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Guide to the Majestic Swiss Alps for Adventurous Explorers

Posted on 19 February 2022

When looking at beautiful global regions, the Swiss alps tops the list. Sharing the southern alpine range with other countries like Liechtenstein, Italy, Austria and France, the northern Bernese and Appenzell Alp ranges sit entirely in Switzerland. As well as those rolling green plateaus that turn into blankets of snow during winter, the Swiss alps boast of majestic mountains like Dufourspitze, Dom, Liskamm, Weiss horn, and Matterhorn ranging in altitude from 4478 to 4634 metres. Making up 60% of Switzerland, the Swiss alps is as important as the cultural heritage of delicious chocolate, branded watches, and cheese.

Of this 60%, 3% of landscapes are dramatic glaciers that make the Swiss alps popular places for hiking. Tourism first started in 1811, with hikers setting up camps. It was not until the mid-nineteen century that hotels were built, but since then, the Swiss alps has become one of Switzerland’s prettiest places to visit all year round to enjoy outdoor activities. Let’s look at what to know about these gorgeous areas of Switzerland.

Guide to the Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps Skiing

Head to Swiss Alps resorts in the Graubünden, Bernese Oberland and Valais regions. Here, traditional alpine villages with traffic-free streets like Bettmeralp and Rieder alp highlight winter at its best. Switzerland’s ski areas open from December to April, although Swiss resorts like Saas fee and Zermatt boast summer ski seasons. Alongside time-honoured traditions, visitors also indulge in snowboarding, sledge-biking, and snowmobiles. Three popular skiing resorts include

Stylish Verbier: Sitting on a south-facing plateau in the Valais Alps’s, overlooking Combins and Mont-Blanc ranges, Verbier benefits from stunning views and plenty of sunshine. The ski resort lies just 0.5 km from the village centre. This part of Switzerland, which is French-speaking, is southwest and close to France and Italy’s borders.

Flims Waldhaus: Charming Flims Waldhaus, Laax and Falera resorts make up one of Switzerland’s largest winter sports areas. This well connected region offers an impressive 220 kilometers of pistes over 100 square km; hence skiers are assured of snow covered slopes to enjoy.

Crans Montana: A wonderland of white awaits you when you visit Crans Montana in Switzerland during the winter. It’s located in the very heart of the French speaking Swiss Alps, 1,500 m (4,920 ft) above sea level. It serves up picturesque views of the Valais Alps which offers 1668 hikes and the Weisshorn, translated means white peak/mountain.

Getting Around

Getting to the Swiss alps is easy by flying into Geneva or Zurich airport. Don’t think of alpine villages in the Swiss alps as hard to get around, though, because Switzerland connects all through public transport, including the Golden Pass line, Post Bus, Rhaetian Railway, Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn and Swiss Federal Railways. If heading to mountain villages from other places in Switzerland, relax and enjoy the journey because most are within a three-hour drive.

Train Express Rides

One enjoyable way to explore the Alps is on scenic journeys. For example, Glacier Express passes over valleys, rivers, and gorges, and it is Switzerland’s most scenic ride from Zermatt to St Moritz. Another option is the 675 miles Berbia Pass, sitting at 7000 feet, that runs from Chur to Tirano in Italy and features Swiss Alp Mountain landscapes to take your breath away. Another great choice is the Gornergrat railway through Zermatt, offering marvellous Matterhorn views along the way.

Swiss National Park

First opening in 1914, Switzerland’s only national park protects flora and fauna within it. Sitting in the Western Rhaetian Alps of eastern Switzerland and interacting with wildlife and Mother Nature’s beauty, visitors also enjoy various trekking and hiking trails.

Jungfraujoch and Aletsch

The Swiss Alp’s largest, Aletsch Glacier, covers 50 square miles and lures daytime visitors with stunning landscapes and exciting hiking trails. Some visitors explore on foot, while others head straight to the top onboard the cable car. The natural landmark sits within UNESCO Jungfraujoch, also home to the Swiss Alp Sphinx Observatory. Called the top of Europe, the sight of Bernese Oberland peaks from the observation deck are some of Switzerland’s highest. Also, try out the nearby First Cliff walks, but only if you like heights. Nearby the Rhone River, visitors step into an ice chamber grotto crafted every year. In comparison, the nearby natural landmark with streams and waterfalls is an Instagram moment to go viral.

