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

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