2 Best Places To Visit In Switzerland This Summer
Switzerland has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Travel enthusiasts have had a tough year, but with countries starting to open up, it’s finally time to satisfy that wanderlust. And one of the hotspots opening its borders for vaccinated GCC visitors without the need to take any pre-travel PCR tests or quarantine on arrival has been a long-time favourite for people from the region. Boasting crystal-clear lakes, outstanding natural beauty, magnificent châteaux and mild and pleasant climate, it isn’t surprising Switzerland continues to be a magnet for GCC visitors. The gamut of outdoor activities, including thrilling Alpine pursuits, fascinating urban culture and culinary specialties like cheese fondue and chocolate also make it worthwhile to add the land where four languages are spoken to that bucket list.
Here are two of the best areas to visit while in Switzerland this summer:
Graubunden, also known as Grisons, is world-renowned for its natural spas, spectacular landscape, bright green valleys, snow-capped peaks and pristine Alpine lakes. Additionally, the train rides through mountains in the Rhine gorge are hailed as among the most spectacular train journeys in the world. With exquisite Michelin-star gastronomy and other excellent restaurants that offer halal menu options, luxury hotels that have Arabic speaking staff and premium shopping destinations, the area is also a top pick for those who love the finer things in life
“This year in particular, the fresh air, outstanding natural beauty, mild climate and healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and sailing make it the perfect destination for family pursuits,” Tamara Loeffel, Head of Business Development, Visit Graubunden, says.
Loeffel, who described Graubunden as “nature’s remedy for a post-Covid holiday,” added there’s a smorgasbord of activities to keep the whole family entertained. This includes Switzerland’s longest toboggan run, a three-kilometre fun ride between Lenzerheide and Chur. “Heidi” fans can visit the small town of Maienfeld, where the classic children’s novel was set too.
“Moreover, many people will have heard about the glamourous resorts such as St. Moritz and Davos, but there are many other destinations worth exploring such as Vals, home to thermal baths that are built from 300 million-year-old stone and the countryside around Flims and Laax which is famous for its crystal-clear lakes,” Loeffel added
Located in the Canton of Vaud in the southwestern part of Switzerland, an area steeped in centuries of history and culture, the Montreux Riviera is a dreamy summer vacation destination on the shores of Lake Geneva. Given the title of Swiss Riviera, this haven is known for its stunning landscape, yet it has a lot more to offer. And it’s easy to see why famous guests and residents like Lord Byron, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury found inspiration here over the years.
As well as a host of local and internationally renowned cultural events, it’s possible to find fine dining venues, outdoor sports activities, as well as wellbeing centres that ensure visitors have many reasons to relish the warmer weather.
Montreux often makes headlines as the host of one of the world’s most recognised jazz festivals. And this year, the Montreux Jazz Festival is an intimate edition taking place from July 2 to July 17. Artists on the bill include international stars such as Woodkid, Arlo Parks and Dotan. The exciting festival will be followed by the launch of Dolce Riviera, a concept initiated in 2020 that will offer numerous terraces, extended bathing areas in Montreux & Vevey, as well as animations for young and old until the end of the summer.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the region in its finest glory, bursting with life amidst the wonder of nature. The great outdoors has much to offer from hiking tours and water sports to taking a tranquil stroll down Montreux Lakeside, all with the backdrop of the magnificent Alps or the flowery quays for example. Other options include going for a refreshing swim in Lake Geneva or taking to the coolness of the mountains during an escapade at the Rochers-de-Naye.
Culture abounds for art, history, and music lovers alike. From walking in the footsteps of some of the region’s former celebrity residents, Freddie Mercury and Charlie Chaplin to name but a few, to witnessing the talents of local and international street artists, there is so much to excite the senses. Plus, of course, stepping back through time at the stone Chillon Castle, one of Switzerland’s oldest chateaux, is always a highlight. Built by the Savoys, it has stood proudly on its rocky island for nearly a thousand years.
Fine dining has always been a forte of this rich culinary region, with an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants to its name. Two-star Le Pont de Brent, one-star Restaurant Denis Martin, Les Saisons and Les Atelier are some of the eateries that have made this region famous for foodies. Whether it’s appreciating a leisurely gastronomic meal on a terrace at sunset or climbing aboard a Belle Epoque boat for a gourmet cruise, there’s never a shortage of eating out ideas.
Montreux Riviera offers some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, historical icons such as Le Grand Hotel Du Lac and the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace make for the most majestic escapes in the heart of this glorious region.
Rich with wellness programmes, the the Montreux Riviera is also a bolthole for medical and recreational wellbeing. Visitors can enjoy the natural haven found in the Lavey-les-Bains thermal spa or relax at Spa Givenchy, where views of the spectacular surrounds make for the most heavenly escape. When it comes to world-class medical tourism, the region's clinics such as Clinique La Prairie and LaClinic boast some of the world’s finest doctors in the fields of aesthetic and cosmetic surgery.