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5 Alternative Adventures in Switzerland

I’ve just realized it’s been AGES since I have written about one of my most favoritest places in all of Europe – Switzerland! 

Switzerland is the, sigh, yes I did just write that, but it’s well-deserved. It is just an incredible country, end of story. I’ve definitely waxed poetic about Switzerland in the past. The lanscape will blow your mind, the people are ridiculously friendly, the food is delicious and it’s so organized, clean and efficient it makes Germany look like a hot mess. All in all, if you’re looking for great vacation destinations, look no further than this little country in the mountains.

Now what do you think of when you think of Switzerland? 

adventures in switzerland

As much as I love Federer and chocolate, Switzerland has so much more to offer! Many people head straight to the “big-shot” cities like Geneva, Bern, Zurich and maybe Interlaken, and those are nifty places, but I like to get my hands dirty (if that’s possible in squeaky clean Switzerland) and get off the beaten proverbial track. For me, the most stunning places in Switzerland are the ones that are less-known.

Here are my 5 alternative adventures in Switzerland:

Have you ever been to Switzerland? What would you like to do?

1. Go hiking around the Jungfrau mountain

adventures in switzerland

Ok, this actually a pretty touristy area because the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains in the Alps are very famous, but I don’t think many people think of coming here on their first trip out to Switzerland. High up in the Bernese Alps, yes the same area known for their Bernese mountain dogs, the Jungfrau (the Virgin) is one of the main summits and home to the highest railway station in Europe. That’s right folks, you can take a train to the top of the mountain. The trains in Switzerland are fabulous, but I definitely recommend hopping off and hiking in the shadows of this grand mountains before heading up to the top. There are many different routes, all relatively easy and it makes the journey all the more memorable by hiking part of it. Read more about my day in the Alps here.

adventures in switzerland

adventures in switzerland

2. Explore around lake Neuchatel

adventures in switzerland

My sister-from-another-mister lives in Neuchatel, an hour or so north of Geneva in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Affectionaly dubbed “Neuch” (rhymes with douche), it is in fact one of the least douchiest places I have ever been, and I’ve been a lot, around 5 times so far. Situated on the western side of the big alpine Lake Neuchatel, it slowly rises up in a smaller mountain chain towards France. On a clear day you can see the snowy Alps across the glittery cerulean lake and even Mont Blanc in France. Can’t beat that view! Around Neuch are quaint little Swiss villages with happy cows and cowbells tinkling (the sound and the bodily action: two birds, one stone ha) amongst green fields! This is pure countryside Switzerland and I love it.

adventures in switzerland

adventures in switzerland

3. Hang out on a glacier around Les Diablerets and Gstaad

adventures in switzerland

Heard of these places? Or better yet, can you pronounce them?! Don’t worry most people haven’t and can’t, and I certainly couldn’t remember the names, rather it’s all sort of jumbled in my mind is glacier-Alps-roller-coaster-AWESOMENESS! Doesn’t that sound like a much better name?! And you guessed it, they have a roller coaster in the Alps, how cool is that??? You catch a big glass cable car up to the station on Tsanfleruron Glacier (again unpronounceable) where you can ski, hike, eat, sunbathe and even ride a roller coaster above the clouds in the Alps. Pretty cool. My bffl’s 90 year old grandma was visiting when I was there, and when she decided to go on the roller-coaster too, we all got to go for free because the guys who ran the ride were so impressed!

adventures in switzerland

adventures in switzerland

4. Snuggle up and get cozy in Appenzell

adventures in switzerland

Appenzell is nestled up in northeastern Switzerland, a very rural and traditional area. Rolling green hills, wooden chalet houses, frescoed medieval buildings look down winding little lanes and whole lot of cows. Appenzell is traditional Switzerland at its finest. Simple and beautiful is the name of the game is this little-known canton peppered with tiny villages. If you want to relax and get to know Switzerland slowly, this is the place to start.

