When the mornings start out with fog, you know that autumn has arrived. Your Newly Swissed authors have drawn on their collective wisdom to come up with some truly unique Swiss autumn experiences. From cow homecomings in the East to chestnut or grape harvests in the South, we have you covered!
And to make your trip preparations even smoother, we have hand-picked some hotels which embody something typical about Switzerland. The following five experiences prove that Switzerland is best during autumn:
1. Alpine descents and cattle shows in Eastern Switzerland
Swiss farming communities have a number of significant traditions, and the most significant ones revolve around cows. For instance, you have surely seen pictures of cows parading down mountains, decorated with colorful flowers.
September and early October is high season for alpine descents and cattle shows, so why not cross this experience off your Swiss bucket list? We have listed all the dates for Eastern Switzerland here, and we recommend Romantik Hotel Säntis in Appenzell for your stay:
2. Chestnut Workshop and Festivals in Ticino
When you commute to work on a foggy autumn morning, remember that the sun still shines in the south of Switzerland.
For many reasons, Ticino is the perfect place to spend an autumn weekend: You could go for a hike in the chestnut forests, take a boat cruise on Lago Maggiore, or indulge in one of the traditional harvest festivals celebrating chestnuts, porcini risotto and polenta.
All of those nuts about chestnuts, listen up! On the weekend of Oct 24, 2015, Albergo Casa Santo Stefano in the Malcantone offers a very special Swiss autumn experience.
As part of their chestnut workshop, you will be able to join a local for a hike through the colorful forests of Malcantone. After collecting all those sweet chestnuts, you will meet others in the kitchen in order to learn the secrets behind various delicious chestnut dishes.
This is where you will be staying during your getaway to the south:
3. Vintage Workshops in Valais
How would you like to help with this year's vintage? At Hotel Arkanum in Salgesch, you can be part of a typical Swiss autumn experience: A grape harvest.
Your host in Valais is all about grapes: As part of the weekend package at Hotel Arkanum, you will be able to stroll through the vineyards with a winemaker from the local Kreuzritter-Kellerei, learn about the different grape varieties and help with the vintage. After an exquisite winemaker's dinner, fall asleep in a wooden barrel...
Read more about this experience and check out where you could be staying:
4. Game Watching in Grisons
Have you always wanted to watch the wildlife in one of Switzerland's most pristine valleys? At Val Bever high above St. Moritz, this is now possible. Guests of the Hotel Chesa Salis will be joined by local game wardens or hunters who take them on fascinating excursions through nature.
You will be able to spot and observe wildlife firsthand as your guides point out their favorite hiding spots. Those who get lucky might see an ibex, a chamois or a red deer.
After a day of scouting, Hotel Chesa Salis awaits guests with all its charm: Crowned as Historic Hotel of 2015, your hosts offer everything from romantic carriage rides to exquisite meals based on local game varieties. The next morning, bask in the sun in front of this mountain lodge before heading back home on the famous Rhaetian Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage listing.
5. Truffle Seeking in Vaud
Every fall, a gold rush is happening in the canton of Vaud. The "gold" are highly desired truffles with street prices as high as 9000 Euro per kilogram.
This autumn, learn something new: For the first time ever, professional forest rangers will take workshop participants on a hike through their gold mines. Switzerland's white truffles grow just below the ground, but finding them is an art. You will be able to experience firsthand how the truffle dogs seek out this treasured fungus. And who knows? You may strike gold, too!
Either way, you will get a taste of truffle back at the Grand Hôtel des Rasses. Your hosts have put together an exclusive truffle menu which makes for a delicious conclusion to this gourmet autumn adventure...
The Grand Hôtel des Rasses was built at the end of the 19th century and, at the heart of lush natural landscapes, has maintained its original and historic character. The authentic lounges and rooms stemming from 1913 have all been subject to attentive renovation, including the stylish Restaurant Belle Epoque.
Explore more typically Swiss autumn experiences!
(Truffle photograph copyright by Wikimedia Commons)
Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
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