Switzerland

Switzerland (24)

The mighty Matterhorn is a must see activity when traveling to Switzerland.  Here are 23 images to inpire a visit there.  Click on the photo and start the slideshow.

Dreaming of a trip to see the Matterhorn is a top bucket list item for many travelers.  This travel video takes you on a brief tour of the Gornergrat activity at the Matterhorn.  Once you have made your trip by rail to Zermatt there are two ways to experience the Matterhorn.  One is to travel to Gornergrat by Cog railway for a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.  The other is the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise experience which has the option of skiing during the summer.  This video was captured in early June after a late spring snow that limited our planned hiking options.  We can only imagine the view covered completely with snow or fields of grass and wildflowers.

Here are twenty reasons why you should travel to Blausee Nature Park. Nestled in the Swiss Alps this park is a remarkable sight and easily accessible by those on a road trip through Switzerland. We have seen beautiful pictures of Lake Moraine in Canada and other famous lakes around the world but there is something very special about how this lake exists and the clarity of its water.

In our Five day dream trip to Switzerland we included Blausee as one of our destinations.  We had previously been in Bern Switzerland and were making our way to Brig which required us taking a car train through the Alps.  Blausee is on the road from the Interlaken region to this train and therefore easy to add to your intinerary.  

Here are the twenty reasons why Blausee should be a travel destination you consider for Switzerland.  It was raining when we capturing many of these photos unfortunately, but the park still provided plenty of beauty despite the weather.

In case you are wandering if this could be worthy of a visit in the winter months, you should take a look at some of these photo links of Blausee in the winter.  Nature provides its own kind of beauty regardless of the season.

Winter Wonderland Blausee

Snow at Blausee

Winter Magic at Blausee

There are many reasons to travel to Bern, Switzerland's capital city.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its uniquely well-preserved medieval architecture, including the famous Zytglogge Clock Tower. The historic Old City is surrounded by the beautiful aqua colored Aare River.  In this short video we highlight some of the attractions that we explored on our 2-day visit to Bern.

Transport yourself to beautiful Blausee, the Blue Lake, an unbelievably stunning emerald blue lake in the Kander Valley of Switzerland.  It's a popular tourist destination for those traveling in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. 

On our recent road trip through the Swiss Alps from Bern to Brig on a very rainy day, we almost didn't visit this lake because of the weather, but we decided to make the stop anyway, and we were very glad we did.  When we arrived at the park, the large Blausee sign and small building belied the beauty of what was there.  Umbrella, raincoat and camera in hand, I quickly took a walk down the path ahead of my husband, who was hauling all the camera gear, to make sure there was something worth seeing. 

Take yourself on a journey through the lovely old city of Thun, Switzerland. A classic medieval town with a 12th century castle, an old church, the beautiful river Aare running through it, and the Alps surrounding it is the gateway to the Bernese Oberland, an area of Switzerland with picturesque view and beautiful mountains.  Quaint and enchanting, this little city is worth a visit if you are in the Bern region.  This video highlights the many things you can do and see in Thun.  Read more about places to stay and what to do in Thun on Tripadvisor.

This is a beautiful short video of Chillon Castle, one of the most visited castles in Switzerland.  It is located just south of Veytaux, on Lake Geneva on a narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve.  The history of this castle goes back many centuries to approximately the year 1000, having once been a Roman outpost and then heavily influenced by several other significant periods in Swiss history - the Savoy, Bernese and Vaudois periods.  The castle is situated in a most beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Leman, at the foot of the Alps.  It is worth a visit for its breathtaking views and its amazing architecture. 

Ride along on an incredible train journey on the Glacier Express in Switzerland.  This trailer for an upcoming PBS series on train travel in Switzerland will give you a sneak preview of what you can experience traveling through the breathtaking Swiss Alps by rail.

HD Travel--from "Real Rail Adventures: Swiss Grand Tour." Includes scenes and information on the Glacier Express Panorama Train. The full hour-long doc airs nationally on American Public Television stations. Check with your local PBS station for broadcasts in your area. DVDs of the full program plus more than an hour of DVD Extras are available at www.RealRailTV.com. Copyright 2015 by Small World Productions of Seattle. Co-producer and public television presenting station is KCTS/Seattle.

Plan your travel in Switzerland using the Swiss Travel System to get the most panoramic views of the country and easy city-to-city access. The Swiss are known for their chocolates and watches but many may not know that they have a superb rail system for travelers.  Those who have experienced it would say it is the best in Europe and traveling second class is like first class in other European countries (they also have a first class service).  

The Swiss travel passes are very economical when you compare them to the cost of renting a car, fuel, parking fees and road fees.  The longer you stay the better the economics with a 15-day flex pass (use it in one month) priced at $505 US at the time of this article.   The passes provide unlimited travel by rail, road(bus) and waterways, including most panorama routes and public transport in 75 towns and cities. You also get free admission to more than 490 museums on the selected days of validity and other discounts around the country. So let's explore some of the most popular train travel routes around Switzerland and start dreaming about doing it someday.

The Grand Tour Swiss Rail Route 

This route is a great way to see most of Switzerland and see many areas that you can only see by train. Covering a total of 1,280 km of panoramic railways, the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is a must journey for those looking for the best rail adventures in the world. The route itself is not fixed and is just a suggested itinerary for travel through the country to see the best of the rail system.  You can travel all of the suggested rail routes or just part of it. The major city destinations are Zurich, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Montreaux, Zermatt, Chur, St. Moritz, Interlaken, and Lugano.  Your best option for starting this tour is to arrive by air or train in Zurich.  Some portions of the trip are on special panoramic routes and require reservations. 

