10 Most Beautiful Places in Switzerland

 Source(s): penpaland.com

                       buzzle.com

Switzerland, the country that boasts of unparalleled natural beauty, is one of the primary tourist destinations in the world. Here’s a list of the 10 most beautiful places to visit in the William Tell country.

It’s tough to find a place not to like in Switzerland.

― Michele Bachmann

The birthplace of winter tourism, Switzerland seems to be an extremely harmonious blend of almost hallucinatory landscapes, alpine traditions, and urban glamor and glitz. As a picturesque region that has been graciously blessed by Mother Nature, Switzerland, a small landlocked country in Europe, is on the wish list of each and every travel enthusiast. And why not? It offers countless options to see and do for all kinds of tourists. For sightseers, the country is nothing less than paradise. For adrenaline junkies, it is an adventure hub, for photographers, there can be no better place on the planet, and for the chocolate lovers, it is the sweetest vacation destination in the world.

10 Most Beautiful Swiss Places to Visit

Alpine forests, stunning lakes, green pastures, bold architecture, and world-class modern art, Switzerland boasts of all these and more. The country is absolutely unsurpassed in terms of beauty. This Buzzle article brings to you a list of ten most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland that will help you plan your Swiss itinerary.

Appenzell

Appenzell

An absolute feast, both for the eyes as well stomach, the canton of Appenzell in Northeastern Switzerland is a perfect place to be for nature lovers as well as foodies. One of the most ‘picture perfect’ rural landscapes in Switzerland, Appenzell is surrounded by the Prealps, which also makes it a haven for hikers. There are numerous hiking trails in the region; however, those who are not much into the activity can take cable cars to the summits of some of the major mountains. What you cannot but ignore are the traditional buildings with pastel-colored façades, many of which house cafés, bakeries, cheese shops, and fabulous restaurants that offer the various mouth-watering local delicacies.

Don’t Miss: Appenzell is famous for its cheese. Visit one of the local cheese factories (there are also guided tours available), and watch the cheese being made.

Ticino

Ticino

A purely Italian experience in the Swiss country―that’s what the southernmost canton of Switzerland, Ticino has to offer. It’s a strange mix, a blend of Italian passion and Swiss cool. The canton boasts of most things Italian―Italian weather, Italian food and drink, Italian language, Italian architecture, and even Italian style. However, before you are too overwhelmed by the “Italianness” of the place, let us tell you that this is that Switzerland, which Heidi never made a mention of. Beautiful lakes with crystal clear waters, scattered valley hamlets, and imposing mountains―it is a perfect place for those wishing to experience the rural quiet.

Don’t Miss: Bellinzona, the capital of the canton is an awe-inspiring fortress town of the Middle Ages. Visit the three castles and old market in the town, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lucerne

Lucerne

Located right in the heartland of Switzerland is Lucerne, a small city, unsurpassed in terms of beauty and lore. The nostalgic yet highbrow city came to the forefront after, in the 19th century, influential people like Queen Victoria and Goethe spoke flatteringly about her. Lined by majestic mountains and embellished by Lake Lucerne, the city is a perfect destination for paragliding enthusiasts.

Visitors are sure to be delighted by the very look of the city―roofed bridges, waterfront promenades, and astonishing candy-colored houses, all make it a must-visit destination. Plus, it has had a reputation of producing some really melodious music for a long time. But, do not get too tempted by the numerous cramped-up shops, which Mark Twain described as “gimcrackery of the souvenir sort.”

Don’t Miss: If you wish to embark on excursions to the famous sites of Mount Rigi and the Rütli Meadow, Lucerne is the place to start.

Interlaken

Interlaken

Located amidst a perfect setting of two alpine lakes―Thun and Brienz―Interlaken has been rightly called the ‘adventure capital of Switzerland.’ The scenic city that made mountain vistas stand in tandem with the confined spaces of grand hotels in the Victorian era has today become a haven for adrenaline junkies.

And, when it comes to adventure sports, sky is the limit―paragliding, hang gliding, bungee jumping, canyoning, river rafting, rock climbing, sailing, mountain biking, skydiving, skiing, snowboarding, sledging, night sledding, ice skating―just name it and you have it. Plus, it is a terrific base to explore Central Switzerland, a.k.a. Bernese Oberland.

Don’t Miss: Take a ride in one of the mountain railways to view the extremely enchanting alpine scenery of Switzerland. A round-trip ticket will often include, apart from the ride, a drink at one of the mountain restaurants.

