Switzerland is a land full of beauty and wonder. A country that’s famous for so many things is also easy and safe to visit any time of the year. Independent of the EU (so you’ll be spending Swiss francs), Switzerland is also one of the highest countries in Europe, since it is covered by the Alps, so it is perfect for hiking or winter sports.
Over eight million people live in the country, where four national languages are spoken: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. The crime rate is exceedingly low wherever you go – and heading a little off the beaten path can lead to unforgettable Swiss adventures with fewer tourists.
Graubünden is the largest region of Switzerland, famous for its famous resort towns of Davos and St. Moritz – but why not try nearby Celerina as well? The historic village center is enchanting and visiting in wintertime offers a chance to sled down the world’s only natural and oldest bobsleigh track in the world, or snowshoe through the Staz Forest Trail.
Summertime is for horse-drawn carriage rides to Lake of Staz, returning to the forest for a sensory hike through fragrant meadows, and savoring a gastronomic walking tour through town. Experience the season in the world’s most picturesque landscapes by train, from the Alps to Lake Geneva to the Matterhorn. The Rhaetian Railway is part of the UNESCO heritage list, thanks to the mind-bending engineering that went into its construction up, down, and around the Alps.
In a country with 7,000 lakes, it’s not hard to find a jaw-dropping view, especially when exploring Lake Lucerne. Surrounded by mountains, Lake Lucerne sits at 1400+ feet elevation and still maintains a mild climate. The best views will come to those who hike the Swiss Path – a loop around one arm of the lake – or opt for tours aboard a wooden paddlewheel steamer ship.
Just 30 minutes outside Lucerne, discover Fräkigaudi, the longest summertime toboggan ride in the country. Surrounded by the snow-capped beauty of the Alps, the sled ride drops 4,400+ ft with steep turns, tunnels, and built-in jumps.
Gourmands looking to discover important new chefs will want to travel to the Italian-speaking south. Lugano, the largest town in the Ticino canton, created a Michelin sensation last year when three restaurants earned their first star: I Due Sud at the Hotel Splendide Royal, META and Principe Leopoldo at the Villa Principe Leopoldo hotel. Don’t forget that when making a toast in Switzerland, say "Proscht!" and always make eye contact when you clink glasses.
Would you like to hike through the Alps or ski down them? Switzerland is fantastic any time of the year.