The Swiss are known for many things—they have a fervour for punctuality, a penchant for milk chocolate (did anyone say Cailler?), an unrivalled skill for watch-making, and enjoy a much envied quality of life—and these truisms are revealed no matter how short the visit.
What is most remarkable, however, aren’t the clichés of safety or efficiency, but their profound connection with nature. The Swiss have a special affinity with the mountains that define their landscape, and it’s easy to say why. Looming large from a distance, the Swiss Alps captivate from afar and they’re even more majestic once you set foot on them.
Here are three novel ways to see them up close.
Ride A Revolving Cable Car To Mount Titlis
One of the most popular mountain destinations in Switzerland, Mount Titlis is equipped to entertain even the least athletic of travellers. Savour the ride aboard the Titlis Rotair gondola, the world’s first revolving cable car. The five-minute trip reveals a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the Alps (and will have you taking pictures all the way). Once you reach the summit at 3020 metres, up the stakes at the Titlis Cliff Walk, the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe. Cross to the other side to claim a unique reward—an intimate encounter with the glistening Titlis glacier in the natural cave 20 metres below.
Take A Serene Hike On Riederalp
Riederalp’s mid-mountain altitude allows for an eye-level view of the mountains that embrace it, as well as boasts of being one of the best bases for a close encounter with the largest glacier in the Alps—the Great Aletsch Glacier. A trip to glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, requires an early start. Brave the cold to witness the transformation of the pink and lavender sky as the sun emerges, and make your way to the Moosfluh viewpoint. After a 10-minute cable car ride, you’ll see a screensaver-worthy view of the Pennine Alps, including the easily recognisable Matterhorn—the iconic triangular peak immortalised by Toblerone—and a breathtaking view of the 23-km long glacier.
Aboard A Scenic Train Journey To Jungfrau
After exploring Interlaken—the quaint, picturesque city between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz considered the gateway to Jungfrau—you’ll want to ascend the majestic mountains that surround it. Save a seat aboard the Jungfrau Railway, the highest altitude railway in Europe, which ends at a station 3454 metres above sea level. Built over a century ago, the railway is a feat of engineering assuring the scenic journey is as interesting as the destination. Spend your time at the top of the Jungfraujoch with a visit to the Sphinx Observatory, which offers a stunning vista of the Aletsch glacier, or your choice of snow activities.
The writer travelled as a guest of Switzerland Tourism and Dynasty Travel using the first-class Swiss Pass. Exclusive, customised itineraries to Switzerland, including a visit to the Aletsch Glacier, are available via Dynasty Travel's Pure Switzerland programme.