The Best of the Swiss Alps
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Clear alpine lakes, bucolic valleys, dramatic craggy peaks, fresh mountain air, perfect chalets, the gentle tinkling of cowbells carried on the breeze: The Swiss Alps remain the most iconic mountain landscape in the world. Drive over breathtaking mountain passes, hike meticulously maintained trails, ski pristine powder, indulge in a world-class spa – the picture-perfect scenery will stay with you long after you leave.
Flüela Pass, 7260 Zernez, Switzerland
The Grand Tour of Switzerland includes thrilling bends and scenic views at every turn, and five of its famous alpine passes stand out—literally—among the rest of the route. They are engineering wonders that often overlook natural wonders as well....
St Moritz, Switzerland
In a country full of swanky resort towns, St. Moritz takes the crown with its wide array of five-star hotels, designer stores, and award-winning restaurants. The town is also home to such exciting activities as skijoring and ice cricket, which...
Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This esteemed, five-star hotel, set in its own park overlooking Lake Zurich and the Alps, has a remarkable history. Opened in 1844 by Johannes Baur, the property hosted the world premiere of Wagner’s Die Walküre (Wagner himself...
Schweizerhofquai 2, 6004 Luzern, Switzerland
Max Chocolatier, a boutique chocolate shop in the heart of Lucerne, creates exquisite hand-made chocolate that is meant to be savored. The store is located on a high-end shopping street near the lake. While I normally don't gravitate to "fancy"...
Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
Opened in 2012, the Alpina is one of only two newly built, five-star hotels in Gstaaad in more than a century. Situated in a wealthy hilltop area in Oberbort, the hotel offers stellar views of the Bernese Alps (including the Spitzhorn and...
Auf dem Fels, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
Built into a mountainside with uninterrupted views of Zermatt and the Matterhorn, The Omnia is a contemporary take on a mountain lodge, envisioned by the late modernist architect Ali Tayar. From below, the glass, metal, and larchwood...
Rue du Bourg 53, 1663 Gruyères, Switzerland
If you visit in the autumn, watch out for the falling apples on the outdoor terrace of this old fondue chalet in the center of the medieval village of Gruyères. Salads are fresh heaps of greens, bouillon is served with or without egg, and...
Avenue Centrale 134, 1884 Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland
Villars-sur-Ollon might not top the list of world-famous Swiss ski towns, but this quaint place packs a punch—particularly with its newish bar, Moon Boot Lounge. After tackling some of the region’s finest (and, more importantly,...
Route du Ctre Thermal 16, 1913 Saillon, Switzerland
Canton Valais is not only the capital of après-ski; conquered by the Romans in 25 B.C.E., it's also home to Switzerland’s largest concentration of ancient thermal baths, including popular spots like Brigerbad and Leukerbad. A...
Ebenalp, 9057 Schwende District, Switzerland
This Alpine area in Appenzellerland sits at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet and is home to the much-photographed Aescher-Gasthaus, Switzerland’s version of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The 19th-century guesthouse was constructed...
Tortin, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
Skiers and visitors who think fondue and raclette are the best expressions of Switzerland’s melted-cheese cuisine will be surprised when they taste their first Käseschnitte (called croûte au fromage in French-speaking Switzerland). This...
Riedweg 156, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
This family-run micro-village in Valais offers 36 rooms across six separate chalets. Huddled together on a hill above the popular ski resort of Zermatt, the buildings reference the area’s traditional architecture, from the timber frames to...
The Jungfrau is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, located between the southern canton of Bern and the northern canton of Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch. It's the perfect place for the quintessential Swiss experience. The...
3863 Gadmen, Switzerland
The Trift Bridge is the longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps, spanning 170 meters (560 ft) at a height of 100 meters (330 ft) but when we got to it somehow it looked longer and higher. As afraid as I was I did not hike all...
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