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 bomb.dot.com, 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?
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
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.
2. Explore around lake Neuchatel
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.
3. Hang out on a glacier around Les Diablerets and Gstaad
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!
4. Snuggle up and get cozy in Appenzell
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.
5. Get lost around the lakes in Bellinoza and Lugano
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.
This one helps with the bills. Like always, all opinions are my own.