Aletsch Glacier

Lake Walen and Seerenbach Waterfalls

Sitting in eastern Switzerland, Lake Walen belongs to Heidi land and is worth putting on your itinerary. It is surrounded by mountains, plateaus, and small, traditional towns, like Quinten, the most famous. Also, visit the nearby 600-metre Seerenbach waterfalls in spring, when melting snow kicks them into action. Another Swiss Alp town to stay in includes Amden, or winter sports enthusiasts should head to Flumserberg.

The Furka Drive

For the best Swiss Alp trip, head through Furka Pass, one of Switzerland’s unique experiences behind the steering wheel. Running from Gletsch to Realp, the James Bond film, Goldfinger featured the pass. If you don’t want to drive and admire stunning scenery instead, catch the steam train from the centre of Gletsch.

Furka pass

Majestic Matterhorn

The Swiss Alps most photographed mountain, Matterhorn, is Europe’s highest peak stretching for an incredible 4500 meters. Hence, the nickname of “mountain of mountains” never fails with dramatic views quite unlike anywhere else in the world. The closest town to Matterhorn is Zermatt.

matterhorn

Swiss Alpine Culture

Visiting the Swiss alps is about the unique culture, mountain, plateau living, small villages and everything traditionally Swiss. From alpine architecture, yodelling, and cowbells to time-honoured dishes of melted cheese fondue and visiting places for scenic beauty, experiencing the Alps’ cultural traditions helps to understand them even better.

swiss culture

Aare Gorge

Created 10,000 years ago, 165 feet cliffs surround the mile-long, limestone Aare gorge of the Alps, and walking through it, is as pleasant as it is exciting. Enter from either side, but the west entrance is more scenic. Open since 1889; this Swiss tourist attraction is one of the Alps’ best things to do.

Aare gorge

The Grimsel Pass

In bygone eras, travelling traders used this pass to sell their goods, but these days is a popular Alps attraction, and there are three ways to navigate it. First, walk the two-hour trail from Goms to Hasli valley or ride the cable car running from Handeck to Gerstenegg. Alternatively, the funicular runs from Handeck to Gelmer lake.

Grimsel pass

Interlaken in the Swiss Alps

From Interlaken, explore surrounding attractions. This includes Harder Kulm, which gives off dramatic views of the Bernet Oberland region and is reached via funicular train. Also famous are Thun and Brienz lakes, two unique delights during spring through to Autumn. Interlaken’s activity sports include paragliding, rafting, and canyoning in the Alps for something more adventurous.

Swiss Alps

Murren to Schilthorn

First, catch the Alps cable car to Gimmelwald, then onto Murren, a delightful car-free village. From that station, jump onboard the other cable car to Schilithorn peak, standing at 2970 metres. Here, Piz Gloria restaurant, often called Europe’s highest and featured in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, reminds us of the Alps power of Mother Nature with dramatic views.

Other popular Swiss alps destinations include Davos Kolsters, Saint Moritz, Arosa, Grindlewald, Wengen, Verbier, Crans Montana and Laax.

More About the Swiss Alps

Between the French and Swiss Alps: The Alps stretch across five countries, with hundreds of villages and towns. They are home to some of Switzerland’s most famous places when heading for the slopes. You might already have some solid ideas about whether to search for property for sale in the French Alps or Switzerland, but what if you are undecided?

7 More Places in Switzerland: Owning property in the Swiss Alps is living amongst world-famous scenery. So potential buyers looking for Alpine property can enjoy spectacular natural beauty anytime they want! Sure, it might not all be on your doorstep, but whether you buy in Verbier or Flims, there are some fantastic things to see in Switzerland. Check out our favourite sites in Switzerland filled with incredible architecture and postcard-pretty destinations.