14
March
2012


1. Grindelwald

GrindelwaldAlluring, historic, very pretty and year round resort, Grindelwald is the largest in the region of Jungfrau and a peculiar rural character is to be found out of this incredible village. Situated under the craggy impressive trio of the Eiger, Wetterhorn and Mettenberg, the resort offers easy access to explore spectacular glacier close to and has in keeping vast network of cable-cars leading up to various long- and short-distance trails throughout the whole region. Provided the fact Grindelwald is among one of the oldest mountain resorts in Europe, it offers excellent skiing amenities, but also abundance of hiking trails, which places this destination in the top choices list of non-skiers, as well. What strengthens the charm of Grindelwald is that it combines a grand rocky barrier with bizarre country appeal - represented by pretty dwellings and fields planted with maple and fruit trees. One of the paramount attractions of the resort is the "Festival International des Neiges", held in the heart of the village, which brings together several teams from different countries. Within a week they make various snow and ice sculptures, carved to perfection.

2. Murren

MurrenBoth charming traditional Walser mountain village and the highest, continually inhabited settlement, Murren is unreachable by public road, which is probably the main reason why it managed to preserve intact its authentic colouring. The picturesque mountains simply don't get better there, at an elevation of 1,650 m above the sea level. The village is perched on the edge of a steep cliff and the only available option you have to get there is via cable car. Once you overcome this obstacle, you'll find yourself surrounded by magnificent panorama you've seen only in your dreams. Furthermore, Murren is the best hiking destination in the Alps, surrounded by the splendour of wildflowers and majestic waterfalls, bell-ringing cows and quiet trails. You'll surely find yourself living a fantasy once you run across this awe-inspiring combination of breath-taking scenic activities, astounding alpine scenery and compelling mountain culture. Those looking for exquisite nightlife and shopping activities should look elsewhere, but the scenery is stupendous enough to keep you transfixed for at least a couple of days.

3. Lauterbrunnen

LauterbrunnenThis large resort offers ski enthusiasts unbelievable 2177 metres of vertical descent, 55 kilometres of cross country ski trails and the impressive 80 pistes. It suits best intermediate snowboarders and skiers, but offers amazing amenities for experts and beginners, too. There are 2 half pipes and 3 terrain parks available for snowboarders. Nestled between the imposing towering walls of a sheer-sided charming valley, Lauterbrunnen has gained worldwide fame for its beautiful waterfalls. Its area mostly known for mountain biking; this is the ideal place to rent an Interlaken bike and take a long ride to the end of the valley. Enjoy a delightful bar of just fresh-made Swiss chocolate in some of the shops on your way back or take your time while sipping blissfully a fragrant coffee. Local hostels offer homely and pleasant atmosphere at affordable prices. Believe it or not, but this is a place you won't want to leave once you arrive!

4. Flims

FlimsSituated in Central Switzerland, the town of Flims is favoured destination for both summer and winter sports. The landscape of the resort is more than fascinating; it is breath-taking, boasting iridescent lakes, spring fed and incredible ski areas. This is the reason why the town was venue of choice for the 2010 World Junior Curling Championship and is preferred training ground for international sportsmen. What best describes Flims is maybe its qualification as perfect blend of state-of-the-art design and nostalgic glamor. This specific polarization is represented by its two separate parts: Flims-Waldhaus - a new resort, set amidst larch woods, which hosts most of the hotels, and Flims-Dorf - older, but very original village with base station for the ski lifts and lots of amenities. What additionally contributes to the worldwide reputation of this town is the fact that The Schlössli in Flims is listed as a heritage site of national significance.

5. Spiez

SpiezPicturesquely nestled between vineyards and hills, Spiez on Lake Thun proves to be really inviting destination. With abundance of sunny days, very mild climate and high life standard, this is the ideal starting point for discovering the innumerable beauties of the Valais and the Bernese Oberland. Get fascinated by the unique harmony of mountains and lakes, while taking tour on the wonderful frost-covered lake shore between Faulensee and Spiez. Or get impressed by the scrumptious meals in Restaurant Schlosspintli, the Restaurant Al Porto or the Hotel Restaurant Eden. There are plenty of experiences, such as: river-rafting, canyoning, climbing, sailing and wind-surfing, available to diversify your summer vacation, too. However your experience at Spez won't be complete if you miss visiting the imposing medieval castle, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Visitors are welcome year round, to reveal the secrets of each grand hall within the castle, including the majestic Baroque Banquet Hall, which was built in 1614.

