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Tips and Advise for visiting Switzerland by Road to Travel Inc.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city

Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city has been populated for at least 5000 years. Due to its strategic position in the Alps Chur had an eventful past: ruled by Celts, Romans, Goths, Germanic tribes, invaded by Saracens and Hungarians. Today, a stunning comfortable city of Chur harmoniously combines chic boutiques, modern galleries with medieval buildings, Baroque churches and a relaxed atmosphere.

The car-free Old Town has spectacular beautifully restored architectural gems. The cathedral of Chur built in 1272 has a stunning 15th-century Gothic gilded triptych, the largest of its kind in Switzerland. Check out the city’s beautiful squares Arcas and Kornplatz, the medieval towers Obertor, Malteserturm and Sennhofturm, the baroque Bishop's Palace, which still serves as the private residence of a bishop, the ancient the Town Hall Rathaus and Hofplatz, a Roman fort. Half of the city is covered in parks and gardens with colourful flowerbeds and fountains where you can escape the bustle of the busy streets.

The Old Town in Chur
Chur is also a terminal for several scenic train routes such as the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express with the track between Chur and St. Moritz considered by some as the world’s the most beautiful mountain train ride.

The city’s great location means that numerous hiking trails, the Brambrüesch Mountain, skiing and spa resorts, as well as the Bündner Herrschaft winemaking region are all within a short drive. 

Church of St. Martin
All year around the city hosts many big festivals and events. Chur City Festival and Alpine Beard Festival in August are filled with music and culinary delights and attended by bearded men from across Europe among which a champion is selected. In August, every two years Chur hosts the open-air Haldenstein Castle Opera festival. Advent in Chur event in December attracts thousands of visitors who come here to see a Christmas market, listen to gospels and gorge on traditional festive treats. 

Photos via Flickr by: Tim Venchus, Manfred Morgner, Benjamin Chan.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Interlaken: lakes, mountains and mysteries of the world

The small town of Interlaken has been a tourist destination since the 19th century. Few places in Europe can compete with its stunning landscapes, modern infrastructure and warm hospitality. The town’s location makes it a perfect base for exploring central Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

In summer months, you can explore the town’s most popular sites in a horse-drawn carriage. Interlaken’s pretty main boulevard, Höheweg, stretches from the central square to the east. Here you will find swanky hotels, good restaurants, cosy cafes, and various shops. Check out the Interlaken Castle with its formal gardens and 100,000 tin figures grouped in 150 scenes from important world history events.

A cable car will take you to the top of the Harder Kulm Mountain, a lookout point that offers unforgettable vistas over the town, lakes and the Jungfrau Region. Another fascinating place to visit is the St. Beatus Cave where you can explore grottos, stalactite and stalagmite formations and waterfalls hidden 1000 meters underground.

Harder Kulm viewing platform
Spend a few hours in the Mystery World Park that has six exciting multimedia themed pavilions, each dealing with a riddle that scientists have not been able to solve: the flying vehicles mentioned in ancient Indian stories, the Nazca lines, the Pyramid at Giza, the Mayan calendar and others.

Interlaken is Europe’s main adventure sports destination with many centres organizing various pursuits to give you a good adrenaline rush. You can go paragliding, canyoning, sky diving, bungy jumping, river rafting. If you prefer less extreme activities, take a boat trip on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz on a beautifully restored paddle-wheel steamboat and enjoy majestic views of the snow-capped peaks from a comfortable seat on board with a glass of wine in hand or while savouring a gourmet meal. 

Photos by: Interlaken, Switzerland/Facebook, Kosala Bandara/Flickr.

Zermatt, a car-free village in the glaciers paradise

Located at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn Mountain, the car-free Alpine village of Zermatt is one the most famous and good-looking mountain resorts in Switzerland. The village is abuzz with visitors, festivals and activities most of the year. In winter, people come in droves for the world-class skiing pistes, in summer for hiking, biking, skiing up on the glaciers or simply admire the scenery.

