Fairytale castles, mountains as far as the eye can see and medieval cities with the world’s highest living standards – welcome to Switzerland.
Like chocolate? Then that’s Switzerland already sold to most of you. This is the European centre of chocolate production after all and, as you’d expect, this place is chocolate mad, with chocolate museums, chocolate festivals and even spas where you can take chocolate baths – seriously. If, however, your tastes extend to more than just world-beating confectionary, Switzerland also has an enormous list of other reasons to visit. This is the centre of Europe after all, and is one of the continent’s most beautiful countries, where the soaring snow-capped mountains of the Alps contrast with green river valleys and shimmering lakes. Where fairytale castles perch on hilltops and Renaissance church spires glisten in the sun. If it’s impressive vistas you’re after, Switzerland really is top dollar.
When it’s not wowing you with beautiful scenery, it will be enchanting you with its stylish and sophisticated cities. From Geneva, with its luxury boutiques, unbeatable lakeside views and unrivalled class to the capital Bern and its World Heritage centre and medieval charm, Switzerland satisfies all tastes. And for those who like a party, make sure you delve into the youthful cutting edge music and club scene of Zurich – a city that is far more than just banking and finance. After a city break? Then look no further.
Summer or winter, Switzerland is a holiday hotspot, offering Europe’s best ski resorts during the chillier months and some of its most beautiful lakeside resorts during the warmer ones. Stylish towns such as St Moritz and Interlaken draw in the winter crowds for a heady mix of snow, après-ski and mountain cabins complete with inviting log fires. While in the summer tourists descend on Switzerland for adventure sports, hiking and spa-style rest and relaxation. Oh, and with a culture that mixes French, German and Italian you can be assured of plenty of top-notch nosh – pasta, bratwurst or cassoulet, the choice is yours. With scenery to die for, Europe’s most sophisticated cities and of course its best ski resorts, the idea of holidaying in Switzerland just became a little bit more appealing.
The weather in Switzerland varies depending on where you go. The Alps can create dramatic differences in average temperatures, ranging from icy to pretty much Mediterranean. It’s worth coming prepared for both extremes if you plan on travelling around. Summer runs from June to September, when average temperatures peak at around 28 degrees. Coming in early or late summer can be the best way to capitalise on good weather and thinner crowds. If you’re out for winter sports, however, you’ll want to head to the country between November and April.