By our Alpine expert, EU Holidays Tour Manager Paul Tee
1. Best of all?
I love Switerland’s scenery and beautiful landscapes, cool climate and how it is such a safe country to travel in. I also enjoy all the outdoor activities, such as excursions to the mountains, hiking, kayaking, cycling, skiing and paragliding.
2. Best holiday experiences?
I highly recommend hopping onto the Glacier Express or the trains plying the Jungfrau Railway and the GoldenPass Line – it’s the best way to catch stunning views of the scenic Swiss landscape. You should also go mountain hiking, as there are many different trails to explore, especially in the Jungfrau and Zermatt region. Sledging is a must during the winter, as well. Those who prefer a more leisurely activity can enjoy a lake cruise – the country has more than 1,000 lakes, so you’ll be spoilt for choice! For a spot of shopping, you can’t go wrong with fine Swiss watches and chocolates.
If you’re looking for something off-the-beaten-track, go to St Gallen in northeast Switzerland. Explore the Abbey of St Gall, a monastery of mixed architectural styles, including Baroque, which is very ornate. It is also home to a library filled with an extensive collection of ancient books.
For families, head to the Maison Cailler chocolate factory for hands-on fun – learn how to make fine Swiss chocolates, and of course, enjoy eating them! There’s also the Swiss Miniatur, a family attraction where you can marvel at remarkable miniature versions of Switzerland’s landmarks.
Finally, if you’re travelling during the New Year or Swiss National Day celebrations, don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display happening in many cities across the country.
3. Best city to explore?
It has to be Zermatt – it’s a car-free
zone that lies at the foot of the famous Matterhorn mountain and is popular for
winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. It’s also where you can find
the Monte Rosa massif, Switzerland’s highest peak. What I love about it are the
magnificent views of the Matterhorn and the many pretty Swiss cottage-style
houses that dot the area. If you only have one day, take a train up the
mountain for a closer view of the Matterhorn, drop by the museum there, or
simply chill out in one of the restaurants. In summer, a rare and interesting
sight worth catching is the daily parade of Valais Blackneck goats every
morning and late afternoon along the main street of Zermatt.
4. Best dining highlights?
Catch a fun Swiss horn performance at Bebbis Restaurant in Interlaken or Stadtkeller, a restaurant unique for its focus on traditional Swiss food and folklore in Lucerne. If you crave good Asian food, one of the best-kept dining secrets is the Phanat-Thai Take Away in Lucerne, which is within walking distance from Chapel Bridge in the Old Town. The eatery, with a Thai owner and cooks, serves Thai food that is delicious, authentic and reasonably priced.
5. Best time to visit?
For cooler weather (around 10 to 25°C), visit from April to October. But even if you visit in the summer, it’s still cool up in the mountains. The best thing is, the weather is pleasant all year round, and whichever season you choose to travel to Switzerland, you’ll still be able to experience and have fun in the snow!
Book your trip with EU Holidays: 10D7N Grand Train Tour of Switzerland