With mountains and valleys, glaciers and national forests, lakes and rivers -- it's amazing how much variety and beauty can be crammed into one small space. But that's Switzerland. Old Towns and Medieval landmarks make this charming country one for the ages and a great year-round destination for adventure.
Jungfrau Rail: Top of Europe
The Jungfrau Railway, a pioneering masterpiece among mountain railways, went into service in 1912. The cogwheel railway takes passengers from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe, at 11,500 feet, Europe’s highest-altitude railway station in a world of rock, ice and snow. Seven of the nine kilometres of railway are in a tunnel hewn in the rock of the Eiger and Mönch. The train stops for five minutes at each of two intermediate stations, the Eigerwand (Eiger Wall) and Eismeer (Sea of Ice), where passengers can marvel at the fascinating mountain world through panorama windows.
Paddle Steamer on Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne is fascinating due to its picturesque landscape and historical sites. 20 boats - 5 of which are nostalgic paddle-steamers - enable you to take round trips and offer endless possibilities for excursions which can also be combined with mountain railways along the lake. The five restored paddle steamers Uri, Unterwalden, Schiller, Gallia and Stadt Luzern, which were all built between 1901 and 1928, constitute the world’s largest fleet of paddle steamers that sail on a lake.
Hike the Impressive Eiger Trail
Mt. Eiger is responsible for many myths. Especially legendary is the mountain’s North Face. Who ever hiked alongside the gigantic the North Face understands that there is indeed something magic about this mountain. Looking up to find the distant summit, one encounters a sheer wall of stone reaching into the sky. The point of departure for this spectacular hike is at the Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier) station of the Jungfrau Railways. The trail is at the very foot of the Eiger North Face and descends steeply from the very beginning. But hikers will find themselves looking up more than down as the sheer rock wall is just too impressive to ignore. Once midway, hikers can take the Scheidegg train back to Grindelwald or continue through fragrant forests and meadows back to Grindelwald on foot.
Relax on a Beach in Geneva
There is much to be said to be able to escape to a relaxing beach within the confines of a city. Built in the 1930s Bain de Paquis is a historic landmark and still one of the hottest spots in Geneva. The baths feature a restaurant, a diving platform and plenty of space to layout on your towel with stellar views of the Jet d’Eau and surrounding shorelines. A Turkish bath complete with a sauna, steam room and massage parlor are open year round.
Discover the Lavaux Vineyards
The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux are Switzerland’s largest contiguous vineyard area with terrace after terrace offering magnificent views. St-Saphorin, Dézaley, Epesses are names that roll easily off the tongue of afficionados of fine wine. And the views from the Lavaux vineyards, set high above Lake Geneva, provide the perfect backdrop. The natural, cultural and culinary highlights of this area are definitely well worth a visit. The blue-yellow “Train des Vignes” is a very convenient way to travel. In just twelve minutes it winds its way from Vevey through the lush green vineyards up to Puidoux-Chexbres. Here you can sample the local wine, as tasting is available at almost every cellar.
See the Alps on the Glacier Express
Experience the Alps from the Matterhorn to Engadin St. Moritz or vice versa in seven and a half hours. There are of course faster ways to travel. But none as beautiful as the journey by Glacier Express, the panoramic train traveling right through the Swiss Alps. Here the journey is really the destination. It climbs up to the almost 7,000 high Oberalp mountain pass and down again into the Rhine Canyon, through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges, from Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, to the world-famous spa resort St. Moritz.
Hike the National Park Trail
Zernez is situated in the upper part of the Lower Engadine and is the starting point of many hiking tours leading to the National Park. Pristine romantic forests alternate with green meadows, presided over by the mighty peaks of the Lower Engadine. Discover the villages of Susch und Lavin en route. The views above the village of Susch at the foot of the Flüela Pass, dotted with the typical houses of Graubünden, are a feast for the eyes. Below the tree line, the land is covered with beautiful pine forests. Higher up, you keep getting magnificent views of all kinds of rock formation. These mountain rocks range in color from chalk white and rusty red through to anthracite grey. Shortly after you enter the National Park itself, the mighty Bernina range towers up on the southern horizon.
The Paul Klee Museum in Bern
The Paul Klee Center, which opened in 2005, is dedicated to the person, life and work of the artist Paul Klee (1879–1940). It houses the world’s largest collection of Klee’s works. He is regarded as one of the 20th century’s most important artists. With about 4,000 paintings (40% of his oeuvre) the Zentrum Paul Klee houses the largest collection of its kind. The unusual building has a wave-like structure and was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. Apart from art exhibitions, the center also offers a platform for music, theatre, dance and literature.
Check Out the Former Brewery Turned Spa
Visitors get to bathe under the hundred year old stone vaults of the historic Hürlimann Beer Brewery. No longer in operation, you can swim in the open-air pool on the roof of the converted thermal bath, while admiring the architectural beauty of the City of Zürich. Naturally heated by a nearby spring, the old beer barrels have even been repurposed as tubs making it one of the most unique spa experiences on the planet.
Experience Nature in Verzasca Valley
Of the wonderfully beautiful valleys of the Ticino area, the Verzasca valley is probably the most fascinating - for both romantics and adventure fans.The magical jade green waters of the Verzasca river flow peacefully over smooth polished rocks, passing under the picturesque double arches of the Ponte dei Salti bridge in Lavertezzo. Follow the river down the valley and you will find wonderful worn rock shapes and natural jacuzzis, and the trail to Brione is home to 34 works of art. Don’t resist - jump into the natural pools! You will be hard pressed to find a more romantically beautiful place to do so.