Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglog
Switzerland Country in Europe.Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.
The resort villages of the high-altitude Bernese Oberland include the Jungfrau region’s Interlaken, between 2 lakes, and Grindelwald, below the iconic north face of the Eiger Mountain. Eastern canton Graubünden has the upmarket Saint Moritz and Davos ski resorts. In the west, lakeside Geneva combines diplomatic institutions with the French language and views of Mount Blanc. The city of Zurich is a global finance center with an old town and the historical Swiss National Museum. Nearby Lucerne is a quaint lake town where a cogwheel train climbs Mount Pilatus and steamships ferry passengers for views of the mountains.
4:00am-10:30am : Lugano
1:00pm-2:30pm : Swissminatur
Swissminiatur presents important Swiss buildings, monuments, and sites in miniature. Built in 1959, the mini open-air park sits on the shore of Lake Lugano in Switzerland's Italian-speaking region. Covering an area of 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres), over 120 models of Swiss sites are displayed at a scale of 1:25. The park features moving attractions, including a 3,560 m (11,680 ft) model railway with 18 miniature trains, several cable cars ascending mountains, boats on lakes, and moving cars on highways. The miniature buildings are interspersed throughout a green park that features 1,500 different species of plants and flowers.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Lake Lugano
Protected by low mountain ranges, the glacial Lake Lugano features its own Mediterranean microclimate, warm enough to encourage the growth of citrus and palm trees. The lake sits on the border between northern Italy and southern Switzerland, an area rich in diverse plant life and fossils from prehistoric times. Lugano, a Swiss resort town with a decidedly Italian flavor, serves as a convenient base for sightseeing tours of the mountain-rimmed lake region. Get to know the area quickly by joining a guided boat ride along the lake's picturesque shores, or take the funicular to one of the surrounding mountaintops.
5:30pm-6:00pm : William Tell State(Statua di Guglielmo Tell
10:00am-10:30am : Cimitero Monumentale
11:00am-12:30pm : Monte San Salvatore
Stand on the top of Lugano at Monte San Salvatore for panoramic views of the city and the calm blue lake surrounding it. To reach the top, hike or hop on the funicular, which operates seasonally. Stop for a bite at the restaurant at the summit to take advantage of the impressive views from the veranda. You'll find the best vistas from the top of the church, but it's a significant climb. Information tablets identify the surrounding mountains, so you'll be able to tell when you're looking at the legendary Matterhorn. Open seasonally, please check website for up-to-date information and departure location.
5:00pm-6:30pm : Piazza della Riforma
10:00am-11:30am : Trapgame
12:00pm-1:30pm : Chateau de Tourbillon
Tourbillon Castle is a castle in Sion in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is situated on a hill and faces the Basilique de Valère, located on the opposite hill. The castle was ruined in a fire in 1788. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. The Diocese of Sion was founded in Octodurum, now called Martigny in the early 4th century. In 589 the bishop, St. Heliodorus, transferred the see to Sion, as Octodurum was frequently endangered by the inundations of the Rhone and the Drance. Very little is known about the early Bishops and the early churches in Sion. However, in the late 10th century the last King of Upper Burgundy Rudolph III, granted the County of Valais to Bishop Hugo (998-1017). The combination of spiritual and secular power made the Prince-Bishops the most powerful nobles in the Upper Rhone valley. Sion became the political and religious center of the region. By the 12th century they began building impressive churches and castles in Sion to represent their power and administer their estates. Valère, as the residence of the cathedral chapter in Sion, was one-third of the administrative center of the powerful Diocese of Sion. In the 12th century the Cathedral Notre Dame de Sion (du Glarier) was built in the town below Valère hill. Glarier Cathedral became the seat of the Diocese of Sion, while the Prince-Bishop of Sion lived in the castle.
2:00pm-3:30pm : Barryland-Musee Et Chiens Du St-Bernard
4:00pm-5:30pm : Fondation Pierre Gi anadda
Explore the sculpture garden and the underground automobile exhibition at Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Opened in 1978 by Leonard Gianadda to honor his younger brother Pierre, who was killed in a plane crash in 1976, the museum has permanent exhibits on Chagall, plus Gallo Roman pottery and art. In addition, it regularly features temporary exhibits from museums and private collections around the world. Plenty of parking is available near the facilities, and the foundation boasts a tea garden serving refreshments.
