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Seasons - When is the Best Time to Visit Switzerland

Anytime is a good time to come to Switzerland as she looks pretty all the time in her different seasonal 'costumes'. It also depends on what you would like to see or do as we have different sceneries & activities during the different seasons. (The question should actually be "What will the weather be like tomorrow?" when you are here. This is due to the fact that there can be a few different types of weather on the same day in different parts of this country, therefore, to be at the right place at the right time or on the right day is VERY important in order to optimise the view of the panorama landscapes and the Swiss Alps i.e. with blue skies, no fog nor rain that would obstruct the vistas. Good weather is also essential so that you can enjoy your activities. In this way, your photos will also turn out like postcards. That is why it is VERY important to have the flexibility to reshuffle your itineraries so that you can manoeuvre the weather i.e. steer towards the good weather areas, unless the whole country rains and is covered with grey clouds.)

If you just want to do sight-seeing without any activities like snow activities (e.g. skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice-skating), summer activities (e.g. swimming in mountain lakes, hiking in the Swiss Alps, rodel tobogganing), or if seeing snow is not your priority, then anytime of the year is good. Click here to see our Year Round Highlights.

Spring (21 March to 20 June)
Early spring (approx. from mid-March) is a time when the snow in the lower valleys melts and early spring flowers begin to grow. Often in April, mother nature waters her gardens in this part of the earth to ensure that they produce lovely spring flowers in later spring which is in May and early June. Strawberry-picking is possible. It may sometimes snow higher up, ideal for those who want to experience snow falling but at the same time want to avoid the cold weather. Snow-capped mountains are right a common sight. Click here to see our Spring Highlights.

Summer (21 June to 20 Sep)
If you like picnics, barbeques or swimming, summer is an ideal time to come experience what it is like to do these things in Switzerland, in the heart of the Alps! Greenery reigns at this time of the year as meadows and forests help mother nature paint the picturesque Swiss sceneries with their rich colours. Summer flowers bloom to contribute to the scenic landscape. This is also the blueberry- and raspberry-picking season. Hiking is popular. Grottos are open for dinner. [Grottos used to be warehouses for the locals before the refrigerator was invented. They have been converted to eating places since.] More adventurous travellers might want to try out rodel tobogganing on the world's longest toboggan run on rails recognised by the Guiness Book of World Record. Once a year, on 1 Aug, we take our travellers to an alp to celebrate the Swiss National Day with the villagers - you get a chance to take brunch cooked and prepared by the farmers' wives and children. After brunch, we take you to see glacier in the process of melting before your eyes - global-warming at work! [Glacier is ice that has not melted since the Ice Age which ended about 12,000 years ago.]
Click here to see our Summer Highlights | Hiking Highlights.

Autumn (21 Sep to 20 Dec)
Mother nature repaints her gardens and changes some of her greenery to red, yellow or orange to add a variety of colours to the landscapes. Hiking is ideal as the view from the mountain peaks is splendid, enabling your eyes to roll a few hundred kilometers on a good day. Mountain visits are hence excellent. The air is cooler. A unique activity to witness at this time of the year is to see how approximately eighty goats walk from their stalls to their grazing grounds, with the older ones leading the younger ones - they know how to cross the highway by themselves! More adventurous travellers might want to try out rodel tobogganing on the world's longest toboggan run on rails recognised by the Guiness Book of World Record.
Click here to see our Autumn Highlights | Hiking Highlights.

Winter (21 Dec to 20 Mar)
If you want to see snow, experience falling snow, experience a white Christmas season, go to a Christmas market, or if you are the active or sporty sort, then winter (end-Dec to end-Feb/beginning March) with its accompanying activities like skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice-skating etc. would definitely be the time for you. Beautiful winter sceneries - snow-covered roofs and pine trees decorated with snow etc is a common sight. If you like water activities, then taking dips in various outdoor and indoor thermal pools with fresh mountain spring water would be an experience if you have not tried them before. Click here to see our Winter Highlights.

Public Holidays in Switzerland

The Swiss National and cantonal holidays are as follows:

Date Name Holiday in
1 January New Year's Day entire Switzerland
2 January St. Berchtold AG (partly), BE, FR, GL, JU, LU, NE, OW, SH, SO, TG, VD, ZG, ZH
6 January Epiphany GR (partly), SZ, TI, UR
19 March St. Joseph's Day catholic regions: GR (partly), LU (partly), NW, SO (partly), SZ, TI, UR, VS
Friday before Easter Good Friday entire Switzerland, except TI, VS
moveable Sunday in March/April Easter entire Switzerland
Monday after Easter Easter Monday entire Switzerland, except VS
1 May May Day BL, BS, FR (partly), JU, LU (partly), SH, SO (partly), TG, TI, ZH
40 days after Easter Ascension Day entire Switzerland
50 days after Easter Pentecost entire Switzerland
Monday after Pentecost Whit Monday entire Switzerland, without VS
61 days after Easter Corpus Christi catholic regions: AG (partly), AI, FR (partly), GR (partly), JU, LU, NW, OW, SO, SZ, TI UR, VS, ZG
29 June St. Peter & St. Paul only TI
1 August Swiss National Day entire Switzerland
15 August Assumption of Mary catholic regions: AG (partly), AI, FR (partly), GR (partly), JU, LU, NW, OW, SO, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG
3rd Sunday in September Swiss Federal Day of Prayer entire Switzerland, except GE
1 November All Saints catholic regions: AG (partly), AI, FR (partly), GL, GR (partly), JU, LU, NW, OW, SG, SO, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG
8 December Immaculate Conception catholic regions: AG (partly), AI, FR (partly), GR (partly), LU, NW, OW, SO (partly), SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG
25 December Christmas entire Switzerland
26 December St. Stephen's Day entire Switzerland, without GE, JU, NE, VD, VS
31 December New Year's Eve only GE

In addition to the above, other regional and local holidays, most of them only valid for one district or a few communes and at times not accepted by law are as follows:

Date Name Holiday in Remarks
5 days before Ash Wednesday Carnival Thursday LU, NW, UR Ash Wed = 46 days after Easter
Mon, Tue before Ash Wednesday Carnival SZ, GL only Mon
Mon, Tue after Ash Wednesday Carnival in Basel only BS
1 March Republic's day only NE
First Thursday in April Näfelser Fahrt only GL
23 June Independence Day only JU
Thurs following 1st Sun in Sept. Geneva's day of prayer only GE Jeune Genevois
1st weekend (& fol. Mon) in Sept. Knabenschiessen only city (and agglomeration) of Zürich
25 September Bruderklausenfest only OW
31 December Restauration of the Republic only GE Restauration = Restoration

Note: Due to the high number of such local holidays, the above selection could only show a few of them.

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