Snow covered mountain tops and crystal-clear alpine lakes, grazing cattle wearing cow bells and delicious chunks of Toblerone – we can only be talking about Switzerland.
The landlocked European country is a favourite of ours here at Arena Travel and if you’d like to find out why, continue reading – who knows, it might become one of your favourites too!
Famed for its spectacular mountainous landscape, many people flock to Switzerland from near and far each year to enjoy the fresh mountain air of the Alps.
Said to have healing properties, it’s no surprise that you’ll find a health resort or two hidden amongst the green hills, and if a hot thermal bath and a relaxing massage is what you’re in need of – Switzerland is certainly the place for you.
Also popular with skiers, hikers and even rock climbers this expansive natural rock formation, spanning thousands of miles, offers many opportunities for the thrill seekers out there.
However, if like us your more into the serene, the spectacular views available from the mountain tops are certainly something you’d want to visit Switzerland for – and don’t worry, you won’t need to scale the face of The Matterhorn to reach them.
Geneva, Lucerne, Lugano, three of the most beautiful lakes in the whole country – in fact, they may be some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the whole world.
That’s right, Switzerland isn’t just green meadows and snowy mountain tops – oh no, scattered amongst its rocky landscapes you will find some of the clearest lakes you’ve ever seen.
From the vast Lake Geneva, to the tranquil Lake Lugano and the lively resort Lake Lucerne, in the summer months you’ll find many tourists coming to soak up the atmosphere or enjoy a refreshing dip on a warm day.
A stroll along the shores of these lakes also offers such wonders as the glorious gardens of Parco san Grato at Lugano, luxury shops like those found at Lake Geneva and a history lesson in the Old Town of Lucerne.
A trip to visit these spectacular lakes is certainly a great way to ‘dip your toe in the water’ when planning a trip to Switzerland.
Now, we’re going to be honest here, one of the main reasons Switzerland holds a very dear place in our heart is because it produces some utterly mouth-watering chocolates.
Lindt, Milka and of course, Toblerone are the big brands to come out of the country but there’s also an array of smaller and independent chocolatiers, all waiting for you visit their shops and sample their delicious treats.
So, whether you’re a traditional Toblerone fan, or an adventurer wanting to treat your taste buds to something a little out of the ordinary, make sure you pick up some chocolate whilst in Switzerland – it’s the perfect souvenir!
Featured on the list of top ten places to live in the world for the best quality of life, it often surprises us that many people mistake the city of Zurich as the Swiss capital, whilst the beautiful city of Bern gets forgotten.
Yep, that’s right, Bern is Switzerland’s capital city, but what’s interesting about Bern is that it doesn’t feel like a big city, and therefore offers rather a relaxing atmosphere when compared with the other capitals of Europe.
The Old Town is where many tourists like to spend their time in Bern, and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by the river Aare on both sides, the medieval buildings stand well preserved.
With many cafes and bars dotted along the streets it also makes the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, or a refreshing beer as you watch the world go by.
Bern is also well known for its bear park, where many of these furry but not quite cuddly characters have resided since 2009 – it’s certainly worth a visit whilst in the city and it’s wonderful to see the bears enjoying their spacious green environment.
You’ll also be treated to a history lesson with a visit to the old bear pit and stories about how bears have made Bern their home since 1513.
With so much to see and do, we bet you can bear-ly wait to visit Bern…
Swiss cheese is one of the most sought-after dairy products in the world and over 400 different varieties of it are produced in the country. The abundance of flavours and textures is endless – making for a cheese lovers dream.
The most famous of the Swiss cheeses is obviously the Emmental, the instantly recognisable semi-hard, holey cheese.
Emmental has a rather tangy flavour but it isn’t too sharp, making it great sliced on sandwiches or even just on its own as a little snack.
Raclette is also another well know Swiss cheese and it probably characterises the country more than any other cheese.
Raclette is a gooey creamy cheese, that is typically cut with a hot knife and then spread on toasted bread – yum! It melts well and for this reason it is also used for fondue.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Switzerland without enjoying a deliciously creamy, piping hot bowl of fondue and surly there’s no other way to use up your extra bread than by dipping it in melted cheese?
Tantalising Train Rides
Finally, Switzerland is famed for its mountainous railways and what better way to see the sights of this spectacular country than from aboard a panoramic train?
The GoldenPass Line, Glacier Express, Gornergrat, and Bernina Rail way are just a few of the riveting railways you can travel on whilst in Switzerland.
All offering unique journeys you will pass sights from the shores of Lake Geneva to the Gottard Tunnel, the Mediterranean landscape of Ticino, the Landwasser Viaduct and even get the chance to stand at the summit of the Matterhorn.
Not to mention all the quaint villages and towns you will pass and visit along the way, such as the mountain resort of Zermatt and the alpine town of Brig, which sits at the foot of the Simplon Pass. And, on the Glacier Express, you can even be treated to a delightful three course meal – now that’s what we call travelling in style!
We hope we’ve won you over and you’re starting to love Switzerland just as much as us. However, there’s no way to really know for sure unless you visit for yourself.
Take a look at our amazing holidays visiting Switzerland and start planning your next adventure today!