Canton Valais. Sion – castles and bisse canals

The canton Valais consists almost entirely of the Rhone valley from its source from the glacier of the same name to Lake Geneva. Already at the beginning of its journey, it is a very powerful river, and its valley is deep and rather wide. The further and higher you drive into it, the less greenery, more stones and wilder. But before Sion, the area is fertile enough to grow a lot of fruit and grapes.

Sion (Sitten) – the capital of the canton of Valais and a fairly large city.

Sion

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Around Lake Neuchâtel – what to see: Neuchatel, Biel, Murten

In this part we look at what there is to see from the north around Lake Neuchâtel: around the city of Neuchâtel, Lake Biel and Lake Murten.

Lake Neuchâtel is a very decent size, so the reachability of certain attractions will depend on where you have accomodation. For example, for Estavayer, which I talked about in the previous part, all the sights from the east and south will be quite easily accessible, but the mountains on the other side of the lake are rather far away. Although once by car you can also go there.

Neuchatel
enlarge Map Data ©OpenTopoMap, ©OpenStreetMap

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Neuchatel Lake. 1. Estavayer

Neuchâtel Lake is the largest inland Swiss lake, a paradise for watersports and bird lovers. For the former, numerous campsites are provided, for the latter – protected areas along the entire eastern coast, which begin immediately beyond the borders of a few and small settlements.

The lake is divided by several cantons (quite funny, there are even exclaves and enclaves: Vaud, Friborg, Neuchâtel and a bit of Bern). This is very inconvenient when preparing, since the sites of each of them try to talk more about their sights, although they can be quite far away from the lake, and less mention of the sights of other cantons, although they are within easy reach.

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Bern – fontains, cathedral and clock tower

For the capital, Bern is a rather small city, but, like any normal capital, it is filled with people rushing somewhere. The historic center is small, for some reason trams and buses run on it, and this, especially trams, does not paint it at all: the narrow streets are entangled with wires, and tourists all the time strive to get under the wheels.

A couple of hours will be enough to inspect the center, to which, if you wish, you can add a museum or a zoo, a botanical garden, a thermal pool.

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Maggia Valley

Before the trip, I managed to find very little information about the Maggia Valley and we spent one day at Locarno, which I constantly regretted later. Who knows when to return to this region, and the Maggia Valley is really extremely interesting.

Compared to any of the three valleys, Locarno is just an average city, not too historical, not too beautiful. So that you do not repeat my mistake, I am telling you what you can see in the Maggia Valley

Valle Maggia is in fact three valleys: Bavona, Rovana and Lavizzara.

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Centovalli Railway

Honestly, initially Centovalli railway was listed somewhere in the last places in the programm, since the photos did not make much of an impression. And we took the train only because after a short pause in the Verzasca Valley it started raining and was not going to stop. However, the views turned out to be amazing (at least in the rain) and the trip is highly recommended.

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Ascona / Locarno. 2. Island Brissago

On the lakes of Italy and in Ticino, there are many former villas with gardens created by their wealthy owners and opened to the public after their death. There are also just parks without villas. In the vicinity of Locarno, lovers of parks and gardens can see: the camellia park in Locarno (it makes sense only during the flowering season), the tea plantation in Ascona, the botanical garden on the Brissago island, the botanical garden in Gambarogno.

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Lake Maggiore. Locarno and Ascona

Locarno

For several years we looked for the possibility of going to Ticino, and finally it worked out and travelled to Locarno.

Accommodation in this region is very, very difficult, unless you go there in winter. We decided to go to Maggiore at the end of September, when schoolchildren and students return to their textbooks, families with small children prefer warm seas in the Indian summer and only European pensioners remain.

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Switzerland by car

Switzerland has good roads, although the terrain actively creates many problems. Their main feature is a large number of tunnels and excessive workload on weekends, holidays, the beginning and end of school holidays, when neighboring Europeans go on vacation together. Therefore, choose a normal day of the week for your holiday trip in Switzerland by car.

An alternative to busy tunnels can be a car transportation on a train. For example, Autoverlad Lötschberg will transport your car with up to 9 seats to Italy for 91 francs.

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5 best viewpoints of Lake Lugano

beste viewpoints of Lake Lugano San Salvatore

Let’s look at Lake Lugano from above – in this topic we will consider the 5 best viewpoints of Lake Lugano.

