Untamed nature meets high society. The roaring Giessbach Falls drop in 14 stages to Lake Brienz in the @madeinbern Oberland. The historic Grandhotel @giessbach has stood at the foot of the falls for practically 150 years now, offering its guests wonderful views of the surrounding area. It survived by a stroke of luck, as there were plans in the 1980s to pull it down. They never materialised, however, and today the building still stands proud in its former splendour. Thanks for the photo, @gillesbodson.
Ageless beauty = @churtourismus! It's the capital of the canton of @graubuenden and the oldest town in Switzerland. There have been settlements here for 5,000 years. The town has clearly stood the test of time. The old town is car-free and best visited on foot. Red signs point you to the most beautiful sights, including attractive town squares, notable museums, chic cafés and the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. It’s not all built-up though: half of Chur is green, and magnificent mountains tower above it. Thanks for the great photo, @swiss_reisemaus.
Two’s company! This little village on the Rhine is called Eglisau and has only 5,000 inhabitants. You can see the whole village from the two bridges over the river. The higher one is for trains and the lower one for all other traffic. These massive constructions have stood guard over the village for around 100 years or more. And there’s plenty more history to discover in Eglisau – such as the timber-framed houses typical of the region. Thanks for the great photo, @michel.jaussi.
How much do you know about @pilatus? That it is the local mountain of @ilove_lucerne? That legend has it that a dragon lives on its summit? That you can get up there on the steepest cog railway in the world? Heard all this many times before? Then we’ll have to dig a little deeper into the treasure trove of facts and stories… Did you know, for example, that Pilatus was called Mons Fractus – meaning broken mountain – in the Middle Ages? Or that the dragon shares the mountain with witches, wizards and giants, all working their mischief? Or that the body of Pontius Pilate, prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, is supposed to lie buried in what was once Lake Pilatus (now a moor)? Now you know! Thanks for the great photo, @wir_res.
A stunning sea in Switzerland! It might only be a sea of clouds, but it will do us quite nicely. Modest as we are, especially as we already have everything else ;-) This fabulous photo was taken atop the Fluebrig, a mountain in the canton of Schwyz around 20 kilometres west of the Walensee. It might not be one of Switzerland’s biggest or most well-known mountains, but its views are incredible – of that there is no doubt. Want to enjoy the same beautiful vista as @patrickcamenzind? There are many hiking routes to the top, ranging from easy to hard. A good starting point is the Wägitalersee.
Parlez-vous français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The canton of Fribourg is bilingual – which is particularly noticeable when you visit the village of Jaun. It’s the only German-speaking municipality in the French-speaking region of @fribourgregion. @twintheworld hiked there and took this photo on their way from Schwarzsee. Besides linguistic diversity, the region also has lots to offer nature lovers, including rolling hills to tall mountains, lakes large and small, expansive meadows and dense forests. It’s especially spectacular at this time of year, with autumn casting its kaleidoscope of colours, swathes of mist and warm light over the countryside.
Stairway to heaven! Or should that be stairway from heaven? We can’t decide with these steps on the Monte San Salvatore. The mountain above Lake Lugano in @ticinoturismo is barely 1,000 metres high and yet its views are breathtaking, as you can see in this photo taken by @simonh40. But down on the lakeshore, the scenery is just as impressive. It’s worth comparing the two: simply make your way up the mountain on foot or take the funicular railway from Paradiso. Which do you prefer – lake shore or mountain summit?
Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps over 2,000 years ago was an almost impossible feat. Fortunately, it’s somewhat easier nowadays. While certain mountain pass roads remain extremely challenging, the Susten Pass is fairly straightforward to navigate. Built relatively recently (from 1938 to 1945), it takes you from the canton of @ferienregionuri to the canton of @madeinbern, where it connects directly to the Grimsel Pass. Without Hannibal’s logistical difficulties to worry about, you’ll have plenty of time to savour the beautiful views – such as this picture-postcard vista of the Stein Glacier and Steinsee captured by @yingxingdelia . Be mindful of the weather, though: the Susten Pass is normally closed in winter. After two thousand years, we still cannot master the snow. ;-)
See if you can pronounce the following tongue twister: “Tschingellochtighorn”. That’s the name of the mountain protruding from the mist in this photo taken by @long.explorer. The four towers of rock are located between Engstligenalp and Kandertal in the Bernese Oberland. What looks like the sparse surface of the moon is in fact a green oasis. The nearby Engstligenalp is a landscape of national importance and perfect for hikers who don’t want too much of a climb, being the largest plateau in the western Swiss Alps. You can get there by cable car from @myadelboden – and just to highlight its accessibility, the alp also features a five-kilometre-long, wheelchair-accessible circular trail.
Just an ordinary bridge in the middle of nowhere? Far from it! The Salginatobel Bridge may not look quite as spectacular as other bridges in Switzerland, but it boasts worldwide significance. Its reinforced concrete arch makes it one of the most important of its kind and has earned it recognition as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Of course, it also serves a practical purpose, connecting Schiers to Schuders in Prättigau in the canton of @graubuenden. Easily accessible from the Alpine metropolis of @churtourismus, the region retains a rugged, natural feel to it. So you see: even in the most remote corners of Switzerland, there’s plenty to pique your interest. Thanks for the great photo, @ottocarlin
What kind of driver are you? The type who likes to go straight from A to B? Or do you love a good winding road? Either way, the Gotthard Pass has the route to suit you. If you like to go the most direct way, we recommend using the Gotthard Tunnel. You’ll be able to drive right through the mountain – a distance of 17 kilometres heading north or south – in just under 20 minutes. But if you have time, and you prefer twists and turns on your journey, then take the route over the Gotthard Pass. The famous Tremola road has an incredible 37 hairpin bends, and whether you’re travelling by car, motorcycle or bike, it’s a spectacular experience, as this photo by @valirock shows. If you’re not keen on driving, there’s always the train: the world’s longest railway tunnel also runs through the Gotthard. ;-)
Now. that’s. what. you. call. a. valley! You can see Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Bernese Oberland @mindz.eye in this photo from @madeinbern. The valley not only features picturesque landscape and roaring waterfalls, but is also the starting point for the most famous destinations in the @jungfrauregion. From here you can set out for the #Schilthorn or take the cog railway to the world-famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The valley itself also has plenty to offer – not just one or two but 72 (!) waterfalls, one of which is 300 metres high and one of the highest in Switzerland. Anyone know what it’s called? Thanks for the great photo, Michael!