Everything you might need for a comfortable luxury Swiss holiday you will find along the lovely main shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse: shops, restaurants, bars, and luxurious hotels. There is also the Matterhorn Museum where you can learn about the village’s history, local farming and mountaineering. However, the main attractions lie high above, in the mountains: 38 stunning summits, glaciers, pine and larch forests, Alpine meadows, mountain lakes are there to be discovered. 

This region is called "Matterhorn glacier paradise" because it has Europe's largest and highest lying skiing pistes. Professional ski teams train here during hot summer months.
However, you do not need to be an Olympic champion to enjoy the Matterhorn glacier paradise, just hop on a cable car that will take you to a viewing platform, the highest in Europe, at 3883 metres. 

The Gornergrat cog railway
The Gornergrat cog railway takes the curious up to another platform where magnificent Alpine peaks run into horizon as far as you can see. In summer, hikers enjoy an easy walk at the Gorner gorge crossing narrow bridges to admire spectacular rock formations and waterfalls. To relax after the outdoor adventures head to the tranquil Mont Cervin's spa for a relaxing massage and a soak in an aromatic steam bath. 

Zermatt hosts various exciting events all years around. In July there is a Golf Tournament, Matterhorn Eagle Cup. In August, a big fest of the Swiss Food Festival and Folklore festival take place. During winter, a number of skiing tournaments attract international champions and enthusiastic cheering crowds.

Photos via Flickr by: Kosala Bandara, Martha de Jong-Lantink, Trond Hindenes

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Riding the Bernina Express

Board the Bernina Express for the most spectacular Alpine crossing! From Chur to Tirano in Italy, in four hours the train takes its passengers through a staggering variety of landscapes, from the high Alps to the Mediterranean Tirano with palm trees. You will travel through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges, gasp for a breath on the 65-m-high Landwasser Viaduct, catch a glance of Morteratsch Glacier,  see the stunning Alpine lakes and the dramatic Bernina massif. Although the Bernina Express moves slowly, it reaches an altitude of 2253 m, higher than the Glacier Express!

Lago Bianco near Poschiavo
Departing from Chur, the Bernina Express heads across the stunning canton of Graubünden, famous for its spectacular ruins and castles, to the small ancient village of Tiefencastel. From there the express continues south crossing the beautiful Landwasser viaduct and after the Albula tunnel enters the upper Engadine Valley renowned for its winter sports resorts. The town of Pontresina is one of them. Surrounded by pine forests this small picture perfect town has been welcoming tourists since the 19th century. Its architecture is a harmonious mix of traditional Alpine houses and elegant Belle Epoque style hotels.

Brusio Viaduct
Only 10 minutes from Pontresina lies the Morteratsch glacier, one of the highest peaks in the canton, from there the train starts ascending towards the majestic Bernina Pass. At the small station of Ospizio Bernina the express reaches the highest point of the route, at 2253 m. Curve after curve, past the stunning Palü glacier, the train begins the descent to the Poschiavo valley. You will see the landscape changing, from the Alpine peaks to gentle green Mediterranean valleys. The Bernina Express stops in the small Swiss town of Poschiavo where everyone speaks Italian. Poschiavo has several beautiful churches, Baroque palaces and medieval tower-houses. The train continues on to the famous spiral Brusio viaduct from there. Shortly after that, you will cross the border and arrive to Tirano in Italy

In summer, the journey can be extended by taking the Bernina Express Bus from Tirano to Lugano.

Photos by: Michael Holler/Flickr, David Gubler/Wikimedia Commons

Monday, October 19, 2015

Discovering the glamorous St. Moritz

With the sun shining an average of 320 days a year, 25 beautiful mountain lakes, glaciers, world-class ski slopes and top-class restaurants Saint Moritz has become the most glamorous and glitzy Alpine winter tourism destination. 

St Moritz
It seems that the town has always been a trendsetter: in the 19th century it became the birthplace of Alpine chic winter holidays, in 1878 it was one of the first in Europe to switch on electric lights for Christmas, it hosted the first golf tournament in the Alps and opened the first ski lift in Switzerland.

