Switzerland is beautiful! In this crazy year, you may have had other plans… but if you live in Switzerland and now hope to at least enjoy a Swiss Summer Holiday, then we have plenty of suggestions for you! Whether you are looking for longer stays, short stays, or day trips. Here are our suggestions on how to spend your summer holiday in Switzerland!
Of course, there is no way to predict at this point to which extent we will be able to enjoy swimming, or other activities, but in case social distancing is still necessary this summer, there is no better place than in the Swiss mountains. There are plenty of hiking trails for everyone.
Green hills, hiking trails, and mysterious mountain lakes. We love the Berner Oberland region! We went to the Kander Valley, near Kandersteg, where you can visit the Instafamous lake Blausee, but also one of Switzerland’s hidden gems Lake Oeschinensee! You can either walk straight to the lake, and spend a lazy summer day grilling something on a fire by the lake side, or you can do a beautiful hike around the lake, which is quite a steep, and sometimes narrow hike, but takes you to beautiful meadows on the other side with some nice mountain restaurants. For all the information on this trip, check out our article on the Kander Valley: The Kander Valley in Bernese Oberland
Gstaad: hike and a fondue in a giant fondue pot!
How Swiss does it get?
We love the mountains around Gstaad, which is also in the Berner Oberland region! After picking up your Swiss Fondue backpack at one of the dairy shops, you can hike on one of the paths with a fondue pot to enjoy a Cheese Fondue in the outdoors with the best view in the world! We hiked towards Lake Lauenensee, which was really beautiful. To complete the total Swiss feeling, we took the yellow postbus back to Gstaad from the lake. Is the fondue pot occupied when you arrive? No problem, you can just basically sit anywhere in nature to enjoy your Fondue with a View.
We loved the village Saanen which is right next to Gstaad and has beautiful typical wooden chalet houses with lots of flowers.
To read al our tips on the Gstaad area: Gstaad in summer
Gruyères, with the Moléson mountains and the Gorges de la Jogne
Gruyères has always attracted lots of tourists. A stroll around the town is always nice, and the castle is a beautiful one to visit. What we love most is the area around Gruyères, the Moléson mountain with its cute cogwheel train up, the hiking paths, and the alpine restaurant where you can eat some delicious cheese specialties. Close by, you can enjoy beautiful thermal baths, and an adventurous hike along the Gorges the la Jogne where the hiking trail takes you through walking tunnels and over wooden bridges. Here is our full article on Gruyères: A visit to Gruyères in Switzerland
Valais, Wallis Region
The Wallis region (or Valais in French), is a perfect region for a holiday in nature! Many cute villages to choose from, with many family hiking possibilities! There are a lot of traditional wooden mountain huts, there are historical water runs called ‘bisses’ to follow, and the region is perfect for a Swiss Family Holiday. We went to several parts in the Wallis region, sometimes in winter to ski, and sometimes in Summer. We’ve hiked the bisses in Crans-Montana, and we have visited the beautiful World Nature Forum in Naters.
Viewpoint on the Aletsch Glacier
One very family friendly Swiss mountain holiday we could definitely recommend is the area around Blatten Belalp. You can read all about what to do in Blatten in our article here: Blatten – Belalp
On a day trip, or while on holiday in Switzerland, there are some beautiful castles to visit all over the country. We have made a selection of castles to visit in Switzerland together with several Swiss based families. So if your kids like knights and princesses, check out which castle to visit on a day trip!
Lucerne is often named one of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland! Ideally located on the lake, and with the impressive bridge Kappellbrücke. This wooden medieval bridge is covered with flowers in the summer season, and you can admire the old paintings on the bridge.
Lucerne is also home to one of the coolest Swiss Museums to visit with kids: the Swiss Museum of Transport, where you could easily spend a whole day!
Montreux, go up and enjoy the view!
In Montreux you can combine the lake view, with a scenic mountain train ride up to Rochers-de-Naye. In Winter, this mountain top gets all Christmassy, because Santa installs his office here, but in summer, the marmots take over Rochers-de-Naye. You can combine the scenic train ride with a visit to Marmot Paradise: Montreux Riviere Marmot’s Paradise
Everyone should at least go once! The view from this town on the Swiss most iconic mountain just sparks happiness! During the Covid crisis, the famous mountain became even more the country’s symbol by the projection of country or regions flags to spark hope during difficult times. We went to Zermatt and all loved it and we definitely would like to go back for some summer hiking.
