A Nature Lover’s Guide to Switzerland: The Best Attractions to Visit in Spring
A country with unspoiled beauty and magnificent natural wonders to discover, Switzerland rivals some of the best destinations in the world. In all parts of the country, spectacular scenery abounds, from the white-capped peaks of the Alps to towering waterfalls and serene stretches of lake. Quaint villages and ski resort towns aside, the country’s urban metropolises such as Zurich and Geneva offer just as much opportunity to connect with nature, from exciting outdoor activities to gorgeous panoramas every which way you look. With spring in full bloom, there is no better time to experience the natural beauty of Switzerland.
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Whether you are trekking up to the top of Swiss mountain peaks, camping by placid lakes, or exploring all that the major cities have to offer, there’s plenty to satisfy adrenaline junkies and nature buffs alike. With temperatures starting to warm up and the days getting longer, travelers will want to take advantage of this time of year to catch the spring blooms in all their colourful splendour. For those looking for a little more action, the return of spring is also heralded by lively festivals and celebrations that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Switzerland is synonymous with the Swiss Alps around the world, so no trip to this picturesque country would be complete without discovering the stunning, year-round beauty of these snow-capped peaks. While the ski chalets of the charming Andermatt mountain village (where you will find the five-star The Chedi Andermatt) fill up in the winter season, a visit in spring will reward you amply with an arresting landscape as the snow starts to melt (and the ski crowds start to disperse), revealing magnificent gorges, cascading waterfalls and serene mountain lakes for a moment of peaceful tranquillity.
Dig a little deeper underground at the Cristallina Mineral Museum, featuring resplendent gems from the country’s largest mineral region. Mining is a large part of Switzerland’s history and constitutes a rich connection to the natural wonders and resources of the land. Visit this intriguing facet of the country’s heritage at this small and intimate natural history museum, with its well-maintained exhibits, friendly staff, and wide array of crystal showcases for gem and rock enthusiasts to revel in.
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Just an hour’s drive up north from The Chedi Andermatt lies the country’s largest city of Zurich, abounding with landmark attractions, world-class restaurants, and natural parks. Stroll through the enchanting city where you may find yourself boutique shopping in the Old Town or café-hopping through the artisanal coffee scene, before venturing out to explore some of the splendid natural wonders. These include the peaceful Lake Zurich and Lindenhof Hill, a site of prehistoric Roman ruins in the historic centre of the city. For an idyllic afternoon surrounded by greenery, pack a picnic and head to Rieter Park, the city’s largest park with endless green vistas, prime picnic spots and landscaped gardens to unwind in.
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Out in the southwestern corner of Switzerland, where the Rhone River flows out, you’ll find the country’s second-largest city, Geneva – a city of contrasts drawing in millions of tourists every year. Here, you’ll find busy commerce juxtaposed with quaint shopping streets, ritzy hotels next to boutique inns, and a spectrum of eats from fine dining to mom ‘n’ pop shops. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Alps and Jura mountains, Geneva’s charms are plentiful, with the city’s beauty blooming in the springtime. Visit the many museums and cathedrals, then venture out and relish in a plethora of pristine nature trails around the city. Abounding with forests, ponds and rivers, Geneva has it all for hikers, cyclists, campers and true nature lovers. Back in the city, hop aboard a boat tour of Lake Geneva, before heading to the top of the famous Ferris Wheel set on the shores of the lake, which offers one of the best spots to catch a bird’s-eye view of the city at sunset.
For those who prefer to travel by rail, Switzerland’s train rides offer an exhilarating tour of the countryside. Taking you past verdant valleys, dramatic mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls, the train journeys in Switzerland are considered the most scenic in the world. One of the most famous, the Bernina Express, is a bucket list item for many globetrotters, with its iconic red carriages and breath-taking views along the four-hour journey. The Glacier Express offers a panoramic ride through narrow valleys, tunnels and bridges, covering the route through some of the country’s most popular resort towns. Alternatively, hop onboard the Golden Pass route which connects Lucerne with Montreux and thrusts you into a true Alpine adventure, passing by jagged peaks and surreal vine-covered valleys.
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Finally, what better way to soak in the beauty of Switzerland than with a glass of wine in hand? Spring marks the opening of the country’s wineries, and the time when avid drinkers will flock to the country for the traditional ‘caves ouvertes’, or open caves, full of stocked cellars to marvel at. Peppered throughout the quaint villages and countryside towns, these open cellars are a chance for winemakers to show off their vintages, with many small wineries combining the charm of a family-run business with untouched natural scenery for a delightful and unforgettable escape into wine country.
Start planning your visit to The Chedi Andermatt this Spring and be enthralled by the plethora of experiences you can partake in. Explore a new frontier here