Although winter is the peak season here, St. Moritz is an exciting place to visit all year around. In summer, you can go hiking, biking, rowing on the lake, playing golf on its four spectacular courses or skating at the Ludains Ice Arena that is open in all season. For winter sports fans there are over 200 miles of pistes, 100 miles of winter walking trails and extensive tracks for cross-country skiers. Adrenaline junkies can whizz down the Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz-Celerina, the world’s oldest bobsleigh track, in a bob led by an expert instructor at a speed of 80 miles an hour. 

Badrutts Palace Hotel
Prefer more tame activities? Head to Badrutt's Palace Hotel for high tea in the lobby. Snuggle up in a comfy armchair and relax in this grand historic palace’s luxurious atmosphere. For shopping check out Via Serlas studded with high-end designer boutiques. For foodies, St. Moritz is a real heaven as it offers a great choice from trendy haut-cuisine restaurants to small taverns serving hearty local dishes. The Devil’s Place at the Hotel Waldhaus Am See is the largest Whisky Bar in the world that offers a selection of 2,500 kinds of the fiery spirit. In January, there is an annual gourmet festival with international celebrity chefs demonstrating their skills. Also in January, you can watch St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow that attracts 15,000 spectators. The famous international horse races White Turf St. Moritz take place in February.

Photos via Flickr by: Ale Granholm, Matthias Forster.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Riding the Glacier Express

The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland’s most scenic train routes that will take you through 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges, past green meadows, Alpine peaks, picturesque villages, manicured vineyards and stunning fortresses. It is known as Europe's slowest express because it travels at the speed of 24 mph and takes over seven hours to cover 180 miles, however, the joy is in the journey when you board the Glacier Express.

Glacier Express
The train departs from the pretty spa town of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. Stroll around before boarding the train enjoying the car-free streets and fresh air. From there the train will take you along the beautiful Mattertal valley dotted with picture-perfect villages. Next stop – Brig, a beautiful old town with the stunning Baroque Stockalper Palace. It sits at the foot of the Simplon Pass where in the 19th century Napoleon built a road for his armies, the first one in the Alps.

Alps near Andermatt
After a stop in Andermatt, the train starts ascending up to the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of the trip at 2033 metres above sea level. You can snuggle up in your seat and have a hearty lunch with excellent Swiss wine that is served on the train or pop in to the bar car for a drink or two.

The Express slowly takes you through the spectacular Rhine Gorge where the Rhine River starts and that is often referred to as the 'Swiss Grand Canyon'. In a while the train starts descending towards Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland in a beautiful mountain setting with magnificent historic buildings and charming winding alleys.

Depending on the route, the train’s destination is either elegant Davos or the glamorous holiday resort of St. Moritz. The trains heading to Davos cross the famous Wiesner viaduct built in the beginning of the 20th century. The Glacier Express heading to St. Moritz passes the curved Landwasser viaduct where you can observe the front of the train heading into the Landwasser Tunnel.

Photos by: Kevin Poh/Flickr, Michael Day/Flickr, David Gubler/CC.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Engelberg: fresh air, cosy spas and history

No wonder that the charming village of Engelberg in Central Switzerland, just one hour-derive from Lucerne, is a magnet for tourists all year round. Despite its small size, it has it all: ski slopes, walking trails, cosy spas, and a stunning ancient monastery.

Endelberg Panorama
The Benedictine Monastery of Engelberg is the heart of the village. Founded in the early 12th century it has always played an important part in local life. As the legend has it, the Benedictines were the ones who called the settlement “Mountain of Angels” (“engel” in German means “angel”) because they heard divine voices around. Today there are 30 monks still living and working in the monastery.

Skiing resorts in Engelberg attract many experienced winter sports enthusiasts who enjoy the excellent seven-miles long descent, the longest in the Alps, 19 miles of cross-country tracks, snowboarding tracks and winter hiking trails. In summer, a glacier chairlift takes the curious up to the Mountain Titlis glacial crevices, ice grottos and Europe’s highest suspension bridge for a refreshing thrilling walk. 

