St. Gallen, located in eastern Switzerland on the Steinach River near Lake Constance, has an old town with patrician houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The monastery library in the inner courtyard of the Benedictine monastery, the canton library of St. Gallen, which was founded in 1551, and the baroque cathedral are particularly worth seeing. The entire abbey district has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.
- Topschoolsintheusa: Guides to study in Switzerland, including geography, climate, economy, and tourism of the country.
The Valais in the upper Rhône valley extends to Lake Geneva. There is a varied landscape between the northern and southern side of the Alps. The highest peaks in Switzerland are located in the heavily glaciated Valais Alps: Dufourspitze (4634 m), Dom (4545 m), Weißhorn (4507 m) and Matterhorn (4477 m). The forest and snow lines are very high. Small villages with old wooden houses literally cling to the mountain slopes. There are many beautiful holiday resorts in the numerous romantic side valleys, the best known being Saas Fee in the Saas Valley and Zermatt in the Matter Valley, which is dominated by the Matterhorn. The largest Swiss glaciers are in Valais: the 22 km long Great Aletsch Glacier covers 81 square kilometers. You should see the famous Rhone glacier and the ice grotto at Gletsch as well as the underground lake at St-Léonard.
Look inside the glacier in the ice pavilion
The ice pavilion near Saas Fee is a special attraction for glacier fans. You can get to the Ice Pavilion by subway. Take the Metro Alpin from Felskinn station above Saas-Fee to Mittelallalin station. Here you will find a revolving restaurant and the ice pavilion, which offers deep insights into the interior of the Fee Glacier in the Mittelallalin ice grotto. Many high mountain tours, mountain and glacier hikes start from Mittelallalin. Glacier skiing is also possible.
In the southernmost canton of Switzerland, Italian is spoken, and the climate and atmosphere are Mediterranean. Lugano, the largest town in Ticino, lies at the foot of San Salvatore and Monte Brè on Lake Lugano. The city is one of the most popular Swiss holiday destinations. Beautiful piazzas, palazzos, palm trees and the long promenade make up its charm. Those interested in art history should visit the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Locarno on Lake Maggiore with its narrow streets and street cafes is particularly beautiful in spring and autumn. The town is beautifully situated, with gardens and vineyards covering the surrounding hills. The charming villages of the area can be reached by bus. Excursions to passes, including the Lukmanier, Furka and Oberalp passes, are offered. Milan and Venice are also within easy reach.
Over 65,000 kilometers of mountain and hiking trails are excellently signposted in Switzerland. Switzerland’s network of hiking trails is one of the longest and most diverse in the world. The network is divided into hiking trails, mountain hiking trails, alpine hiking trails and cultural and themed trails. Glacier hikes are also popular. The level of difficulty of the selected hiking trail should correspond to the ability and fitness of the hikers. The pre-alpine region of Appenzell, whose highest elevation is the Säntis (2504 m), as well as the Jura are excellent mountain hiking areas. The new Tell-Trail long-distance hiking trail is located in the center of Switzerland and is divided into eight stages. Hikers pass eleven lakes and master six mountains on the route between the Wilhelm Tell monument in Altendorf via Lucerne and Sörenberg.
Switzerland is a paradise for mountain bikers. The country offers 4500 kilometers of mountain biking. There are national, regional and local tours of all levels of difficulty, often with panoramic views of the Alps included. Numerous mountain bike facilities offer excellent terrain for beginners, children and cracks to practice. Some Swiss parks are also available for mountain bikers, such as the Gantrisch Nature Park.
Cycling through Switzerland
Cycle paths with a total length of 9000 kilometers offer cyclists a wide range of beautiful routes through Switzerland. There are numerous national routes such as the Rhone route from Andermatt to Geneva, the Rhine route from Andermatt to Basel or the north-south route from Basel to Chiasso. The routes should be selected according to your own fitness. The alpine panorama route from St. Margrethen to Aigle is challenging, while the Mitteland route from Romanshorn to Lausanne is more leisurely.
Switzerland has numerous top museums such as the Museum Rietberg in Zurich or the Kunstmuseum in Basel. If you want to get to know Switzerland, you should go to the Swiss museums, because they show Swiss culture very vividly, such as the Swiss History Forum Schwyz in Hofmatt, the show dairy La Maison du Gruyère AOP in Pringy, the Zermattlantis Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt or the Maison Cailler – chocolate factory in Broc. Swissminiatur in Melide and the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum in Brienz offer a great overview of Switzerland.
Matterhorn and Klein-Matterhorn
The pyramid-shaped Matterhorn near Zermatt is probably the most photographed mountain in the world and one of Switzerland’s symbols. It magnetically attracts ambitious mountaineers. Opposite is the Klein Matterhorn, to which a cable car leads. From the mountain station you can ski down the mountain to car-free Zermatt or through a tunnel to the glacier plateau to the south and thus to the Matterhorn glacier paradise ski area. In the middle of the tunnel is a passenger elevator to the summit. From the summit of the Klein-Matterhorn you not only have a fantastic view of the Matterhorn, but also a panoramic view of some of the peaks of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps.
Panoramic train rides through Switzerland
Who does not want that? Sit comfortably in the train and watch the beautiful and breathtaking landscapes of Switzerland go by. This enjoyment is possible on numerous panoramic routes, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The train journey across the Alps on the Bernina Express is spectacular. The Albula and Bernina Lines between Thusis and Tirano have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2008. The Panoramic Express connects Montreux with Interlaken. The Centovalli Express offers a rail journey through 100 valleys. Chur is the starting point of the Rhaetian Railway, which runs to St. Moritz, Arosa and Disentis, among other places, and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Glacier Express runs from Zermatt via Brig, Andermatt and Chur to Davos/St. Moritz.