The Swiss Alps are a region of untamed beauty, dramatic peaks rising above pastoral villages. This fairytale realm is filled with sapphire lakes, wildflower meadows and sparkling waterfalls.
After a scenic railway journey on the historic Glacier Express, arrive in idyllic Zermatt. This storybook village is reminiscent of Old World Europe, complete with horse-drawn carriages and 400-year-old chalets. Bright window boxes burst with geraniums as you stroll past picturesque storefronts and pointed church steeples. From here you’ll make your way into the mountains to hike one of the most beautiful trails in Europe. You’ll feel as though you’re in the midst of the classic novel Heidi as you pass burbling streams and alpine meadows bursting with edelweiss, the symbol of the Alps. Unwind after a day of hiking with an iced tea made with alpine herbs and sweet apple torte. Your boutique lodge offers magnificent views of the mighty Matterhorn, which dominates the skyline.
Take a cog rail train past shimmering glacial lakes and grazing Valais Blackneck goats to Gornergrat. This observatory offers breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa Massif and Gorner Glacier, and you’ll spend a night here under the glittering constellations.
Travel into the Bernese Highlands through the narrow gorges of Grimsel Pass. In the Middle Ages, mules transported Swiss cheese and cattle to the south along this regional trade route, while wine, rice, corn and olive oil came north.
Take a cable car to reach the pedestrian village of Murren, perched atop a sheer cliff above a waterfall-filled valley. Lauterbrunnen means “valley of loud waters,” and you’ll explore some of the area’s 72 thunderous falls while golden eagles and hen harriers soar above. During mountain hikes, look for chamois, a species of gold antelope, and ibex, a wild goat with massive curling horns.
Sip Swiss hot chocolate from a cozy alpine inn built in 1886, with unsurpassed views of a trilogy of snow-capped mountains: Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Jungfrau, the highest peak, means “maiden” and is named for the 12th-century dairy-farming nuns of Interlaken Monastery. Behind these three mountains is the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch, and together they form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In high mountain meadows during the summer months, milk cows graze on wild herbs and flowers. Savor local cheeses made by alpine creameries whose methods have remained unchanged for centuries. Fresh milk is stirred by hand in huge copper pots over a wood fire to make the acclaimed Alpkäse and aged Berner Hobelkäse. You will find that each village takes pride in its own special variation of cheese!
Hinterwald cattle roam the emerald hills, cowbells ringing, and shepherds herd their flocks of sheep. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the Alps while you enjoy a demonstration by an alphorn player. Shepherds traditionally used this beautiful wooden instrument to communicate over long distances.
The headquarters of World Wildlife Fund, Switzerland has long been a country committed to sustainability. On our nature tour, learn about the Swiss approach to conservation, from car-free villages to the strategies being employed to protect the retreating Gorner Glacier. Natural Habitat Adventures is dedicated to preserving wild places: explore Wild Switzerland: Peaks, Lakes & Glaciers with our expert naturalist guides and join us on a grand adventure in the Alps.