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Fall Travel in Switzerland

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ABOVE: Ringgenberg, near Interlaken, in early fall.

If you hate crowds and high prices, autumn can be a great time to visit Switzerland--especially from September through mid-October, when the weather is most likely to be cooperative.

Bring your sunglasses and umbrella.

Swiss weather is unpredictable at any time of year, and rain is fairly common. In September and October, there's a 23% likelihood of measurable precipitation on any given day. That "measurable precipitation" can range from a barely noticeable drizzle to an all-day downpour (or even heavy, wet snow at higher elevations). As for temperatures, they vary by locale and month. Here are a few sample highs and lows from the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT):

19° / 10° C
67° / 50° F
13° / 5° C
56° / 41° F
21° / 12° C
70° / 54° F
14° / 7° C
58° / 45°
20° / 19° C
68° / 49° F
15° / 5° C
59° / 41° F
21° / 12° C
70° / 54° F
11° / 5° C
52° / 41° F
23° / 13° C
74° / 56° F
16° / 8° C
61° / 47° F
14° / 3° C
58° / 38° F
10° / -1° C
50° / 31° F
20° / 11° C
68° / 52° F
14° / 6° C
58° / 43° F

In practice, this means that mountain hikes are best scheduled for September or early October--and you shouldn't expect to find good weather at high elevations (in the resorts of Graubünden, for example), where snow can make hiking dangerous for visitors who aren't familiar with the terrain and dressed in appropriate clothing.

Next page: More tips for fall touring



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