Why I Love Switzerland
It took me a while to decide on a name for this blog, but it always came back to the fact that I simply love Switzerland! I've been lucky enough to work with Swiss holidays in one form or another for most of my 30 years in travel. And I've enjoyed every minute, solely because it's one of the most spectacular countries in the world.
In many surveys, Switzerland is ranked as the 'world's best country to live in' - and I can think of many reasons why! But here, I want to tell you why I think it's the world's best country to visit on holiday. So read on for the top 10 reasons I love Switzerland...
Standing proud overlooking the luxurious town of Zermatt (my favourite mountain resort in the world), is the Matterhorn. This impressive mountain straddling Switzerland and Italy is probably the best-known and most photographed mountain in the Alps. If you get a sunny, cloud-free day, it offers the most beautiful backdrop you will ever see. You can visit Zermatt on our 'Grand Tour of Switzerland' - it's a real highlight of the trip.
An efficient public transport system
It might sound boring, but it makes exploring so much easier! You can pretty much get anywhere in Switzerland using public transport. From the intercity trains to the private funicular railways, from the cable cars to the Postbus, public transport here offers a quick, clean and efficient way to explore. You've also got some of the most spectacular railways in the world, including the famous Bernina Express. I took the photo below from the train in April - as you can see, there was still plenty of ice and snow, even in spring!
Switzerland's most populated cities are mainly where the airports are. They all have so much to offer, but my favourite is Lucerne. It offers a more relaxed resort feel due to its beautiful lakeside setting, surrounding mountains and old town. Lucerne is a city of town squares and old churches complemented by sophisticated shopping and endless excursion possibilities. For a great photo opportunity, I'd recommend heading to the medieval Chapel Bridge. As well as being featured on 'Grand Tour of Switzerland', you can stay and celebrate Christmas on our 'Christmas in Switzerland' stay and explore holiday.
Each region offers its own specialities, but across all of Switzerland you can enjoy cheese fondue, rosti and amazing chocolate. My favourite dish has to be raclette, a local cheese that's grilled and then served hot over potatoes, onions and pickles. Delicious, although no good for the waistline! For a real treat indulge in a fondue chinoise – something we now treat ourselves to on New Year’s Eve in my house. You put thin slices of raw meat into hot oil, then serve with sauces, pickles, potatoes and rice. Yummy and a very sociable affair.
Beautiful lakes and fairytale castles
For a most magical experience, a dip in Lake Brienz is highly recommended. If you'd rather stay dry, a trip on a paddle steamer is a good alternative. Relax in a deck chair on the top deck and sail the turquoise waters amid spectacular mountain scenery. Then there are the castles - on 'Grand Tour of Switzerland' you can visit Chillon Castle in the French resort of Montreux (one of my favourites), but there are other castles scattered all over.
There are so many stunning mountain and lake resorts all over the country, each one offering a unique stay and wonderful adventure. Wengen, a small resort in the Bernese Oberland, holds many fond memories for me. As well as being a gateway to the Jungfrau, it is a tranquil, car-free haven and offers direct access to the valley and mountains by train. You can stay in Wengen on 'Swiss Mountain Escape'.
You can be as active (or inactive!) as you like in Switzerland. Whether you want a gentle stroll, a hike or maybe even to descend a mountain by paragliding, there is so much on offer across all regions. I visited Grindelwald-First and took the Cliff Walk (pictured below), then the First Flyer (which whizzed me down on a long steel cable at top speed, hovering above the alpine meadows), ending with a gentle scooter ride to the bottom. It was the highlight of my trip.
People and atmosphere
The Swiss are known for being a little reserved, which may be true, but they are extremely friendly and offer very high standards of service. The air is fresh and the streets are clean, plus the country has a low crime rate.
The diversity of culture
Switzerland might be small, but there's still a really interesting cultural diversity to discover. On the 'Grand Tour of Switzerland', you visit several cantons, each with their own customs, traditions and languages, including German, Italian and French. A great way to experience a different side to the country.
When the sun shines and the sky is clear blue, head to the mountains for clear views of the Alps or take to the lakes for glistening reflections of the surrounding mountains. Or maybe visit in winter for the crisp, white snow. Switzerland sits within a temperate climatic zone (like the UK) so it does not get excessive heat, cold or humidity. Perfect for a holiday at any time of year!
Find out more about our holidays to Switzerland.
Article published on: 11th October, 2019
Jayne is our USA and Canada Product Manager – and for good reason. She has travelled the length and breadth of Canada, both independently and on Titan tours, and some of her most memorable trips have been to the USA. Her stand out travel moment? Visiting the Rockies and Alaska, where she watched humpback whales swimming in their natural habitat.