Switzerland Holidays – Tours & Adventures Travel Guide
“Switzerland offers stylish and exciting holidays where top ski resorts dot the country and you can trek through the Alps in the summer. There are opportunities for sightseeing, activities, adventures and you can sample the nightlife and spot celebrities. The largest city, Zurich, leads the way in world-class bars and nightclubs with opera and the arts to entertain and delight. Explore the culture and history of the capital and of Geneva, Luzern and Bern.”
Switzerland Holiday Highlights
History & Culture – Switzerland is known for its quality of life, with a population of over seven million Swiss. You will discover fascinating historic sites and cultures. Famous Swiss produce includes cheese, chocolate and watches. The arts and theatre are also popular in Switzerland.
Walking & Trekking – Walking, hiking and trekking in Switzerland provides some stunning scenery as you wind through the mountainous regions and witness the majestic peaks, the fertile valleys, the sounds of the wild. You can go in large groups or small. Go on planned tours or be completely spontaneous.
Skiing – Some of the most famous ski resorts are in Switzerland, such as Zermatt and St. Moritz and there is skiing available for all abilities and there are spectacular views from some of the highest cable cars in the world.
Cycling – There are cycling trails and paths in Switzerland for all abilities. There are many well-marked trails that interlink and most of them offer easy cycling. You can rent bikes at many of the railroad stations throughout the country, and just return them to another station when you arrive at your destination. In between, you will find stunning scenery and a terrific ride.
Climbing – Whilst in Switzerland try climbing the high slopes and cliffs. Rock and ice climbing are attractions and you’ll find a number of outfitters waiting to help you get the equipment you need.
White Water Rafting – The best place in Switzerland for white water rafting is at Interlaken and the surrounding area of the Jungfrau District of the Bernese Oberland where rafting holidays and other adventures are offered.
When To Go
Summer is from June to September and has a pleasant climate for outdoor activities (except winter sports). The peak period is July and August. Try instead April, May and October when the weather is still good but there are less crowds. Winter in the Alpine resorts is from mid-December to mid-April.
- You’ll have no problem finding an excellent pharmacy in the cities in Switzerland, but outside the bigger cities it will be difficult to get a prescription filled.
- Usually you are going to need a transformer or adapter to plug in your personal appliances, however some of the international hotels have special wiring to accommodate you.
- The official age to drink is 16.
- The penalties for illegal drug possession are very severe in Switzerland, more so than in the United States or Canada.
- If you bring a pet, you will need to have a certificate stating that they have been vaccinated against rabies, and not less than 30 days prior or not more than one year prior to entry.
Switzerland Holidays In Focus
History and Culture – Switzerland is filled with history and culture and a theatre production held at the Zürcher Schauspielhaus will have you enthralled with this prestigious German-speaking theatre. During July you can visit the Montreux International Jazz Festival to listen to some great jazz and blues music. For a tour of some great arts in Zürich, don’t miss the stained-glass windows by Chagall in the Fraumünster’s gothic structure. View the modern art at the Kunsthaus Zürich and stop at the Swiss National Museum. Experience the historical architecture in Geneva at the Cathédrale de St Pierre or visit Bern with the unique medieval arcade streets from the 11th century. The ancient city of St. Gallen holds fascinating history in the baroque cathedral of the Benedictine monastery. Alexander Dumas described the medieval yellow stone buildings in Neuchâtel as “carved from butter.” If you love castles, you must see Bellinzona and the three unbelievable medieval castles there.
Walking and Trekking – Switzerland has more than 31,000 miles of marked trails for walking, hiking and trekking. Try the Jura Mountains, Fribourg and Valais. Trek the Alps and Mont Blanc and loop around the highest mountain in Europe. Try the high routes in the Chamonix and Zermatt areas and tour the glaciers. Also visit the famous Haute Route and witness the Matterhorn.
Skiing – Some of the top ski areas in Switzerland are Zermatt, Verbier, Portes du Soleil and St. Moritz. At St. Moritz you can also play snow-polo and see the Olympic Bob run. There is also the Jungfrau region, Adelboden, Valais and Davos. At the Little Matterhorn in Zermatt, you can take Europe’s highest aerial cable car to the top and ski back to Zermatt, and you’ll be skiing one of the longest runs in Europe. At Engelberg ski resort, you can get to the top of Mount Titlis where you will be sitting upon the highest lookout spot in central Switzerland. You can meet celebrities on the gentle slopes of Gstaad. If you intend to do some cross-country skiing, Lauterbrunnen is for you.
Cycling – There are cycling terrains available for all abilities in Switzerland including flat lands in the valleys and near lakes and steep and rugged roads in the Swiss Alps. Take in the amazing scenery and wonderful fresh air. Before departing on your cycling tour, you need to go to a post office to get a cycling permit, and then you are free to travel anywhere in Switzerland with road tax and one year of cycling insurance. Once this is done, you will start off on one of the many cycling routes throughout the country. Cycle along the River Birs, move through a gorge and into the ravines of Gorges de Pichoux, and finally reach the grassy landscape of Franches Montagnes. You can start in Basel and bike through amazing scenery and over the Alps to Chiasso. If you love the river woodlands and seeing farmlands and small towns, have your cycling trip begin in Biel/Bienne and end in Luzern. There are many more routes you can take to see the entire country of Switzerland, and you should try at least one. If you need a break, all the trains in the country accommodate bicycles, and you can place yours in a special compartment and rest on your way to a new location.
Climbing – Whilst in Switzerland, try mountain and rock climbing on the peaks of Mont-Blanc, a top climb and the Matterhorn, in all its bold beauty. Try the Great St Bernard Pass where many easy peaks exist for skiing and for viewing unbelievable mountain groups. You can ski at nine different peaks at the Monte Rosa group, all of which are over 12,000 feet.
White Water Rafting – With several rivers in the Interlaken area, you’ll find some excitement on your white water rafting holiday in Switzerland. In some truly beautiful river runs, you can take short trips or even multi-day excursions through the Alps.
- Tour du Mont Blanc for a trekking adventure to remember.
- Be sure to stop and visit the famous baroque castle of Stockalperschloss in the town of Brig.
- Go to Interlaken for a wide array of outdoor sports, such as skydiving or bungee jumping.
- Cycle from Andermatt to Genève for incredible views and a real feel of the palm-lined promenades and vineyards of Switzerland.
- Experience a Mediterranean style south of the Alps; eat in a café plaza, meet new friends, laugh, love, and find peace.