Zermatt

Zermatt

One of the most famous holiday destinations in the country, Zermatt is Switzerland’s car-free village, located in the canton of Valais. Famous for its spellbinding natural beauty, the region boasts of featuring one of the finest examples of topographic perfection―the Matterhorn, a mighty monolith that rises above the village like a shark’s fin. One of the most publicized hiking, skiing, and mountaineering resorts of Switzerland, Zermatt and its breathtaking views attract thousands of tourists each year.

Don’t Miss: Zermatt’s ski region, known as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, is the largest and the highest summer skiing region in the whole of Europe. It is open 300 days a year, and also features the highest altitude mountain railway station in Europe.

Geneva

Geneva

Switzerland’s second most populous city and the third largest, Geneva is also one of Europe’s most expensive cities. Perfectly cosmopolitan in nature, Geneva’s people are found chatting in every possible language there might be, and also feasting on an incredible choice of international cuisine. Located around the shores of the largest Alpine lake of Europe―Lake Geneva―the city is a melting pot of international politics. In fact, there is a whole world of international governmental and non-governmental organizations out there. From the United Nations to the International Red Cross to the World Health Organization, the city has it all. And for the tourists, it is a city with attitude. Alongside the picturesque lakeside and the skiing and sailing activities that the city offers, tourists also get a glimpse of what an ultra-elite lifestyle is all about.

Don’t Miss: While Lake Geneva is the unmistakable highlight of the city, you can never miss the stunning Jet d’Eau, one of the largest fountains in the world, located at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhone River. Visible from anywhere throughout the city, it is Geneva’s most famous landmark.

St. Moritz

St. Moritz

Located in the Upper Engadin valley in Switzerland’s Graubünden canton, St. Moritz boasts of being the cradle of Alpine tourism. This winter resort has been attracting the rich and the famous since the mid-19th century with its extremely placid aquamarine lake, imposing mountains, and still forests. One of the best known vacation spots in Europe, St. Moritz is famous for adventure sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating (which also happens in summer in the specially made artificial ice rink), hiking, and mountain biking. Moreover, it is also a haven for shopaholics―some of the most high-end designer boutiques are located in St. Moritz, which are often frequented by celebs.

Don’t Miss: Amongst all the attractions that you may see in St. Moritz, do not forget to visit the Heidi Hut. It is where the movie (Heidi) was filmed in Engadin, and today, it is the most famous sightseeing attraction in the area.

Basel

Basel

One of the most underrated tourist destinations in Switzerland, Basel is Switzerland’s third most populous city, located right at the point where the Swiss, German, and French borders meet. In fact, Basel also has its suburbs in France and Germany. The city boasts of world-class art museums, Romanesque, Renaissance, and contemporary architecture, and a vibrant carnival that it hosts each year. The city is also home to numerous art fairs and markets.

Don’t Miss: The city encompasses two different worlds into one. River Rhine meanders through the city and divides it into Grossbasel (Greater Basel) and Kleinbasel (Little Basel), the former featuring a vibrant art market and other daytime attractions, while the latter featuring an extraordinary nightlife.

Bern

Bern

Cobbled streets, frolicking fountains, imposing clock towers, captivating hills, crammed red-roofed houses, and over 500 long years of history characterize Bern, the capital of Switzerland. However, that’s not all. The most recognizable feature of Bern is its location along the meander of the fast-flowing Aare River, which has given it the image of a perfect picture postcard Old Town. Bern boasts of several museums and plenty of public art, numerous parks, an ice hockey stadium (second largest in Europe), and an excellent night life, alongside numerous high-end restaurants and bars.

Don’t Miss: If you love going to pubs, you can join one of the free pub crawls, which are organized on every first Friday of the month. You will get to visit various high-end bars around the city, and also get a glimpse of the local lifestyle.

Zürich

Zürich

Once reputed as the boring banking capital of Switzerland, meant only for the business-minded, Zürich has now come a long way. It is grown to become one of the trendiest cities in the country, but is still far off from all the hustle and bustle that characterizes big and important cities. Home to the fourth largest stock exchange in the world, it is also a city of elite, classy, fashion-conscious people. The city also hosts the biggest open-air street party, the Street Parade, in the whole of Europe. This is held every year on the second Saturday of August.

Don’t Miss: A 45-minute train ride from Zürich Airport will take you to the site of the largest plain waterfall in Europe, the Rhine Falls. Make sure that you don’t miss this intriguing sight.

Most people visit Switzerland for its blissful scenery; however, the country has much more to offer. The splendors of Switzerland never seem to cease, but to experience them, one needs to leave aside the tourist brochures and venture deep into the very heart of the sublime country.

