The Swiss Alps is great place summer hiking and world-class winter sports, a massively impressive region of classic Swiss scenery for high peaks, sheer valleys and cool lakes. Some Swiss mountains are very well known, such as the Matterhorn and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. In addition to a large number of amazing natural landscapes, there are also countless alpine villages scattered, which still maintain the ancient Swiss cultural traditions.
Switzerland is a paradise for both experienced and aspiring peak baggers. South of Bern and Luzern, and east of Lake Geneva, lies the grand Alpine heart of Switzerland, and the mountain scenery is unique . The mountainous region of Switzerland and is part of the Alps extends across Europe. The Swiss Alps is most well known of the touristed area Jungfrau Region, and the classic sign Matterhorn which even more challenging.
Venture out onto eternal ice, glacier tourism is a unique experience, and the Swiss Alps are rich in glacial wonders worth visiting. Most of them are in the Valais and Graubünden Alps and the Bernese Oberland. The biggest is the Aletsch Glacier, which not only has UNESCO World Heritage status, but is also easy to access. However, with global climate change, a large number of glaciers are shrinking year by year at an extremely fast rate.
Swiss Alps’s magical villages is a paradise of breathtaking scenery and epic natural beauty, from snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes to flower meadows and fairytale castles, its alpine and lakeside villages are the very definition of postcard-perfect. The charming Swiss Alps villages, with gorgeous rugged mountain views punctuated with picturesque villages hugging valley floors, and are gateways to this alpine paradise for hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter.
The region play an important role in the formation of Swiss alpine culture. Since before Roman times, the Swiss Alps have formed a natural barrier and division between northern and southern Europe. As such, they have played an important role in European history. At the same time, the mountain passes through the Swiss Alps have provided important trade routes connecting Italy with European countries to the north. The region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century.
Tourism in the Swiss Alps emerged during the Golden Age of Alpine Mountaineering, the construction of tourist facilities commenced in the mid-nineteenth century with the building of hotels and mountain huts and the opening of mountain train lines on. Today, the Swiss Alps are covered by the country’s most proud tourism system. Most of the mountainous areas can be reached through the extensive railway network, while the rest can be easily reached by road, ferry and cable car.
Most international travelers visiting the Swiss Alps fly into airports in Zurich or Geneva, then travel by car, bus, or Switzerland’s excellent rail network to popular tourist destinations like Lucerne and Interlaken, which are traditional gateways to the Swiss Alps. Discover many of the winter and summer resorts in the higher elevation alpine valleys such as Zermatt, Grindelwald, and St. Moritz.
The Swiss have always maintained and nurtured their own local customs, during a rural tour of Switzerland, discover enormous wealth of Swiss cultural activity and living tradition. Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in diverse traditional customs. A traditional pastoral culture predominate in many areas, and small farms are omnipresent in rural areas. Folk art is nurtured in organisations across the country. Switzerland most directly in appears in music, dance, poetry, wood carving, and embroidery.
Alpine symbolism played an essential role in shaping Swiss history and the Swiss national identity. Alpine farming has a long history. It is believed that the pastures above the tree line were being farmed as far back as 4,000 BC. The production of cheese in the summer enabled people to preserve milk and stockpile it for the long winter months. The practice of Alpine farming gave birth to various customs such as the festive processions up into the Alps and down from the mountains, the call to prayer, the Älplerchilbi carnival and the Chästteilet cheese sharing.
The romantic Alpine lifestyle involves hard physical work and simplicity of life attracted especially urban dwellers from both home and abroad. Many alpine areas and ski resorts attract visitors for winter sports as well as hiking and/or mountain biking in summer. The quieter seasons are spring and autumn.
The swiss textile crafts industry also has an eventful past. A few areas, thanks to advanced technology, have enjoyed worldwide attention in haute couture, and the once popular textile handicrafts have found a niche for themselves. Many sectors of the crafts industry, such as wood sculpture, furniture painting and farmers’ ceramics are closely connected with the history of Swiss Tourism.
Swiss folk music is mainly dance music, the Alpine folk music developed with the unwritten transfer of skills and compositions over generations, decades and even centuries. The oldest known Kuhreihen are from Appenzell and were recorded in 1545. The Alphorn, so typically Swiss, was originally a musical and signaling instrument used by the herdsmen and the many yodeling choirs that have been formed since the 19th century.
The most commonly heard musical instruments include the “Schwyzerörgeli” (accordion), the violin, bass violin, clarinet and, in certain regions, the dulcimer or Trümpi (Jew’s harp). The alphorn, a trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood has joined yodeling and the accordion as epitomes of traditional Swiss music. Switzerland has an extensive amateur music scene, and in virtually every village there is at least a choir or a brass band.
Switzerland has many customs that are tied to the calendar, differ considerably depending on the season and the region. Most swiss festivals are of pagan origin or have a religious connection, the expulsion of winter and of evil spirits and demons forms part of the tradition. Other celebrations recall historical events such as important victories in historical battles.
Some festivals celebrated in Swiss villages are based on ancient traditions, reflect the course of the agricultural year, such as the ringing in of the vineyard workers in spring, the Alpine ascent and descent during the summer months, and the wine festivals, the Chästeilet cheese sharing and the Älplerchilbi carnivals in autumn. Because there was less for farmers to do in winter than in other seasons, there were more celebrations and customs during this time.
The Alpine cantons are Valais, Bern, Graubünden, Uri, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Vaud, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg, Lucerne and Zug.
The Swiss Alps lie to the south of the Swiss Plateau. The geographic boundary between the Alps and the Plateau runs from Vevey on the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance. The cities of Thun and Lucerne are on the southern fringe of the Swiss Plateau and are set against the Swiss Alps to the south. The lower hills and mountains in Switzerland that lie in the foothills of the Alps are called the Swiss Prealps. The limit between the Alps and the plateau runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun and Lucerne.
The Alps cover 60% of Switzerland’s total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. The Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The Swiss Alps comprise almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze (4,634 m), the Dom (4,545 m), the Liskamm (4,527 m), the Weisshorn (4,506 m) and the Matterhorn (4,478 m).
Of the total glaciated area of the Alps, 44% is located in Switzerland. The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometers—3% of Switzerland’s territory. The highest concentration of glaciers in the Alps is in the Jungfrau Region of the Bernese Alps. The Greater Aletsch Glacier in the Bernese Alps is the largest and longest glacier in the Alps, with a maximum depth of 900 meters. Along with the Fiescher and Aar Glaciers, the surrounding Jungfrau Region became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
The Jungfrau at 4,158 meters, is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, located between the northern canton of Bern and the southern canton of Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch. The Jungfrau region is filled with huge mountains, alpine meadows, lovely walking trails, small scenic villages, and cable cars. On December 13, 2001, the Jungfrau was included in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites together with areas bordering to the south as the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch.
Immerse yourself now in the high alpine wonderland of ice, snow and rock and discover the highlights of the Jungfrau Region from Interlaken to Grindelwald. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, from the Sphinx Terrace you can enjoy a magnificent view of the longest glacier in the Alps, towards Italy, France and Germany.
A unique train journey through the mountain, the pioneering work of the mountain railways: Since 1912, the Jungfrau Railway has travelled through the Eiger and Mönch mountains to Europe’s highest railway station. 5-minute stop during your journey to the Jungfraujoch at around 3,160 m. The train stops so that you can take your personal souvenir picture of the eternal ice. Excursion to the highest railway station in Europe, A multimedia experience tour with take you to a thrilling, multimedia journey back in time through over 100 years of history of the Jungfrau Railway, an alpine sensation.
The ultra-modern terminal with direct rail connection and shopping centre is the start and end point of your journey to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. The Jungfrau panorama provides a 360-degree panorama of the mountain world that you could never see otherwise. On the glacier platform you are guaranteed snow and ice, you won’t get a better view anywhere else: On one side, a view as far as the Black Forest and the Vosges, while on the other, the Aletsch Glacier comes into view, bordered by four-thousand-metre peaks.
The highest Lindt shop in the world offers an extensive range of the finest Lindt chocolate and provides exciting insights into chocolate production. The best view of the famous Eiger North Face from the new Eiger Express tricable gondola! The world’s most modern tricable gondola takes you from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier in just 15 minutes.
In the Snow Fun Park, take a bird’s eye view of Europe’s longest glacier on a flight with the Tyrolienne. Hike to the highest manned hut in Switzerland on a marked footpath directly across the longest glacier in the Alps. On a mirror-smooth tour through a frosty world, you will discover enchanting sculptures in the niches of the Ice Palace. An eagle, penguin or bear, as though they had just turned to ice, appear quite natural.
A mountain full of tradition and diversity for over 125 years: picturesque views, attractive hiking trails, daily alphorn concerts, a mountain hotel from the Belle Epoque and the unique botanical Alpine garden. Lily the cow accompanies young and old across her Alps.
The small mountain of Schynige Platte is surrounded by so many impressive sights.It’s one of Jungfrau’s most easily accessible mountain spots, perfect for families and experienced hikers. The old-fashioned railway that takes you up to Schynige goes through magical forests, meadows, flowers, and a landscape.
Harder Kulm is a mountain near Interlaken, It only takes 10 minutes to reach Harder Kulm by funicular from Interlaken. The observation deck offers visitors a unique view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as well as the lakes of Thun and Brienz. Once you get on top, you’ll be spellbound by the view of the Bernese Alps. The gorgeous Swiss Alps will come into view after the funicular ride, which lasts about 10 minutes. Not only be the mountains Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau but also views of lakes Brienz and Thun. Enjoy the view from the viewing platform, eat something delicious at the restaurant or start one of the many hiking trails that begin in Harder Kulm.
The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. Due to its unique pyramid appearance and difficult to climb structure, the Matterhorn has become an iconic emblem of the Alps in general. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built in the area, the mountain has attracted increasing numbers of visitors and climbers. Each year, numerous mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn from the Hörnli Hut via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit.
The Matterhorn is a large, near-symmetric pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Furggen, Leone/Lion, and Zmutt ridges.
The mountain overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt, in the canton of Valais, to the north-east and the Italian town of Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. Just east of the Matterhorn is Theodul Pass, the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides, which has been a trade route since the Roman Era.
