Switzerland

Regions – Switzerland

  1. Andermatt

    For many centuries Andermatt was situated at the premier crossroads for both north-south and east-west traffic across the Alps. The ancient Swiss town lies at the center of four key Alpine passes: the Gotthard Pass to southern Switzerland, the Göscheneralp Pass to north-central Switzerland, the stunning Furka Pass to the Rhone Valley in the west, and the Oberalp Pass to the Rhine Valley. Many gorgeous Alpine drives of various length and difficulty can be taken from Andermatt. A relatively unchallenging yet scenic excursion is the three-pass panoramic drive around the Rhone Glacier, either in your own car or in one of the yellow Post buses. A truly unforgettable experience is a ride on the Furka Steam Train from Realp to Oberwald.

    Unforgettable: A ride on the Glacier Express Unforgettable: A ride on the Glacier Express
  2. Bern

    With 130,000 inhabitants, the capital of Switzerland is the country's 4th largest city. Bern was founded in the 12th century, then destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1405 and rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Most of these buildings still stand today, making Bern one of Europe's leading examples of urban development during the late Middle Ages. The old town has 6 km of covered arcades, the longest medieval shopping promenade in Europe. The broad 17th century residences with their jutting roofs and wall paintings reflect the historical pride of Bern citizens. The entire city center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Key sites include a clock tower gate called the Zytglogge, the Gothic cathedral, and the medieval town hall - all from the 15th century.

    World Heritage Site: Bern with its Alpine backdrop World Heritage Site: Bern with its Alpine backdrop
  3. Davos

    Located at an elevation of 5,118 feet, Davos is the highest city in Europe. The community with just 10,000 inhabitants registers over 2.1 million visitors a year. The valley was only inhabited in 1280 - late for European standards - and the area was mainly used to graze cattle. The fortunes of the city began to rise in the 1850s when the mountain air was deemed to be good for tuberculosis sufferers. A sanatorium for lung patients in Davos is the setting of Thomas Mann's famous novel "Magic Mountain". The role of the city as a resort for winter sports began when a toboggan race was held there in 1883. During the summer months, however, Davos is a much quieter place and an excellent base for hiking and sightseeing trips to the surrounding peaks and valleys.

    A ride up Magic Mountain near Davos A ride up Magic Mountain near Davos
  4. Soglio

    The sun-drenched town lies in the Val Bregaglia south-west of the famous ski resort St. Moritz. Tucked in just behind the Italian border and beautiful Lake Como, the mountain village thrives on the contrast between Mediterranean vegetation and Alpine views of the Bernina massif. The town itself remains unspoiled by mass tourism, offering a unique mixture of grand palazzi and traditional mountain farmhouses. A large selection of hiking paths is available in the immediate vicinity, and the area is a mecca for mountain climbers.

  5. Soglio

    The sun-drenched town lies in the Val Bregaglia south-west of the famous ski resort St. Moritz. Tucked in just behind the Italian border and beautiful Lake Como, the mountain village thrives on the contrast between Mediterranean vegetation and Alpine views of the Bernina massif. The town itself remains unspoiled by mass tourism, offering a unique mixture of grand palazzi and traditional mountain farmhouses. A large selection of hiking paths is available in the immediate vicinity, and the area is a mecca for mountain climbers.

    Known as the "Threshold of Paradise:" Soglio Known as the "Threshold of Paradise:" Soglio
  6. Engelberg

    Although located just 25 km south of Lake Lucerne, the Alpine town founded in 1120 exists in a completely different world and is suitable for longer stays. Mount Titlis soars above the picturesque mountain valley to the south, while Mount Hahen dominates the skyline to the east of the town, creating a fork in the valley. Numerous cable cars and ski lifts lead up the mountainside, especially in the area around Titlis. During the summer months, a network of marked trails of various levels of difficulty await hikers. Other possible activities include mountain climbing and paragliding.

    Paradise for hikers and skiers: Mount Titlis Paradise for hikers and skiers: Mount Titlis
  7. Lake Geneva

    Also called Lake Léman, the crescent-shaped body of water at the southwest edge of the Swiss Plateau between the Alps and the Jura mountains covers an area of 600 square km (230 square miles). The matchless beauty of the lake has always made it a magnet for celebrities, including Lord Byron, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and Phil Collins. Numerous picturesque villages, vineyards and castles dot the banks of the lake that serves as a temporary reservoir for the River Rhone, which enters at the north-west tip and exits at Geneva. Visitors should be sure to spend an evening in one of the numerous "Caveaux des Vignerons": In each village a wine cellar is open almost every evening where the local products can be sampled in an unforgettable atmosphere.

