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:
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.
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! 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.
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...
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. 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.
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!
(Truffle photograph copyright by Wikimedia Commons)