The Sunnegga Paradise is accessed via the SunneggaExpress funicular railway, followed by a gondola to Blauherd and finally a cable car onwards to the Rothorn (3,103 m) above. The topography of the mountain and the valley tends to keep the Rothorn clear and sunny, even when Zermatt is submerged in cloud.
From Blauherd there is a gondola down to Gant, and from there a connecting cablecar goes to Hohtälli. This cable car and the newer 4-seat chairlift Sunnegga-Findeln-Breitboden provide connections between Sunnegga and Gornergrat. With few steep slopes, this mountain is often used to train younger skiers.
The Gornergrat is served by the Gornergrat railway, a 29-minute ride to the Gornergrat peak (3,089 m), via Riffelalp, Rotenboden and Riffelberg, (with limited stops at Findelbach and Landtunnel just above Zermatt). At the summit, the hotel and restaurant have been refurbished and accommodate a shopping centre. Riffelalp station is linked to Riffelalp Resort by a short tramway line named Riffelalptram.
Near the southern end of Zermatt, the Matterhorn Express gondola transports passengers up to the interchange station at Furi. From here there is access to Schwarzsee via a gondola to the right, a cable car that leads on to the Trockener Steg midstation (and then on to the Klein Matterhorn); and a new gondola, opened on 18 December 2006, links Furi to Riffelberg on the Gornergrat mountain.
Testa Grigia at the top of the Theodul Pass serves as a connection to the Italian ski-resorts of Cervinia and Valtournenche. From the Swiss side it is reachable by skilift only, but from the Italian side by a chairlift and by a cablecar. In March 2019 it was announced that a new lift – the ‘Alpine Crossing’ – will connect Testa Grigia and Klein Matterhorn from spring 2021. There are customs offices here as well as a small alpine museum.
Pilatus is a mountain massif overlooking Lucerne in Central Switzerland, a mountain on Lucerne’s doorstep. Head up to Pilatus Kulm at an altitude of 2’132 m on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, and be amazed by the magnificent panoramic views of the Lucerne-Lake Lucerne Region.
The top can be reached with the Pilatus Railway, from Alpnachstad, operating from May to November (depending on snow conditions) and the whole year with the aerial panorama gondolas and aerial cableways from Kriens. The “Golden Round Trip” involves taking a boat from Lucerne across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, going up on the cogwheel railway, coming down on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas, and taking a bus back to Lucerne.
Book the “Golden Roundtrip” ticket for your Pilatus outing. While waiting for the boat in Lucerne, you will see the Chapel Bridge and towers of the Musegg Wall, a couple of Lucerne’s landmarks. The boat offers a leisurely way of crossing Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad. The vegetation changes constantly, from the reeds of the lake to lush green meadows, while fragrant forests make way for a rugged mountainscape featuring striking rock formations.
What a magnificent view. Sometimes you see a sea of cloud below, punctuated here and there by the peaks of other mountains. At other times the view is so clear that you can see every mountain from the Säntis to the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, over the Jura to the Black Forest. The winding Lake Lucerne and five other lakes in Central Switzerland sparkle in the sun.
On the Pilatus itself you can stroll and hike, follow in the tracks of the dragon, savour a gourmet menu or regional snack or, with a little luck, see an ibex. You can also spend an unforgettable night high above Lucerne in the historic mountain hotel Pilatus-Kulm or the Bellevue Hotel.
Leaving Pilatus Kulm in the aerodynamic «Dragon Ride» aerial cableway you now catch a last glimpse of the mighty rock formations before stopping at Fräkmüntegg. Visitors with a sense of adventure can let loose in the largest rope park in Central Switzerland, hurtle down the toboggan run or spend the night floating in a tree tent. As you would expect, there is also plenty on offer at the local restaurants or one of the fantastic barbecue spots.
With the “Dragon Glider” you gently float from Fräkmüntegg to Drachenalp and enjoy the spectacular mountain panorama at a maximum speed of 12 kilometres per hour. Those who want to learn more about the inhabitants of the forest walk along the “Wipfelpfad”. On narrow wooden footbridges, well secured with nets, you walk over thirteen platforms and acquire knowledge in a playful way.
You can then continue on foot or by panoramic gondola cableway to Krienseregg. Here, you will find the PILU Land adventure playground, a paradise for children. After the stopover, the gondola car takes you down to Kriens. The bus back to Lucerne (a 10-minute trip) is a short walk from the Kriens terminus.
Titlis is a mountain of the Uri Alps, at 3,238 metres above sea level, it is the highest summit of the range north of the Susten Pass, between the Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland. It is mainly accessed from Engelberg (OW) on the north side and is famous as the site of the world’s first rotating cable car. Engelberg-Titlis offers a whole day of winter sports in winter, such as skiing. And in summer, there is kick scooter riding, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and countless other activities.
The monastery village of Engelberg is no more than a 45-minute ride by car or public transport from Lucerne. From there, the 8-seater Titlis Xpress gondola cableway takes you straight to the Stand terminus, with the option of boarding or alighting at Trüb along the way. You then change to the Titlis Rotair, the aerial cableway featuring the world’s first rotating cable cars, which whisk you to your glacier experience, the cable cars rotate 360 degrees in the five minutes they take to reach the upper terminus. The views in all directions are stunning and peppered with snow-covered peaks, steep rocky flanks and deep crevasses.
The last part of cable car leads above the glacier. At Klein Titlis, it is possible to visit an illuminated glacier cave from an entrance within the cable-car station, which also includes shops and restaurants. Discover the Glacier Cave and admire the solid ice and beautiful ice sculptures. Or grab a snow toy such as an inflated rubber ring and race down the slope. The Ice Flyer chairlift offers an altogether smoother experience: you sit comfortably while gliding over the glacier.
The Titlis Cliff Walk, the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe, opened in December 2012, giving views across the Alps. The Titlis Cliff Walk gives you a queasy feeling as you make your way across the suspension bridge above a 500-metre drop at an altitude of 3,041 metres. Rounding off the snow experience is a 40-minute walk on the secured footpath to Stotzig Egg.
Melchsee-Frutt is a mountain resort village in Switzerland. It is located near the lake Melchsee, in the municipality of Kerns, canton Obwalden. Experience the high valley in summer hiking along deep-blue mountain lakes to great vantage points, or take the Fruttli road-going “train” which connects Melchsee-Frutt and Tannalp. The car-free holiday resort at alt 1920 m can be reached using the aerial cableway from Stöckalp. It’s then a short walk to the enchanting mountain lake which, together with the alpine setting and little hamlet, offers the perfect backdrop for your outdoor activities.
The main attractions of this resort are alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, hiking, biking, rock climbing, paragliding and fishing. The village is accessible by car during the summer, but with some time restrictions. It can also be reached by use of a gondola lift. Melchsee-Frutt is a climbing Eldorado offering 160 routes with grades ranging from 3a to 8. The varied “Fruttli” via ferrata and “discOWer” rope park are suitable for families. The Fruttli path is a family hiking trail that circumnavigates Lake Melch and has ten places where children can learn about marmots.
From early December until early April, the ski resort is open to the public. The four chairlifts, four T-bar lifts and two gondola lifts service the 32 acres of lift-accessible terrain. The base station, Stöckalp, is located at 1080 meters above sea level. The three peaks, Erzegg, Balmeregg and Bonistock are at 2150, 2255 and 2160 meters, respectively.
Rigi is one of Switzerland’s most popular mountains, located in Central Switzerland. The whole massif is almost entirely surrounded by the water of three different bodies of water: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. In a majestic setting where three lakes meet, easily reached by cog railway or cable car, with a panoramic view of the highest Alpine peaks and a varied range of leisure activities. The Rigi is a mountain where you can hike, relax and swim, as well as sledge and ski in winter. Exercise and fresh air are enough to make anyone hungry: barbecue spots and restaurants are open all year round. The ride and views of Lake Lucerne are stunning.
The Rigi, also known as the Queen of Mountains, the highest point on the Rigi-Kulm at 1,797m asl is where visitors can admire a magnificent panorama over Lake Lucerne and the nearby Alps, and to the Swiss Plateau looking north. Located in the Lake Lucerne Region, the Rigi is easily accessible from all directions. Nine aerial cableways provide access to the imposing Rigi massif, which extends from Küssnacht in the north to Brunnen in the south.
The Rigi Kulm and other areas, such as the resort of Rigi Kaltbad, are served by Europe’s oldest mountain railways, the Rigi Railways. The whole area offers many activities such as skiing or sledging in the winter, and hiking in the summer. The local recreational area has a well signposted network of footpaths and offers activities for all ages. Various playgrounds and a rope park are on hand, as are a mini-golf course and an Alpine dairy, where you can watch the cheesemaker at work.
Back in the 18th century, the Rigi’s unique location made it a famous destination for travellers across Europe. In some ways, it was the pioneer mountain of Alpine tourism. Queen Victoria, no less, was even carried up the peak in a sedan chair. The 19th century saw spas and fashionable hotels opening one after another in Kaltbad, Rigi Kulm and on the Scheidegg, with later additions above the Klösterli monastery and on the Staffelhöhe. The modern era of mass tourism dawned in 1871 with the construction of the Vitznau-Rigi Railway, which went down in history as Europe’s first mountain railway, and the Arth-Rigi Railway in 1875.
Rigi has been featured in many works of art, including both paintings and literary publications. Perhaps the most famous paintings of the Rigi were a series by J. M. W. Turner, including The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, several of which are in the collection of the Tate Britain art gallery in London. Mark Twain also visited Rigi during his tour of Central Europe in the late 1870s, and wrote about his travels in chapter 28 of his A Tramp Abroad.
Several trains dating back to the early days still operate today, with public nostalgia trips scheduled on weekends between July and September. For one journey up the mountain, these lovingly restored steam locomotives dating back more than 100 years use about 500kg of coal and 2,200 litres of water. Together with the modern panoramic cable car from Weggis, the Rigi railways carry 600,000 passengers up the mountain each year. The range of leisure activities and events on offer in both summer and winter is constantly being expanded.