adventures in switzerland

adventures in switzerland

5. Get lost around the lakes in Bellinoza and Lugano

adventures in switzerland

Most tourists tend to stick to to the German or French-speaking areas of Switzerland, but the Italian region to the south is equally beautiful. I first traveled here last year as a day trip up from Como, Italy home of my future husband, Mr. George Clooney. As the foothills of the Alps getting bigger and bigger, the lanscapes get more dramatic, flat valleys surrounded by skyscraper mountains with snow on top, intermittently dotted with clear-blue Alpine lakes. If you are feeling particularly bold, you can bungee jump off the famous Verzasca Dam, just like James Bond did in the opening scene of Golden Eye. Totally would be on my bucket list, if I had a bucket list. Let’s just say it’s on my to-do list.

adventures in switzerland

adventures in switzerland

This one helps with the bills. Like always, all opinions are my own.

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20 Responses to 5 Alternative Adventures in Switzerland

  1. Val January 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Liz, can you just put me in your suitcase and take me with you on all these trips?

    • Liz January 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Haha sure, if you pay for my baggage fees :P

    • Tween November 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      Your blog is really inspiring Liz. I wish I had the luxury to travel around Switzerland. I’d been there for three months only and I couldn’t imagine how time flies. My experiences were really prices. By reading your blog, it makes my memories so alive! May you continue to inspire people through your wonderful travel stories.

      • Liz November 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

        THANK YOU! I hear you, I can’t afford Switzerland either, luckily one of my best friends lives there so I can get away with visiting for a while, such a beautiful place!

  2. Alex @ ifs ands & butts January 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    The WHOLE dang country. Like just stop anywhere. Mind-blowing. Obviously, I share your affection for the place. Minus the prices.

    • Liz January 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Yeah that’s the big downside, it’s mega expensive :/ still my favorite country!

  3. Julika January 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    It’s been way to long since I’ve been to indescribably beautiful Switzerland! When I was younger my family used to rent a teeny cabin the in Jura Mountains and go hiking from there… I have the best memories seeing the Alps on the horizon, gazing at Lake Neuchâtel and ohh, the cheese! And we brought the best souvenir home with us: Our Appenzeller dog – my favorite Swiss “person” ever since :)

    • Liz January 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      That’s where I spend most of my time, in the Jura mountains! So beautiful up there! Sounds like you have great memories there :)

  4. Sara January 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    My first trip to Switzerland was with my family in Lugano, and although it was slightly freaky how clean everything was (most of our travels had so far been in Mediterranean countries…), the place was stunning and the fact that it was in the Italian part of the country meant it had a very cool combination of cuisines! This makes me want to go back…

    • Liz January 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Very cool! I always think the Italian part of Switzerland gets neglected and it’s just as beautiful! I love it there :)

  5. Tim Moon January 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    #1 & #3 look the best. Can you mountain bike down that hill pictured in #3? Looks like a sweet place for it.

    Beautiful pictures.

    • Liz January 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      You’re a mountain person like me! I don’t know if you can downhill there, it’s super steep and I think it ends in a cliff, you get up there via cable car

  6. Aggy January 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Wow these are an amazing selection! I love Switzerland too and will definitely be trying out some of your recommendations soon!

    • Liz January 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Great! That’s what I like to hear :)

  7. Zach, Presstomatic January 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I’ve only driven through Switzerland, but the tunnels were about 40 minutes long, and I’d come out on the other side staring at the most beautiful mountain ranges I’ve ever seen. I need to go for a real visit

    • Liz January 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Definitely go back!

  8. Ski Chalets February 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Thank you Liz, this is a brilliant post. Switzerland is my favourite place to visit – you’ve just inspired me to book another trip this August to Interlaken.

  9. Rachel July 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    First of all, I love your blog!
    I try to live through travel blogs because I have ZERO desire to travel. Not sure why, but it’s never been appealing to me. That being said, Switzerland is the one exception. Every once in a while I get the urge to just pack my bags and go. These pictures are killing me :P

  10. Soffia September 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    I really really want to go to Switzerland, I will definitely go there one day! Great post and beautiful pictures xx

  11. Meg February 6, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    Wow, Just wow!

    That’s all I’ve got!!

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