Mountains, lakes, buildings and everything in between – here’s why you should add it to your post-pandemic travel list, and what to do once you arrive
Switzerland – with its perfect balance of nature and culture – has a firm spot on our post-pandemic travel list. Its stunning mountainous views, expansive lakes, delicious food and interesting ethos mean it’s got everything you need for a wholesome European break away. And while borders are not yet open to UAE residents, we’ve started dreaming up our to-do list – here are five of our top picks.
Take a boat tour on Lake Geneva
At 72km long, Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Switzerland spanning from Geneva in the south, to Villeneuve in France. One of the best routes is to take a three-hour cruise from Geneva to Lausanne which gives you a variety of scenery, from the town, famous fountain and eventually, the mountains. If the visibility is good, you’ll be able to spot the famous Mt. Blanc as you go. There’s an option to dine on board – for either lunch or dinner – so you can make an occasion of the excursion.
For quintessential Swiss architecture, mountainous views and lakeside shopping, Lucerne is your go-to. A town that marries tradition and modern living, it’s famous for its annual classical music festival. We think the architecture is the drawcard here, with the Jesuit Church – Switzerland’s first sacral Baroque building – and the futuristic Culture and Convention Centre (KKL) which was designed by Jean Nouvel. Plus, for your dose of nature, you can take a trip up one its mountains or a boat ride along its lake.
Fly in a hot air balloon
Take to the sky for a flight over Geneva and enjoy breathtaking views of the city. For unparalleled views of Lake Geneva, the Alps and the Jura mountains, you need to get into the air. The ride lasts three-hours and unfolds beautiful vistas as it goes. Adding another layer of magic to the dreamy experience, you’ll be served a Swiss cheese fondue as you look down at the world below – perfection or what?
Hike at Swiss National Park
The Alps’ oldest national park boasts a 100km network of trails amid serene mountainous views. There are 21 routes that cater to a range of abilities, with most of the walks covering various altitudes and – of course – world-class views. For keen hikers, there’s an option to stay within the park at the Chamanna Cluozza or mountain hut in English, which sleeps 44 walkers in dormitories.
See how Gruyère cheese is made
You most certainly can’t go to Switzerland without eating copious amounts of cheese. But we suggest going a step further by immersing yourself in the art of cheese making by heading to La Maison du Gruyère. They put on guided tours of the factory so guests can see and learn about how the famously addictive food is made. There’s also an interactive exhibition which appeals to each of the senses, giving you the opportunity to taste, smell, touch, see and hear the process that goes into each block.