The Rigi is known as a true paradise for hikers, with over 100km of hiking paths and 15km of Nordic walking trails. On the routes between Rigi-Kulm, Staffelhöhe, Kaltbad, Scheidegg and Klösterli, hikers are sure to enjoy spectacular views over the lakes and the Swiss Plateau. The major differences in altitude can easily be conquered by cable car or mountain railway. Young and old alike love to flock to Rigiland in Kaltbad, where they will find a large children’s playground, the Wildmannlipfad trail, a mini-golf course, picnic areas and a natural pond complete with Kneipp path. The Rigi steam railway journey can be combined with a steamer voyage on Lake Lucerne for a truly wonderful experience.
In autumn, as the days start to get shorter and the fog cover begins to cloud the mood, it is well worth heading up the Rigi. That liberating feeling when the Rigi Railway rises up through the fog is indescribable. On its sunny terraces, the warm temperatures can be enjoyed alongside glorious views of the blanket of fog below and the surrounding mountains.
In winter, the Rigi is a sunlit isle floating above the sea of mist. Escape the low-lying cloud in winter and hit the slopes for some skiing or sledging. Or enjoy the views while snowshoeing on waymarked trails and stop off somewhere for a winter barbecue. At these lofty heights, visitors can choose from a wide range of winter sports: five ski lifts with 15km of ski and snowboard pistes, an airboard piste, 7km of tobogganing runs, a 14km panoramic ski run as well as 35km of groomed winter hiking, snowshoe and Nordic walking trails.
The Stanserhorn is a mountain in Switzerland, located in the canton of Nidwalden near to the border with Obwalden, with the peak at 1,898 metres (6,227 ft) above sea level. A popular tourist destination, climb aboard the vintage funicular railway dating back to 1893. Travel at a leisurely pace through level terrain, fields and woodland to Kälti.
Stanserhorn can be reached from the adjacent town of Stans by a funicular railway and cable car, or via walking routes from Stans or Dallenwil. Here is where you change to the ultra-modern CabriO, the world first double-decker aerial cableway with open upper deck. The double-decker aerial cableway with open upper deck was inaugurated in 2012. The cabins are suspended and pulled by cables that pass either side of them. Meanwhile, the floor area is equipped with stabilisers that counteract any swaying motion – an innovation. Passengers thus feel like they are floating. The «convertible feeling» is experienced on the upper deck as the wind blows through your hair.
The summit buildings include a self-service restaurant, three meeting/dining rooms, a souvenir shop, and a sun terrace and observation deck. Pay a visit to the Rondorama revolving restaurant to sample the famous Stanserhorn. Take in the views of the Alps and ten lakes, or marvel at the fascinating fauna and flora. The Stanserhorn rangers are on hand to help you find the marmots and spot the eagle soaring high above.
From the summit buildings, a round trip walk is available around the summit (30 minutes), or to the peak at 1,898 metres (6,227 ft) altitude. From the peak, on a clear day, as well as the mountains around there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Ten lakes in total are visible: the Zugersee, Wichelsee, Vierwaldstättersee, Sempachersee, Sarnersee, Hallwilersee, Gerzensee, Bannalpsee, Baldeggersee and Alpnachersee.
A variety of hiking trail routes are available down to Bluematt-Kälti-Stans, Ahornhütte-Büren, Wiesenberg-Dallenwil, or Wirzweli-Wolfenschiessen. The well-marked trails offer something for everyone – from the 30-minute tour of the summit to the 4-hour hike from Stans up the Stanserhorn. There is also tandem paragliding or hang gliding.
The mountain Brienzer Rothorn is the highest point in the canton of Lucerne. The Brienzer Rothorn is part of the Emmental Alps and stands on the border of the cantons of Lucerne, Obwalden and Bern. At an altitude of 2,351 metres, it towers above all the other Lucerne peaks and makes a great destination for day trips any time of year.
The Rothorn can be ascended all year round by taking the aerial cableway from Sörenberg to Schönenboden. The panoramic views at the top are spectacular. If you look towards the Lake Lucerne Region, you see the Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis. Look westwards and you will spot the Chasseral in the Jura, while the Bernese Alps with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau massif are to the east.
Letting off clouds of steam, the Brienz Rothorn Railway chugs its leisurely way from Brienz in the Bernese Oberland to the top terminus. Switzerland’s sole steam-powered cogwheel railway in daily operation has been delighting visitors from near and far since 1892. Climb aboard and admire the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz, the meadows and the rugged mountain chains during the steep ride. The Brienz Rothorn Railway runs from mid May to the end of October.
The Bürgenstock is a mountain in Switzerland (1,115 m above sea level). It is located partway along the shore of Lake Lucerne. Perched on a wooded rocky spur 500 metres above Lake Lucerne, the Bürgenstock Resort offers wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, such as the Rigi and Pilatus. The mountain is almost entirely surrounded by Lake Lucerne. A boat service plies the lake between Lucerne and Kehrsiten.
On arrival, the Bürgenstock funicular railway takes you directly to the lobby of the Bürgenstock Hotel. The resort complex extends along the northern side of the Bürgenstock and offers stunning vantage points. Lean back and let your gaze wander into the distance. The infinity-edge pool in the Alpine Spa is invitingly relaxing. On reaching the outdoor pool heated to 35°C, water and sky appear to merge. A spectacular view. With steam baths, panoramic and aroma saunas, Kneipp hydrotherapy baths, multi-sensory showers and shower and whirlpool baths, the Alpine Spa leaves nothing to be desired. Feel like royalty in one of the private spa suites.
There is more activity to be found on the golf course or tennis courts, and the ice rink in winter. Footpaths also provide a breath of fresh air. The Hammetschwand Lift is just a stone’s throw away. Europe’s highest outdoor lift almost takes your breath away – hugging the steep rocky flanks, the cabin travels 152 metres in just under a minute. The Bürgenstock Resort’s surroundings also offer various mountain biking and hiking opportunities.
Many small Swiss villages are worth a visit, includes: Aarau, Appenzell, Ascona, Bellinzona, Biel, Chur, Estavayer, Freiburg, Locarno, Martigny, Rapperswil-Jona, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, Sitten, Solothurn, Thun, Vevey Winterthur, Schaffhausen, Schwyz.
Switzerland has a fantastic transport system, swift and disturbingly punctual trains, clean buses, and half a dozen different kinds of mountain transport systems, all integrated into a coherent system. Bus and trains in Switzerland are complementary to each other. That way, almost all inhabited villages and towns in Switzerland can be reached by public transport. Even if there is no train or city transit available, the comprehensive PostBus Switzerland network gets you there.
Discover all sights and landmarks Switzerland has to offer from the comfort of the train, you can hop on and off wherever you please. The Switzerland train travel system merges the most beautiful panoramic lines into one unique route. There is no prescribed direction or duration. Switzerland’s train routes are among the most beautiful rail routes in the world. They are part of the country’s heritage and history. They pass through the most majestic mountain scenery, idyllic valleys and villages; along crystal-clear lakes and ice-blue glaciers.
The Valais is a land of contrasts: In the mountains majestic four-thousand-meter-high peaks and fascinating glaciers in the valley along the Rhone – along with sprawling vineyards and unspoilt side valleys. Valais is essentially renowned for its tourism industry and its numerous Alpine resort towns. The majestic 4000 meter-high peaks and an overall length of around 2400 kilometers of slopes. shape panoramas here and at the same time provide a unique setting for winter sports.
The sun’s rays bathe the wonderful unspoilt countryside with its mountains, meadows, vineyards and trees in a glorious light, Valais offers more leisurely manner, with idyllic hikes through snowy forests or a snowshoe trek through the alpine landscape to rest the soul and mind. More than 8,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails lead past bubbling mountain streams, historic irrigation channels and mystical Alpine lakes; spectacular mountain bike trails meander over mountain slopes and through dense forests and soothing thermal baths provide purest relaxation.
At the peak of Valais you can still ski high up in the glacial world above. And whether in a mountain restaurant, après-ski gathering or one of the summit guesthouses, guests delight in delicious regional specialties and excellent wines from the Valais. The sun makes unique tasting wines along with other amazing natural products such as sweet and tasty fruit and savory spices.
Sion is the capital of the Canton of Valais, is known as the most sun-blessed town of Switzerland. Thanks to its central location, the small town abounding with culture is also an ideal starting point for exploring the summer and winter holiday resorts in the Valais side valleys. With boasts a 7,000-year history, Past and future blend in one of Switzerland’s oldest cities. The many charming historical monuments in the Old Town, mixing the shopping area, and the new modern and convenient municipal facilities.
There are 14 buildings or sites in Sion that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. A characteristic of Sion is its medieval townscape, dominated by the hills Valère with the Basilique de Valère, and Tourbillon with the ruins of the Tourbillon Castle. The Valère Basilica is the church on top of the southern of the two mottes, at the east end of the old town. It houses the oldest playable organ in the world, which was built in the 1430s.
Today Sion is the economic center of Valais and an important traffic junction with its own international airport. Thanks to Switzerland’s biggest bus station offering countless connections it takes no time to get to the charming side valleys of the Valais. Consequenlty Sion is an ideal starting point for exploring the Valais’ summer and winter holiday resorts and the nearby thermal spa resorts. In winter Sion offers fast access to the nearby ski resorts of Anzère, Crans-Montana, 4 Vallées or Val d’Hérens.
At Gürben Valley and the Schwarzenburgerland, gentle hills, which mark the end of the pre-Alpine region, blend into the Laupenamt and Seeland plain, bordered in the north by the Jura range, next to Lake Bienne and the Oberaargau region. A slight haze tints quiet rivers with subtle pastel hues. Impressively vast roofs shelter prosperous Emmental farmhouses. Or a stroll through Bern along six kilometres of arcades lining the streets of the old city. The prosperity of the villages flows into the cities with their massive protective walls, arcades, romantic alleyways and fountains topped with statues, which stand as silent witnesses to a colourful past.
The eastern city limits of Bern rises the Bantiger mountain (947m); behind it stretches the Emmental, the valley (tal) of the River Emme. It’s a quintessentially Swiss landscape of peaceful, vibrantly green hills dotted with happily munching brown cows, sleepy rustic hamlets and isolated timber-built dairies. The Alpine foothills, the Jura range, the Emmental and the Gurnigel-Gantrisch are renowned for their winter sports, and Gstaad, the Bernese Oberland and Jungfrau ski regions are close by.
