When you think of Switzerland, what do you imagine? Cheese, chocolate and mountains? While you’ll find lots (and we mean lots) of all three, Switzerland holds much more for you to discover. If you’re studying abroad in Switzerland, you might want to bring out your calendar — these 8 Swiss attractions and activities will keep you busy all year long!
1. The Rhine Falls
In northern Switzerland, just by the German border, you can admire the fast-flowing power of Europe’s largest waterfall. Head to the observation decks to feel the spray of this colossal waterfall as it tumbles into the Rhine River. And if that’s not enough, you can hop on a tourist boat to get up close and personal with the Rhine Falls — just don’t forget your raincoat!
2. River rafting from Thun to Bern
Switzerland may not have the sea, but the country has plenty of water. When the summer temperatures rise, do as the Swiss do and go have some freshwater fun! Rafting along the Aare river is one of the most popular ways to spend a hot day — you can rent a raft (or buy one) in Thun and float down the river to Bern, stopping for picnics along the way. The journey covers 28 km and takes around 3 to 4 hours.
3. Hiking in Ticino
You can’t leave Switzerland without a visit to the beautiful Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. Get lost in a medieval fairytale in Bellinzona, a UNESCO heritage site home to three castles. And to cool off after a long hike, take a dip in the crystalline waters of Lavertezzo — a stunning area that has been nicknamed the “Maldives of Milan.”
4. Vineyards of Lavaux
The wine-producing region of Lavaux is a must-see for oenophiles and nature lovers alike. Covering 800 hectares, this UNESCO site is famed for its hillside vineyard terraces overlooking the blue waters of Lake Geneva. Take a leisurely 3-hour hike from the medieval village of St. Saphorin to Lutry to enjoy views of the vineyards, the lake and the Alps — you can even stop by wine cellars along the way!
5. Night sledding and fondue
Who says fun in the snow is just for the daytime? For a truly unique Swiss experience and a night to remember, try a guided evening ride down the white slopes. Les Mazots, a restaurant in Les Diablerets, offers a package for you to take a chairlift up, enjoy a fondue dinner and ride the 7 km back down on a wooden sled. This fun activity is even safe enough for kids to join — can you say “winter wonderland”?
6. Cailler chocolate factory
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you were inside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, now’s your chance. Open all year round, the Maison Cailler in Broc lets you discover Switzerland’s oldest chocolate manufacturer. Cailler chocolate isn’t easy to find outside of Switzerland, so don’t miss out on this chance to immerse your senses — and be prepared for all-you-can-eat chocolate at the end of your visit!
7. Spas and wellness centers
What better way to fight off the winter chills than with a hot soak in thermal waters? In Switzerland, you can take a break from your studies at one of the country’s many spas and wellness centers. If you feel like pampering yourself, try the Bains de la Gruyère or Les Bains de Lavey for stunning views and steamy temperatures in outdoor pools.
8. Sweet dreams in an igloo
You don’t need to go to the Arctic Circle to sleep in an igloo — just head to the Igloo Village in Zermatt! This cool resort boasts a variety of ice-carved igloo bedrooms where you can snuggle up in sleeping bags and even warm up in a Jacuzzi. Top off the experience with a fondue and a drink at the Village’s snow-bar and restaurant —this is innovative hospitality at its finest!
Article originally posted on A Golpe de Objetivo travel blog.
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