Lake Lugano, with its emerald water, is more intimate, cozy and beautiful than Lake Maggiore. Holiday here, of course, is more pleasant than on Maggiore, if only you manage to find a good place to stay. And this is even more difficult here.

If you look only highlights, you need at least 1-2 full days. And for a more detailed exploring of region – 3-4 days.

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Lake Lucerne. 1. Brunnen, Schwyz

Сoming to Schwyz and Brunnen you find yourself in the very heart of Switzerland – the place where it originated and where its name came from. Brunnen is on Lake Lucerne, Schwyz Schwyz is a bit further towards Lake Zug.

German complex name of the lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) is due to the fact that its shores were previously divided by four forest cantons (one canton was later divided into two, so now there are five).

The least beautiful part of the lake, in my opinion, is from the side of Lucerne, which gave it its second name. The most beautiful, respectively, from the opposite side, this part has its own name – Lake Uri (Urnersee). Lake Uri beginns from Brunnen.

Это изображение имеет пустой атрибут alt; его имя файла - P1020714.jpg

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Lake Lucerne Rigi, Tierpark Goldau

Rigi is an imposing mountain massif along the northern shore of the lake Lucerne. On the another side of it is Lake Zug.

Note that there are several different ways to climb. The seemingly obvious climb to the summit (Rigi Kulm) is not necessarily the best in terms of views. From there you can clearly see Lake Zug, but poorly Lake Lucerne. Explore all the possibilities in advance. In addition, it is better to leave in the morning so that the sun does not light up Pilatus.

At the foot, tourists usually settle in the villages of Gersau, Vitznau, Weggis. The only disadvantage of this accommodation is that you need to get to the train by bus to Brunnen or to Küssnacht.

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Lake Lucerne. 4. Pilatus mountain

The tourist fame of Pilatus can compete that of the Jungfrau. And this is well deserved: an expressive silhouette against the sky, different ways of ascent with Pilatus mountain train and cable car, stunning views from above and additional entertainments. Pilatus is a full day excursion.

Pilatus mountain Lake Lucerne

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Jungfrau region Where to stay

Mount Jungfrau is not the highest mountain in Switzerland, but it is probably known more than others and is proudly called the “Top of Europe”, because the highest railway station in Europe was built here. This viewpoint attracts a lot of tourists both in summer and winter. In this post some advice for orientation: where to stay in Jungfrau region, how to get and what about altitude sickness.

The main thing in Jungfrau region, in my opinion, is not so much this station on the ridge between Jungfrau and Mönch, but the deepest gorges, rocky slopes, countless waterfalls, milky blue-green rivers and lakes, forests, which can be reached by railways, cable cars and simply on foot.

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Jungrau region. 7. Ballenberg open air museum

Ballenberg open-air museum is an exemplary museum of this type in Europe. German pedantry in the collection and preparation of material here met with Swiss identity and diversity. And if you are even curious how people used to live, how they worked, got food, what they carried, then you are right here for the whole day.

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Jungrau region. 8. Lake Thun (Thunersee)

Thunersee Oberhofen

Region Jungfrau has too much interesting. What to choose – Lake Thun or Brienz? Lake Thun is larger. The relief here is more varied, the picture is changing all the time. There are several interesting places on the lake: the Beatus caves, Spiez and Oberhofen castles, Thun and the Thun castle. Lake Brienz is rather monotonous in relief and boring, but Giessbach waterfalls are very impressive. So I would choose Lake Thun cruise, but also Brienz and Giessbach waterfalls with car or public transport.

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Lucerne old town

Lucerne (Luzern) is one of the most beloved Swiss cities for tourists. Lucerne old town and attractions are enough for whole day visit. It can be also a good rainy day option. But staying here for a long time to explore the lake is probably not the best idea: there are many people, transports, and the view is not the same as further along the lake, where the mountains are higher and closer.

The statement that Lucerne is surrounded by mountains, which I have repeatedly come across on the sites, is not true. There is only one mountain nearby – Pilatus. And you can climb it not from the city itself, but from the suburb of Kriens. However, the Reuss River is beautiful, and away from the center, for example by the ramparts, there are quiet, pleasant residential areas.

