The only thing bad about a vacation in Switzerland is trying to choose where to spend your time and then realizing that, whatever you decide to do, there is so much more you are missing out on. For those who love the outdoors, there are so many choices. Whether your passion is fishing, hiking, skiing or simply relaxing in a chateau perched along the rocky cliff of a mountain, Switzerland offers it all in one country that is not even twice the size of New Jersey.
There are very few places in Switzerland that would not make for a wonderful hiking adventure, but perhaps the best place to start is the Bernese Oberland. The city of Interlaken, near the heart of Switzerland, is nestled between two fantastic lakes that provide panoramic views, possibly without ever leaving your hotel room. But the city of Interlaken is only one of the reasons this area is so popular with hikers.
The Bernese Oberland has an excellent infrastructure for hikers that includes not only well-marked trails, but extensive local transportation that makes getting to the trailheads very easy. The trails range in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult. Some can be done in 30 minutes while others take a full day (see Resources below). Further, there are plenty of accommodation choices so finding something for your budget should not be too difficult.
Rock and Mountain Climbing
The unofficial sport of Switzerland would likely be mountain climbing. Outside of monster 8,000 m peaks of the Himalayas, Switzerland has some of the most famous peaks on the planet. The ones most often mentioned include the Matterhorn, the Eiger, the Wetterhorn and the Jungrau. There are literally dozens of others.
The best way up these peaks is with the help of an experienced guide. Though guided mountain trips can be expensive, all the lines will be set for you and all you have to do is worry about where you put your feet and hands. Guides on the technical peaks, which many in Switzerland are, will require you to have previous mountaineering experience.
With the miles of trails offered in Switzerland, skiing is one of the most popular activities in the country. The great thing about Switzerland is that snow skiing is a year-round event, with the high elevations often providing fresh powder after each storm system that goes through.
Zermatt offers some of the best summer skiing. So for those who are there for a trip up the Matterhorn, this may be a nice packaged trip. In the winter, ski resorts abound throughout Switzerland and there are slopes for all skill levels. Just remember, slopes often close at 2 p.m. in the summer, as the snow can become very wet and heavy on hotter days.
Article Written By Kenneth Black
Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.