Switzerland is a beautiful country filled with lakes and forests and majestic mountains. This picturesque alpine nation is a meld of cultures that has much to offer any traveler, and is a magnet that draws both winter and summer sporting enthusiasts the year round.
Encompassing the Alps mountain chain, Switzerland is a land with a great diversity of landscapes and climates for such a small country. More than 1,500 lakes dot the landscape, from the beautiful Lake Constance at one end, to the storied romance of Lake Geneva at the other. The headwaters of the Rhine and Rhone Rivers rise there, fed by the glaciers of the high mountains.
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly from place to place, from the almost Mediterranean mildness of Switzerland's southern tip to the frigid glacial conditions of the mountaintops.
Switzerland is a nation that is a blend of three major European traditions, is rich in history and culture and typifies the concept of diversity. German, French and Italian are all official national languages, as well as Romansh, a relict romance language descended from the Latin spoken in the Roman province of Rheatia that once included parts of eastern Switzerland.
Switzerland is easy to get around, and has one of the most efficient and comprehensive rail networks of any nation on earth. The Swiss Rail Pass makes it very easy for the traveler to experience all of the dramatic landscapes that Switzerland has to offer.
Opportunitys for the Traveler
For the active traveler, Switzerland has more opportunities for sport than most places. There are 43,300 kilometers of marked trails for hikers and backpackers, with some of the most stunning and gorgeous landscapes to tramp across. There are often hotels and restaurants that cater to these hiking trails, allowing trekkers to choose between camping in a tent or hut or spending the night in a nice hotel. Parasailing, gliding and balloon excursions are available that offer a birds eye view of the scenic countryside. Mountain climbing is also a prevalent past time, and there are many services offering guided excursions for all levels of climber experience.
Famous for Winter Sports
In the winter, of course, there is the skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding and sledging, and every winter sport that can be thought of or imagined. Switzerland is a veritable winter-wonderland for those who enjoy the snow. There are also some rather extreme winter sports that are taking hold, such as snow kiting with a snowbaord and a hand-sail to catch the wind. Try one of the newest extreme winter sports, Airboarding, a Swiss invention where the rider lies on top of an inflatable body board and careens down the slopes using body weight to steer the contraption.
Amazing Ski Resorts
Here are 5 top resorts for skiing, snowboarding and a wide variety of winter sports you can get to them transfering from Basel Airport which is easy using online services such as http://www.ski-transfers.com/airport_basel.php jouney time around 2hours lets look at the top 5 resorts:
1. Zermatt: The beautiful town is located near the edge of the Mattertal Valley. You cannot take your car into the village, as you get around by foot, a horse drawn carriage, trolley busses or electric taxis. The resort offers 21 black slopes, 41 red slopes and 12 blue slopes.
2. Verbier: This spectacular ski destination is a two hour drive from Geneva, and there are a variety of ski slopes for people of all ages. Airboarding, snowboarding and heli-skiing are popular things to do in Verbier. The nightlife is also very exciting.
3. Grindelwald: Located in the center of the country, there are more than 100 miles of ski slopes in Grindelwald. Some slopes are only reachable by helicopter. Hiking and rock climbing are also popular things to do at this ski destination.
4. St. Moritz: Situated in the eastern portion of the country, this world-famous luxury ski destination. The mountains are situated on each side of an impressive lake, and the town sits on the western end of the lake. There are many 5 star hotels in the area, as well as excellent eating establishments. Other popular things to do in the town are polo, golf and cricket.
5. Andermatt: This fantastic ski area has 20 lifts and quality pistes that allow you to spend a fun day on the slopes. You can enjoy panoramic views of mountain summits, and the ski resort is suitable for all levels. Andermatt consists of two snowparks, one halfpipe and one avalanche training center.
There is plenty to see and do in Switzerland so why not make this amazing country next on the to-do list. See you on the slopes.