Switzerland has it all: excellent hiking trails, world-class ski slopes, great spas, upmarket shopping. The list can go on. In case you need another excuse to visit the country, here are the best festivals in Switzerland that attract visitors from across the globe.
|International Balloon Festival|
International Balloon Festival, Château-d'Oex
Château-d'Oex is not only famous for its excellent ski slopes. Its unique microclimate makes it the perfect place for … the International Balloon Festival. Colourful hot air balloons fill the sky above the picturesque Swiss resort every years in January. Teams from over twenty countries compete with pilots demonstrating their skill and precision in navigating the balloons. Spectators can also take a flight above the beautiful Pays-d'Enhaut valley.
World Snow Festival, Grindelwald
Every January, for six days, the charming village of Grindelwald turns into a winter wonderland with masterpieces created from snow. Teams of international artists chisel enormous blocks of snow into animals, mythical creatures, abstract forms. Anyone can vote for their favourite team in the Public Choice category. During the World Snow Festival Grindelwald fills with buzz and excitement. If it gets too chilly outside you can pop in to any bar or restaurant for a glass of hot wine or hearty fondue.
|Montreux Jazz Festival|
Montreux Jazz Festival
The biggest jazz festival in Europe has been running in July on the shores of Lake Geneva since 1967. Some of the biggest international names in music participate in the festival that attracts almost 200,000 spectators. Over the years, it has become a multicultural music with all genres played at venues across the city, from hip-hop to acid jazz, techno to indigenous African bands.
Yodel Fest, Brig-Glis
The largest folklore event in Switzerland, the Federal Yodel Fest (Eidgenössisches Jodelfest) is close to the Swiss heart. Every three years (the next festival takes place in June 2017) yodel groups from across the country gather in the pretty town of Brig-Glis to show off their yodeling skills dressed in colourful folk costumes. Yodeling, a special vocal technique with rapid pitch changes, has been part of the local culture in the Swiss Alps for many centuries and is widely popular in rural areas. If you want to see Switzerland beyond its glossy touristy side, this is a great event to learn about the country’s rural traditions.
Photos via Flickr by: Ricardo Hurtubia, Katia Herrera.