A trip to Europe can be very exciting, but somehow daunting at the same time. Every country seems to be a worthwhile destination. Jumping from one country to another can be fairly easy using Europe’s efficient railways and budget flights, but not everyone is lucky to have months to explore. So if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience surrounded by majestic lakes and snow-capped peaks as you immerse yourself in rich culture and excellent cuisine, you should visit Switzerland and here’s why:
1. Picture-perfect Mountains
The Matterhorn in Zermatt, the Jungfrau in the Bernese Oberland, Pilatus in Lucerne, the Eiger in Grindelwald– these are the mountains you see in every postcard and poster tempting you to come to Switzerland. In fact, there are fifty-seven 4000m peaks in this small country, which is also home to the Aletsch, Europe’s longest glacier.
Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in this alpine country for obvious reasons. The slopes meticulously maintained and groomed for any ski level, and there is a huge range of resorts to choose from. So, if a winter holiday is your thing, there is almost no better place in Europe.
For summer lovers: hiking, biking, and mountaineering are also possible with hundreds of trails in every corner of Switzerland.
Tip: If you’re not the active type, you still have some great options. The Swiss Alps are home to resorts, spas, parks, and train rides that give travelers a chance to relax with breathtaking views of lush green meadows and snow-capped peaks.
2. Crystal-clear Lakes
If you’re more attracted to water than land, the blue-green clear waters of Switzerland’s lakes will surely win your heart. Lake Geneva is Switzerland’s biggest lake at 580 square kilometers, so it is almost a sea! It is also home to some stunning cities like the cosmopolitan Geneva, the cute Vevey and bustling Lausanne.
But where the rest of the world fails to make the most of such gems, Switzerland has strict conservation laws which have preserved almost every natural resource, including the lakes. Even those sitting within some of Switzerland’s busiest and biggest cities. In most cases, you can not only swim in them, but you can also drink the water!
With over 1,500 lakes, big and small with water source mostly coming from snow melt and glaciers, keeping these natural bodies of water pristine is close to a miracle. Water-lovers can head on to any lake on their travels for swimming, stand-up paddling, sailing, and almost any other kind of water sport, including diving in some of the bigger lakes.
Tip: It’s worthwhile doing a cruise for a more romantic experience, especially on Lake Lucerne, Geneva or Zurich.
3. Modern-Medieval Cities
The Swiss are the masters of preservation and have become particularly adept at preserving history within their urban landscapes. They seamlessly blend it in with modern, cutting-edge, and very innovative designs. Without fail, every big city in Switzerland has its own Old Town – boasting medieval stone buildings and cobblestone streets, but always telling unique stories of how the culture of the city developed over time.
The modern world is never far away in most cases, with institutions like the CERN in Geneva or the KKL in Lucerne that are the epitome of modern technology and architecture. Visit the more cosmopolitan cities of Zurich, Geneva, or Lausanne for trendy shops, hotels, and nightlife, or the quieter cities of Bern, Lugano, or Basel for a more relaxed pace, but still plenty to do and see. There is no lack of museums, galleries, and of course, rows and rows (and sometimes, even entire districts such as in Zurich) dedicated to restaurants serving local and international cuisine with the freshest ingredients around.
The fact that you will either be sitting by the lake or with mountains in the backdrop everywhere you go is a definite plus.