Aah, Switzerland! A country best known for its clean and pristine nature, we never fail to conjure up images of its rugged snowcapped mountains, shimmering lakes, and lush meadows as well as the fairytale-like villages and fluffy cows at the mere whisper of ‘Switzerland’. It’s just natural (pun intended).
So why aren’t we enjoying more, or all, of the splendour on offer?
The country’s latest summer campaign that launched earlier this year, My Swiss Experience offers endless opportunities to live like a local and experience the authentic Swiss ways of life. With more than 700 suggestions that cover both city and regional experiences as well as wildlife encounters hosted by local expert guides, the number of things you can do is only limited by the duration of your stay.
One particular stand-out experience is fishing on Lake Constance. Indeed, it’s not every day that you will get the opportunity to hang out with a local fisherman to learn the ropes first hand. Fishing aside, the calm surrounds make it all worthwhile for the early morning rise. Home to more than 45 species of fish, the population of fish on Lake Constance is currently dwindling. And amazingly, it’s because the water is too clean. So clean that local fishermen actually wish the water was slightly dirtier to promote marine growth!
In keeping with the animal theme, one of the key experiences that we just know you will enjoy is Wildlife Watching. Even if you’re not a huge animal lover, the wide range of encounters with the local wildlife are guaranteed to enhance your Swiss stay. There are more than 100-day packages including self-guided walks and hikes as well as those accompanied by professional local guides, from whom you will learn a wealth of information about the endemic species.
For animal lovers, ibex watching on the Niederhorn is a must. These majestic and elegant mountain creatures are not exactly shy, but can sometimes be elusive. Guided by a local wildlife expert, you will learn the origins of these majestic creatures, their survival history over the century, their nature and their daily habits. If you’re lucky, you might even see some of their young. When you go, be sure to be camera ready!
To tie it all in, we highly recommend that you stay in one of the many Alpine Huts that have, for the very first time, been made available to travellers. You now have direct access to traditional alpine huts that you’ve seen in those iconic Swiss images.
For generations, these huts have been used by local cheese makers and shepherds and their animals as summer residences. Today, you can stay in them to fully enjoy that Swiss country experience. Be it the “Heidi” style in a simple hut with the bare basics, or in a more luxurious setting with all the mod-cons and technology, you pick the experience and book it all in real time. A useful tip is to familiarise yourself with the different terms used for these huts based on the regions so you can expertly rent a Chalet, Acia, Monti, Mayens or Berg.
Our advice for when nature wants you back, is take the time to reconnect.