Switzerland was one of the first countries in Europe if not the world to have been discovered by tourism. Already during the 19th century, people from all over Europe – and particularly from Britain – travelled to the heart of Europe, to visit this small country and to discover the unspoilt, pristine beauty of the Alps.
Tourists were and still are drawn to and spell-bound by the awe-inspiring, breathtaking sight of mighty, snow covered summits, the vertical world of enormous rock faces and the eternal ice of the longest glaciers Europe has to offer.The world has changed a lot since tourism started to discover Switzerland but the mountains of the Swiss Alps have lost nothing of their magnificence, splendour and fascination. The mixture of the French, German and Italian influences as well as being surrounded by Alpine mountains has formed Switzerland’s unique people and culture.
Switzerland hosts about 20% of the Alps. Approximately 100 peaks are close to or higher than 4000 meters. Many mountain areas are developed; there are trains, cable cars and other means of transportation. Swiss mountains are famous for climbing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking and other recreational activities. But in spite of these attractions, tourists and particularly walkers are always amazed how quiet and undisturbed the Swiss Alps in very many places are; here it is still possible to escape the crowds and the hassles of everyday life, to enjoy fresh air, to listen to the murmur of an untamed, wild river, to soak in fantastic views and to enjoy a tranquillity and peacefulness, that returns so much energy to body and soul. Particularly during the summer and early autumn months, the Alps take on a peaceful and yet dramatic sense of wonder. Here you can walk over wild flower meadows in-between the bells of cattle.
Last but not least: Switzerland is a walker’s heaven with close to 65’000 km (approx. 40’000 miles) of marked and signposted walking tracks! The infrastructure created for walkers are simply superb and probably the best in the world. You will be surprised about the fantastic and wonderful Alpine scenery that awaits you in Switzerland and the beauty of a region where man and nature have co-existed for centuries to create a landscape that perfectly blends human activities with the wonders of nature. The public transport system in Switzerland is extremely good with very frequent (and almost always punctual) train services and busses regularly serving even the smallest and remotest of villages. And – last but not least – the country still features a low crime rate making it a very safe place to travel and visit. The following selection of self-guided walks takes you to some of the most beautiful areas of Switzerland.