Things to Do in Swiss Alps - page 2
Seeming to defy gravity, the First Cliff Walk by Tissot is a metal walkway desperately clinging to the cliffside in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region. The suspension bridge and viewing platform offer adventurous travelers heart-racing views over the Alps and give the ethereal sensation of flying over the valleys below.
Located in the Western Rhaetian Alps in the far eastern corner of Switzerland, the Swiss National Park (Parc Naziunal Svizzer) is Switzerland’s only national park and the country’s largest protected natural area. Virtually untouched by human development, the park offers a huge variety of hiking trails for all abilities and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
The Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps is the source of the Rhône River, which travels through Switzerland and France into the Mediterranean Sea, and contributes to Lake Geneva. It’s estimated to be more than 10,000 years old. Visitors can view it from the outside and also walk inside the glacier.
Often called the Town of Roses, Rapperswil’s beauty comes from more than just its 15,000 rose plants. Medieval alleyways, towering old structures, scenic wood bridges and picturesque chapels tucked into rolling hillsides make this quaint destination truly worth a visit.
Beautiful gardens, a 13th-century castle and an old-world monastery lend Rapperswil its classic charm, while the unique and colorful collections showcased at Circus Museum, Knie’s Kinderzoo and the Polish Museum offer a nod to Rapperswil’s historic roots.
Travelers looking to experience the pure beauty of the Mannlichen region need look no further than the Wengen-Männlichen Aerial Cableway. This high-speed cable car takes travelers straight to the top Wengen where unmatched views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley continue for miles.
Visitors love the comfortable seats, smooth ride and huge, crystal-clear windows that are perfect for taking in the picturesque surroundings. Alpine flowers, snow dusted peaks, winding roads and stretches of lush green hillside make for memorable photo ops and remind visitors why a visit to Switzerland is worth the trip any time of year. A favorite destination for travelers to the region, the high-flying aerial cableway is not for the faint of heart!
The bright-red Glacier Express passes over glaciers, across gorges, and above river valleys through Switzerland’s spectacular mountain scenery. This narrow-gauge line is the only direct service between the exclusive ski resort of Zermatt and chic St. Moritz—and is considered among the most beautiful scenic trains in Europe.
Europe’s highest aerial cableway leads to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, beneath the north face of the mighty triangular peak made famous by the Toblerone logo. At an altitude of 12,740 feet (3,883 meters), the glacial wonderland offers incredible views over the Alps and thrilling activities year-round.
At 4,547 feet (1,386 meters) tall, the mountain plateau of Pfingstegg is one of the best spots in the Swiss Alps to find a dramatic alpine view. The area boasts Grindelwald's only aerial cable car, and from the mountaintop vantage point, the panorama spans the rolling meadows and glacial peaks of the Grindelwald valley.
Forces of nature are on full display in Glacier Canyon, which was formed as the Lower Grindelwald Glacier slowly carved its way through the rock in the area. As waterfalls and streams pour down into the Lütschine River, a walk through Glacier Canyon is a total sensory experience.
The grand showpiece of Swiss silk merchant Kaspar Stockalper, Stockalper Palace was one of the most impressive buildings of 17th-century Switzerland. Today, it’s a Swiss National Heritage Site and a popular visitor attraction, presiding over the alpine town of Brig.
More Things to Do in Swiss Alps
On the shores of Lake Geneva, Swiss Vapeur Parc is a railway-themed miniature park with 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) of train tracks, rideable steam trains, and a model-train landscape dotted with Swiss landmarks and alpine villages. It’s a must for train enthusiasts, as well as a fun destination for the whole family.
High in the Swiss Alps and not far from the Italian border, Ecomuseum Simplon encompasses a series of historic buildings, castles, and museums linked together by the Via Stockalper (Stockalperweg) hiking route. Follow some or all of the 22-mile (35-kilometer) trail to discover the history and heritage of this remote alpine region.
This sunny peak on Mount Rothorn is one of the most popular in the Zermatt-Matterhorn resort, a haven for family-friendly skiing in the winter and scenic hiking up to Blauherd and Rothorn in the summer. Take the funicular from Zermatt to explore the gentle pistes, relax on the Leisee Alpine lake, or hit the trails on foot or wheels.
At an altitude of almost 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), the Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Paradise ski slopes are among the highest in Europe. Unlike many ski resorts in the Alps, this one is accessible year-round. In the warmer months, skiers head high up to Theodul Glacier to enjoy miles of ski runs with spectacular mountain backdrops.
With a network of cable cars and cogwheel railways traversing the snow-clad slopes of the mighty Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt Mountain Railways (Zermatt Bergbahnen) provides the link between the car-free mountain resort of Zermatt and the iconic peak.
Encircled by the vast Staz forest, Lake Staz (Lej da Staz) takes on a mythical ambiance with its floating islands of marsh clover and towering reeds. An easy 30-minute walk from St.Moritz leads to the lake, passing through some incredible mountain scenery, or if you fancy an alternative, horse-drawn carriage rides are available along the pathways surrounding the lake.
Home to the longest glacial downhill ski route in Switzerland, as well as a varied network of ski runs, it’s not hard to see why Diavolezza is a popular haunt for powder junkies. Standing over 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) proud, Diavolezza Mountain adds an impressive eight peaks to the Bernina skyline, and is accessible by gondola from the Diavolezza train station.
A long winding valley cupped between the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps and following the Inn River, the 50-mile-long (80-kilometer-long) Engadine (or Engadin) valley is one of Switzerland’s most desirable holiday destinations. A sunny climate, beautiful lakes, and a stunning alpine backdrop make Engadine, which encompasses star-studded destinations like St. Moritz, one of Europe’s most highly populated valleys.
A superb display of paintings from Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899) take center stage at St Moritz’s Segantini Museum, with examples exhibited from throughout his creative career. One of Europe’s most famous 19th-century artists, the Italian painter was best known for his large-scale landscape paintings of the Alps.
The domed museum, which opened its doors back in 1908, is the handiwork of architect Nicolaus Hartmann and pays homage to the life and works of the eponymous artist. The small but artfully executed gallery serves up some of Segantini's most impressive works including the masterful alpine triptychla vita – la natura – la morte (life – nature – death), displayed in prize place in the ambient upper-floor gallery.
Legend has it that in the 6th century, a dragon took shelter in these caves while the monk and hermit Beatus of Lungern was hunting him. The St. Beatus Caves (St. Beatus Hohlen), which sit next to the lakes of Interlaken, were formed over many centuries and are full of stunning stalagmites, stalactites, lakes, and waterfalls.
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