The Ticino region comes closest to a Mediterranean holiday! The palm trees, the food, the relaxed atmosphere… Yes, this is Switzerland too! Difficult to tell how accessible the Ticino region will be this summer, but if it is, they will definitely need the support and love of local Swiss tourists as well. We have been to the Ticino on different vacations, once in the area of Lugano, and on another recent trip the beautiful area of Ascona, Locarno and the Valle Verzasca. Ticino has surprised us on every trip. Even though it may get busy at Valle Verzasca, we have also been to very lonely valleys with impressive waterfalls. We definitely recommend you to check that out: Ticino: Ascona – Locarno – Valle Verzasca
Taking you from nature, to a small city. The Swiss Capital of Bern is definitely worth a visit! Have you been already? We have been several times and love the atmosphere, the cafés under the porticoes, and the big cultural offer of the city. From Einstein to Paul Klee, and the cool Museum of Communications which is fun for adults and for kids.
Check out our: Things to do in Bern article for all our tips!
Wild Camping with Mountful Hikes
Yes, but want if I want real social distancing? Mountain guide Famke of Mountful Hikes and her dog Olle organize a wild camping trip this summer! So if you are ready to hike and plant your tent somewhere in nature, then check out Famke’s camping trip details on her website: Wild Camping in Wallis
Ticino camping with Basecamp Europe
Would you like to camp in the Ticino region, but not carry all the equipment? Check out Basecamp Europe who offers Zero Hassle Camping! They deliver your camping gear to the agreed spot, or, you can even ask them to set up the tent for you! Basecamp Europe also offers tours, and Hassle Free Picnic lunches in the Lugano area!
For more information, check out the Basecamp Europe Website.
CFF Day passes
Every Swiss resident can order Swiss Public Transport day passes from their commune at reduced price! You have to pick your day in advance and head over to your towns website to order them. With this day pass, you can hop on every train, Swiss boat, and get discounts for mountain lifts or cogwheel trains. With this pass you can basically do a long Swiss trip in one day, so remember to take full advantage of that! The price varies per town, but is around CHF 40 for an adult.
Other Family Day Trips in Switzerland
From Geneva, we once went to Papillorama near Bern once with the CFF day pass. The train stops right in front of this beautiful ‘butterfly and more’ parc.
Swiss Vapeur Parc in Bouveret, Zoo and swimming pool les Marécottes in Salvan, or thermal baths like Bains de Saillon are all very good trips for families in Switzerland. Of course, we do not know yet to which extent we can enjoy them this summer. Time will tell. Be patient, but add them to your families Swiss Trips List!
Geneva, and Family Hikes around Geneva
We love Geneva in summer! Unfortunately, the new Eaux-Vives beach will not open as planned this year, due to the delay in works. But we still have Bains des Paquis, and who knows if the beautiful French Rivièra style beach café on the lakeside will open again. In any case, there still is a lot to enjoy in Geneva in summer!
Have you done all the things in our Geneva article already? And how about our selection of hikes around Geneva? Family Hikes around Geneva
Swiss Bucket List
At Let’s Explore we also have ‘work to do’ this summer. We already had our Swiss Bucket List, which always keeps growing, but we also have ticked a few things off that list since we had published it! This summer, we definitely hope to do some more things on our list!
Swiss Food to try this summer
Ok, but you were dreaming of Spanish tapas, Italian Gelato, or Portuguese desserts? Do you know Swiss Food Culture is actually really interesting? It is very diverse and really changes per Canton. So how about you try some local dishes during your domestic travel over summer? We have written an article about Swiss Food, and it is by far not complete as even for Swiss it is difficult to know all the local dishes around the country. Our list is for the moment a bit oriented to the French speaking part, but we may add some new ones in the course of the summer: Swiss Food Article
Not convinced by the food: well, you can always cook dishes from over the world and enjoy them on a Swiss mountain top. After all, after all the weeks of lockdown, if we can travel domestically, we think we just all have to count our blessings.
What is your favorite part of Switzerland to travel to?
If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.