Benedictine Monastery
There are many cableways (“Buurebähnli”) in the area with some smaller and more traditional ones operated by local farmers. They are open all year around and will take you to various peaks for stunning view of the Alps, walks and skiing. 

After vigorous outdoor activities, many head to pamper themselves at local spas with hot saunas, herbal baths and relaxing massages. During summer months, some spas offer fragrant open-air hay baths with views over the Alps.

Ski Slopes
Engelberg hosts many interesting events throughout the year. The world's best ski jumpers gather here in December for the Ski Jumping World Cup, one of the biggest winter sports even in Switzerland. In March, the town wills up with sounds of music as the ProSieben Mountain Jam Music Festival takes place in Engelberg.

Photos via Flickr by: Joe Dyndale, Timo Kaipiainen, Patrick Nouhailler.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bellinzona: the city of ancient fortresses

Often overlooked by tourists, Bellinzona is a stunning city with the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland.

Due to its strategic position as a gateway to the Alps, Bellinzona had been at the forefront of defence line since ancient Romans built the first castle here in the 1st century A.D., which was enlarged and further fortified in the Middle Ages to withstand continuous sieges, raids and invasions. Today three formidable fortresses stand as silent reminders of those bellicose days and offer spectacular vistas over the Alps.

Castelgrande, the oldest of the three citadels, blocks the passage through the Ticino valley. Its two towers, Torre Nera (28 metres) and Torre Bianca (27 metres) rise above Bellinzona's old centre. The fortress houses an excellent Archaeological Museum and can be reached by an elevator or on foot following the steep winding streets of the old town.

Deep moats surround Castello Montebello and massive city walls connect it to Castelgrande. It is fascinating to walk around the fortress to see drawbridges, ramparts and murder holes. On a clear day, from the top of the castle, you can see as far as Lago Maggiore

The third fortress, Castello di Sasso Corbaro, is perched on a hill a few miles from the centre of Bellinzona. In the he city itself is studded with beautiful Italian-style buildings, old churches, pretty squares and atmospheric cafes. Stroll along the narrow streets of the Old Town, check out an beautiful collection of Swiss and Italian paintings at Villa dei Cedri, admire the 19th century Italian Classical style building of Teatro Sociale that was inspired by La Scala in Milan.

Castello Montebello
Bellinzona is abuzz with interesting events all year around. The famous Rabadan Carnival takes place in February; in summer international blues stars arrive to the city for the Piazza Blues Festival; in September everyone celebrates PerBacco, the wine-growers' festival.

Photos via Flickr by: Kurt Zwahlen, Luca Pedroni, Aanjhan Ranganathan.

Bern: the city of bears, fountains and Einstein 

Founded just over 800 years ago Bern, the capital of Switzerland, might not be the oldest city in Europe but it is, certainly, one of the best-looking and best-preserved. 

Start exploring the city from the Old Town (Altstadt), awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its unique medieval features. Rows of arcaded old buildings form almost four miles of covered-shopping promenades (“lauben”), some of the longest in the world. Here you can find couture boutiques, fragrant coffee shops, up-market antiques. There are many magnificent 16th century fountains in the Old Town. Each one more ornate than the other, they are topped with statues of Samson killing a lion, a bear in full armour, child eating ogre. 

In the heart of Altstadt stands Gothic Bern Cathedral (Berner Münster). It is filled with treasures: over 200 wood and stone 15th century sculptures depicting the Last Judgment, stained glass windows dating back to the 1400s. Climb up 254 steps to the upper viewing gallery for spectacular views of the city a the Swiss Alps. 