10:00am-12:30pm : Stellisee
2:00pm-6:00pm : The Matterhorn
King of the Swiss Alps, the colossal The Matterhorn rises above the picturesque resort town of Zermatt, on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The mountain's summit is 4,478 m (14,692 ft) high, its four steep faces soaring above the surrounding glaciers and facing the four points of the compass. First ascended in 1865 by a team of alpinists led by English mountaineer Edward Whymper, the pyramid-shaped mountain continues to draw ambitious climbers from around the globe. Less audacious visitors can still access sweeping views of the scenery by taking an aerial cable car departing from Zermatt up to a dizzying height of about 3,800 m (12,500 ft).
10:00am-12:30pm : Sunnegga
For an exceptional view of the Matterhorn, visit Sunnegga, a ski domain that makes up part of Zermatt resort. You can reach the area by underground funicular, which travels to the 2,288 m (7,506 ft) peak in just four-and-a-half minutes. The area has many beginner runs, making it a good option for families, and benefits from all-day sun, which helps to moderate the chilly weather on top. Refuel at one of the many restaurants on the peak after skiing.
1:00pm-2:30pm : Parasailing & paragliding
3:00pm-6:00pm : Gornergrat
For a classic train experience in the Alps, hop on Gornergrat, one of the highest railway lines in Europe. Opened in 1898, the railway takes sightseers and hikers from the resort village of Zermatt to the very top of a rocky ridge in the western part of the Alps. The first electric rack railway built in Switzerland, the line passes through a popular skiing area, noted for its 29 peaks reaching above 4,000 m (13,000 ft) in elevation. On clear days the line's terminus at the top of the ridge offers unbeatable views of the surrounding mountaintops, as well as the second largest glacier in the Alps.
10:00am-11:30pm : Gorner Gorge
Carved into the towering cliffs by the Gornervispe River over thousands of years, Gorner Gorge offers a vivid insight into the omnipotence of nature. First opened for tourists in 1886-87, the gorge features two sections--the lower path with secured wooden bridges and galleries and the more challenging upper stretch to be crossed with the assistance of a mountain guide.
12:00pm-1:30pm : Hangebrucke
Soaring above a gorge, Hangebrucke offers spectacular views over the foaming river and idyllic mountain landscape of rocks, valleys, and larch woods. Crossing the wobbly 100 m (328 ft) long and 90 m (295 ft) high suspension bridge can be both fun and scary, especially for those with a fear of heights. Once on the other side, consider having a picnic at one of the nearby barbecue sites or visit the Dossen glacier garden and see glacial mills. The bridge is generally closed in the winter.
2:00pm-3:30pm : Riffelsee
Riffelsee is an alpine lake above the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It lies below the Riffelhorn at an elevation of 2757 m, and has a surface area of 0.45 ha. The lake can be reached from Rotenboden railway station (2815 m) on the Gornergratbahn mountain railway.
4:00pm-5:30pm : 5-Seenweg
Meandering through a varied alpine landscape, 5-Seenweg offers numerous photo opportunities and stunning views of the Matterhorn reflected on the glistening surfaces of mountain lakes. This easy hike with downhill sections is quite popular with tourists, so expect to meet people along the way. The biggest crowd gathers at the last of the five lakes, which serves as a communal swimming pool.
10:00am-10:30am : Mountaineers' Cemetery
Head to the garden of St. Mauritius Church to see Mountaineers' Cemetery, dedicated to laying to rest the spirits of mountaineers and mountain guides. Read the tombstones that tell stories of hikers who died on Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, and Breithorn. Mountaineers have been ascending the peaks since 1865, starting with the Matterhorn, and many of the early pioneers paved the way but did not return.
10:30am-12:00pm : Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis
Learn about the early climbers who reached the summit of the Matterhorn at Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis. Head underground to this museum, which is set up to resemble a mountain village with 14 houses as well as a church, hotel, huts, and granaries. Learn about the development of the area and the many climbers who frequent it, and see samples of the equipment and gear they use. Watch a film from the 1930s about the competition between Edward Whymper and Jean Antoine Carrel, who each attempted to reach the summit--one from the Swiss side, and one from the Italian side. The museum showcases the broken rope from the first ascent of the mountain in 1865 and one of the two stones that Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier took from the summit and brought with him on the Space Shuttle Endeavour mission in 1993. The museum is centrally located in the village at a walkable distance from other local attractions.
12:30pm-2:00pm : hinterdorfstrasse
As you walk down the narrow, cobbled street called Hinterdorfstrasse, you'll get a feeling for what life in a Swiss mountain village would have been like hundreds of years ago. Dating back to the 16th century, Zermatt's oldest street has retained its traditional wooden chalets, making it one of the best spots for taking photos in town.