Switzerland has consistently been one of the top travel destinations in the world. Its breathtaking bucolic Alps, as well as its urban sophistication make it a country of harmonious extremes.
The ravishing Alpine landscapes, with idyllic chalet filled villages and grassy green meadows, demand action. Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular winter activities, with Graubunden, Bernese, and Oberland being the most sought after destinations. In the summer months, when the snows melt, hiking and bike trails can be found throughout the mountains.
You don’t even need to be a mountaineer to experience the peaks at Eiger, Jungfraujoch, or the Matterhorn. These magnificent mountains have been gracing the covers of magazines and postcards for years, and can be reached using summit railways. Even if you don’t want to spend time on the peaks themselves, parachuting, parasailing, and white water rafting are also available.
In the rural areas of Switzerland, don’t forget to visit a fromagerie (cheese shop) where you can try a selection of the locally made cheeses. The best way to experience these is through a traditional fondue. Also try the Swiss wines in the Lavaux region. These rare and expensive wines are known for their superb quality. If you have a sweet tooth, or just don’t like cheese and wine, look in on a chocolatier. Whether you choose to visit a famous brand, like Lindt, or a small independent store, it will be some of the best chocolate you’ve ever had!
Swiss Urban Life
The perfect foil to the rural splendor of Switzerland can be found in the urban edge of its cities. Whether you visit the capital city of Bern with its medieval roots, the lakeside cultural hub of Geneva, or the uber-cool Zurich with its riverside bars and new-wave restaurants, even the cities is bathed in the magnificence of the mountains.
Lausanne, on Lake Geneva, is known for it’s medieval shops, but near by is a lesser known place of interest. The town of Tolochenaz, on the outskirts of Lausanne, was home to Audrey Hepburn for over 30 years, and is also where she is buried. If you choose to come here, stop at a local florist and buy a pink rose, Hepburn’s favorite, to place on her grave.
With so much going on, Switzerland is truly a country of variety.