come in the winter?

All those resorts are very good in the winter and some have very good hiking areas in the summer but a little bit dead off season. I think Chamonix is as active in the summer as in the winter though.

As suggested train all the way - www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain

For Chamonix, Megeve, Courcheval, you could consider bus transfers from Geneva airport (quite a few available) or rent a car. For the Swiss resorts train would be much better. Chamonix can also be reached by train from Switzerland via Martigny if you go for a pass e.g. Swiss Travel Pass www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass

I would certainly include Lake Geneva and Montreux if you like sipping wine! In particular Lavaux (terraced vineyards), the UNESCO world heritage site. Some stunning views to be found there.

Hope this helps and have a wonderful trip!!

Maria.

P.S. Given your skiing experience I would love to know what you think of the European resorts you've been to for off piste skiing! We go to St Anton a lot as my partner thinks the off piste skiing is better there!

Heidi
Heidi
5 posts
new member
May 16, 2019 - 6:32 PM in reply to Maria

Thank you Maria for your info.

We may do some hiking but mainly walk around the villages to get a feel for the ambience of each place. Yes, we do plan on also visiting Lake Geneva and Montreux. Possibly take a boat ride to the castle. The travel agency recommended here is working up an itinerary for us along with hotel suggestions, train routes, etc. We may drive part of it, all of it, or just the train. Working all of those logistics out. I personally like driving because we are not stuck by time constraints and also not needing to haul luggage.

We have enjoyed the European resorts and the Winter we skied in Austria was not the best for snow. Unfortunately, in St. Anton on my last ski day there was a big snow storm and the ski run I was on had a few rocks you could not see. I tore my MCL and went home with a brace on it and was out for my ski season here. I do find the resorts in USA much more safety conscience. It is all an adventure ;-)

Thanks again

1960man
1960man
2182 posts
top member
May 16, 2019 - 10:25 PM in reply to Heidi

Sad to hear you are dropping the transatlantic.

To be frank it also sounds like you don't really need much guidance. If you are visiting ski major ski resorts off season and have plenty of days to do it just get a Swiss Travel Pass and travel around as you please.

Look at the timetables and see what you can do timewise from a central base, or from resort to resort. You can travel between the major Swiss resorts in between a couple of hour to 3/4 of a day.

However I repeat my suggestion not to visit the French 'created' ski resorts as they are very 'uncosy' off season. Also, Megeve isn't really a ski resort any more (replaced by high altitude 'created' resorts.

Last modified on May 16, 2019 - 10:26 PM by 1960man
Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
May 18, 2019 - 11:01 AM in reply to Heidi

Hi again Heidi

Oh dear, the MCL, that sounds painful! Glad you are back on skis!

If you decide to rent a car, we have a comprehensive section on car travel in Switzerland here: www.myswissalps.com/ca r

Since it's something out of the ordinary, we would love to hear how your trip went on our forum!

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/tripreports

All the best and have a great time in Switzerland!

Maria.

Heidi
Heidi
5 posts
new member
May 18, 2019 - 12:18 PM in reply to Maria

Thank you to all for your info and help. Connie, the travel agent recommended here is helping with logistics, lodging, etc. Looking forward to our trip next year. This year we will be in China and Japan.

Heidi

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