• Tania Wee

Escape into the Swiss Countryside at one of its Many Picturesque Villages

Updated: Feb 19

The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Switzerland are its beautiful cities and breathtaking scenery. From border to border, you’ll find gorgeous rugged mountain views punctuated with picturesque villages hugging valley floors. But its hidden treasures are its Alpine and lakeside villages.


It’s a paradise for hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of the crowd and nestled between Switzerland's natural wonders, these villages are worth spending a day or two at to truly appreciate the laidback lifestyle and sceneries of the Swiss. We have compiled some of the most stunning villages in Switzerland's countryside, factoring in accessibility from major cities so that you can start planning out your itinerary when borders reopen.

Grindelwald

One of Switzerland’s oldest resort towns, Grindelwald’s majesty cannot be captured in a photo – you need to experience it for yourself. Surrounded by famous mountains and glaciers, it has earned the name as the Glacier Village and is a well-loved spot for hikers and outdoor lovers. One of the best ways to appreciate the sheer beauty that is Grindelwald is to take a ride on the First Flyer - A seated zip-wire ride that allows four people to fly side by side.


Closest city: Bern

Getting there: 1 hour 10 mins by car, 1 hour 33 mins by train


Morcote

Sitting just on the border to Italy and in the Lugano region of Switzerland is the picturesque lakeside village of Morcote. It is home to several architectural wonders listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance. Among these are the ornate Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, an Egyptian temple and an abundance of Greek sculptures.


Closest city: Lucerne

Getting there: 2 hours 15 mins by car, 2 hours 45 mins by train


Gimmelwald

Gimmelwald lies halfway up a mountain in the Bernese Oberland and overlooks the UNESCO world heritage listed Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn. One of the last car-free villages in Switzerland, Gimmelwald is a completely pedestrianised village making it an idyllic retreat from urban life. Take the cable car from Stechelberg and enjoy the spectacular views of mountains and waterfalls as you make the ascent to Gimmelwald.


Closest city: Lucerne

Getting there: 3 hours 6 mins by train


Spiez

Spiez is a serene village situated on the edge of Lake Thun with a beautiful castle overlooking its scenic views. Highlights from this little village include a 14-mile circular hike promising fine views of the mountainous terrain and bright blue lake waters, and a visit to the 1000-year-old church within Spiez Castle. Despite its close proximity to Bern, escaping into this lakeside village will feel like an entirely different world.


Closest city: Bern

Getting there: 30 mins by train, 33 mins by car


Andermatt

Andermatt is a village located in a valley where eight mountain passes converge in the Alps. It’s the largest of these passes, reminiscent of a bucolic jewel. Found at the center of the Gothard Massif, Andermatt is as picturesque as they come in Switzerland. You can travel around on a steam railway or in a five-horse drawn post coach or on your own two feet exploring this scenic spot. Andermatt is perhaps most famous for its winter skiing, with lifts running from the village to Gemsstock and Natschen.


Closest city: Lucerne

Getting there: 1 hour by car, 1 hour 47 mins by train


Guarda

A village of national importance, the sheer beauty of this picture-perfect place is not to be underestimated. In 1975, it was awarded the Wakker Prizer by the Swiss Heritage Society for the preservation of its architectural heritage and is the best preserved and characteristic villages of the Unterengadin. During the summer months, visitors can embark on a fairly easy hike to Piz Buin – the mountain made famous by the sun cream brand. In winter, the village comes alive with toboggan runs, ice rinks and cross-country ski routes to keep all of its visitors entertained.


Closest city: Zurich

Getting there: 2 hours 13 mins by car, 3 hours 22 mins by train


Leukerbad

Home to 10 thermal baths, world renowned spa facilities, all surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, Leukerbad is a peaceful refuge in a dramatic setting. Used since the Roman times, the thermal springs are believed to have healing powers. So follow in the footsteps of history and come take a soak, surrounded by breathtaking cliffs, soaking in the minerals as well as the views.

Closest city: Lausanne

Getting there: 1 hour 45 mins by car

Yes, Switzerland's cities are beautiful by their own means but why not take the time out of your itinerary to explore the path less travelled in these charming villages in the countryside. It would feel as though you have just stepped into a fairy tale, one that you just wouldn't want to leave.


Getting to these villages may take some additional research but why not let the Swiss experts, Sedunia Travel in partnership with Swiss Tourism assist you with the planning and bookings? You can always opt for their on-ground packages and customise it to include any one of these villages for that perfect unique holiday into the Swiss countryside - specially catered for you.

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