If you are trying to decide on the perfect honeymoon trip that blends opportunities for culture, city exploring, nature and the romantic excitement of rail travel, the Grand Tour is worth considering for those reasons and a variety of other ones. The first is that you are letting someone else do the driving. You only need to get yourself to the station everyday that you decide to travel. Second, a honeymoon trip should be a time to relax and leave the stress of having planned a wedding behind you. Train travel is relaxing and the Swiss make it that much easier because they have an excellent record for being on time.  Third, you can be at the top of Europe one day and then exploring the Mediterranean-style atmosphere of the city of Chur another day. Spend as much time as you want at a stop with a flex pass. A perfect trip is to start your marriage by turning what was once "someday" to "my someday honeymoon" in Switzerland.

Can you resist the allure of traveling by train through the Alps?  We will get your dreams started with a travel video highlighting some of the best of the Grand Train Tour through Switzerland.

The Glacier Express 

The world famous Glacier Express is one of the best ways to explore the southern region of Switzerland while sneaking through the Alps.  The train begins and ends in either Zermatt or St. Moritz and takes approximently 8 hours. The word express and the distance traveled on this route do not correlate, primarily because you are traveling through narrow valleys, tight curves, 91 tunnels, and across 291 bridges.  The route is spectacular and a panoramic pleasure for the whole family.  Dream of taking a train from Zurich to Zermatt and spending some time skiing or hiking in the Alps with the Matterhorn in view.  After a few days of that, take a relaxing but sensory overload experience on the Glacier Express train. You have now arrived in St. Moritz famous for being a birthplace for Alpine winter holidays and the location of two winter Olympics, as well as a place for more great skiing or hiking and a city with great restaurants. 

There is no best time to travel on the Glacier Express, but many travelers say that April to June is amazing with snow-capped peaks and green valleys with spring flowers.  This train is a special train on a regular route but you can follow the same route using regular trains without the panoramic windows.  In our 5 days in Switzerland article we are taking the route from Brig to Zermatt.

If you are a train enthusiast this trip is a no-brainer to add to your Switzerand vacation plans.  You can start dreaming today and plan for that someday trip by watching the Glacier Express travel video now, save it to your dream cloud and come back to see it again and again.  Why not take that coffee break and be whisked away to the Alps on a famous train.  Remember our motto at SomedayTrips is "Dream it, Plan it, Do it"℠.  Don't you think you should be dreaming about a trip on the Glacier Express someday?

Bernina Express 

When traveling to Switzerland you will experience French influences in the west and Italian in the south.  Therefore it is no surprise that a popular 4-hour train trip can take you from Switzerland to Italy and deliver you amazing views along the way. The Bernina Express, starts in Chur which is the oldest city in Switzerland and takes you on a 7,122 km trip through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges and viaducts. You can also start the trip in Davos or St. Moritz.  Your final destination will be Tirano Italy. The trip from Switzerland is free with a Swiss travel pass but you will need to pay for your return trip to Switzerland. 

This is a perfect day trip to escape to Italy for lunch, tour Tirano and return for a late dinner in Switzerland. Not sure what to do while in Tirano?  Take a quick peak at what a 30 minute tour of Tirano would look like.  But let us be honest with ourselves, we are here for the ride and scenic views that the Bernina Express provides. Trains are romantic, exciting and take us places that you just can't see with a car. So let's get back on board and watch a travel video that highlights the experience of the Bernina Express. Watch out for clear skies to soon be filled with dream clouds for a future someday trip.

Jungfrau Train

Taking the Jungfrau train is known as the journey to the top of Europe.  It is the highest railroad station in Europe and ranks 7th in the world. Unlike the other routes featured in this article, this train ride is vertical with the only purpose being to make it to the top.  Most planning this trip will arrive by Swiss Rail to the train station in Interlaken.  From here you will take a Bernese Oberland Railway train from this popular lakeside town to higher elevations.  There are two routes and we suggest you take one up and the other on the way back down.  From Interlaken take the train to Grindelwald Grund Station and transfer to the Kleine Scheidegg station.  Alternatively, you can travel from Interlaken to Wenge and transfer to Kleine-Scheidegg.  From here you will make the one-way trip to the top on a cog railway, originally opened in 1912.  The total time from Interlaken is approximetly 2.5 hours.

The trip from Kleine-Scheidegg is 9 km of railway with 7 km of it in tunnels carved out of the rock of the Eiger and Mönch. The train will  stop for a brief 5 minutes at two intermediate stations, the Eigerwand (Eiger Wall) and Eismeer (Sea of Ice), for passengers to explore and view the fascinating mountains through large panoramic windows.  Once you are at the top you will have spectacluar views including the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Aletsch Glacier.  This is the largest alpine glacier in Eurasia covering 81 square kilometres. There are numerous other activites as well, including the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, which is free of charge, the Ice Palace and of course winter sports because there is snow and ice here all year.  Take a further look at the journey and the views from the top in our featured Jungfrau travel video.

 

 Swiss Rail Photo Gallery

Photo Credits: Switzerland Tourism

What is the best 5-day trip to see the beautiful country of Switzerland?  It depends on what you want to see but this itinerary will give you a start on our trip through central Switzerland.  Our goals were to see a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the beautiful Alps, and both city and rural life.  For many we would highly recommend that you travel through Switzerland on their train system.  Many would say it is the best in Europe with second class being close to first class in other European countries.  The Swiss Travel Pass and the beautiful panoramic views you can get by traveling by train make the decision even easier.  For our travels we blended train and automobile so that we had the flexibility to get where we needed to for our photography and video.

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