Top 10 Places to Go Skiing in Europe

 Source(s): penpaland.com
                       buzzle.com

The continent of Europe is nothing short of a haven for skiing enthusiasts. From Finland to Italy, and from snowboarding to tobogganing, this Buzzle post lists the best places to chill out in snow-capped Europe.

Since their inception in 1924, the Winter Olympic Games have been hosted 13 times by a European nation, making it the highest number for any continent.

Speaking strictly from a skiing point of view, Europe has it all―tall, snowy mountains, amazing weather conditions, and outstanding facilities for winter sports. As the skiing season begins, enthusiasts from all over the world head to Europe to ski, snowboard, and ice skate to their heart’s content.

Another reason that draws skiers to Europe is the relative ease of traveling from one country to another. So, whether you choose to visit one country or ten, it only adds to your skiing experience.

10 Amazing Places to Go Skiing in Europe

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt

Our European skiing sojourn has to begin in Switzerland, for the simple reason that this is where the Swiss Alps are! The Swiss countryside is dotted with charming (but frightfully expensive) ski towns and villages. But the single aspect that puts Zermatt in this list is the domineering presence of the Matterhorn. Skiers come here to enjoy the three interconnected Swiss skiing zones, as well as two more across the border in Italy. Beginners relish the endless cruising on the slopes, while experts get their thrills with vertical drops of up to 7,000 feet. Zermatt is located in the Swiss canton of Valais, close to the Italian border.

Chamonix, France

Chamonix

Chamonix easily ranks as the Mecca for all skiing enthusiasts. For starters, the town’s location is legendary, with the massive Mont Blanc looming in the background. Rugged, thrilling, and unpredictable is what best describes the skiing experience in Chamonix, with 11 ski zones in the vicinity. During peak season, skiers can enjoy vertical drops of up to 9,000 feet. Chamonix is located in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina

The Italian Dolomites lend a unique and picturesque landscape to the ski slopes in Cortina. People from around the world flock here to experience la dolce vita; so expect a lot of tourists here. But amazingly, the ski slopes here aren’t as jam-packed as some of the other obvious destinations in Europe, so you have a reason to rejoice. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a town in the southern Alps located in Veneto, northern Italy.

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck

The Innsbruck region has numerous options for skiing, including Hafelekarrinne, one of Europe’s steepest runs, and Patscherkofel, based around the Olympic downhill course. While these are more or less meant for experts, you’ll also find dedicated areas for beginners and children. Innsbruck is located in the state of Tyrol, western Austria.

Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken

Interlaken receives thousands of tourists all year round, seeing as it is the go-through town for visiting Jungfraujoch, referred to as the ‘Top of Europe’. What brings skiers here is the Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg trail, an Alpine trail that offers the most amazing views you’ll ever witness. Interlaken is a town located in the Swiss canton of Bern.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Garmisch Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen played host to the Winter Olympic Games way back in 1936, at the peak of the Nazi era. Its skiing reputation is heightened owing to the presence of Germany’s tallest mountain, Zugspitze. With 75 miles of downhill runs of varying difficulty levels, this area also has 68 miles of cross-country trails, and a terrain park as well. The Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is located in southern Germany.

Lapland, Finland

Lapland, Finland

When you come to Lapland, considered to be the hometown of Santa Claus, what else do you expect to find but snow, snow, and more snow? Lapland is the perfect getaway for families wanting to soak in some history, as well as enjoy their time skiing. Besides the obvious, you’ll also be able to witness the northern lights since you’re so close to the Arctic. Lapland is a province in northern Finland.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz is where the glamorous set comes to ski. It goes without saying that staying here is super expensive. However, that doesn’t take anything away from what the fabulous ski slopes have to offer. St. Moritz is perfect for beginners, with easier rides, and tons of instruction schools that dot the area. St. Moritz is a resort town located in the Eastern Alps, a part of the Graubünden canton.

Courchevel, France

Courchevel, France

What is considered by many to be a skier’s paradise, Courchevel is where all the serious skiing fanatics come to. The slopes here are considered perfect, and there’s also a snowboarding area, along with designated places for ice skating, tobogganing and ice climbing. Courchevel is a resort town located in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Gstaad, Switzerland

Gstaad truly is a gem of a skiing locale favored by European royalty. It has 5 skiing areas, which also include the glacial area in the Berner Oberland region. Heiti Gsteig and Lauenen are favored by beginners, whereas snowboarders love to frequent La Braye. Gstaad is located in the canton of Bern, southwestern Switzerland.

Europe offers the best in terms of skiing; be it facilities, or spell-bounding natural beauty. So, if skiing in Europe is on your mind, just take a pick from any of these amazing destinations and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime!