Summer in Switzerland? Why not, especially since all you have to do is buy a ticket and get on one of the panoramic trains. They will take you to most attractions, and on the way, in comfortable conditions, you will admire the Swiss landscapes. we start?
Switzerland is famous for its winter resorts, but it also attracts crowds of tourists in summer and autumn. And it is these seasons that we want to focus on today. We will show you vineyards, lakes and mountains, but covered with greenery, not snow. With us you will see beautiful cities and areas where you can ride a horse. We invite you to read!
The most Italian canton of Switzerland - Ticino
Photo: Brissago view of Lake Maggiore; Christof Sonderegger, MySwizterland
We will start quite unusually, because not with the mountain peaks or lakes that Switzerland is famous for. We will move to the southernmost and at the same time the most Italian of all cantons - Ticino (Tessin). It is part of Svizzera Italiana , Italian Switzerland. Some people might be mistaken and conclude that they have made their way to Italy. Most of the inhabitants of the canton speak Italian (specifically the Lombard dialect), moreover, the region clearly has an Italian atmosphere. It is closer to Milan than, for example, to Zurich or Bern.
We recommend Ticino , especially if you plan to travel by bus Express Bernina. Just arrive at the last (or first) station, Lugano, and then keep going. The city is the largest center of the region, and lies on the lake of the same name. By contrast, the capital is Bellinzona . It is worth visiting during your journey, because it houses a complex of three medieval castles and walls. In 2000, they were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Leventina Western in the Leventina Valley - horseback riding in Ticino
Undoubtedly, the castles and architecture of Bellinzona are noteworthy, but today we want to show you Ticino from a slightly different side. You'll understand why it's one of Switzerland's favorite holiday destinations. In the Leventina Valley, there is a unique facility waiting not only for lovers of horse riding. This is Leventina Western , where you can rest, regain your strength and mental balance. During your stay, you will travel many kilometers on horseback. You can do trekking between the valleys and learn the secrets of yoga.
If you dream about holidays in nature, you would like to forget about measuring time with a watch (or smartphone), wake up and fall asleep to the sounds of nature, this is the perfect place. You can call it a farm, an agritourism farm or a guest house. Leventina Western offers sound sleep, clean air, beautiful views, contact with horses and dogs. You can also use ecological products and sleep in a yurt.
Italian Switzerland and its vineyards
Ticino is famous not only for its nature and monuments, but also for its wine. Although vineyards were depleted by phylloxera at one time, it is still a large (fourth largest) wine region of Switzerland. You will find vineyards on both sides of Lake Lugano, between Lugano and Rivera in the north and Chiasso and Mendrisio in the south. The canton is divided into two parts by Monte Ceneri, the pass from which it is easiest to get from Lugano to the capital. The southern part is called Sottocheneri, and the northern part - Sopracheneri. In the first, the microclimate is influenced by, among others, the lake, thanks to which it is not as hot as over the areas further south, by the Mediterranean Sea. In turn, in the northern part there are geological conditions similar to those of the Alps.
Wine in this area used to be more varied, today mainly merlot is produced. In the wineries you will find pinot noir, syrah, Bordeaux variants and bondola. From white wines, you can taste sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, as well as ... merlot. Blanc de merlot will amaze many with its pale color. Which vineyards should you visit? We recommend Vallombrosa in the village of Castellroto. It was here that the first merlot bushes were planted at the beginning of the 20th century. Also noteworthy is the Cantine Monti in Cademario, in the vicinity of Lugano. Importantly, the slopes here are very steep.
photo: Figino-Apero; Christian Meixner, MySwitzerland
Those who like to bring back an expensive souvenir from their vacation can visit Zanini Vinattieri . Some of the most expensive Tissinian wines are made here. Another worth knowing comes from the oldest estate in Ticino, Valsangiacomo . It exists since 1831! In the village of Mendrisio there are old cellars with liquors, and fresh ones are made by representatives of the sixth generation. Products from two estates enjoy good opinions: Tenimento la Prella and Tenimento dell Őr. The last proposal is Fattoria Moncuccetto in Lugano. It's not so much about the taste of the wine as about the design of the wine bar. It is the work of Mario Botta, an architect famous for his innovative projects.