Clock Tower
The 13th century Clock Tower (Zytglogge) is one of Bern’s iconic symbol. Its large astronomical clock displays fascinating dancing mechanical figures at three minutes to the hour. 
No visit to Bern would be compete without spening some time at The Einstein Museum. The famous scientist lived in the city for six years during which he published some of his most important works. In the museum you can see Einstein’s school reports, letters, his Nobel prize certificate and many other interesting objects, films and interactive displays.

Bern Cathedral
Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum) with its excellent collection of 3000 painting, which include works by Picasso, Monet, van Gogh, Cezanne.

Bern has had a special connection with bears since the animal became part of the city’s coat of arms in Middle Age. The legend also has it that the Swiss capital was named after a plantigrade who lived in the forest nearby. Today, a family of bears lives in a large enclosure in the Bear Park (BärenPark) which attracts many curious visitors. 

Photos via Flickr by: Martin Abegglen, Heinz-Eberhard Boden, Andrew Nash.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lucerne: the city of music, art and bridges

Located in the German speaking part of central Switzerland, photogenic Lucerne is one of the country’s most visited destinations. Sprawling along the shores of Lake Lucerne, the city commands spectacular views of the Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps


The iconic Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) built in 1333 on the Reuss river is a great place to start exploring Lucerne. One of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, Kapellbrücke is rather well-preserved apart from a portion that was damaged by fire in 1993. Under its roof, you can see a series of 17th-century paintings telling Lucerne’s story. Another beautiful, albeit less famous, is the 15th century Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke) that feature colourful plague paintings dating back to the 1600s.

Spend a few hours wondering around the pretty pedestrian Old Town (Altstadt), which has a several half-timber buildings with painted facades and picturesque squares. 

Chapel Bridge

Old City Walls built in 1386 remain virtually intact with three of watch towers (Schirmer, Zyt and Männli), which are open to the public offering magnificent views over the old town and lake. The oldest clock in Lucerne on the Zyt tower has 'First Strike rights' by local law and so strike every hour one minute before all other clocks in the city. 

Make sure you check out the 17th century Jesuit Church St. Franz Xaver (Jesuitenkirche), one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Switzerland that nowadays hosts classical music concerts. All year around Lucerne is filled up with sounds of music as many festivals take place here. Summer Night Festival (Luzernfest) in August, Lucerne Festival with concert series of classical music, Lucerne Blues Festival, the World Band Festival in September and many other.


During summer months, you can hop on a steam boat for a cruise or go for a refreshing dip in Lake Lucerne at a few clean well-organized beaches. The Ufschötti has neat lawns and ice cream kiosks, at the Strandbad you can enjoy the diving platforms, play table-tennis, volleyball and mini-golf. 

Photos via Flickr by: Patrik M. Loeff, Carlos Garcia, Patrick Nouhailler.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Riding the Chocolate Train in Switzerland

Let your inner Willy Wonka be your guide and board the Chocolate Train that runs from Montreux every summer. It is a delightful way to see the Swiss bucolic countryside and nosh on delicious chocolate treats.

You can choose to travel in an elegant vintage "Belle Epoque" carriage or an ultra-modern one with over-sized windows. The train’s early morning departure is a great excuse to enjoy fresh croissants and coffee served aboard while slowly waking up to the beautiful scenery outside. Green pastures, dramatic mountains, neat vineyards and picture-perfect villages slowly glide past your windows as the train moves towards medieval Gruyères, home to the renowned Alpine Gruyère cheese. Here you will visit a factory where the cheese is made and sample its different varieties. Gruyère cheese  has been produced in the area for centuries and it has played an important part in local economy.

After that head to the 13th century Gruyères Castle to learn about the town’s history and admire a fine art collection. You will have some spare tie to wonder around the charming town and have lunch in one of local restaurants that serve traditional hearty dishes. Try a lamb stew (ragoût d’agneau) with local pears, Fribourg sausage, smoked ham, creamy soup de chalet, rich fondue and meringues with Gruyère double cream. Just make sure you do not miss your train!


Next stop – the pretty town of Broc where the famous Maison Cailler (Nestlé) chocolate factory is based. Here you will discover the secrets of chocolate manufacturing and history of the factory from 1898 to the present. 

