Seasonal Guide to Switzerland

Switzerland, the landlocked jewel in the heart of Europe, is a destination that offers endless attractions all year round. From skiing down the whites slopes in winter to hiking through lush meadows in the summer, Switzerland promises something special each season. Even though Alpenwild guided are focused most intently on summer season hiking, trekking, scenic rail and food tours, know that you can have a great Swiss vacation year round on either a guided or self-guided basis.

Let’s dive into the best activities Switzerland has to offer throughout the year.

Winter (December to February)

  • Skiing and snowboarding. Switzerland is often synonymous with winter sports, and for a good reason. Resorts like Verbier, Davos, and Zermatt and Grindelwald are renowned globally, drawing enthusiasts to their pristine slopes.
  • Winter hiking. The Swiss are passionate about winter walking on groomed snow walking trains. Explore snow-covered trails in the Swiss National Park, the country’s oldest national park. These winter trails are well-maintained and offer an entirely different hiking experience.
  • Christmas markets. Zurich’s Wienachtsdorf or Geneva’s Parc des Bastions Christmas market becomes a winter wonderland with ice skating, delicious treats, and festive stalls. 
  • Tobogganing. Glide down snow-covered hills on toboggans in places like Grindelwald or the Preda-Bergün toboggan run, one of the longest in Europe.

Spring (March to May)

  • Cherry blossom viewing. Cherry trees turn pink in spring, and walking through parts of Ascona, Lausanne or Bern’s Rosengarten can be like stepping into a fairy tale.
  • Visit Rhine Falls. As snow melts, the Rhine Falls roars with grandeur. Nearby, the Medieval Castle Laufen or just a short boat excursion out to “the rock” offers a perfect panoramic view.
  • Biking. Cycling tours, especially in the Emmental region, allow visitors to traverse rolling hills, visit traditional cheese dairies, and stop in picturesque villages.
  • Flower blooming. Regions like Val Poschiavo burst into a riot of colors with wildflower blooming hikes. 

Summer (June to August)

  • Mountain hiking. Explore the iconic Schynige Platte in the Bernese Oberland, known for its vintage cogwheel train and stunning Alpine views.
  • Lake activities. Apart from the larger lakes, discover hidden gems like Oeschinensee or Champex-Lac for rowing and picnics.
  • Festivals. The Cow Parades in the Alpine regions, where cows are adorned and paraded up to higher pastures, are a delightful experience at both the start and end of summer.
  • Paragliding. Experience the thrill in Interlaken, offering unparalleled views of the Jungfrau region. 

Fall (September to November)

  • Wine tasting. Celebrate the Fête de la Vigne in Nyon, a traditional grape harvest festival, with parades, music, and of course, wine.
  • Forest walks. The Aletsch Forest offers a blend of golden larch trees and views of the mighty Aletsch Glacier.
  • Mushroom foraging. The Val de Travers region, apart from being the birthplace of absinthe, is also a forager’s dream. And the region around Bonvillars near Lake Neuchâtel is popular with truffle hunters and hosts Switzerland’s only truffle market.
  • Chestnut festival. Visit Fully, in the heart of Valais, to celebrate the chestnut harvest with music roasted chestnut, and local wines.

Switzerland’s diverse landscape and rich culture ensure there’s always something to do, no matter when you visit. Whether you’re chasing snow-capped peaks or serene lakes, Switzerland welcomes you with open arms each season.

Andrea Zapata
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