Destination Guide: Switzerland
Renowned for being the birthplace of Alpine winter holidays, Switzerland is a place of astounding natural beauty, not just in the winter when blankets of snow top the towering mountains but in the warmer seasons too. The epic scenery ranges from snow-capped peaks and Christmas pines to hills painted fifty shades of green, reflected in magnificent, glacial lakes.
The combination of this enchanting landscape with quaint, medieval towns and vibrant cities results in a magical mixture of rural and urban splendour that keeps visitors returning to Switzerland year after year.
Top sights to see in Switzerland include:
The most popular city in Switzerland, Zurich is located on the shores of Lake Zurich with a sweeping vista of mountains dominating the horizon. This cultural hub plays host to more than 50 museums, over 100 art galleries, an abundance of shopping boutiques and a buzzing nightlife. Activities range from sailing the lake and hiking the hills to hitting the slopes and partying all night.
2. The Matterhorn
The world famous Matterhorn presides over the Alps with a summit reaching 4,478 metres above sea level. This iconic peak tempts ambitious mountaineers due to its challenging ascent and stunning route through alpine meadows, forests and glacial crossings. If this sort of adventure sounds a little taxing then why not spend time in the nearby ski town of Zermatt instead? Here you can enjoy pistes for all levels as well as hiking and snowshoe trails or simply relax in front of a roaring fire and sample the exquisite, culinary delights of the region.
3. Chateau de Chillon, Montreaux
Perched on the banks of Lake Geneva, this fairytale castle inhabits its own personal, rocky islet surrounded by rippling water. The fortress is easily accessible by rail, road or boat and a romantic drawbridge welcomes visitors into a beautifully maintained glimpse of days long past. Explore the tower, dungeons and series of rooms open to the public, authentically decorated with weaponry, furniture and frescoes.
4. The Rhine Falls
Witness the power of nature with a visit to the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. The thundering crash and rainbow coloured mists that hang over the falls are best observed from the mighty rock that stands strong in its midst, platforms jutting over the river for spectators to take in the sight of several hundred cubic metres of water gushing at a rate of 23 metres per second.
5. The Swiss National Park
Get back to nature with a visit to the Swiss National Park near Zernez. The oldest national park in the Alps and the largest protected area in Switzerland, this Alpine landscape is the ideal place to spot wildlife such as chamois, deer, foxes and marmots, plus a wide assortment of bird-life including the impressive golden eagle and other birds of prey. A variety of trails are available, depending on your level of ability.
This is but a glimpse of the wealth of wonders Switzerland offers to visitors and with the razor-sharp efficiency of the transport network, it is easy to explore several areas of interest in one trip.
From winter sports and stunning scenery to exploring cosmopolitan cities and indulging in silky-smooth chocolate and tasty cheese; there's bound to be something that captures your imagination in this beautiful country.
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