    Lake Geneva: Chateau Chillon Lake Geneva: Chateau Chillon
  8. Lake Lugano

    The lake named after the largest town in Ticino is situated between Lago di Como and Lago Maggiore. Although smaller than the neighboring lakes, what it lacks in size it make up for in beauty. Lago di Lugano is surrounded by steep mountainsides covered with chestnut trees. The southern shore is sparsely populated and many areas can only be reached on foot. Ancient towns on the north shore include Carona, Morcote and Montagnola, home to the German author Hermann Hesse for many years until his death in 1962. A wonderful excursion is a ride on the cog railway from Capolago to the peak of Monte Generoso, which affords magnificent views of the lake and the surrounding countryside all the way to Milan on clear days.

    Ancient villages set against steep mountains: Lake Lugno Ancient villages set against steep mountains: Lake Lugno
  9. Mürren

    Mürren is situated in the center of the Bernese Alps and looks on the towering peaks of mounts Eiger, Mönch and Junfrau. The car-free town with a population of 450 is nestled on a sunny mountain terrace high above the spectacular Lauterbrunnen Valley. The world's deepest valley is lined by over 500 m cliffs. Mürren is only reachable by a cable car system that continues in three more stages to the peak of Mount Schilthorn (2,970 m). On a clear day the view from the top extends to Mont Blanc in the south and the Black Forest in the north. The revolving restaurant on the summit was once used for a scene in a James Bond movie.

    A number of walking paths extend outwards from Mürren. A particularly scenic route leads from the Grütschalp to Mürren via Winteregg. The view of the surrounding mountain peaks is stunning on clear days.

    A car-free mountain paradise: Alpine slopes near Mürren A car-free mountain paradise: Alpine slopes near Mürren
  10. Vierwaldstättersee

    Located in the heart of old Switzerland, Lake Lucerne borders on the three original Swiss cantons: Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. The area around the lake played an important role in the legend of Wilhelm Tell and the founding of the Swiss Federation in 1351, when Lucerne joined the other three cantons. Lake Lucerne is widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in Switzerland owing to its Alpine setting and the reflection of the mountains in the water. The best way to experience the cross-shaped lake, originally formed by a glacier, is by taking a ride on one of the paddle steamers or cruise boats that connect Lucerne, Brunnen and Flüelen. A number of marked hiking paths of varying length and difficulty are available on the south side of the lake at the foot of the Alps. We also recommend taking a cable car or cogwheel railway to one of the viewpoints on the summits of Mount Pilatus, Rigi or Stanserhorn.

    Most beautiful lake in Switzerland: Lake Lucerne Most beautiful lake in Switzerland: Lake Lucerne
  11. Zermatt

    The town at the end of the Mattertal has around 5,000 inhabitants and is situated at an elevation of 1,600 m (5,250 ft.). Zermatt's world-wide renown stems from its proximity to the Matterhorn, the mountain of mountains and most famous landmark in the Alps. Anyone who has ever stood before the monstrous peak knows that even the most enthusiastic description will fail to capture its true majesty. The mountain was first scaled by a party of Brits using local guides in 1865. In their rush to beat another party to the top one of the climbers slipped and caused three others to fall to their deaths. The trio are buried in an English churchyard in Zermatt set aside for them and the numerous other Brits who subsequently died attempting to scale the mountain. Climbs to the peak of the Matterhorn are almost a matter of course today. About 3,000 mountaineers attempt the ascent each year, sometimes even leading to overcrowding on the main routes. The Gornertal south-east of Zermatt has the highest cog railway in Europe. The higher you go the more incredible the views of the Matterhorn become.

    The town of Zermatt is closed to private vehicles. Visitors must leave their cars at the free car park and take the train to the city.

    Overwhelming: The Matterhorn near Zermatt Overwhelming: The Matterhorn near Zermatt
  12. Zürich

    The city at the northern end of Lake Zurich began as a Roman settlement called Turicum. Zurich didn't become a free city until the 13th century, and shortly after that joined the newly established Swiss Confederation. The town's rise to prominence began during the era of Protestant reformer Ulrich Zwingli, who lived in Zurich from 1484 to 1531 and laid the foundation for the emergence of a Puritan-capitalistic culture. Today Zurich is one of the world's richest cities in terms of per capita income and its citizens enjoy the best quality of life in the world according to a survey conducted in 2007. Millionaires and billionaires from around the globe have established a residence in the city because of Swiss bank privacy laws and the country's low tax rate. Yet Zurich has much more to offer than secret bank accounts and low taxes: an attractive old town with chic cafés and bars, over 40 museums, and the famous Bahnhofsstrasse, one of the most elegant shopping avenues in Europe.

    Global banking and financial centre: Zurich Global banking and financial centre: Zurich