Switzerland is the stuff winter dreams are made of.
But, the land of Alpine lakes, glaciers and hiking trails is a wonderland for travelers throughout the year. We've compiled a look at activities for your next trip.
The Grand Tour of Switzerland
Switzerland Tourism has launched the Grand Tour of Switzerland. It's a 1000-mile route to explore the highlights of Switzerland on one single tour. It includes numerous sightseeing opportunities, gives you access to iconic spots for excursions along a route and leads through the most beautiful parts of the country. You can do it with almost all forms of transport (car, train, motor bike or bike), and all of it or just parts. No matter how you tailor-make it for yourself, it will be an amazing trip.
Hiking in Switzerland
Looking for an activity that is affordable and environmentally friendly?
Discover Switzerland on foot, on over 40,000 miles of hiking trails that traverse all the regions of the country. You'll find them in the mountains, in the hilly Jura region, or in the flat Mittelland. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature without disturbing the ecological equilibrium. More and more people - including younger people - appreciate this kind of eco-tourism. By the way, the Federal Law concerning footpaths and hiking trails supplies the legal framework for preservation of the network of hiking trails.
Additionally, public transportation takes one to practically any location in Switzerland. The combination of rail travel with a cruise on one of the many Swiss lakes is particularly appealing and highly recommended.
Hiking along the Grand Tour
The Grand Tour offers great hiking opportunities. The hiking destinations are located directly on the route of the Grand Tour or can be reached after a short ride. Classics such as the Creux du Van are included, as well as inside tips such as the Wildmannlisloch in Toggenburg.
Start this hike with a ride on the Holzkistenbahn cable car from Starkenbach to Strichboden. From there, you can hike two hours on the Toggenburg alpine path to Alp Selamatt on a trail that keeps you below the zigzagging Churfirsten peaks. Along the way, you pass Wildenmannlisloch and its caves meant to explore.
Val Piora in the Ticino
A quick ride with Europe's steepest funicular and a brief walk from Leventina brings one to the mountain lake paradise of the nature reserve Alp Piora. the highest mountain in Ticino.
Irrigation Channels in Nendaz (Vaud)
In the Canton of Valais, you'll find many kilometers of little irrigation canals (bisses in french, Suonen in german). Special, centuries-old techniques lead the water through ditches and pipes. The Suonen are marvelously suitable for hiking and enjoy great popularity. Nendaz boasts a network of hiking trails extending 70 miles along 8 Suonen canals that is unique in Europe.
Lavaux Vineyards (Unesco World Heritage) in the Lake Geneva Region
At 800 hectares, the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux form Switzerland's largest contiguous vineyard area with terrace after terrace offering magnificent views.
St-Saphorin, Dézaley, Epesses - names which roll easily off the tongue of fans of fine wine. And the views from the Lavaux vineyards, set high above Lake Geneva, provide the perfect backdrop for wine lovers. The natural, cultural and culinary highlights of this area are definitely well worth a visit.
Creux du Van in the Lake Neuchatel Region
Nature is the star in the Creux du Van across Lake Neuchâtel. Explore here and you're likely to encounter the ibex, among other wildlife.
Via Sbrinz in Central Switzerland
The Sbrinz Route was named after the celebrated hard cheese from central Switzerland, which originated in the Engelberg valley and which was transported and traded along this route in great quantities in former times.
The Palazzi Vivaci(colorful palaces) route includes Switzerland’s prettiest historic villas. This route, which starts in Soglio and runs through Canton Graubünden before reaching Val Müstair, passes over 100 mountain lakes, four mountain passes and some one thousand mountains.