Breathtaking Experiences in Switzerland

The Jungfrau Region

Picking the most beautiful place in Switzerland is impossible, but the Jungfrau region most definitely deserves a top ranking. This is one of the most beautiful places in the country. And there is so much to do and see. We’ve promised some of the most breathtaking experiences in Switzerland; so here they come.

Most famously known as the filming location of the James Bond classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Schilthorn is an iconic peak on the Jungfrau skyline.

This is home to the Thrill Walk, a glass bridge atop the 200m steel structure down the side of the mountain. This experience invites travelers to look down as they walk across its side. Be aware, creative architects have enhanced the experience by encouraging people to walk some parts with only a wire rope to keep steady. There is, of course, a protective net to keep you safe. However, we can’t imagine you looking down a lot.

With its traditional timber houses and car-free streets, Wengen is a trip back in time. This surreal holiday destination sits on a sunny platform at the foot of the Jungfrau, overlooking the stunning scenery of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

In winter, it’s a hot spot for skiers, while summer see hikers, climbers and sightseers ascend via the railway to this little oasis of calming Swiss charm.

Talking about railway and getting to the fairytale village, Jungfraujoch, translates as Top of Europe, is the highlight of every visit to Switzerland. This is one of the most picturesque train rides you’ll ever have. The Europe’s highest altitude railway station, at 3454 metres, is on many adventure travelers’ bucket list.

The hike from the First station to Bachalpsee Lake in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland is one of the best “value” options for mountain experiences in the area.

Lake Bachalpsee travels around the world adorning many a postcard. However, no photo is able capture the radiance of the lake. You need to go there and see it for yourself.

Ad it’s pretty easy to get there. The best starting point is Grindelwald. While you can actually hike the entire way from the town, we recommend taking the cable car from Grindelwald up to First station instead, unless you’re fit enough and don’t mind an extra full day hike.

The Steep Rail Ride

Winter or summer, there is a lot to explore in Schwyz, just under two hours away from Bern. This town is nestled between Lake Lucerne and the small Lake Lauerz, adding more charm to this already magical place.

Scroll through the town, hike through Ibergeregg Pass or Rotenfluh, or better, ride the Stoosbahn funicular – it’ll give you as much adrenaline as any hiking in Switzerland will. It’s a very picturesque ride as well.

The train, two lines of cylindrical carriages, resembling beer barrels, allows passengers to remain upright at all times, even as they ascend – or descend – the 1,720-metre track, climbing or descending 743 metres along gradients as steep as 110% (47.7º). The funicular opened in December, 2017, after 14 years of planning and building to replace its 84-year-old predecessor.

Interlaken, the Adventure Capital

As the name suggests, Interlaken is situated on a narrow strip of land between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, both of which are fed by the River Aare. This cozy location infused with activities.

From skiing, paragliding, kayaking, bungee jumping, hiking to relaxing nature watching, you’ll never find yourself wondering what to do here – your schedule is going to be as full as you want. Start off with a guided walking tour of Interlaken, led by one of the town’s locals, followed by a few adrenaline rushing activities.

Paragliding is a popular pastime here, for example. With stunning mountains and panoramic views here, it’s no wonder people are taking to the skies. Each hang gliding Interlaken operator will have its own take off points, but most start in Beatenberg which is a 20 minute drive from Interlaken. From Beatenberg you will get fantastic views across Lake Thun, the Eiger, Monch and Jungrfrau. With views that good, you might also want to enjoy a helicopter ride.

If you want to get up close and personal with some of the waterfalls and slippery rock faces here then you’ll love the canyoning Interlaken has on offer.

There are many great things to discover just outside Interlaken including the Oberhofen Castle. This stunning castle on the water dates back to the 13th century.

The Mountain of the Mountains

The Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt is a cragged rock “tooth” ranging into the heavens. Standing alone on the horizon, it’s a magnet for adventurous travelers, creative souls, families and life contemplators. With its summit of 4,478 metres, Matterhorn is one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. And it’s one of the most photographed ones here.

The region is legendary amongst mountaineers: the Haute Route, a challenging international route that takes several days to complete, leads from Mont Blanc to Zermatt. Over 400 kilometers of hiking trails lead through and out of the Matter Valley, including the mule traders’ trails, which date back to the 13th century (a part of these paths is paved).

Don’t worry, if you prefer to explore to leave all the climbing and conquering to the fittest, you will really enjoy admiring Matterhorn from the Zermatt town. The Matterhorn Museum here does a grand job of telling the story of the Matterhorn and the farming village that grew up at its feet, connected only by mule track to the Visp Valley below until 1891 when the railway arrived.

You don’t need to be a mountaineer to scale Zermatt’s epic peaks. Sit on the right-hand side of the cogwheel railway Gornergratbahn train to get the best view (and a photo, of course!) of the Matterhorn. No lens truly captures what awaits spellbound passengers – a breathtaking panorama of seven glaciers beneath a 180-degree sweep of 29 peaks over 4000m.

The Rhine Falls

These powerful falls are located on the High Rhine on the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich. This is a powerful sight!

Due to tectonic shifts in the Ice Age, the Rhine River was forced into a new riverbed over 15,000 years ago. In the middle of its violent flow stands a mighty rock that has withstood for a thousand years. The rock can be reached on a circular tour of the Rhine Falls, during which one can observe the natural spectacle from up close. Virtually in the middle of the waterfall, travelers stand on platforms that jut out and partially hover over the Rhine.

You can feel the power of the water in your body here. It’s a truly transformational experience.

Hammetschwand Elevator to the Heavens

This 152.8 meter-high lift looks like a heaven-bound rocket but it’s not, it’s a 100 year-old elevator and one of the highlights of the Lake Lucerne area. Although it won’t take you to space it will certainly give you a ride of a lifetime.

The first 14 metres of the lift are encased in the rock of the cliff side. But don’t worry, this lift takes you up in less than one minute, from where breathtaking Lake Lucerne view opens up – one of the most gorgeous sights here.

In order to enjoy the view you need to hike to the lift. The path isn’t too difficult but will require a moderate degree of fitness. Alternatively, you can take a steamer across the lake and bus the rest of the trip. The lift and restaurant here open in early summer in May and close for the winter towards the end of October.

Open hours are: 09:30 am – 11.30 am and 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm.

Spectacular Trift Bridge

This is one of the most exciting and picturesque suspension bridges in the Apls. It is 100 meters high and 170 meters long, and is poised above the region of the Trift Glacier.

Reaching the bridge requires taking a cable car in Meiringen, followed by a gondola with a 1.5 hour uphill hike. Enjoy your hike to the bridge – it might seem physically demanding but it’s a stunning walk (and it’s an easy hike back!); so take it easy and break frequently to take it the mesmerizing views.

CERN Discoveries

Tucked away in the peaceful Swiss countryside, deep under fields of wildflowers and quiet suburbs at the foot of the Jura mountains, lies a place that should have a special spot in the heart of every STEM lover – the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN.

This is the world’s largest (and arguably) most expensive physics lab, home to an array of impressive machinery including several particle accelerators. This place has become famous due to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a hollow donut 17 miles (27 km) in circumference buried hundreds of feet underground. CERN scientists are working on uncovering more insights into the Big Bang and the makeup of stars. Some really interesting work is done here.

CERN has two exhibitions open to the public, the Globe of Science and Innovation and the Microcosm exhibit.

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