Assuming you have mastered the alphorn, are an expert mountain guide and have floated in Switzerland’s lakes, you may be wondering: What's next?
This summer, we will show you how to truly embrace Switzerland's one-of-a-kind landscapes, people and traditions. We have curated some experiences as unique as zooming past cows on e-bikes, marveling at the Milky Way from the highest altitude hotel in the Alps, or hunting for gemstones in the wilderness. And in order to provide a blueprint for a perfect getaway, we are highlighting hotels from the Typically Swiss Hotels collection curated by Switzerland Tourism.
Here are five unique summer experiences for your bucket list:
Discover the Emmental countryside by e-bike (Bern)
The single biggest benefit of e-bikes is their built-in engine (duh!). In the hilly landscape of the Emmental valley, some extra umph is just what you need to explore this beautiful region.
Breeze along alpine trails fringing the Emmental and the UNESCO protected Entlebuch Biosphere. Once you reach Alp Tannisboden at 1474 m above sea, the Gfeller family will be happy to let you in on Swiss dairy farming and cheese-making. If you reserve in advance, you can even enjoy an apéro and tasting session.
Back in the valley, Hotel Landgasthof Kemmeriboden-Bad in Schangnau will be awaiting you for the night. Run by the Invernizzi family, this gem of a hotel offers the ultimate Swiss experience: A whirlpool in a barrel and a luxury hayloft where you can spend the night (in a boxspring bed) in the straw... The room is called "Stroh Deluxe"!
Try star gazing at Gornergrat in Zermatt (Valais)
Perched like an eyrie at 3100 m above sea and with front-row views of snowcapped mountains, Kulmhotel Gornergrat is the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps. Thanks to your hotel’s remote location high above the village of Zermatt, the Gornergrat enjoys nights as dark as inside a cow (at least according to a Swiss proverb).
With no light pollution, millions of stars, planets and even the Milky Way are visible with the naked eye. And for those who are into astronomy, there is an observatory in the hotel’s south tower. Happy stargazing!
Each room number at Kulmhotel Gornergrat corresponds to a surrounding peak – including Toblerone mountain! And the next morning, the mighty Matterhorn might just be your wake-up call...
Paraglide above the Sertig Valley near Davos (Grisons)
With its mountain backdrops, dark timber chalets and pretty chapel, the tiny Walser village of Sertig at 1861 m above sea is the quintessential alpine idyll.
Is paragliding on your bucket list? Because they say that Sertig is never more beautiful than when seen from the sky! Strapped to a skilled instructor, soar above the valley’s rippling peaks, thick pine and larch forests, raging waterfalls and meadows.
(Photographs copyright walserhuus.ch)
After all that excitement, you will appreciate your hotel's peace and quiet. Hotel Walserhuus Sertig is a three star property in a remote location, offering terraced rooms with spectacular views. The hotel can easily reached by public transport, car or horse carriage.
Hunt for crystal treasures (Grisons)
Deep in the heart of Eastern Switzerland’s wild and mountainous Beverin Nature Park lies a treasure. This summer, turn off your smartphone for a weekend and train your eyes to spot some crystals (there are still more out there!)
Given Switzerland’s geological makeup, hunting for gems used to be commonplace. These days, only a single guide is left who can call himself an alpine pro: Wolfgang Josché. As part of his guided walking tour, this skilled resident will give you the inside scoop on where to find crystals and minerals at the park.
The best hotel for this experience carries the name of the region’s most famous inhabitant, the ibex. Hotel Capricorns (Swiss Lodge) is remarkably in tune with nature, using solely renewable energy. You will be surprised to find out that despite the remote location in a nature park, the restaurant serves creative takes on regional cuisine.
Explore Lavaux through the Grapevines (Vaud)
You have probably seen photographs of the sun-drenched vineyards along Lake Geneva. But have you ever been there, or walked among the centuries’ old grapevines which are a UNESCO World Heritage site?
Guests of the Hôtel Le Baron Tavernier in Chexbres and wine aficionados will enjoy a special privilege this summer: Along with a local guide, they will be allowed to explore the Lavaux wine region up close and personal.
Starting in Chexbres, your guide will take you deep into the wine-growing heart of St-Saphorin, heading up to the heights of Chexbres for dreamy views over the Dézaley vines, before rounding out the day with a glass of wine (or two).
Back on the hotel’s terrace, soak in the sweeping views over the terraced vineyards and Lake Geneva. Hôtel Le Baron Tavernier has a pretty amazing spa as well. Their modern pool is lit up with different colors, creating a moody atmosphere for those warm summer nights.