Whether you are an avid climber or just someone who loves a good photo, the Matterhorn is a must for your bucket-list. Like a jagged tooth, it juts up into the sky and it’s for a good reason that it is the most photographed mountain in the world. Its lonely peak is one of the most spectacular sights in the world and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to Switzerland.
Historically, Switzerland was a place of refuge for political exiles from all over the world. This is still true today. Geneva, for instance, isn’t quite like any other city. Over 190 nationalities live and work in the city, making it a real melting pot of cultures.
In today’s unpredictable political climate, Switzerland is a relative sea of calm. While it’s struggling with its own isolationist factions, you can still see stable democracy in action. Political buffs and those looking to escape from the hectic world of realpolitik for a while will love a trip to Switzerland where it is surprisingly easy to disconnect.
Switzerland is blessed with many micro climates across its small area. You can spend a day ploughing through the snowy Alps and walk along palm lined avenues in Ticino or Montreux the next. Most people come for the snow and the skiing, but don’t count it out as a fine summer destination.
Home to some of the best and most famous ski resorts in the world, Switzerland’s best slopes are easily accessible. While they may not be cheap, they’re a must visit for die-hard skiers, novices and day-trippers alike.
If you want to hang up your skis for a couple of days but want more snow, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Switzerland’s many world-class ski resorts don’t just stop at the slopes and have much more on offer. You can go snow-shoe trekking, tobogganing, take a taxi-ride on a bobsleigh, or go for a good old-fashioned hike through the mountains. It’s one big snowy playground.
Switzerland boasts the most peaks over 4000m in Europe. On a clear day, the Alps offer simply breathtaking views all around you. Almost anywhere you go in Switzerland you’ll be treated to sights that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s a photographer’s playground and a nature lover’s paradise.
The Swiss are known for their chocolate for a reason. Many of the world’s best brands started out in Switzerland and in almost every city and town you’ll be able to find a chocolate tasting, or indeed pop into a shop and stuff your bags for the return home.
Over 400 cheeses are made in Switzerland, some of them are ‘protected’ and only produced in the country. You can visit Gruyères and sample its fine cheese, or indulge in a traditional fondue while taking in the beauty of the medieval village’s sights.
The Swiss make brilliant watches. Sure, it can come with a pretty hefty price-tag, but if you’re in the market for a new timepiece, Switzerland is the number one place to visit. Schaffhausen, Omega, TAG Heuer and Rolex are just a few of the top brands hailing from Switzerland.
Switzerland isn’t just all mountain tops, it’s also home to some of Europe’s largest and most beautiful lakes. From the vast expanse of Lake Geneva, to the tranquil isolation of the Seebergsee, Switzerland’s lakes offer stunning views, particularly during Summer when you can take advantage to try out sports such as water skiing, diving and rowing.
Every canton in Switzerland has different customs, traditions and even languages, resulting in a real mixed bag of events happening throughout the year. Whether it’s the Valais Witches Downhill Race, or Geneva’s l’Escalade, you’ll be treated to rich history and cultural events wherever you choose to visit.
Switzerland is bang in the middle of Europe. It’s easy to get around and move on to another destination; Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the tiny state of Liechenstein are all easily accessible by train. You can easily plan a trip through Switzerland on a longer tour of Southern and Central Europe.
Even in the bigger cities of Zurich, Basel and Geneva, Switzerland doesn’t really get into a fast tempo and while the Swiss people may at times feel a little cold and distant, the country itself is incredibly relaxing and stress free. Outside of the cities, you can bask in some of the most pristine natural spots that Europe has to offer.