6. St Moriz

St MorizSince having hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1928 and in 1948, St Moriz became one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the world. Presently the name 'St. Moritz' stands for "elegant, vibrant and chic town" with healing mineral springs, which have received worldwide appreciation for over 3000 years. Due to its favourable weather conditions (the so called "champagne climate"), St Moriz offers its visitors wide range of winter sports opportunities, as well as perfect conditions for a long season. You are free to choose among the huge diversity of incredible summer and winter activities: from horse racing on the frozen lake to golf and curling tournaments; from cricket, polo and mountain-biking to tennis and ice scatting. Gourmet and music festivals, art, culture and the Swiss National Park - all of these irresistible attractions are available in a radius of just a few minutes. This is why the name of St Moriz has been registered as an international symbol of quality and protected trademark.

7. Gstaad

GstaadRather seductive and adorably located place, full of restored cozy wooden chalets, Gstaad is actually one-street village, recognized as mountain paradise. It is extremely popular with its charming mix of visitors: from families with children to world celebrities (such as Roman Polanski and Elizabeth Taylor). With its gourmet restaurants, top-class hotels, luxury chalets, and nearby airport of Saanen, the car-free resort has become popular destination for tourists, really diverse by social status. Mountain roadways and railways provide access to the resort of Gstaad where more than 30 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 10 winter sports schools and three ski areas are waiting to make your vacation really memorable. For those passionate for shopping, there are plenty of luxury boutiques, scattered through the town centre. Mountaineering, tennis, golf and hiking are just small part of the plentiful activities you may practice in Gstaad, during the summer.

8. Kandersteg

KanderstegOutstanding traditional village, located in the middle of spectacular Alpine scenery, Kandersteg is the ultimate location to both - observing the astonishing Swiss alpine lifestyle and exploring the magnificent mountains. The small village of Kandersteg is also home to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, which is open during the whole year and warmly welcomes 12 thousand guides and scouts from all around the world. In summer this marvellous village serves as Mecca for hikers form all European countries and offers impressive marked hiking paths, stretching on hundreds of kilometres. Perfectly maintained and secure multi-pitch rock climbing areas, and via ferrata are also great attractions for many visitors. Winter season provides one of the biggest cross-country areas in Switzerland, as well as wide range of pisted hiking paths. The village offers sled runs, snowshoe trails and skiing areas suitable for intermediate and beginner skiers.

9. Pontresina

PontresinaExotic larch forests and sweet-smelling pine forests surround the spa town of Pontresina, situated in the highest side valley of the Upper Engadine. This large resort offers skiers 13 lifts, 23 pistes and the amazing 1273 metres of vertical descent. Pontresina is mostly suitable to intermediate snowboarders and skiers, but there are also incredible terrains for advanced skiers and beginners. For the passionate snowboarders the village offers a half pipe and a terrain park. There are approximately 180 kilometres of cross country ski trails for the ski enthusiasts. Some of the most exclusive attractions of the village are the panorama mountain of Diavolezza and the Museum Alpin in Pontresina, known for its remarkable collection of minerals. Muottas Muragl is a funicular railway, which will take you to the 2453-metre peak for wonderful panoramic views over the lakes of the Upper Engadine.

10. Wengen

WengenSitting on a natural terrace with tremendous views over the Bernese Oberland, the village of Wengen has a lot to offer:  après-ski, fresh mountain air, thigh-burning exercise, hearty meals. It has been staging the legendary Lauberhorn World Cup downhill race since 1930, which additionally contributes to its world glory. Small cozy hotels, dating from the belle époque period, many dispersed holiday chalets and nostalgic timber houses make this resort even more appealing. The main ski area in the region is cuddled by the grandiose peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. All of them are more than 3500 metres high, with formidable glacial features that have earned this alluring region UNESCO natural heritage status. Visit this divine place and notice how quaint tranquillity meets the sky-high drama in one of the most distinguished Swiss ski resorts! This will surely be a magnificent experience to leave long-lasting traces in your mind.


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