Hidden Treasures in Switzerland that Most Travellers Never Get to See or Experience
You probably know Switzerland is famous for a lot of things including its chocolate and stunning mountain views. And it’s more than likely you have heard of places like Lake Lucerne, Geneva, Zurich and Zermatt. However, there are many hidden treasures in Switzerland that most travellers never get to see or experience. So, in this post I want to share with you less famous destinations I have discovered by living here as an expat for over a decade.
Gruyere – Home Of Amazing Cheese And More
If you spend any time in the kitchen with your nose in recipe books you have probably heard of Gruyere cheese. It is perhaps one of Switzerland’s most famous food exports after Lindt chocolate. What you probably didn’t know is that the town of Gruyere is stunning hilltop town well worth a visit.
Not only is Gruyere a quaint village right in the foothills of the alps, it also offers some stunning sight-seeing opportunities. From the inspiring Gruyere Castle (or Chateau de Gruyere) and the hunger-inducing Maison du Gruyere tour to the somewhat haunting Giga Museum, Gruyere has more than enough to keep you busy for the day. And, if you are a fan of the Alien movies don’t forget to have a drink at the Gigi bar too. It feels almost like you are right there in the movie with Ripley.
Lastly, if you have some extra time on your hands, pass by the Callier Chocolate factory, on your way there or back, and get a sample of some of Switzerland’s finest!
Stein-am-Rhein – Go Back In Time
One of the most picturesque and well preserved medieval towns in Switzerland, Stein am Rhein is worth a day trip for anyone who likes history, culture or just a taste of the real Switzerland. There is a lot to do in this small town, partly because of its past, but also because of its location: right on the Rhein river.
For example, you can sample the history of the region by heading to the Monastery of St. Georgen or Lindwurm Museum. Or if you prefer to take it easy, you can just spend some time enjoying the extremely well-preserved architecture and painted facades.
Scuol – Right Next To The Swiss National Park
In a forgotten corner of Switzerland lies one of the unspoilt jewels of Europe, the Swiss National Park. And right next on its doorstep is the charming mountain town of Scuol.
Scuol is not a place most people visit when they come to Switzerland, but it’s well worth putting on your list. There is plenty to do here no matter what time of year you come. Starting with the Engadine Bad Scuol which was Switzerland’s first Roman-Irish bath. This is also an area filled with authentic Engadine villages complete with painted walls and doorways that are unique to the region.
Want to get a little more active? There’s a ski resort just above town to keep you up to your knees in Swiss snow, as well as hiking paths that are almost endless. And, if you are also hoping to spot some local wildlife, there is no better place than Switzerland’s only National Park.
Leukerbad - Somewhere To Relax Amongst The Alps
Last on the list, but by no means, least, is Leukerbad in the Wallis region of Switzerland. Not too far from the more famous Zermatt, this town is still worth putting on any tourist’s to-do list. Why? Because Leukerbad is famous for its spa hotels which are set in a jaw-dropping amphitheater of mountains. It’s almost like a fairytale!
There are lots of options here too, both in terms of accommodation and activities. Remember, you are in the heart of the alps so getting out into nature is a big part of what’s available. With skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing or sledding in the winter. Hiking, mountain biking, picnicking or just enjoying the views in the summer. There are no excuses not to get active!
So, no matter your tastes or where you are traveling in Switzerland there is something out there for everyone. And you don’t have to go where the crowds are either. Try something off the beaten path and see the real Switzerland most people miss!
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. When he is not busy traveling or working on his travel blog, you can find him in Switzerland where he currently lives.