Swiss National Park
Founded in 1914, the Swiss National Park in the Engadine is the oldest national park in the Alps.
Covering an area of more than 170 square kilometers (1,312 square miles), the park has 80 kilometers (50 miles) of nature trails, hiking paths, and excursion spots for serious hikers and families alike.
The people working in the Swiss National Park take nature conservation seriously. Tourists are not allowed to divert from the specified hiking trails, to minimize the disturbance of the plants and animals in the rest of the park.
The Swiss National Park showcases the immense natural beauty of the country – a snapshot of how Switzerland looks at its greenest best.
The village of Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the whole of Switzerland. Its location at the center of a skiing and hiking region has spurred its growth as a robust tourist village.
The ski region around the city holds roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) of pistes and 63 mountain railways.
And with over 400 kilometers (248 miles) worth of hiking trails available to those who wish to take on the adventure, the region is not just popular with the skiing crowd; it is a well-loved destination for mountain hikers as well.
Despite being in the middle of all this bustling activity, Zermatt has amazingly been able to preserve its original allure as a small Swiss mountain town. To this day, the village is a car-free zone, and the houses there still resemble those that once sheltered the Swiss residents of the area in the past.
The city of St. Moritz is an Alpine metropolis. Here, spas, high-end shops, and luxury hotels abound.
King Carl Gustaf of Sweden is just one of the many famous guests that St. Moritz has received.
In 1889, this is where the first golf tournament in the Alps was held. In 1935, one of the very first ski lifts in Switzerland was installed here.
But today, tourists do not come here to see the ski lifts. One of the places that they do come to see is St. Moritz’s leaning tower, which is a remnant of the Mauritius Church from 1500.
Another popular tourist destination is the Segantini Museum, an art museum that features a huge collection of the works of the Italian art master Giovanni Segantini.
Basel is the third largest city in the country and also the oldest university city in Switzerland. The city is found on both sides of the Rhine. Diverse cultures, art, and history converge in Basel.
One of the most famous landmarks in Basel is the massive market square, which gains unique character from its beautifully decorated red sandstone town hall. A cathedral with late Romanesque-Gothic architecture can also be seen here.
There are roughly 40 museums in Basel; this makes it the city with the highest museum density in Switzerland. Several of these museums are internationally-acclaimed. These include the Basel Art Museum, the Fondation Beyeler, the Jean Tinguely Museum, and the Museum of Cultures.
Basel is also the site of the Zoological Gardens, which features around 600 different species of animals. The animals live in an 11 hectare area that is found right in the middle of Basel.
Tourists will also have several places for relaxation in Basel. Some relaxation spots include the Botanical Gardens, the Rhine river banks, and several parks in the city. Another interesting activity option for guests here is to go on cruises on the Rhine.
The Rhine Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. Located near Schaffhausen, the Rhine Falls is natural wonder that shows a massive example of power and grace.
The breadth of the waterfall is roughly 150 meters (492 feet); several hundred cubic meters of water go over the edge of the falls at a speed rate of 23 meters (75 feet) per second.
In the middle of the Rhine Falls stands a rock that has battled the waterfalls for around a thousand years. The rock can actually be visited by tourists, as platforms have been erected to take them near this rock, to watch the amazing spectacle of gushing water up close as they stand very near the roaring Rhine.
There are boat tours on the Rhine Falls that can take tourists to the castles of Wörth and Laufen, which are located nearby. More adventurous guests can rent canoes to go even closer to the waterfalls.
The Schloss Laufen complex, which opened in the area in March 2010, has added a visitors’ center, a playground for children, and an interactive exhibition featuring the Rhine Falls. The exhibition is named the Historama.