Top 10 must-see views in Switzerland, according to locals
Thanks to its mountains, rivers, lakes and pleasant meadows, Switzerland is awash with stunning vistas. Now, a survey by Watson has revealed which views of the alpine nation are best, according to the people who call Switzerland home.
10 best views in Switzerland, as chosen by locals
To create the top 10, Watson writer and travel expert Reto Fehr teamed up with Renate Albrecher - from the Bankkultur Association which, among other things, wants to review and rank all the benches in Switzerland by their views - and Pascal Bourqin - someone who has hiked 37 percent of all the hiking trails in Switzerland.
With help from the experts and newspaper staff, Fehr put together a shortlist of the best views in Switzerland and asked the general public to rate each view out of 10. At the time of writing, here are the best-reviewed views in Switzerland, and how to get to each of the vistas.
1. Aletsch Glacier, Canton Valais
Coming in first place is perhaps the most spectacular natural phenomenon Switzerland has to offer: the Aletsch Glacier in Canton Valais. This 22,6-kilometre-long, 940-metre-thick wall of ice is a top spring destination in Switzerland and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
To visit the glacier, travellers will either have to take the cable car up to Fiescheralp from Fiesch or take the long walk to the glacier from Eggishorn, Beilwald or Belalp. From there, people wanting to walk the glacier’s length can use Hiking Route 39 - be warned the path is quite a challenge and is not recommended for children or novices.
2. Wissifluh, Canton Lucerne / Schwyz
Next on the list is one of the many peaks in the Rigi region of Switzerland, with the view at the top of Wissifluh coming in second place. From the top at 1.000 metres above sea level, tourists are afforded stunning views of the Vierwaldstättersee, Lucerne and surrounding Alps.
As with getting to most mountains, the only way is up. To get to the top you will have to take the old cable car from Vitznau - taking a ferry from Lucerne to Vitznau is a great way to make a special day out. More active hikers can also walk up to the top, but be warned that the paths on the north side of the mountain are quite the challenge.
3. Gruebi, Canton Schwyz / Uri
Just across the lake from where the Old Swiss Confederacy was formed is the area known as Gruebi - the ridgeline between Morschach, Canton Schwyz and Sisikon, Canton Uri. Many people have described the area as “picture postcard Switzerland” and it’s easy to see why.
To experience all the views on offer, why not try Hiking Route 99 (or the Street of Switzerland) from Brunnen to Sisikon? Both towns are ably catered by public transport, and the walk itself offers perhaps the most stereotypically beautiful views that Switzerland has to offer.
4. Rigi, Canton Schwyz
Despite its sister mountain scoring better in the vote, people in Switzerland still rate Rigi itself as having a must-see view. After taking the spectacular mountain railway from either Vitznau or Arth Goldau to the top at Rigi Kulm, people are greeted with a 360-degree panoramic view of the whole of Switzerland.
During good weather, people at the top have been able to see as far as Zurich, Lucerne, Zug and beyond. The top of Rigi also gives access to a rich and diverse hiking region, should you want to take the long way down.
5. Wannichnubel, Canton Bern
Perhaps a lesser know but highly rated view is Wannichnubel in Canton Bern. Just above Interlaken, people on the hill will be able to see a number of famous Swiss mountains like Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Once again, the hiking routes up to Wannichnubel are extremely strenuous. If you are just there for the view, you can choose instead to take the Harderbahn from near Interlaken Ost all the way to the top at Harderkulm to get a similar view.
6. Lake Palougna, Canton Graubünden
Our first lake on the list is Lake Palougna in Canton Graubünden. Nestled below Piz Bial in the Albula Pass, the area couples pristine blue waters with the splendid isolation that an alpine wooded area provides.
Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the lake is ably served by Interregional services between St. Moritz and Chur through the station at Preda. Once there, take Hiking Route 33 in the direction of Tirano, and in half an hour you will be there.
7. Bachalpsee, Canton Bern
Just a stone’s throw away from the top of First in the Swiss ski resort and adrenaline hub of Grindelwald is the Bachalpsee. The area combines all the things you need in a Swiss view: crystal clear lake, mountain vistas and plenty of walking trails around it.
Once the ski season comes to an end and the hiking season begins, the Bachalpsee can be reached by walking along Hiking Route 38 from the top station of First. Be warned that the path after the Bachalpsee is quite tricky, so it may be better to make the lake your turnaround point.
8. Velar du Pertuis, Canton Valais
Skating the border between France and Switzerland is the alpine nation's eighth-best view at the Velar du Pertuis in the hills above the town of Morgins. This view on the border of the two counties is awash with green rolling fields, deep valleys and high mountain ranges.
However, despite only being six kilometres in length, the walk up to the view from Morgins is arguably the hardest in the top 10, with hikers having to scale 581 metres along a ridgeline in order to get the view.
9. Tour de Grand Chavalard, Canton Valais
From the cable car station at Jorasse above the town of Oberonnaz in Canton Valais, hikers will be able to see views of both ancient and modern Switzerland. On the one hand, they will be able to see the heart of Canton Valais at Sion, bristling with industry, a motorway and businesses, while just behind sits the beauty of the Grand Muveran, Den Favre and Grand Chavalard mountains.
Those wanting to see all that the area has to offer - and up to climbing and descending 1.100 metres in a day - should try the Tour de Grand Chavalard (Route 220): a 15-kilometre round trip taking you well over 2.700 metres above sea level. Alternatively, those who would rather avoid getting lost in the mountains can take the cable car to Jorasse and take in the view from there.
10. Diavolezza summit, Canton Graubünden
Finally, on the border with Italy is the small ski resort of Diavolezza. After getting off the train from St. Moritz or Tirano, a quick cable car ride to the Berghaus will allow you to be surrounded by mountains and glaciers.
What is your favourite view of Switzerland?
Well, there we are, the best views in Switzerland according to locals. Have a stunning view of Switzerland that you want people to know about? Let us know in the comments below!