|Switzerland has it all. Alpine grandeur
reflected in shimmering lakes between verdant valleys with a scattering of
chic cities. It has the Eiger, Matterhorn, one of the last Alpine peaks to
be climbed, and Piz Palü on the Italian border. It offers a wide range of
winter and summer sports, from easy to exacting. The less energetic can take
Europe's highest mountain railway to the Jungfraujoch and the only UNESCO
World Natural Heritage in the Alps. This is the ‘Top of Europe’ at 3,454
metres and offers stunning views as far as the Vosges in France and
Germany’s Black Forest. A trip to this wonderland of snow, ice and rock is
the highlight of any holiday in Switzerland.
||For skiing and snowboarding,
Switzerland has some of the best resorts in the world and can suit everyone
from Beginners and Families to Expert Skiers. St Luc, for example, part of
the Sierre-Anniviers ski area is a traditional village 1500m above the
Rhone. The skiing is ideal for Beginners and Intermediate level, and because
of the height of the resort it is possible to ski right down to the village.
A resort more suitable for Expert Skiers and snowboarders, while still
catering well for Intermediate levels, is Davos in the Riga Park Area. It
has pistes above 2500 metres so skiing is possible throughout the season.
Davos is a large town and the lifts can carry 64,400 skiers an hour! There
are over 180 ski resorts in Switzerland, so there is bound to be one to suit
But if skiing is not your
thing, you can still enjoy the Swiss winter on foot. From Switzerland
Tourism you can download to your phone the Swiss Winter Hike App, which
gives access to descriptions of 36 attractive winter hikes, with information
about restaurants along each route.
|This is also culture country
and the Benedictine Abbey in the city of St Gallen, with its magnificent
Stift Library, the oldest in Switzerland and open to the public every day,
are veritable treasure troves. Medieval castles, fortresses and photogenic
palaces abound in Switzerland. One with a most incredible setting is Tarasp
Castle in the Upper Engadine. Perched on a rock with villages and a lake
below, and snow covered high peaks above, it was fully restored from an 11th
century ruin in 1916 and is now open to visitors.
Rated top attraction in
Switzerland by tourists is Lake Geneva, a scenic mountain lake feeding the
Rhone river with magnificent views in winter and summer. Geneva itself is
expensive but has numerous cultural attractions. Among the newest is the
CERN particle physics laboratory, where the visitor to the permanent
exhibitions (open daily except Sundays) can peep into the fascinating world
of the great questions of contemporary physics, such as the Big Bang Theory.
Switzerland has many other
outstanding cities to visit like Zurich, the ‘metropolis of experiences’
with a view of the Alps; or Basel on the Rhine and in the corner of the
country close to Germany and France, and therefore traditional and
open-minded at the same time; and Lausanne, a university and convention town
on Lake Geneva.
Old traditions - rustic and
rugged - live side-by-side with top trends and technology. Yes, there really
is chocolate, cheese & cuckoo clocks. Not to forget the legendary Swiss
watch and trains that actually turn up on time! Oh yes, stunning Switzerland
has all this and much more.