Switzerland!!! The land of delicious chocolate, gorgeous hand crafted watches, and stunning scenery. The place where we spent the most money of our entire honeymoon!! and discovered that the Swiss sure know how to do luxury right! But, of course, there is much more to this great country than that and, even though many love to jet over here in the winter, we discovered, in a few short days, how much Switzerland had to offer in the warmer months. Here are some of the places we absolutely loved and wouldn’t miss if we were planning a trip back.
| Lucerne |
We started our tour of Switzerland in Lucerne and after only a few blocks of our walking tour, we could understand why it was deemed one of Europe’s prettiest cities. Take for instance the oldest wooden covered footbridge in Europe, Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). It sits atop the calm waters of the Reuss River, amid the swimming swans and many excited tourists snapping photos. But even with the small crowds, it’s absolutely picture perfect and one of Switzerland’s most visited sights.
We loved seeing Lucerne from its lake as well, taking to the paddle boats and getting up close and personal with the local swan life.
Another famous monument is the Dying Lion, which was carved out of rock to commemorate all the Swiss mercenaries who died in France in 1792. I was completely taken by this monument and even though there were many others there, it felt incredibly peaceful but somber at the same time. Everyone should see this moving piece.
| Mount Pilatus |
You can’t go to Switzerland without heading up a mountain or two and this one, overlooking Lucerne, was the perfect option for us since it wasn’t too intense or expensive. We aren’t avid climbers or hikers by any means. We took the scenic boat ride to the base of the mountain and then ascended using the steepest cogwheel railway in the world (only open in the summer months). This was an incredible journey (try to sit close to the front by the conductor to see the railway!).
We then hiked to the highest summit called Tomlishorn. It wasn’t difficult hiking but it got our stomachs a few times when the rail system seemed a bit lax and the mountainside plummeted below…eek! It’s not often that you are that far above the clouds in life…
We made our way back down on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas, stopping at the mid point to do the longest summer toboggan run. We had such a blast and the views were breathtaking!
| The Golden Express |
We were absolutely blown away by the train system in Switzerland and were so excited to take the scenic route to Lausanne on the Golden Express. The journey was broken up into different legs and we absolutely enjoyed the voyage, especially the second stage from Interlaken to Montreux where we did the Panoramic train car. The scenery was stunning and so worth seeing.
| Lake Geneva |
This lake is one of the places you have to visit in Switzerland in its entirety. It is one of the largest lakes in Europe and definitely one of the most beautiful when you see the surrounding mountains covered in deep green trees. I think everyone who visits can agree that Lake Geneva is almost like a place out of a fairytale.
| Lausanne |
The first thing that most people know about Lausanne is that it is home to the International Olympic Committee. But we didn’t go and experience the Olympian splendours. We loved the second largest city on Lake Geneva because it was gloriously French, had an impressive Cathedral, quaint streets and wonderful markets. We much preferred this to the bustling city of Geneva but really, you can’t go wrong staying anywhere on the lake.
| Chateau de Chillon |
Chillon Castle is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and for over four centuries, the water castle was the main fortress that monitored the lake, while guarding the land route to the St Bernhard Pass. The beautifully restored castle boasts art from the 14th century, subterranean vaults, 25 separate buildings with three courtyards, and two circular walls. We spent several hours exploring this historic monument. It was especially interesting to see where Lord Byron carved his name in the dungeon while he was there writing the poem The Prisoner of Chillon.
Our travels through Switzerland were pretty incredible and even with only 5 days, we felt we really saw a lot of this beautiful country. Add it to your must visit list in Europe and you’ll be doing yourself a favour!