Adelboden is a mountain village and a municipality in Switzerland, the relaxed holiday resort in the middle of the Bernese Alps is characterised by its village atmosphere. Adelboden is the first destination in Switzerland to have been awarded the Alpine Wellness holiday resort certificate. With its numerous mountain transport facilities, growing number of wellness havens and family-friendly attitude, the idyllic chalet village at the foot of the Wildstrubel in summer and winter is among the most versatile holiday destinations in the Bernese Oberland.
The mountain countryside encourages you to slow down and consciously enjoy. Adelboden boasts over 300 kilometres of well-groomed hiking and theme trails (including a wheelchair-passable circular hiking trail), as well as several cycling and mountain biking routes. Traditional mountain farming with Alpine huts and cheese dairies characterise the countryside.
The Adelboden-Frutigen-Lenk ski region is a tempting destination even for top athletes. In winter the idyllic chalet village and hikers’ paradise turns into a winter sports paradise. 72 high-performance transport facilities provide access to a piste network of just over 210 kilometres. Winter hiking on the Adelboden sun terrace, cross-country skiing trails, a snow park, freeride arena, hiking and tobogganing trails invite visitors to explore the Alpine winter world.
Bernese Jura is the name for the French-speaking area of the Swiss canton of Bern. On the borders of the Jura Mountains Area is the Bernese Jura a welcome land which invites you to live the nature. Between lake and mountain, forest and pasture, the richness of the fauna and the variety of the flora. In the heart of Jura & Three-Lakes, the Bernese Jura has a rich heritage, reflection of a culture with contrasted and varied influences. With the passing of the seasons, the area offers many culinary specialities cooked with the local products. From the prestigious restaurant to the typical and traditional farm restaurant, the gastronomy resources of the Bernese Jura are real and varied.
Biel / Bienne
Biel is the largest Swiss city in which German and French are equally spoken. The town of Biel lies at the eastern end of Lake Biel, at the foot of the Jura in the delightful Lake Region. Biel is a town of many facets. The modern part of the city with its high-rise buildings lies at lake level, the intact old town with its gothic town church stemming from the 15th century. The town has been an industrial and watchmaking heart of Switzerland since the 19th century. The town of Biel is a tradition-imbued watch metropolis in which this Swiss craft is still fostered. Swatch, Rolex, Omega, Tissot, Movado and Mikron are all located here. Biel has additionally also positioned itself in the field of other industries and in communication.
Its location makes the town an attractive gateway to the excursion and holiday region around Lakes Biel, Neuchâtel and Murten – also known as the “Three Lakes Region” – with vineyards on the hillsides and extensive vegetable cultivation on the level areas. The options for rambling and cycling excursions are huge. On the North Shore of Lake Biel the vineyard trail and the viticulture museum in Ligerz attract visitors. Several attractive mediaeval small towns like Nidau, Twann, La Neuveville and Erlach are well worth an excursion.
The Emmental is a valley in west central Switzerland, it is a hilly landscape comprising the basins of the rivers Emme and Ilfis. The region is mostly devoted to farming, particularly dairy farming. The principal settlements are the town of Burgdorf and the village of Langnau. Emmental region offering hiking, snow shoe walking, Nordic walks, panning for gold, golf, cycling, riding, pottery. Discover the legendary Emmental cheese to ham, to a Gault&Millau menu, an almost unparalleled range on offer and often made from regional products.
National museums like the Franz Gertsch Museum, the Zither Museum or the Museum of Folk Culture in the Grain House have their place here in the Emmental region just as much as regional exhibitions in the Chüechlihus or Culture Mill. Castles, wooden bridges, the cheese dairy, themed paths, Alpine horn makers, idyllic farms are an embodiment of the region great philosopher and poet.
Gstaad is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst high society and the international jet set. With its top hotels, gourmet restaurants, luxury chalets and nearby Saanen airport, this traffic-free holiday village is popular with international celebrities. In addition to celebrity guests in the chalet village of Gstaad itself, the smaller, rustic neighbouring villages offer attractive options for families with children. The centre of Gstaad has developed into a popular shopping area in recent years, and is the shortest shopping street in Switzerland.
The Saanenland region, include the neighbouring towns of Saanen, Schönried, Saanenmöser, Zweisimmen, Gsteig, Lauenen, Feutersoey, Turbach and Abländschen, has just so much to offer: The nature reserve by the idyllic waters of Lake Lauenensee with its waterfalls and raised bogs, the narrow streets and alleyways of the historic village centre of Saanen or the peace and quiet of the dreamy mountain village of Abländschen.
The wide, open landscape of the Saanenland region offers a wide range of sporting activities: Hiking (on a network of trails of more than 300km), mountain biking, paragliding or golf. Whitewater rafting and canoeing adventures await on the River Saane. Summer cross-country skiing is available in the “Glacier 3000” glacier ski area. The Schönried summer sled run, a via ferrata and the natural paradise of Lake Lauenensee.
A major centre of winter sports, Gstaad has over 47 chair lifts. These can be reached from several villages by link transport facilities. Winter in the smaller towns in the region, such as Lauenen, means peace and quiet and enjoying long winter hikes, cross-country skiing or romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides. 200km of slopes situated between 1,000m and 3,000m above sea level await skiers and snowboarders in winter. Guests can choose from several snowparks, numerous tobogganing runs and 42 kilometres of perfectly groomed cross-country ski trails – half of which are classic trails and half of which are designed for skating. There are around 185 kilometres of winter hiking trails.
Interlaken is an important and well-known tourist destination in the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps, and the main transport gateway to the mountains and lakes of that region. Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The vacation destination, which is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Interlaken is an ideal starting point for countless excursions. Over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead to 200 kilometers of pistes and a dense network of hiking trails. Excursion ships, including historic paddle steamers, ply the waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Trains to the Jungfrau region in the direction of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen with connections to the railways to Mürren and from there to the Schilthorn as well as via the Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch depart from the Interlaken Ost railway station. A fleet of ships, including one historic paddle-steamer on each lake, cruises on Lakes Thun and Brienz. Interlaken is located on the «Golden Pass» panorama route from Montreux on Lake Geneva past the luxury holiday resort of Gstaad to Interlaken and from there across the Brünig Pass to Lucerne.
Cross-country skiers and toboggan riders also are well catered for in the vicinity. And there are over 220 kilometres of winter walking trails in Interlaken, Beatenberg, Axalp-Brienz, Habkern, Wilderswil and the Jungfrau region. Among the ski regions of the Jungfrau Top Ski Region (Mürren/Schilthorn, Kleine Scheidegg/Männlichen and First) or the family-oriented ski region of Beatenberg or Axalp-Brienz. Over 45 mountain railways, aerial cableways, chair and ski lifts take athletes to 200 kilometres of pistes.
The Simmental is an alpine valley in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. Traveling from Lake Thun in a westerly direction, the Simmen Valley opens up. The pyramid-shaped Niesen and the Stockhorn preside over the imposing entrance to the valley. The hiking-mountain and vantage point beckon with an imposing panoramic view of 200 peaks. Some villages play a role in the winter tourism of the region of Bern, such as Lenk or Zweisimmen. From Zweisimmen the resorts of Gstaad and Château-d’Œx can be reached.
The Simmen Valley stretches in a long arch up to Lenk with its lush green meadows. The Niedersimmen Valley is the main rail and road link to the Saanenland. Near Boltigen the road turns toward the Jaun Pass and leads into Freiburg’s Jaun Valley. The small but lively Simme River is ideally suited for canoeing and wild water rafting. The Simmen Valley House Trail between Erlenbach and Weissenburg is dedicated to the abundantly decorated farmers’ houses of the Simmen Valley.
A three-partite Diemtig Valley House Trail is dedicated to the farmers’ houses in the idyllic Diemtig Valley. The side valley branching off from Oey offers over 200 kilometers of marked hiking trails. Deep-blue mountain lakes such as the Seeberg Lake in the Spillgerten Nature Reserve, and the Aegel Lake with its protected high moorland on the Diemtigbergli, are well worth a hiking tour.
In the Diemtig Valley winter sports enthusiasts can indulge in their favorite sport on the Wiriehorn, Springenboden and Grimmialp. Fast rides on the snow tubing course, which boasts a conveyer lift, five kilometers of toboggan runs as well as cozy winter hiking tours and playgrounds in the snow add to the fun. The skiing areas of the Upper Simmen Valley above Zweisimmen and St. Stephan are linked to the skiing area “Gstaad Mountain Rides”; Lenk is link to Adelboden.
Thun is a town with its historic buildings, towering raised promenades steeped in history, the white castle on the Schlossberg and the fantastic views over the lake set against the backdrop of the imposing Bernese Alps. Thanks to its enormous diversity, the city of Thun is worth a visit at any time of the year: While the charming old town and the delightful river and lakeside promenade are bursting with life in the spring, cultural open-air events such as the popular Lake Thun Festival get everyone in the mood for a summer of fun.
The city’s most famous landmark is the mighty Thun Castle, with its tower that was built between 1180 and 1190, which towers majestically over the Old Town. A historical museum is housed in the tower rooms, showcasing finds from the past 800 years relating to the region and its history, as well as a special exhibition which changes each year. The restored 12th-century knights’ hall, however. The view from the castle tower of the mountains and the lake is also unparalleled.
The historical raised promenades in Thun’s old town are yet another highlight. The Thun Art Museum or the Thun Panorama in Schadau Park, an imposing panoramic painting of the city from 1814. And then again, walkers have always been particularly drawn to the coldest season too, with its wintry lakeside landscapes, and which offers the perfect opportunity for fine diners to enjoy the culinary delights on offer in the city’s many restaurants.
The Jungfrau region
The Jungfrau region is a fantastic place, there are many activities here, fFrom hikes to famous villages, waterfalls, and even mountain tops, visiting Jungfrau is one of the best decisions you could make. Imposing mountains, a plethora of leisure activities and a wide range of hotel offerings make the Jungfrau Region (including the resort towns Wengen, Mürren und Lauterbrunnen) a highly desirable vacation destination.
