GMT +1 hour
Exceptional scenery, outdoor activity and chocolate box villages harmonise with snow-capped peaks, ice glaciers and cultural cities.
Switzerland is simply spellbinding, a world of aerial cableways, indigo blue lakes, mountain summits and healing thermal springs. Be adventurous with glacier hiking, windsurfing and Alpine golf and stroll through chic cities and medieval towns, tempted by Swiss chocolate, cheese and contemporary architecture.
Set off with a picnic lunch and your feet safely ensconced within boots as you follow the stony paths that wind up the side of the mountain. Verdant vegetation and bright flowers sway in the gentle alpine breeze and the lowing of cows and their bells punctuates the serene silence. Stop off for lunch beside a beautiful lake, its mirror surface reflecting the sky and the mountain peaks around it as you revel in the picturesque perfection of your alpine setting.
Claire Ellis, Kuoni's Content Editor
Clean, safe, efficient and beautiful, this is a country like no other. The Swiss watch is renowned for its sharp time keeping, the Swiss chocolate is known to melt-in-the-mouth and the Swiss water of the thermal springs is so pure it can help heal the joints and the respiratory system. But then what else would you expect from a country that speaks four languages?
From boating to a rock in the middle of the spectacular Rhine Falls to ascending Europe’s highest railway station for bewitching Alpine views or marvelling at neoteric architecture that challenges the peripheries of design, landlocked Switzerland is multifarious in its offerings of things you can see and do.
Geneva is the ideal destination for food lovers; housing nearly 40 Michelin starred restaurants. The cerulean blue of the Lake is surrounded by snowy mountain summits and gentle hillsides striped with vineyards. Explore Lausanne’s designer boutiques, roll your dice in the famous casino of Montreux and up until early summer, ski and snowboard in Les Diabelerets, where you can also enjoy the highest Alpine toboggan run. If it’s modern art you love head to Vevey and see Jean-Pierre Vaug’s fork sculpture which literally pierces Lake Geneva. For a scenic tour, jump on a Mouette (water taxi) around the Lake and at night, visit the atmospheric Old Town for a touch of elegant, local flavour.
Travel in style on the Glacier Express visiting the glamorous Alpine resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz. With its glass domed roof and panoramic windows this is the most spectacular train journey in Switzerland. If train travel isn’t for you, how about taking a helicopter flight from Zermatt to the top of the Matterhorn, one of the most captivating mountains in the world? For picture-perfect postcard Swiss scenery, enjoy the cogwheel to the Jungrau Plateau, the highest station in Europe. The mountain giants of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau will tower over you and from the famous observatory platform you can take in views of Italy, France, Germany and Austria. Welcome to Bernese Oberland and its sugar-white mountains - possibly the most scenic Alpine region in Switzerland. In Interlaken, ancient unhurried ice is still etching and shaping its way through the peaks, meaning that here you can experience everything from ice climbing, glacier trekking, and hiking to paragliding, handgliding and canyoning. Sail and windsurf on Lake Thun and take in the magic of the mesmerising Blue Ice Grotto in Grindelwald.If you are looking for something more lively, immerse yourself in the city of Zurich, where the Limmat River emerges from the Zurichsee and runs through the city. The Old Town of Altstadt is a pedestrian zone in the day-time and packed with medieval churches, including St. Peter’s, boasting Europe’s largest clock face. Zurich itself is abundant in vibrant nightlife, a large art and cultural scene including Marc Chagall’s magnificent stained glass windows at the Fraumünster Church, designer shopping at Bahnhofstrasse and an array of great restaurants. It makes a fascinating urban contrast to the Alpine scenery you will have already witnessed and is the perfect beginning or end of a trip to this beguiling country.