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Switzerland

Stunning mountain scenery, fairy-tale villages, buzzing cities and the world's best cheese and chocolate are just a few of the reasons to view this charming, compact nation. Read more...

Country Highlights

 

There’s more to this surprising country than banking and watches. Switzerland is also blessed with great beauty, from its snow-capped alpine ranges to stunning lakes, and a unique mix of cultures. Bordered by France, Italy, Austria and Germany, it takes a little of the traditions of each to make a diverse destination.

Imagine relaxing on the Glacier Express, one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring train journeys, and making your way through petite, picturesque villages into the iconic Alps. High up in the mountains near Zermatt you can take in the jagged peak of the Matterhorn. Visit the top of Europe at Jungfraujoch and look out over the majesty of the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps. In fact, there’s no better way to travel the country than by rail. Settle into a comfy carriage and stare out the window as your train winds through fairytale scenery, or opt for something a little more adventurous and board the world’s steepest cogwheel rail that runs from Alpnachstad through lush meadows and up a craggy rock wall.

Another gorgeous place to admire the soaring mountain ranges is around Lake Geneva. From medieval villages to thousand-year-old vineyards this region is steeped in history. Relax on the Montreux Riveria, before taking a stroll along the promenade lined with flowers to Vevey. Many famous people, from Queen’s Freddie Mercury to Charlie Chaplin, have lived on this lake, and you can visit Chaplin’s World, a museum in his former residence in Corsier-sur-Vevey. This is also where you’ll find Lausanne, hometown of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Museum.

Be overcome by romance when you cross the fourteenth-century Chapel Bridge in the idyllic town of Lucerne. Marvel at history from the Ice Age at the Glacier Garden, and lose yourself in the quaint cobbled streets.

For food lovers, Switzerland is a must-visit. Sumptuous pots of cheese fondue are the perfect accompaniment to mountain views. Taste raclette, gruyère and emmenthal while visiting traditional dairy farms, dine on fresh perch from the lakes, sip on wine in the UNESCO-listed vineyards of Lavaux and, of course, there’s the chance to indulge in the creation of Switzerland’s famous chocolatiers.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Admire views of vineyards and Lake Como on the Bernina Express railway journey from Lugano to St Moritz.
  • Cross Lake Geneva to the Chateau de Chillon, a superbly preserved medieval castle on a rocky island.
  • Walk through an ice tunnel at the Rhone Glacier.
  • Make like James Bond and dine at Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant on the Schilthorn and one of the settings from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
  • Take the Chocolate Train, a 1915 Belle Epoque Pullman car, from Montreux to Gruyères to visit a chocolate factory.