Many facilities have been built in the Jungfrau Region, including numerous mountain railways. A large complex of tunnels and buildings has been constructed at the Jungfraujoch, referred to as the “Top of Europe”. There are several restaurants and bars, shops, multimedia exhibitions, a post office, and a research station with dedicated accommodation facilities. An elevator enables access to the top of the Sphinx and its observatory, at 3,571 m, the highest viewing platform of the area.
Over 500 km of marked walking, hiking and mountain paths. The crystal-blue mountain lakes and gushing waterfalls provide a welcome refreshment. Every holidaymaker in the Jungfrau Region gets the spectacular views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau thrown in for free. The landscape has also been awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site. At the level of the Jungfraujoch, there is a ski school, and the “Ice Palace”, a collection of elaborate ice sculptures displayed inside the Aletsch Glacier. Another tunnel leads to the east side of the Sphinx, where one can walk on the glacier up to the Mönchsjoch Hut, the only hotel infrastructure in the area.
The Schilthorn above Mürren, the Männlichen above Wengen, and the Schynige Platte above Wilderswil, offer good views of the Jungfrau and the Lauterbrunnen valley. On the south side, the Eggishorn above Fiesch also offers views of the Jungfrau, across the Aletsch Glacier. The ski areas around Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren and Hasliberg offer a total of 260 km of ski runs ranging from fast to leisurely, and from six to twelve kilometres in length. Furthermore, with its countless toboggan runs, the region is a real paradise for tobogganing. Amongst them is the longest toboggan run in the Alps.
Spending time in a dream-like village surrounded by mountains and green valleys, Grindelwald was built under the famous North Face of mountain Eiger. This part of Eiger was first climbed in 1938 and attracted hundreds of visitors yearly who battle the rock and try to conquer it. Grindelwald’s alpine pastures are blissful, and with the help of cable cars, it is easy to hit the trails and find mountain lookouts, the Grindelwald Glacier, and lakes.
This mountainscape and the numerous lookout points and activities make Grindelwald one of the most popular and cosmopolitan holiday and excursion destinations in Switzerland, and the largest ski resort in the Jungfrau region. Similarly to Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald is connected to Interlaken by the Bernese Oberland Railway and is the start of the Wengernalp Railway, leading to Kleine Scheidegg. The latter resort is the start of the Jungfrau Railway, the highest railway in Europe and a gateway to the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area.
Thanks to its magnificent vista and the glacier which once reached right into the basin, Grindelwald attracted alpinism guests from the end of the 18th century onwards. Road and railway construction made Grindelwald much more accessible towards the end of the 19th century. There are 300 km of walking trails around Grindelwald. The high-altitude walk from Grindelwald-First along the Bachalpsee to the Faulhorn mountain hotel and then on to the Schynige Platte ranks among the most beautiful hikes of the region. An easy walk with fantastic views of the three, world-famous mountains of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau leads from the Männlichen up onto the Kleine Scheidegg.
The two ski regions of First and Kleine Scheidegg – Männlichen – Wengen offer 160 kilometres of pistes with around 30 lifts reaching up to an altitude of 2500 m. The Schilthorn near Mürren, also part of the Jungfrau region ski arena, even reaches 2971 metres. The Lauberhorn piste near Wengen, popularised by the World Cup circus. From the Faulhorn into the valley, naturally Grindelwald also has many further winter sports on offer. 80 kilometres of winter walking trails with views across seven four-thousand-metre peaks and majestic glaciers, as well as 60 km of toboggan runs, including, at 15 km, one of the longest toboggan runs in the Alps.
Wengen is a car-free Swiss village perched on a sun terrace 400 meters above Lauterbrunnen valley. The holiday resort lies on a wind-protected sun terrace at the foot of the Jungfrau, 400 metres above the Lauterbrunnen valley at an altitude of 1274 m. The tradition-imbued, car-free holiday resort offers a family-friendly ski and rambling area around the Männlichen and the Kleine Scheidegg. The entire region around Wengen and alongside the Aletsch Glacier has been established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.
With its nostalgic timber houses, the many dispersed holiday chalets and hotels dating from the belle époque period, this Bernese Oberland holiday resort has retained all the character of a picture-postcard mountain village. Opening widely to the south west, the terrace guarantees above-average hours of sunshine. Since 1893, car-free Wengen has been able to be reached from Lauterbrunnen via the Wengernalp railway; cars remain parked in Lauterbrunnen.
Over 500 km of marked walking trails and 15 mountain cableways in the nearby surroundings lead to the most beautiful vantage points of the Jungfrau region; take for example the classic panorama route between Wengen and the Kleine Scheidegg, which offers up a particularly impressive view of the rock massif of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Those who like things a bit more spirited might like to try their skill at paragliding, river rafting or canyoning.
The key excursion destinations within the Jungfrau region can all be reached easily from Wengen. Climbers on the Eiger north face – one of the world’s most spectacular and difficult climbing faces – can be observed by telescope from the Kleine Scheidegg. Provided you change trains on the Kleine Scheidegg, the Jungfraujoch can even be reached by railway. And you can reach the Schilthorn summit from the valley floor resort of Lauterbrunnen via Mürren or Stechelberg.
Wengen is the ideal starting point for the family-friendly ski region of Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen with 110 km of predominantly easy to medium-difficulty pistes, and the renowned World Cup piste on the Lauberhorn as its crowning glory. The neighbouring ski areas of the Jungfrau region, Grindelwald-First and Mürren-Schilthorn are also readily accessible. The clean air, the long hours of sunshine – especially in winter – the toboggan runs and around 50 km of winter hiking trails also serve to attract non-skiers to the sunny resort.
The Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland, known as the most diverse canton in terms of natural and cultural geography, as it encompasses both sides of the Alps and several natural and cultural regions. The diversity of the canton is often compared to that of Switzerland as a whole and warrants it the name of “Little Switzerland”. One of the birthplaces of winter sports, the canton is a major tourist destination year-round, including a large number of Alpine resort towns, notably Davos and St. Moritz.
The canton of Graubünden is also renowned for its extensive narrow-gauge railway network, operated by the Rhaetian Railway, and linking the capital with most valleys of the Grisons. Take the Rhätische Bahn to Klosters, Davos, Arosa, St. Moritz, the Surselva region, the Engadine and Valposchiavo. See Savognin and the Müstair valley, Lenzerheide, and the Mesolcina and Bregaglia valleys by postal bus. Climbing a sheer rock face, and storming peaks and traversing glaciers.
Chur located on the right bank of the Rhine, is reputedly the oldest town of Switzerland. Chur charms visitors with its fine mountain setting, twisting alleys and historic buildings. Numerous boutiques, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries in the largely traffic-free Old Town create a Mediterranean-style atmosphere. Chur is the gateway to important trade routes and alpine passes, remains its 5000-year history, discover witnesses to the past and stories, documented by Early Stone Age and Bronze Age finds anc artifacts from the Roman period, as well as testimonies to more recent history.
Chur is a commercial center and capital of a large region, as evidenced by a variety of stores, museums, the theater and the PostBus station, a hub of Graubünden’s mountain world. Trains of the Rhaetian Railway run hourly to world-famous resorts. Chur is the ideal spot from which to set off on walks and visits to vineyards in the ‘Bündner Herrschaft’ winemaking region. Chur is the gateway to the Grisons mountains: 26 holiday and spa resorts can be reached in less than an hour from Chur.
Arosa is both a summer and a winter tourist resort. The tradition-rich Grisons holiday resort of Arosa is located at the end of the romantic Schanfigg Valley at an altitude of about 1800 metres above sea level. With its impressive range of mountain peaks all around, Arosa Lenzerheide is just as attractive for extended hiking tours in summer as it is in winter, offering a great variety of snow sport activities. The Arosa All-inclusive Card includes the usage of the aerial tramways to Hörnli and Weisshorn, access to the rope park, entrance to the local history museum, pedalo rentals and much more.
Arosa has been a famous Alpine health resort since 1877, because of its location at the bottom of a wide valley, Arosa is very sunny and the air is particularly pure. Arosa alone boasts more than 200 km of different hiking and walking trails. A hiking tour to be especially recommended is the 10 lakes hike, a tour of 15 km leading from one crystal-clear mountain lake to the next. Then there’s the Schanfigg circuit from Chur to Arosa and back with its many traditional cozy mountain cabins, nicely cultivated stretches of land and alpine pastures.
Arosa also offer 225 km of slopes with guaranteed snow in the winter sport region of Arosa Lenzerheide, making it the largest interconnected skiing region of Graubünden. At the end of 2013 the Arosa ski resort was linked with Lenzerheide by cable-car, creating the new ski resort of Arosa Lenzerheide; Arosa is accessible by Rhaetian Railways from Chur or by car across over 365 serpentines and through several tunnels, past the smaller holiday resort of Langwies.
Davos is an Alpine resort town, best known today for hosting the World Economic Forum. This holiday destination with international ambience is the largest resort in the Alps for mountain holidays, sport and conferences. In the centre of Davos, visitors will find a wide range of accommodation and excellent shopping, with numerous boutiques, cafés and restaurants.
For a quieter time, Hiking up the romantic side valleys of Sertig, Dischma or Flüela. Take a ride by horse-drawn sledge into the snowy side valleys, or experience the Davos mountains with 150 km of beautifully prepared winter footpaths and snow-shoe trails. The Davos Lake with its swimming area and a sailing and surfing centre. In addition, there are opportunities for hang-gliding and paragliding and mountain bike and inline skating routes.
With a long history of winter sport, Davos has one of Switzerland’s largest ski resorts, and the highest town in the Alps and a high-altitude health resort with a long tradition. At altitudes between 1124 and 2844 m, guests will find 58 ski lifts, 300 km of slopes, 100 km of cross-country ski tracks, over 150km snowshoe and winter hiking trails, two artificial ice rinks with ice hockey, ice skating and curling fields are available. The mecca is Parsenn area which connects up Davos with the neighbouring resort of Klosters. The Jakobshorn is the in place for freestylers and party guests with half-pipes and cosy après-ski huts.
