Where to walk in Switzerland
By Lorna Heatley
22 November 2017
Hiking is one of the most rewarding forms of exercise in the world, and what country is more made for this particular exercise than Switzerland?Read more
The Award Winning Leader in Escorted Worldwide Rail Holidays
Picturesque Switzerland is a haven for holidays by rail. Enjoy its chocolate-box villages and grand, sweeping landscapes on your relaxing Alpine tour.
Spectacular scenery and beautiful architecture await you in Switzerland, as you explore the high alpine regions and the historical cities that make up this country. Visit the glamorous resort of St Moritz, which claims one of the first towns in Europe to popularise winter sports and is the preferred destination of wealthy tourists from around the world in both summer and winter. Chur, Switzerland's oldest town, is a delight to behold, featuring a stunning 12th century cathedral that combines Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles, and a lovely Rathaus (Town Hall) that dates back to 1464.
Switzerland is famed for its amazing views. Lake Lucerne bears a striking similarity to the fjords of Norway, being of an unusual shape and surrounded by towering mountains. Sat on the border between Italy and Switzerland is the Matterhorn.
Identifiable for its unusual, almost symmetrical, peak, this mountain was first successfully climbed in 1865, after many failed attempts.
Stunning scenery and spectacular views are enough to take your breath away as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express train. We enjoy thrilling mountain railways, charming towns and dramatic Alpine scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous.… see more
8 daysView tour details >
Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the setting for this magnificent tour, as we take the iconic Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, staying in glamorous St Moritz, and Zermatt, where we enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.… see more
10 daysView tour details >
This adventurous twin-centre rail holiday provides ample opportunity to explore the majestic Swiss Alps cloaked in their winter finery, and to enjoy our trip on the famous Glacier Express, surely the slowest, and certainly one of the most scenic 'express' trains in the world.… see more
8 daysView tour details >
Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig famous the world over. Discover Zermatt by mountain railway, visit beautiful Interlaken, take a journey on the Bernina Express and explore the Alps at your own pace during this popular mountain holiday.… see more
9 daysView tour details >
Stretching across much of mainland Europe, the wild and rugged Alps are home to some of the world's most magnificent landscapes. On this marvellous tour we discover the incredible attractions in three of the countries around the towering peaks - from the German city of Munich to the beautiful Austrian Lakes and Switzerland's superb mountain railways.… see more
15 daysView tour details >
Switzerland is famous for its folk culture. Yodelling, originally used by livestock herders on mountains to call out to one another, is said to have originated in Switzerland, and has since become celebrated all around the world, most famously being used by 'Tarzan' in various films and television shows.
Thanks to the Alps, which inhabits most of the country, mountain sports are extremely popular here. Every winter, hundreds of thousands of tourists descend upon Switzerland to take part in some of the fantastic skiing that can be found here. In the summer, after the snow melts away, the lush green meadows are revealed, and hiking becomes a popular pastime.
From tradition to science, this country is also the home of some of the most important scientific innovations in the world. Lying underground near Geneva sits the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle collider in the world, and the motors currently powering the Mars Rover are Swiss made.
Swiss cuisine is heavily influenced by the countries that surround it, taking inspiration from France in the meringues, Italy and polenta, and Germany in the wide variety of sausages. Some things, however, are purely Swiss, including the delicious melted cheese dish of fondue. This mouthwatering meal is a sauce made with cheese, wine, and garlic, and is served in a communal pot. Using long forks, diners can dip various pieces of bread or vegetables into the dish.
If you're not wanting to share the pot, but are still craving melted cheese, then a raclette is perfect. This wheel of cheese is cut into wedges, heated, and then scraped onto a plate, where it can be enjoyed with various meats, potatoes, and gherkins.
Cheese isn't the only famous dairy product to emerge from this country. Switzerland is one of the finest producers of luxury chocolate, and is the home of high quality brands such as Lindt and Nestlé.
The rail travel in Switzerland is efficient, easy to use, and connects the entire country. On our tours, we travel on a few of the most spectacularly scenic journeys in Switzerland: the Glacier Express, the Jungfrau Express, and the GoldenPass.
The Glacier Express is ironically named, and is often called 'the slowest express train in the world'. Travel in panoramic carriages as you luxuriate in the surrounding beauty of Switzerland, travelling along the Rhine Valley and up and over the steep Oberalp Pass, and passing small villages and towering snow-capped peaks.
Like most European countries, the climate in Switzerland is fairly moderate, with not extreme temparatures. The summers are warm, with temperatures ranging between 65° F and 82° F, however there is always the chance for rain, so always bring along an umbrella or a light waterproof, and prepared for a sudden change in the weather.
Switzerland is synonymous with skiing and snow, so in the winter make sure that you have sturdy shoes and a warm coat. The temperatures are not extreme, and are usually between 28° F and 45° F, but the nights can be bitterly cold, so warm evening wear is a must.
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French Italian and Romansh. A few useful phrases to know are:
Hello - in French 'bonjour' (bon-zhaw), in German 'guten tag' (gooten tahg), and in Italian 'buongiorno' (bon-jor-no)
Goodbye - in French 'au revoir' (or rev-wa), in German 'auf wiedersehen' (owf vee-der-zehn), and in Italian 'arrivederci' (ah-ree-ver-der-chi)
Thank you - in French 'merci' (mercy), in German 'danke' (dan-kah), and in Italian 'grazie' (grat-zie)
Please - in French 's'il vous plaît' (sih vous play), in German, 'bitte' (bitter), and in Italian 'per favore' (per fa-vor-ay)
Switzerland's bill system usually includes a tip, so tipping isn't strictly necessary, however if you wish to leave something extra, rounding up the bill to the nearest 5 or 10 usually suffices. The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc.