Switzerland is a paradise for outdoor sports, thanks to its wildly beautiful and scenic nature. And even if you’re not much of a sports enthusiast, countless leisure activities are sure to keep you entertained all year, winter or summer. Here are some of Switzerland’s most popular sports and activities.
Switzerland is almost synonymous with hiking and for a good reason. With over 65,000 hiking trails all with gorgeous landscapes, it’s easy to see why. The trails are clearly indicated and watched by volunteers, making sure they stay in the best condition and that you never get lost. Also, it doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, because there are lots of incredible hikes waiting to be explored no matter the season.
Visit a Zoo
If you’re in the mood for a relaxed but exciting day, look no further than a day at the zoo. Switzerland is endowed with several zoos and wildlife parks that are well preserved and diversity-rich. The most popular is Zurich Zoo which homes more than 360 animal species which live in areas completely designed to mimic their natural habitats. The Basel Zoo is a bit smaller than Zurich but boasts over 600 species. Other amazing zoos are the Knies Children’s Zoo, the Plattli Zoo, and the Bear Park. All zoos are open all year round.
Hit the Gorgeous Slopes
Courtesy of being strategically located in the Alps and abundant ski regions, Switzerland is the ideal getaway for winter sports enthusiasts. Whatever your personal preference or budget, there are countless opportunities for skiing and snowboarding and other winter activities.
The country’s lavish resorts include Gstaad, Zermatt, St. Moriz, and Verbier. If you’re operating on a budget, check out Andermatt, which is just a stone throw away from the famous mountain resort Zermatt. Other budget-friendly places are Flims-Laax-Falera found in Grisons and the beautiful village of Arolla in Valais. Plus, in many ski resorts, children under the age of eight or six can ski for free.
Ice Skating, Ice Hockey and other Ice Activities
Switzerland boasts plenty of fun ice activities complete with national and regional leagues and lots of enthusiastic fans. Its annual Spengler Cup tournament is the world’s second-oldest invitational hockey playoff. It’s usually fervor and excitement as six teams compete for the Spengler trophy every year between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
During winter, ice skating is extremely popular, with skating rinks erected in almost every town. Switzerland also has plenty of natural skating rinks courtesy of its multiple gorgeous lakes.
Natives and visitors alike also indulge in another ice activity – igloo building. Guided by an experienced igloo builder, you can erect your igloo from scratch and even spend the night in it if you like. Igloo devotees can even build a whole igloo village together during the annual igloo building festival in the village of Adelboden near Berne.
The Swiss love a good festival, and summertime automatically means festival time. Whichever music tickles your fancy, you’re sure to find a festival that does just that. One of the most popular festivals is the Montreaux Jazz Festival that is held every July at the shores of Lake Geneva. And if you’re a classical music buff, watch out for the Lucerne and Verbier festivals.
Switzerland’s biggest outdoor music festival is the Paleo Festival in July, which features more than 250 concerts. Other massively popular festivals are the Openair Frauenfeld – which is Europe’s biggest. There’s also the Moon and Stars festival which happens at the Italy-speaking city of Locarno, and the Zuri Fascht 3-day festival which happens after every three years.
Thrilling Adventure Sports
Interlaken, located in central Switzerland between the beautiful lakes of Thun and Brienz is the perfect destination for adventure sports buffs. The resort town has almost all year-round pleasant weather and superb flying conditions, making it a top place for enthralling adventure sports. Think paragliding, skydiving, glacier trekking, white water rafting and more.
A spectacular trekking adventure awaits you in the form of Aletschgletscher, Europe’s largest glacier. Natives and tourists alike troop here every year to trek and take in the uninhibited views of the stunning landscapes below. You get to enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains.
Whether you’re a nature, music, or animal lover, Switzerland is a perfect destination for a good time and unforgettable memories. Want more travel tips and unique attractions? Check out coopzeitung.ch for more amazing places