Swiss lakes - just right for a holiday
Tourists love Swiss lakes, so when it comes to holiday trips, they could not be missed. You don't have to look far for examples - Lake Lugano is a huge attraction. Switzerland shares it with Italy, with the Swiss part attracting more for the sake of the city. Lugano captivates with its architecture and the beauty of nature, including a huge slope resembling a head. The climate here is associated with the south of Europe (you will see palm trees everywhere). Colorful houses are reflected in the water, and boats are bobbing by the shore.
If you take a walk on the south side, you will encounter water tram stops along the way. Holders of the Swiss Travel Pass have the option of a free course to, for example, Gandria , and you can return to Lugano on foot. The Sentiero dell'olivo, or the path of olive trees, runs along the lake. This is a hiking trail that will delight not only romantics.
Another proposal is Lake Geneva , the largest reservoir in the Alps and Western Europe. You can reach them easily thanks to the panorama train. It is also located on the Swiss border – this time with France. Line ships run on it to larger cities and small towns. Visiting the resorts by the reservoir will take up most of your holiday! Lovers of luxury can order not only a cruise between the resorts, but also a private tour to the main attractions of Geneva , including the illuminated Jet d'Eau fountain. Water gushes from it to a height of 140 meters.
The lake is really worth seeing, as is Geneva. The next point on the map is Lake Constance , located on the border of Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It is located at the foot of the Alps, and thanks to the railway network you can reach it from most cities in the country. Whether you have previously visited the seat of government in Bern, Montreux, Interlaken or returning from Tirano via St. Moritz. You will get almost to the shore, and you can rest on the spot. The climate here is extremely mild, because the area is protected by high mountains, and it is also a beautifully sunny region.
Another famous Swiss reservoir is Lake Lucerne . They are also characterized by a mild climate, although the appearance resembles the landscapes of Norwegian fjords. Side-wheelers and saloon ships glide across the surface, which you can use not only in the high season. If you prefer land, there are plenty of hiking trails and routes for cyclists. You can also roller skate. There are many important centers nestled by the shore, which we recommend you to visit. Masses of tourists liked both Lucerne with its picturesque old part, Weggis at the foot of the Rigi peak, nestled in the idyllic bay of Vitznau , and Küssnacht with a nice promenade.
Swiss cities - where to go in summer?
These are not all the lakes of Switzerland, much less all the cities. In addition to the famous reservoirs, you can go to the intimate ones, liked by the locals. Those who love camping and silence will like Schiffenen , in the canton of Freiburg, near Bern. They will also love the reservoir located in the vicinity of the village of Flims, in Graubünden. Lake Cresta has the infrastructure for recreation, but provides blissful relaxation. Fishing fans will surely come to Lioson , a tiny body of water in the Vodésian Alps. Cool water encourages you to take a bath, especially on hot summer days.
Okay, what about cities? Which resorts, apart from those already mentioned, are worth visiting on holidays in Switzerland? There are plenty of attractive destinations along the panorama train route, from Zurich to Chur to St. Gallen . Numerous points on the tourist map of the country can be found above reservoirs or at the foot of the mountains. There are also those that enjoy the views of mountain peaks and crystal clear water at the same time. Finally, thousands of vacationers choose cities that attract skiing enthusiasts in winter, but also do not fall asleep in summer or autumn. An example is Zermatt , visited by those who want to see the Matterhorn or eat well during the holiday season.
Holiday trips to waterfalls
Speaking of attractions that can be seen in the warm months, it is necessary to mention at least a few words about the waterfalls. We will devote more space to them in a separate article " Waterfalls on the Grand Tour in Switzerland ", and here we just want to hint that Switzerland really has something to boast about in this area. In the Lauterbrunnen Valley alone, there are 72 (!), including Staubbach, which is less than 300 meters high.
We have brought you closer to only a fraction of the places that you can visit during your holiday. As you can see, there will be no time for all of them, but that only means one thing - you need to plan your next trips!