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Trip to Switzerland: Uncover the Best Places to Visit in The Swiss Alps

Updated: Feb 16

A 10-Day Itinerary off the Beaten Track:

Embark on a trip to Switzerland, where you'll venture through the Swiss Alps to discover some of the country's most stunning destinations. This 10-day journey will lead you off the beaten path, allowing you to explore charming Swiss towns and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and rich culture of the region. This adventure in the Swiss Alps is unique, as it offers insider tips from the locals, making it a departure from the typical tourist experience when visiting Switzerland.

Day 1: Arrival in Zurich and Journey to Tschiertschen

Begin your trip to Switzerland at Zurich Airport, setting off on your journey through the Swiss Alps. The scenic drive to Tschiertschen offers breathtaking landscapes, serving as a perfect introduction to the Swiss Alps of Switzerland. Be sure to stop in Bilten along the way to visit the Läderach Chocolate Experience, where you have the opportunity to make your own chocolate. After this delightful experience, continue your journey to Amden and visit the spectacular Aussichtspunkt Chapf. Park your car in Arvenbüel and walk the remaining 1.1km to enjoy panoramic views of the fjord-like Lake Walensee, a stunning natural wonder that encapsulates the scenic beauty of Switzerland.

Day 2: Exploring Tschiertschen

Explore the traditional Swiss village of Tschiertschen, renowned as one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. For accommodation, choose between the Alpina Lodge, a quaint lodge-style typical Swiss house ideal for budget travelers, and the luxurious Alpina Mountain Resort, perfect for those seeking more upscale amenities. Conveniently, both are managed by the same team, allowing guests of the lodge to enjoy the restaurant and spa facilities of the hotel. Tschiertschen is arguably the most quintessentially Swiss village in the country. As you wander its streets, visit local farm shops, and soak in the atmosphere, you'll be captivated by the breathtaking mountain views. A trip up to Gürgaletsch Mountain via the lift is a must-do, offering an opportunity to witness the diverse flora and fauna of the Swiss Alps.

Day 3: Journey to Bergün

Travel to Bergün, a picturesque destination in the Swiss Alps Switzerland, and be sure to visit the impressive Landwasser Viaduct (parking right on the main street)just before you arrive. This architectural marvel is a highlight of any trip to Switzerland. In Bergün, make a point to stop by the unique Bio Bergün farm shop, housed in an old train wagon and operating on a trust basis. Here, you'll find some of the best burger meat and local sausages (called Salsiz) in the region. Afterward, take time to explore Bergün's traditional houses and narrow streets. The town also offers a variety of simple local hikes, allowing you to further enjoy the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Day 4: Drive to Engadine Valley Adventures

Visiting the Engadine Valley is an essential part of any Swiss Alps Switzerland itinerary. The Engadine is one of the highest inhabited valleys in Europe. For your stay, consider either Sylvaplana or Pontresina, each offering its unique charm. In Sylvaplana, we recommend Conrad's Mountain Lodge, known for its incredibly long-form pizzas and exceptionally friendly staff. Sylvaplana is a compact and quiet town, providing a serene escape, while Pontresina tends to be a bit more tourist-oriented with a lively atmosphere.

Both towns are hubs for outdoor activities such as biking and paragliding, adding an adventurous edge to your trip to Switzerland. Whether you choose the tranquillity of Sylvaplana or Pontresina, you'll find ample opportunities to explore the stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the Engadine Valley. To finish the day, visit famous St. Moritz and stroll through the town or hike into Val Roseg, one of the many side valleys in the Engadine. If you are pressed for time, stop for a quick photo at the San Gian church in Celerina (10 minutes), take a walk around Lake St. Moritz (1-2 hours, park your car here), or explore Lake Silvaplana (1-2 hours, park your car here). Insider Tip: Before your stay, check if your accommodation provides you with the Engadine card for free at participating hotels. This card allows you to use all public transport and many mountain railways for free.

Day 5: Muottas Muragl and Morteratsch Glacier

After a restful night in the Engadine, start your day with a ride on the mountain rail to Muottas Muragl, where you'll be greeted with a scenic view over the Engadine Valley. Up there, you'll find a large playground, perfect for families, and you have the option to either hike back down to Pontresina or return via the mountain rail. The breathtaking view from Muottas Muragl is truly worth the trip, offering a panoramic perspective of the valley's beauty.