Ticino is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. The canton of Ticino, which has become one of the major tourist destinations of Switzerland, distinguishes itself from the rest of the country by its warm climate, and its meridional culture and gastronomy. Ticino is a rich blend of past and future, north and south, mountains and plains, nature and culture, city and country.
The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees at clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches. Ticino offers Mountain tours that start in snow, ice and rock, end in balmy chestnut forests, and also the numerous sub-tropical parks and gardens. Cultural are available at every turn; romantic landscapes have always attracted poets and artists and inspired architect.
Located on the shore of Lake Maggiore, Ascona is Switzerland’s lowest lying town. The entire town of Ascona is listed on the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. Ascona is famous for its mild climate, its Old Town and a lake promenade which is dotted with street cafés and boasts a Latin ambience. The town is a popular tourist destination and holds the yearly Ascona Jazz Festival.
There are eleven Swiss heritage site of national significance in Ascona. There are three churches on the list: the church of S. Maria della Misericordia with the Collegio Papio, the Church of S. Michele with the ruins of a medieval castle, and the Parish Church of SS. Pietro e Paolo. The church of San Pietro e Paolo, which is located in Ascona’s old center of town, Borgo, is well worth a visit. The church is a basilica dating back to the 16th century. The interior of the basilica is defined by columns. Its high bell tower is the landmark of the vacation destination of Ascona.
The branching lanes of the Old Town lead to the car-free zone of the Lake Promenade with its charming street cafés. The resort of Ascona, which is very close to Locarno, boasts a beautiful 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, elegant boutiques for shopping excursions, a large open-air swimming pool, smart hotels and many excellent restaurants, lovely walks in parkland, surfing, sailing and other water sports, not to mention boat trips on Lake Maggiore.
There are many opportunities for excursions, hiking and biking in the beautifully wild scenery of the nearby side valleys of the Tessin such as the Maggiatal and Centovalli. The Monte Verità, the Mountain of Truth, lies above Ascona. People who subscribed to philosophies off the beaten track established a colony here at the beginning of the 20th century. The colony attracted celebrities from all over the world. Today the mountain is a place where the universities of Lucerne and Zurich hold seminars, and a museum showcases the history of the alternative colony and its founders.
Located on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore, Locarno with the warmest climate in Switzerland. With 2,300 hours of sunshine per year, southern plants such as palm trees or lemon trees flourish in Locarno and give the city its special charm. The town is known for hosting the Locarno International Film Festival which takes place every year in August and involves open-air screenings at the main square, the Piazza Grande. It is also known for the Locarno Treaties, a series of European territorial agreements negotiated here in October 1925. Locarno has a number of interesting sights that draw tourists year-round.
The heart of the city is the Piazza Grande, well-known for its annual film festival. The narrow lanes of the Old Town all lead to the Piazza. Castello Visconteo, a castle dating back to the 12th century, lies at the edge of the Old Town. About a fifth of the castle has been preserved in its original state. Splendid upper-town palazzi house fine art collections and the lake promenade offers relaxed strolling. The pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso is located above Locarno, in Orselina. The church is said to have been established as a result of an appearance of the Virgin Mary. It is the most notable sight in Locarno, and boasts an extraordinary view of the city, the lake and the mountains.
Bellinzona is the southernmost capital of Switzerland. The town lies east of the river Ticino, at the foot of the Alps. The town acts as a gateway to Italy for those travelling from the North, and the keyhole to the Alps for those coming from the South. The skyline of the capital of Ticino is defined by the powerful fortifications, comprising three of the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bellinzona is home to twelve buildings or areas that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. Additionally, it is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Three Castles of Bellinzona. The merger on 2 April 2017 added seven additional buildings or sites. The entire old town of Bellinzona, along with the villages of Moleno and Preonzo, is listed on the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
The picturesque corners and squares, the courtyards and the neo-Classical, Italian-style theatre, and the sympathetically restored old houses tell visitors the history of what is culturally a Lombardy town. In its alleyways are richly decorated patrician houses and beautiful churches. Yet behind the austere charm of the medieval town is all the dynamic life of a modern meeting-place. Numerous boutiques, cafés and specialist shops offering culinary delicacies invite you to linger and window-shop. Each Saturday there is a big weekly market in the historical city center.
The fortifications of Bellinzona are among the most important examples of medieval defensive architecture in the Alps, and have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2000. From the Castelgrande, Bellinzona’s oldest and mightiest castle, there is a beautiful view over the Old Town and the surrounding area. A little museum in the Castelgrande documents the history of Bellinzona’s castles and town centre. There are also museums in the other two castles.
The “Tre Castelli” are the symbol of Ticino’s capital, and form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Castelgrande and Montebello house museums relate the town’s rich history. Furthermore, in Castelgrande and Sasso Corbaro you can find some temporary exhibitions. From the three castles it is possible to admire a splendid panorama of the city, as well as the surrounding mountains up to Lake Maggiore.
Lugano is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. The city is home to a number of historic buildings and museums, whilst the surrounding area has many natural sights. Lugano lies in a bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano, surrounded by numerous mountains offering splendid viewpoints. The traffic-free historic town centre, the numerous buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, the exclusive museums, the mountains, lake and a packed calendar of events all invite visitors to see the sights, soak up the atmosphere. With Mediterranean flair, Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, combined with the cachet of a small town.
The town centre with its Mediterranean-style squares and arcades, and numerous parks with sub-tropical plants such as the Parco Civico on the shores of the lake invite you to laze around, enjoying the atmosphere. By the lakeside promenade are the Belvedere Gardens, where the parkland boasts not only camellias and magnolias but also countless sub-tropical plants and modern works of art. Thanks to its mild climate, Lugano is a popular tourist destination in the spring when the camellias are in bloom.
There are 17 sites in Lugano that are part of the Swiss heritage site of national significance. The city of Lugano, the districts of Barbengo, Brè, Gandria and Biogno, and the sites of Cantine di Gandria and Castagnola are all part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. The heritage sites of national significance include two libraries, the Biblioteca Cantonale and the Biblioteca Salita dei Frati as well as the Swiss National Recording Archives (Fonoteca nazionale svizzera). There were three churches; Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Church of Santa Maria degli Angioli and the Church of San Rocco.
The two closest mountains to Lugano, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè, give you an outstanding panorama of the town, Lake Lugano and the alpine scenery. From Monte Brè there is a walk down to the village of Brè, which has preserved its typical Ticino village centre, and enhanced it with works of art. From the San Salvatore another popular walk leads down through the beautifully situated Carona to Lake Lugano at Morcote. Taking a boat trip back to Lugano is a splendid way to round off the day. Other excursions are to the fishing village of Gandria, up the Monte San Giorgio or the Monte Generoso or to the Lilliput world of Switzerland in Miniature at Melide.
Zermatt is a world-renowned tourist resort and the starting (terminal) station of Switzerland’s famous scenic train, the Glacier Express,. the air here is fresh and pure. The mountain village is surrounded by towering mountains and magnificent glaciers. Skiing can be done all year round. Here you can admire 38 majestic peaks over 4,000 meters above sea level. Tourists can easily reach the scenic spot above 3,000 meters by cable car and climbing train, enjoying the continuous snow-capped mountain scenery and the beautiful figure of the Matterhorn.
Zermatt is a starting point for hikes into the mountains, including the Haute Route that leads to Chamonix in France and the Patrouille des Glaciers. Cable cars and chair lifts carry skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer; the highest of them leads to the Klein Matterhorn at 3,883 m (12,740 ft), a peak on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn that offers extensive views in all directions. It is possible to cross into Italy via the Cervinia cable car station. A rack railway line (the Gornergratbahn, the highest open-air railway in Europe) runs up to the summit of the Gornergrat at 3,089 m (10,135 ft).
There are also many shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, and hotels in the mountain village, mainly concentrated on Bahnhofstrasse (Bahnhofstrasse) in front of the train station, where you can enjoy food and shopping on foot. The local economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants and just under half of all apartments are vacation apartments.
The world of Zermatt’s hotels is among the best anywhere. Zermatt’s accommodation are legendary. Hotels with chic and charm, tradition and hospitality. And chalets and holiday flats, spacious rooms, dream-world spas and world-class gastronomy. And the hospitality of the Zermatt hosts leaves nothing to be desired. Whether you want a luxurious 5-star hotel, a snug 4-star house, a cosy family hotel or a spacious apartment, there is a wide choice of accommodation in Zermatt, with something for all holidaymakers.
Zermatt is also just a great place to shop. Watches and jewellery sparkle in the shop windows, enticing fragrances waft from the bakeries. Zermatt offers a top-class shopping experience. A stroll along the Bahnhofstrasse reveals an amazing variety. The best possible equipment is available including knowledgeable tips from local experts, also souvenir from Zermatt.
The Pays de Fribourg with cold, limestone summits are found in the south and mild, even Mediterranean-like lakesides in the north, mixing the Pre-Alps, the city of Fribourg and the Three-Lakes Region. Fribourg is known for its cultural plurality, university and gastronomy, a cultural treasure trove that goes back to the Middle Ages. Discover many medieval cities with their rich cultural heritage. For example the unique St. Nicholas celebrations with their traditional parade in Fribourg, the path of nativity sets in Estavayer-le-Lac, the Christmas market in Morat.
The Pre-Alps region offers a superb infrastructure for winter-sport activities, as way over 100 km of marked and easily accessible routes attract all age groups, to the enchanted snow-covered countryside. Savour the culinary delights of the Pays de Fribourg at a host of Alpine huts. Refuel with a fondue, a soupe du chalet, a potato rösti or a fine dessert, and enjoy the cordiality and romance of dining at a hut.
In less than an hour’s drive from the Pre-Alps you’ll come across the Mediterranean mildness of the medieval cities of Murten and Estavayer-le-Lac. Even at the time of the Celts and Romans, the Three-Lakes Region was a favourite place to holiday. The Papiliorama in Kerzers and the wildlife sanctuary “Grande Cariçaie” are truly worth your while.