After observing the production process through factory’s viewing windows and breathing in the tantalizing chocolate aroma you can, finally, indulge your sweet tooth and savour the heavenly Swiss chocolate during a tasting. Stock up on edible gifts at the factory’s shop and board the train to return to Montreux.

Photos via Flickr by: Rachel Glaves, Mark Weston, Nestlé.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


What to see in Bern

The old town was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1983 and the city celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013. The city is also known for its bears. The Bear Park opened in 2009 is 6000 square meters of parkland along the river Aare offering a sanctuary environment for bears. But the bears are not only in a park, The bear is the symbol of Bern and you will find it as a decoration on many things like clocks, cookies and also statues.

Bern - Old Town

Albert Einstein in Bern

Bern is a city of culture with its many museums, exhibitions and festivals. Bern was the home to Albert Einstein when he created his famous formula E=mc2 in 1905. One can follow the “Einstein path” and visit his home, the museum, the “Einstein Kaffe” (coffee shop) and many other places related to the great scientist.

Things to do in Bern

Bern is also the city which has the most important Klee collection of the world. The Zentrum Paul Klee museum exhibits 4000 items around different themes.
The old town of Bern proudly offers 6 km of covered shopping area. This shopping promenade is located through historic medieval arcades and it is the longest shopping promenade in Europe. Bern is also considered as the city of fountains with approximately 100 fountains some dating from the 16th century.
Bern would not be complete without cheese. As Bern is located nearby the Emmental Valley, it is possible to experience the emmental cheese ( the iconic cheese full of holes) along the cheese route.
Plus: Clock Tower, BearsPark, house of parliament, Botanic Garden, Einstein’s house, Emmental Valley, Zentrum Paul Klee, French church, Prison tower, Rose Garden, Arcades, Fountains, Zoological Garden, Westside, Gurten, International Jazz Festival, Christams Market, Onion market and Kambly

For more information on Switzerland vacation packages do not hesitate to contact us today!

Thursday, April 16, 2015



Lugano is the 9th biggest city of Switzerland. Very touristic, it is often considered as a city from the “Mediterranean Switzerland” due to its mild climate and its location on the northern bay of the lake Lugano. Lugano also offers wonderful landscape composed of the Alps and the quiet lake of Lugano and is at the same time the 3rd financial city after Zurich and Geneva.
With only a population of 55.000 people, Lugano has an airport and is well connected to the other financial cities of Switzerland and any other cities.

What to see at the The Lugano - Ticino Tour

Enjoy water sports while at Lugano. Water skiing, jet skiing, boat tours and a lot other sports can be explored here. While the Alps give you a reminder of the fact that you are in Switzerland, everything else gives you a feeling as if you were in some Mediterranean city. Apart from that, visitors also do get attracted to Lugano for its mild weather and awe inspiring landscape along with a serene view of the lake Lugano. Many refer to the 9th biggest city of Switzerland as “Mediterranean Switzerland”. Yet another factor that gives Lugano its Mediterranean feel is the colors of the buildings at large as well as the architecture. Complementing that ambiance is the subtropical vegetation that adorns the city parks.

If you thought the considerably small population was a cause of worry in terms of transport, then you don’t need to be anxious at all. Lugano has an airport and is well connected to Switzerland’s other cities. A majority of the population of Lugano is Italian speaking because of which the city is known to be one of the biggest Italian speaking cities outside Italy. If you are one of the more quiet indoor-loving visitors, then you can admire San Salvatore and Bre summits from the city.

Museum Cantonale D’Arte

While you can enjoy a peaceful or fun time in the city parks, you can also visit this museum which exhibits great works of art regularly. Museum Cantonale d’Arte displays the work of genius of figures like, Degas, Renoir and even Jawlensky.

Parco San Grato

While you can enjoy a spectacular view of the lake, you can also admire the beautiful flowers in this botanical garden. Parco San Grato may be a little in the outskirts of the city but is worth a visit.