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Jungfrau region. 6. Aare gorge and Reichenbach falls

After all the previous valleys, the Meiringen Valley surprised me with how flat and wide it is. People come here for the Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls. The town seemed boring.

Meiringen and Hasliberg above from Reichenbachfall

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Jungfrau region. 3. Breathtaking Lauterbrunnen valley waterfalls and Mürren

Lauterbrunnen valley waterfalls hike is for me more interesting und must to do as train to “Top of Europe”. In this post we go through “thundering streams” of Lauterbrunnen valley, climb with cable car to Mürren and fascinate incredible views of the Jungfrau mountain range.

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Jungfrau region. 5. Lake Brienz attractions. Giessbach falls

Lake Brienz, surrounded by mountains, is like an oval bowl with turquoise milk water on the bottom. The water owes its milky color to the Aare, which flows into the lake between Brienz and Giessbach.

Despite the beautiful color of the water, a Lake Brienz cruise seemed boring to me. Apparently because of always the same banks. It was more pleasant to take the Interlaken – Meiringen train with huge panorama windows than to “hang around” for a long time on a ship between the banks.

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Jungfrau region. 4. What to do in Interlaken and on Schynige Platte

The Jungfrau region is the concentration of everything that a restless tourist might want: lakes, mountains, gorges, caves, castles – welcome, there are also waterfalls – in excess. Number of railways and cable cars per square kilometer – I would not be surprised if a world record was set here. The only thing missing was a good thermal pool.

In this part, about those places that are not in the immediate proximity of the Jungfrau – Interlaken and Schynige Platte.

Interlaken West and Unterseen from Schynige Platte

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Jungfrau region. 2. Grindelwald, First and train to Jungfrau

The trip to the top (“Top of Europe”) is, of course, number one for most tourists who come to Jungfrau region. In this part we take train to Jungfrau, look, how to get to Grindelwald, what you can do there and on First.

Jungfrau on the right, Mönch in the middle, the station between them

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Jungfrau region Map

In this post you find the Jungfrau region map with Brienz and Thun lakes and the valleys on the right and left of the Jungfrau, but without going over to the southern side of the mountains.

To be able to more clearly see the names, the map is further split into pieces. More detailed maps are also available in separate topics.

Jungfrau Region Sehenswürdigkeiten und Reiseziele Karte / Jungfrau region map
Enlarge the Jungfrau region map Map data ©OpenTopoMap, ©OpenStreetMap

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Lake Constance map of attractions

Lake Constance (Bodensee) is one of the most favorite places of vacation. And this is its main drawback for everyone who wants to relax. For those who are not disturbed by the crowds of walking, skating, swimming and eating, there are a lot of advantages: clean water, equipped beaches and warm pools, water sports and entertainment, numerous asphalt roads for pedestrians and cyclists along the shore and between vineyards, delicious food, fresh trout from the lake, finally enough attractions if everything else gets bored.

All posts – #bodensee
Maps nearby:
North – Swabian Alb
East – Allgäu
South-East – From Bregenz to Innsbruck
West – Along the Rhine, South and High Black Forest

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Rhine Falls

Rheinfall

The Rhine Falls is an absolutely stunning sight, mainly with the amount of raging water rushing right on you.

It is highly recommended to visit it at unpopular times – early in the morning, in bad weather, etc. You understand, the sight is stunning, the observation platforms are small, the stairs are narrow and slippery, and then there are groups with cameras in a crowd… The first time we were at the waterfall in the pouring rain. But still we had to wait five minutes to take a picture.

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Sankt-Gallen

Sankt Gallen

The Swiss coast of Lake Constance has fewer attractions and is more boring than the German one. The most worthy object to visit is just Sankt-Gallen, apart from the Stein-am-Rhein and the Rhine Falls, which are actually on the Rhine, and not on the lake. Although from the other end of the lake I would not go for him alone.

The city is located in the hills behind the lake, 15-20 minutes by train from the nearest coastal town of Rorschach. There is absolutely nothing to watch in Rorschach. Its main attractions are the ferry to Lindau and the funicular to the nearest mountain.

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Lake Constance Austrian coast (Bregenz) and family holidays

Bodensee

At the end of the overview of all the attractions of Lake Constance, let’s turn to its Austrian part, tell briefly about Bregenz and see what there is in the region for children.

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