by Senior Sales Coordinator Leah Schilling
Switzerland is a beautiful country no matter which town you are in. You’ve likely heard of the main tourist cities (Zurich, Lucerne, Geneva) but there are many beautifully scenic small towns in Switzerland that are well worth a visit.
Stein am Rhein
Arguably one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland, Stein am Rhein is located in the northern region of the country, where Lake Constance spills into the Rhine River. This well-preserved medieval town is most known for its half-timbered buildings with colorfully painted facades and cobblestone streets. It boasts a number of unique sights, including the St. George Abbey Museum built in the 11th century and the privately-owned hilltop Hohenklingen Castle. If you have a chance, take a walk through the Town Hall Square (Rathausplatz). The town’s fairy-tale-esque 16th century houses with intricately carved windows and beautifully unique murals are not to be missed!
Soglio is one of Switzerland’s best-kept secrets! The small, remote and mountainous village is located near the Swiss-Italian border where the majority of its residents speak Italian. This romantic destination sits in a stunning valley and is known for the beautiful wildflowers that blossom on the hills. Take a stroll down the charming cobblestone lanes of Old Town. Visit the historic Church of St. Lorenzo, which looms over the village. Gaze up at the grand sequoia trees that grow outside of the Palazzo Solis, a palace-turned-hotel with an authentic Mediterranean feel. Hike from the Mejola Pass through timeless villages and past shady chestnut groves.
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Morcote, a former fishing village, is set into the hillside along the shores of Lake Lugano. This picturesque small town was named the most beautiful town in Switzerland in 2016 and we couldn’t agree more! Visit the cafes, restaurants and shops along the waterfront while taking in the panoramic view before turning up the charming alleys to see the medieval arcades. You can view the bell tower of the historic Santa Maria del Sasso Church from most points in the village. Experience the more exotic Scherrer Park, with its subtropical flora and themed statuary, or hike up the hillside through the dense woodland to the remains of Morcote Castle.
If you’re a fan of stunning waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen is a town that can’t be missed. The name of the valley, “Lauterbrunnen,” which means “many fountains,” refers to its 72 waterfalls in the area. Staubbach Falls is one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe, plunging nearly 1,000 feet from a towering cliff overhang. Set in a valley surrounded by rocky cliffs, the town is the perfect home base for a number of excursions in the Jungfrau region. Lauterbrunnen is close to Murren, a holiday resort town, and Schilthorn, the filming location for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at skydiving in the summer or hit the cross-country ski trails in the winter.
Wengen is a storybook alpine village and ski resort located high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The grand summits of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains loom over the rustic timber chalets and Belle Époque-era homes. The town has been car-free for over a century but it can be easily reached by train or cable car. With over 300 miles of hiking trails and 4,200-foot ski slopes, it comes as no surprise that Wengen is a destination to see year-round.