Fribourg is one of the largest medieval towns in Switzerland. Fribourg has preserved its medieval center as a whole that is now one of the largest in Europe. It is located on a spectacular peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the Saane/La Sarine. The architecture of the Old City date primarily from the Gothic period; it was built predominately before the 16th century. Most houses are built of the local molasse stone. Consisting of the neighborhoods Bourg, Auge and Neuveville, its old town is rich in fountains and churches dating from the 12th century until the 17th century. Its cathedral, reaching 76 metres (249 ft) in height, was built between 1283 and 1490. The fortifications of Fribourg form the most important medieval military architecture of Switzerland: 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of ramparts, 14 towers and one big bulwark. The protections are especially well preserved east and south of the city.
Over 200 unique Gothic facades from the 15th century impart incomparable medieval charm to the Old Town. These include the historic Old City with its Gothic Cathedral of Saint Nicholas renowned for its stained glass windows designed by Józef Mehoffer, and the museums. The Natural History Museum was founded in 1873, and is now located in the natural sciences building at the university. The Museum of Art and History, located in the Ratzéhof since 1920, has exhibits on ancient and early history, sculpture and paintings, traditional tin figures, arts and crafts, as well as money and graphic collections. In the cathedral, a treasure chamber has been on display since 1992. Other museums include the Swiss Museum of Marionnettes, the Swiss Sewing Machine Museum, the Gutenberg Museum, the Bible and Orient Museum and a beer museum.
The little mediaeval town of Murten, located on a small hillside overlooking Lake Murten. On the south-eastern shore of the lake of the same name has preserved its original appearance, with the picturesque lanes and alleys of the Old Town and the pleasant shady arcades. The town bordering German and French-speaking Switzerland also boasts a lovely lakeside promenade with a wide range of water sports and plenty of culture to discover, excursions and outings.
The farm house at Erli 2, Murten’s city walls, the Grosshaus at Hauptgasse 43, the Rathaus or town council house, Löwenberg Castle and the Old School House in Valvenach are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The entire old city of Murten’s and the village of Lurtigen are part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. An area of the prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlement at Segelboothafen is part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Murten is popular for swimming, boasting warm water temperatures from the early summer months. In the summer months, the lake is also very well suited to sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, surf biking, rowing, pedalo rides, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and sport fishing. The possibilities here are virtually endless. The Mont Vully hills provide amazing panoramic views of Jura and the Alps. The slopes of the Vully are home to refreshing wines, which pair beautifully with fish from the lake.
Eastern Switzerland stretches from the shimmering waters of Lake Constance across the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpine landscapes of Toggenburg, the Heidiland holiday region and the Glarnerland. Far off in the Rhine Valley is Vaduz with its princes’ castle. Eastern Switzerland with fabulous descents and wonderful views over the lakes and the mountains, and the skiing areas of Eastern Switzerland are perfect for all skiing, snowboarding and carving fans.
Appenzell is a historic canton in the northeast of Switzerland, the villages here are situated in a singularly beautiful landscape of rolling hills. The region is known for rural customs and traditions such as the ceremonial descent of the cattle in autumn and cultural events such as folk music and rustic dances. Appenzell is a car-free village beckons with pretty lanes and a myriad of small stores and boutiques that are ideal for shopping and browsing. The facades of the buildings are decorated with frescoes. Appenzell Museum, which is in the town hall, shows a cross section of Appenzell’s history and culture.
The transformation from the hilly landscapes of the Swiss mittelland to the rock-dominated Alpine world so full of surprise, mighty rock formations tower loftily to over 2500 metres in height. Appenzell benefits from a particularly dense network of rambling trails, including ‘experience trails’ such as the barefoot trail near Gonten, a trail which enables you to experience nature, and the circular chapel trails. In winter, the hilly pre-Alpine landscape and the mighty Alpstein take on the appearance of a snowy-white winter fairytale. Winter walking and cross-country skiing are very widespread in the hilly Appenzell landscapes. A wide network of around 200 km of cross-country ski trails extends through Appenzell. Kronberg, Hoher Kasten and Ebenalp-Schwende are popular ski areas with families in winter.
Schaffhausen is a town with historic roots, in the northernmost corner of Switzerland, in the “knee” of the Rhine in Eastern Switzerland on the border with Germany. The traffic-free Old Town of Schaffhausen is considered one of the prettiest in Switzerland, on account of its many oriel windows and lavishly painted facades. Many of the fine guildhouses and merchant’s houses date from Gothic and Baroque times. The old town has many fine Renaissance era buildings decorated with exterior frescos and sculpture, as well as the old Munot fortress.
The houses of the Old Town are richly decorated with oriel windows and lavishly painted facades. The town, located on the High Rhine between the Black Forest and Lake Constance, and surrounded by vineyards, is a popular destination for holidays and day-trips. Schaffhausen is also a railway junction of Swiss and German rail networks. One of the lines connects the town with the nearby Rhine Falls in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Europe’s largest waterfall, a tourist attraction.
Over the mediaeval Old Town of Schaffhausen looms the imposing Munot fortress, can be seen for miles. The ring-shaped stronghold was built between 1564 and 1589 to a design by Albrecht Dürer. You can see far and wide from the battlements. Every evening at 9 p.m., the Munot guard who lives in the tower rings the Munot bell, which used to be a sign that the town gates and inns should close.
In the area to the north of Schaffhausen, in the hilly region of the Randen. The riverside landscape along the Rhine is a lovely area for cycling, walking and boating. The popular Untersee Lake-Rhine boat trip from Schaffhausen to Kreuzlingen is nearly 50 km long. The section of river between Schaffhausen and the well-preserved little mediaeval town of Stein am Rhein, with its frescos and painted houses, is particularly charming. The Benedictine monastery of St. Georgen now houses the monastery museum. Over the town towers the castle of Hohenklingen.
Frauenfeld is the capital of the canton of Thurgau. Frauenfeld is a lively small town, the striking eye-catcher is the castle in the charming old town. Founded by the counts of Kyburg, to this day, Castle Frauenfeld, with its tower from 1227, as well as the rectangular layout of the old town is witness to that history. The wonderful surroundings are ideal for excursions, hiking and bicycle tours. Worthwhile destinations such as the Seebach Valley, numerous castles and fantastic panoramic vistas reward active visitors for their efforts. A few kilometers away you will find Kartause Ittingen, a former monastery that is a national treasure.
There are ten buildings that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance in Frauenfeld. There are four archives and a library on the list; archive of the Amtes für Denkmalpflege, the archive of the Department of Archeology, the Citizen’s Archive of Frauenfeld, the State Archives of the Canton and Cantonal Library. The Catholic City Church and the Simultaneum Church of St Laurenzen with St Anna Chapel and Messmerhaus are the two religious buildings on the list. Two museums, the Museum of Archeology and Natural History of the Canton of Thurgau and Frauenfeld Castle which contains the Historical Museum, are on the list. The last building on the list is the Rathaus or town council house. The entire old city of Frauenfeld is included in the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
St.Gallen is a university town with a focus on the economic sciences. The compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colourfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing. The home town of the renowned “Mummenschanz” theatre group offers a varied cultural offering with theatres and museums. In summer, the romantic art-nouveau Dreilinden-Weiher open-air pool with its splendid views over the town attracts visitors to swim.
There are 28 sites in St. Gallen that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance, including four religious buildings; the Abbey of St. Gallen, the former Dominican Abbey of St. Katharina, the Reformed Church of St. Laurenzenkirche and the Roman Catholic parish church of St. Maria Neudorf. St.Gallen’s most famous landmark is its Baroque cathedral with the Abbey Library, which houses some 170,000 documents – in part hand-written and over a thousand years old. The library probably also has Switzerland’s most beautiful Rococo hall. The entire Abbey precinct was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.
Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages – and all just a stone’s throw from the Alps. Zurich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.
Winterthur is a service and high-tech industrial satellite city within Greater Zürich. Winterthur has blossomed from a former industrial town to a lively venue for all ethnic groups and types of culture. Being a city small enough to get around conveniently while also having a big-city atmosphere makes Winterthur a popular destination. Shops, restaurants, markets and festivals bring the charming Old Town to life and provide a meeting place for locals, visitors and businesspeople alike.
Winterthur is a treasure trove of art, history and nature. The medieval heart of the city is full of life no matter what the time of day. Winterthur is an important museum town – it has 17 in all – and also offers a wide range of culture, sports and entertainment. Amongst the numerous night clubs and bars you will also find the only bar in Switzerland that opens 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfall in Europe, is just a 20 minute drive from Winterthur.
The pedestrian zone in the charming Old Town is considered to be Switzerland’s largest. Venerable mansions in and around the Marktgasse, the City Church, the Fisher Maiden’s Fountain and the famous Town Hall Passage are great attractions. Culture has a long tradition in Winterthur. The city boasts 17 museums, including the Oskar Reinhart collection “Am Römerholz” with its masterpieces of European art from the 14th to the 20th century. This tradition continues with the internationally renowned Centre for Photography, the Casino Theater, which has become a centre of the German-language cabaret scene, and the Swiss Science Center Technorama, which makes technology and science an accessible experience.
The extremely diverse cultural agenda also comprises a series of festivals – Afro-Pfingsten, the International Short Film Festival and the Winterthurer Musikfestwochen festival as well as the performances by the Winterthurer Musikkollegium. With the city’s regular fare of exhibitions, films, concerts, readings and theatre – it is clear that Winterthur’s residents are well catered for when it comes to matters cultural.
Despite its industrial tradition, Winterthur is also a “garden city” with a large number of parks and gardens. There is even a city tour dedicated to “Villas and Gardens”. The city’s delightful environs are home to castles and fortresses set in the woods, in the wine country, and on the Töss and Rhine rivers, and to which the locals have long felt a special relationship. Winterthur is also an ideal base for excursions to the Rhine Falls, Lake Constance and to the nearby metropolis of Zurich.
Baden located at northwest of Zürich in the Limmat Valley, its mineral hot springs have been famed since at least the Roman era. The village of Baden is designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. A historical city with a very lively present, is worth a visit, not just because of the Grand Casino Baden. The old town, the Tagsatzung room in the city hall, the 1847 railway station and the building of the Stiftung Langmatt are listed as heritage sites of national significance.
