REGIONS OF SWITZERLAND
There are so many great places to go in Switzerland that it’s easy to be uncertain about where to spend your time. A few of my favorites are Lucerne, Zermatt, Mürren and Zurich. I love the mountains in Switzerland, which are as stunning as any in the world. Switzerland’s cities are all very nice as well. If not as interesting as Paris, Venice or Prague, they are still clean, walkable, and enjoyable, with historic Old Town centers and beautiful locations. My simplest advice is this: if you’re going to travel in Switzerland, spend 1 or 2 days in the cities, then go to the mountains.
The heart of the Alps – and my absolute favorite area in the Alps – is the Bernese Oberland. Within the Oberland, my favorite village is Mürren. It’s hard to imagine Mürren would exist until you see it: a tiny, car-free village, perched on top of a huge cliff, surrounded by some of the most impressive mountains in the Alps. But there are many other possible travel destinations in the Bernese Oberland as well.
Pastoral and mountainous, and the remaining home of the Romansch language, the Engadine is a fabulous area. Despite the worldwide fame of St. Moritz, many beautiful regions in the Engadine have an off-the-beaten-path feel.
A hiker’s highlight…as its name suggests, the Haute Route is a journey, not a region. Encompassing a series of trails linking Chamonix to Zermatt, the Haute Route features high, steep passes and stunning mountain scenery.
Quite possibly the world’s most iconic and recognizable mountain, the Matterhorn graces almost every Switzerland travel brochure, and everybody who travels here has some idea of what to expect. But the reality is much more powerful.
The Mont Blanc region includes parts of Switzerland, France, and Italy. With Chamonix, France, just over the border and easily reached by rail from Switzerland, a tour into this region can be a nice addition to your Swiss tour. Chamonix is great for hiking, trail running and mountain biking, but also has wonderful high-mountain cable cars and trains that can take you high into the mountains.
Elegant and relaxed, the cities in Switzerland are all attractive and have something interesting and fun to offer. They’re small and compact, often located on beautiful lakes or rivers, with historic, walkable old towns.