In the afternoon, make your way to the Morteratsch Glacier. The hike from the parking area to the glacier takes you through a valley filled with typical Engadine pine trees, alongside a meandering river, leading up to the glacier itself.

Day 6: The Charm of Locarno and Ascona

Depart from the Engadine Valley and head towards Locarno and Ascona, two of the most enchanting towns in Switzerland. Each showcases a beautiful blend of Swiss and Italian cultures, with vibrant art scenes and stunning lakeside settings, making them among the best places to visit in Switzerland. The choice of where to stay is almost inconsequential, as both Ascona and Locarno offer their own unique charm and are equally captivating.

During your journey, don't miss the opportunity to stop at Bellinzona to explore its three UNESCO World Heritage castles. Whether you visit one or all, these castles provide a glimpse into the rich history and architectural splendor of the region.

Day 7: Verzasca Dam and Ponte dei Salti

Today, as you drive up the Verzasca Valley towards the famous Verzasca Dam, take in the sights of the traditional Ticino stone houses that dot the landscape, each telling a story of the region's rich architectural heritage. Known for its role in the opening scene of the James Bond film 'GoldenEye,' the dam offers a thrilling bungee jumping experience for the adventurous at heart.

Continue your journey to the picturesque Ponte dei Salti, a historic stone bridge that spans a crystal-clear river. Here, you can enjoy a hike around the area, exploring the natural beauty and serene surroundings. The hike near Ponte dei Salti is a great way to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape and discover the unique charm of this part of Switzerland.

To conclude your day, relax in one of the local osterias and savor a regional polenta dish. My personal favorites are Osteria Grotto Contrattempi and Ristorante Grotto Broggini, both offering a delightful taste of local cuisine.

Day 8: More of Locarno/Ascona and Lugano

Extend your stay in the area for an additional day to further explore its enchanting surroundings. Start your day with a relaxing boat trip from Ascona to the beautiful Isole di Brissago. These islands, nestled in the middle of the lake, provide a serene and picturesque setting, ideal for a leisurely exploration.

After visiting the islands, enjoy a scenic walk along the lakeshore from Ascona to Locarno.

Upon arrival in Locarno, take the Locarno–Madonna del Sasso funicular. This cable car ride ascends to a vantage point offering an amazing view over the town and Lake Maggiore. The panoramic vista from Madonna del Sasso is truly breathtaking. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Madonna del Sasso itself, a revered Marian Pontifical shrine.

View over Lugano

Day 9: Drive to Lucerne

Conclude your trip to Switzerland with a drive to Lucerne, journeying through the stunning Swiss Alps. If the weather permits, opt for the scenic route over the St. Gotthard Pass instead of taking the tunnel. Once in Luzern, explore the city's famous landmarks, including the iconic Chapel Bridge and the vibrant old town. If time allows, enjoy a short cruise on Lake Lucerne, a perfect way to experience the beauty of the area from the water.

If you're able to extend your stay in Luzern by an additional day, I highly recommend taking the mountain railway from Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus for a breathtaking view over Lake Lucerne. This excursion offers stunning panoramic vistas and an unforgettable experience.

Alternatively, take the train and bus to Obbürgen, Abzw. Trogen, and from there, hike to the Hammetschwand Elevator, an extraordinary elevator that ascends Bürgenstock mountain. During your walk, you'll pass by the Instagram-famous Hotel Villa Honegg, known for its infinity pool. Be sure to capture a photo from this spot – it's a view that's truly picturesque and embodies the beauty of Switzerland.

Day 10: Conclude your trip to Switzerland - Return to Zurich

This 10-day itinerary provides a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion in Switzerland. Experience the thrilling landscapes of the Swiss Alps and the serene beauty of Lake Lucerne, with each day bringing new discoveries and unforgettable moments. This journey through Switzerland showcases the exceptional diversity and allure of the country.

As you conclude this tour, you will have explored some of the most beautiful Swiss small towns and cities, each offering its unique charm and character. From picturesque mountain villages to vibrant lakeside towns, this trip encompasses the very best of Switzerland, leaving you with a comprehensive and deeply satisfying experience of Swiss culture, nature, and heritage.


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