In addition to the Roman city, the ruins of castle Stein and the other sites listed above, Baden is home to a number of other Swiss Heritage Sites. The industrial sites include the ABB Schweiz archive along with the former offices of Brown Boveri Company as well as the regional former utilities plant on Haselstrasse 15. There are three designated religious buildings in Baden; the Catholic city church and Sebastians chapel, the Swiss Reformed parish church and the Synagogue on Parkstrasse 17.
2 km south of Baden, on a distinct peninsula of the Limmat, is the Cistercian Wettingen Abbey (1227-1841), with old painted glass in the cloisters and early 17th century carved stalls in the choir of the church. 8 km (5 mi) west of Baden is the small town of Brugg (9,500 inhabitants) in a fine position on the Aare, and close to the remains of the Roman colony of Vindonissa (today Windisch), as well as to the monastery (founded 1310) of Königsfelden, formerly the burial-place of the early Habsburgs (the castle of Habsburg is but a short way off), still retaining much fine medieval painted glass.
Capital of the Swiss canton of Zug, a stylish town that values public art, and goes together with the town’s business world, which lends the pretty town a certain international flavour. Zug is a high quality of life, a view of the Rigi and Pilatus, and a jewel of a historic centre.
Zug is surrounded with mountains, rivers and lakes including the mountains Zugerberg and the Walchwilerberg Oberallmig, the Höhronen and the river Sihl. The Choller nature reserve is also near Lake Zug. Enjoy the sunsets, when the sun goes down over the lake, the horizon goes blood-red, and all eyes turn to the romantic show of colour on the water.
The charming historic centre of the town, best experienced by strolling its narrow and winding alleys, lingering on the pretty lakeshore and sitting at one of the many street cafés to watch the world go by. Sights within the town include the late Gothic church of St. Wolfgang, near Hühnenberg, or St. Oswald in Zug, the old town of Zug with the Town Hall and the Zytturm (clock tower), the Huwiler Tower, the Zurlaubenhof, feudal estate of the family Zurlauben, on the outskirts of the town.
The lake shore has been embanked and forms a promenade, from which views of the Rigi and Pilatus, as well as of the snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland, are gained. Towards its northerly end, a monument marks the spot where a part of the shore slipped into the lake in 1887. The older part of the town is rather crowded together, though only four of the wall towers and a small part of the town walls still survive.
Lake Zurich region
Lake Zurich is a lake in Switzerland, extending southeast of the city of Zürich. The Lake Zurich region lies in the cantons of Glarus, Schwyz, St. Gallen and Zurich, which includes the towns and villages around Lake Zurich. The Prehistoric pile dwellings around Lake Zurich comprises 11 of total 56 Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps in Switzerland. Lake Zurich with beautiful scenery is not only a treat to the human eyes but also an excellent place for some recreational activities. Lakeside promenades, bars, restaurants, shops and many other facilities.
On the west shore (which gradually becomes the south shore) are Rüschlikon, Thalwil, Horgen, Wädenswil, Richterswil, Pfäffikon, and Lachen. On the opposite shore are Küsnacht, Meilen, Stäfa, and Rapperswil-Jona with the medieval town of Rapperswil, whose castle is home to the Polish museum. Schmerikon is close to the east end of the lake, and a little further east is the larger town of Uznach.
Lake Zurich is a popular place for excursions, picnic. Bathe in the deep blue water, or cycle around it. With the soft splashing of the water on the shore, fresh fish on the plate and particularly romantic sunsets over the lake: the restaurants on the water have a Mediterranean attitude to life. The surrounding area also includes some well-known destinations: Ufenau Island, the Lindt Home of Chocolate, Rapperswil Castle or a winery near Stäfa.
Take a boat trip on the lake, guests spot the snow-covered Alps on the horizon. Gently rocking waves, peace and quiet, relaxation and fine food: the best way to discover the Lake Zurich area is by taking a boat trip. The two historic paddle-steamers, the “Gipfeli-Schiff” (early mornings) and the “Sonnenuntergangs-Schiff” (sunset sailings), offers all kinds of special excursions available. Musical trips and special tours on public holidays are all part of the programme offered by the Lake Zurich shipping company.
Stäfa is a municipality in the district of Meilen in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland. At Confiserie Isler, a confectioner well known among aficionados, you can learn all about the fine art of chocolate making. Without any previous experience, you can make and decorate your own chocolates, and learn how to make and decorate a moulded Easter bunny. Along the way you get to taste a variety of chocolates,finishing off with an aperitif.
Rapperswil-Jona, also know as town of roses, is a municipality located on the upper end of Lake Zurich. The riviera at the upper end of Lake Zürich, will charm you with its many attractions: the castle, the medieval old town, the historical wooden bridge and Knies Children’s Zoo. At the eastern end of the lake is the “rose town” of Rapperswil. In the public gardens with over 15,000 rose bushes blooming, of more than 600 different varieties. The Alpamare water park and Atzmännig slide & trampoline paradise are just as much part of this family-friendly destination. The lakeside promenade with its Mediterranean charms, the picturesque Old Town and the medieval castle make this harbour town a popular place for excursions.
Rapperswil-Jona combines sights, cultural life, hiking and sports possibilities with a Mediterranean holiday atmosphere. The castle towers above the town and lake and is the landmark. The castle hill affords a panorama view from the Glarus Alps all the way to the Zurich Oberland. Several churches, chapels and monasteries bears testimony to the past. The medieval old town is a protected historic monument, the lake promenade and varied excursion possibilities make Rapperswil particularly suitable for families with children. Rapperswil is an embarkation point for the regular ship services on Lake Zurich, the wooden bridge for pedestrians happens to be the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland.
Knie’s Children’s Zoo is a particular attraction for children and circus fans. The animals at the children’s zoo can be stroked and there are also elephant rides on offer. In summer a 700-metre-long summer toboggan run on the nearby Atzmännig is great for some family fun. In winter there is a ski region suitable for families with easy ski pistes. On the other side of the lake, Pfäffikon with the Alpamare fun and experience baths featuring a wide range of water slides and wellness treatments is well worth visiting. Einsiedeln, the most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland with a famous monastery.
Horgen is a municipality in the district of Horgen in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland. Horgen has been a traffic hub on the north/south axis since the year 1230. This long period of time has left its historical and economic imprint on our town. Due to its proximity to Zurich, the multifaceted small town on Lake Zurich meets the local inhabitant’s as well as the visitor’s need for cosmopolitan life and big city entertainment.
Today this important district town is a popular location for living and working. At the same time it is the regional recreation and excursion destination. Horgen is at the same time an abode of peace, of ambience and congeniality. The main street is part of the historic town center and is a car-free pedestrian zone. Horgen offers from the busy town center with its educational institutions and seminar facilities to the nature reserve and regional leisure time and recreation area.
Zürich Wilderness Park is a wilderness park near the city of Zürich in Switzerland. It includes the Sihlwald forest, the largest mixed deciduous and coniferous forest in the Swiss Mittelland, and the Langenberg Wildlife Park, the oldest Swiss wildlife park. Both sites are situated in the Sihl Valley to the south of Zürich. In the Wilderness Park Zürich Langenberg, visitors can observe 19 native and formerly native animals like deer, bear, lynx, wolf, wildcat, marmot, elk, wild boar, and the Przewalski horse on 80 hectares. The animals live in a spacious and natural environment and makes encounters with animals fascinating and memorable. Adventure worlds intensify man’s encounter with the animal world.
Switzerland with its majestic Alps is predestined for mountain excursions. There are snow covered peaks with panoramic viewpoints, thousands of hiking trails and many other alpine highlights. The journey to the top is an attraction in itself, be it onboard a cogwheel train, a cable car or the world’s steepest funicular.
Glacier 3000 offers a fun and memorable excursion to the Swiss Alps, within just 15 minutes, you will get whisked from the valley floor to 3k altitudes, guaranteed snow year-round and no switching required. At the top, the summit station designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. The various look-out points at Glacier 3000 offer panoramic views of two dozen snow-capped peaks above 4000 meters of altitude: Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, the Matterhorn, Grand Combin, and even Mont Blanc in the far distance. Just outside the cable car station is the Peak Walk by Tissot, the world’s first suspension footbridge spanning two summits.
Surrounded by no fewer than 29 peaks above 4,000 meters, such as the majestic Matterhorn and the Dufourspitze as well as the third-longest glacier of the Alps, Gornergrat line rewards visitors with unparalleled views. In summer, marvel at the reflection of the Matterhorn on the surface of the Riffelsee and enjoy great hiking trails and cycling routes on this adventure mountain. In winter, the beautiful tobogganing run from Rotenboden to Riffelberg is just one of the experiences on offer, with sunny pistes, a children’s ski park and snowball fights on the winter hiking trail all sure to delight both young and old.
To the Top of Europe: A visit to the Jungfraujoch puts a jewel in the crown of any visit to Switzerland. The “Eiger Express” enabling the journey from Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch in just one and a half hours. From the terminal in Grindelwald, a 3S cableway takes you directly to the station Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier) in 15 minutes. Once at the top, there is even more time to enjoy the panorama and the adventure world. All through the year, the cog railway runs steeply up through a tunnel to the Jungfraujoch from Kleine Scheidegg.
The tunnel leading up from the station Eigergletscher is seven kilometres in length and was built between 1896 and 1912. One stop within the tunnel offers spectacular views onto the glacier world outside through windows in the Eiger North Face. On the summit, visitors are greeted by a high-Alpine wonder world made of ice, snow and rocks. All of this can be marvelled at from the viewing platforms “Sphinx” and “Plateau” on the Aletsch glacier or from the “Ice Palace”.
As the first mountain railway in Europe, Mt. Rigi line has been transporting guests comfortably from Vitznau up to the impressive heart of the mountains since 1871. During the 30-minute ascent by cog railway to almost 1,800m above sea level, visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the lake landscape, passing grazing cows, traditional farms and colourful wildflower meadows.
With breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views, the Rigi offers a first-class mountain experience whatever the season. The cog railways from Goldau and Vitznau, as well as the cable car from Weggis, enable a variety of round trips, which can also be combined with a boat trip on Lake Lucerne.