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© martyndix / Pixabay
© martyndix / Pixabay

Here’s Why Switzerland Is a Popular Destination for Sports and Outdoor Enthusiasts

Picture of Sean Mowbray
Updated: 10 October 2017

Switzerland is a playground for those who love the great outdoors. From any of the big cities, there are many great trails and hikes to undertake, and with the country being as small as it is, you are never far away from the spectacular Alps where you can explore fantastic scenery or enjoy the crisp snow. Whatever the season, Switzerland has something for you.

Rich natural beauty is the major reason Switzerland comes in at the top of any outdoors list. Within its small area, there are hundreds of mountain peaks waiting to be explored, including 48 that are above 4,000 metres (13,123 feet). Big names (literally) include the infamously tooth-shaped Matterhorn, the Eiger (its north face is well known by climbers), and the Monte Rosa massif, which boasts Switzerland’s highest peak. There are also 1,500 lakes in the country, including Lac Léman, Europe’s largest.

This natural landscape that’s been forged by the to and fro of glaciers and channelled by their run-off means there’s no shortage of things to do for those who like a good kick of adrenaline. Whatever the season, you’ll find that there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

When most people imagine Switzerland, they immediately think of skiing down pristine white mountain slopes. They’d not be wrong to do so. The country is packed full of top-class slopes, glitzy resorts, and others that unashamedly offer only the basics. Come winter, and it’s a snowy haven whatever your level of experience.

But Switzerland isn’t just a winter destination, and that’s why it’s beloved by outdoorsy types. When the snow thaws and the ice recedes, hiking trails open up, letting you explore the heart of truly breath-taking mountain passes on routes that you’ll wish never end.

For the summer sports enthusiast, Interlaken is one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. It’s where you’ll find almost every activity imaginable, from skydiving near a mountain face to spelunking or canyoning. Head there to really understand what all the fuss is about.

Swiss culture indulges in this outdoorsy vibe. On weekends, you’ll find the Swiss heading off into the mountains, and in winter, skis are locked in for a quick few runs before the working week recommences. You won’t be surprised to hear then that many of the best, and weirdest, Swiss customs and festivals happen outdoors.

So you’ll quickly come to understand why Switzerland is beloved by nature lovers, trekkers and sports nuts alike. You’ll never run out of things to do or see, and the scenery will take your breath away, whether at the height of summer, or the depths of winter.

A jewel of a lake, embedded between the steep rock cliffs of #Widderalpstöcke, and the peaks of the #Hundstein in the north, the #Altmann, #Saxerfirst and the #Kreuzberge mountains in the east, #LakeFälen's nearly black water and its constantly changing kaleidoscope of reflections never fails to enchant. Did you know that there are often remnants of snow even in high summer, while #gentian and #alpine #anemones flower in the areas with Southern exposure? A hiking trail runs along the northern shore of the lake and in summer you can even swim here. But be aware: the water is quite chilly, and at best 18° C. Also if you’re hungry, there's a lovely inn, the #Bollenwie – a much visited destination for hikers, mountaineers, and fishermen. Not only is the view phenomenal, but also the #Rösti which makes the 2-hour-hike all the more worthwhile. How to get there? By public transportation (train or postbus) or car from @sgbtourism / #Appenzell to #Brülisau. From here you'll hike to #LakeFälen in approx two hours. Thank you @silvan_widmer for this beautiful shot! 😀

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