Think of Switzerland and crisp snow-covered mountain tops probably spring to mind. Perhaps you think of beautiful green Alpine pastures with cows grazing gently in the background and the sound of someone yodeling in the distance. If those enticing thoughts are not reason enough for you to pack your bags for the Swiss Alps, then here are 10 more reasons to convince you.
It’s a no-brainer. The Swiss Alps is one the top spots for skiing in the world, and it boasts some of the best ski resorts, with, you guessed it, the best slopes. Pack up your skis and your waterproofs and set your destination for Switzerland, whose slopes you’ve got to enjoy once in your life.
The Swiss Alps are home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. From mountain tops that’s height will crane your neck to so many beautiful, isolated lakes that you’ll never want to leave. To give you a small taste of what to expect, the ski resort of Zermatt boasts 38 peaks over 4,000 meters alone.
The peculiar culture
The Swiss Alps gave us the infamous Alpenhorn and yodeling, as well as a fascination with cows and their bells. No matter where you go in the Swiss Alps, you’ll be treated to something new since each region has different customs and traditions that’ll leave you scratching your head, like the Witch’s race in the canton of Valais or Swiss wrestling, bear-hug style.
The Swiss Alpine Club is incredibly well organized and runs a wide range of retreats at a low cost for hikers all across the Swiss Alps. As well as a reasonable accommodation, there’s an incredible number of fully sign-posted trails that’ll let you explore the Swiss Alps to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge that you know exactly where you’re going.
Experience the Alpine village life
The Swiss Alps are full of charming little villages like Grindelwald where you can feel totally connected to nature and just relax and breathe the clean mountain air. Take a look at our guide to the most charming places in the Swiss Alps to explore the best that the Alps has to offer, be that skiing or hiking.
Good old melted cheese fondue has its shady origins in the Swiss Alps as a dish for poor farmers who sought to make use of all their left-over ingredients during the tough winter months. On a trip to the Swiss Alps, you can dig into this and other regional specialties like raclette while sipping on some fine Swiss wine.
It’s not the world’s most photographed mountain for no reason. The Matterhorn is simply breath-taking, and while exploring the surrounding area, you’re certain to discover it from new angles that’ll be even more beautiful than the last. Be sure to bring extra memory cards for your camera.
The Great Aletsch Glacier
Europe’s largest glacier is in the Swiss Alps, and it stretches for 23 kilometers. What better way to spend your vacation than at a high altitude, chilling out by a glacier that dates back to the ice age? A visit to this relic of a much, much colder time on Earth is reason enough to visit the Swiss Alps.
To visit Graubünden
Graubünden is Switzerland’s largest canton and an explorer’s dream. Its huge expanse is full of mountain peaks and some of the most glitzy ski resorts in Switzerland, like St. Moritz and Davos. And if that’s not enough to lure you in, it’s also where you can pick up a few words of Romansh, Switzerland’s curious fourth language that is spoken by only 60,000 people.
Visit the Top of Europe
The Jungfraujoch, where you’ll find the Great Aletsch Glacier, is rightly known as the Top of Europe. To get there, you’ll arrive at the highest railway station in Europe at 3,454 meters and be treated to the glorious sights of the two 4,000-metre mountains, the Jungfrau and Mönch.
By: Sean Mowbray