Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne are popular tourist destinations, but the real beauty of Switzerland lies in the off-the-beaten-path corners of this small mountainous country. There are many pretty villages scattered throughout Switzerland, many of them located on the slopes of the Alps or near calm lakes, as if they had stepped off an advertising poster. Some villages are located in such inaccessible places that they can only be reached by train, cable car or on foot. However, the scenery is so beautiful that it is worth the effort. Let me introduce you to 7 pearls of this magical land.
Lauterbrunnen is perhaps one of the most touristy villages in Switzerland. It is nestled in the valley of the same name, surrounded by steep cliffs with glacial waterfalls. There is only one street with a few dozen buildings and a grocery store, and the scenery is so stunning that the village is definitely worth including in your Swiss itinerary.
The charming houses look beautiful against the majestic mountains. On a clear day, you can see the top of the famous Jungfrau mountain in the distance, and in good weather you can hear the splash of ski jumpers. The journey here is not too difficult: the train from Lucerne takes less than three hours.
Himmelwald is high up in the mountains, located above Lauterbrunnen. The village is so small and remote that its 130 inhabitants go down to the valley for everything they need, where the nearest school and grocery store are located. The tiny village has all the traditional attributes of the Swiss province – alpine landscapes with herds of goats, mountain bells and friendly people.
There are no cars in the Himmelwalde, as the road to these impassable places has not been built. You can get here by bus to Lauterbrunnen, and from there you can take a cable car up to the top.
Located at an altitude of just under 1700 meters, the village of Andermatt is an ideal place for skiing and snowboarding in winter and hiking in summer. It is the largest of the three villages in the Ursern Valley, at the crossroads of the Swiss mountain ranges, and it is quite quiet.
The village seems to have stepped out of a Swiss postcard: houses with peaked roofs crammed along the cobblestone streets, national flags flying everywhere. It is definitely worth a short stop on the Glacier Express train from Zermatt to St. Moritz.
This place is located in the neighborhood of the country’s capital, Bern, but the spirit of a deep province lives here. Beauty reigns here all year round: in winter, the mountains have abundant fluffy snow, and in summer, the white peaks look magnificent against the deep blue sky and emerald pastures.
The village is often a rest stop on the way to the summit of the Jungfrau, a popular tourist destination. But, like most villages in the region, Wengen has retained a truly Swiss spirit, thanks in no small part to its phenomenal mountain views, including the famous Eiger.
Murren is a tiny mountain village nestled at the foot of the iconic Shilthorne Peak, made famous by the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
There are many hiking trails of varying difficulty, and all hikes offer the best alpine views. The village is also suitable for a lazy vacation: from here you can watch smoke streaming from chimneys for hours, and herds slowly move along the mountain slopes, announcing the neighborhood with the ringing of bells.
We advise you to review it: What not to do in Switzerland
There are no roads to Murren, and the only transportation here is a cable car. You can get here on foot: trekking enthusiasts climb from the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and it’s easy to feel far from civilization on the way.
Once a bustling village on the route between Lake Como and Innsbruck, these days it is full of peace and quiet as the busy highway now runs in the valley.
The surrounding landscape of this charming village is so picturesque that this place is ideal for lovers of outdoor activities in winter and summer.
Grindelwald (or Grindelwald) is a popular resort village located at an altitude of about 1000 meters in the Bernese Alps. In winter, skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes, and after skiing, they go out to the town’s bars and restaurants. In summer, it’s a bit calmer, and tourists use the village as a base for exploring the nearby mountain peaks.
The magnificent landscape and easy accessibility by road and rail attract wealthy travelers from all over the world (prices in Switzerland are very high). Although the population of the village has grown steadily over the years and Grindelwald has become a glossy tourist center, it is a very pleasant place to relax, worth the money spent.