Swiss Summer; Orienteering, Castles, Trains, Museums, More
Switzerland in the summer gives just about everyone something in which they’re interested in seeing or doing. Here are some samples:
Take a 10-day Classic Switzerland escorted tour through Switzerland. Included are 2 nights in Lucerne, Geneva, Zermatt and Lugano; 11 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 dinners; all transfers; hotel porterage and entrance fees per itinerary.
Visit the Lucerne Lion Monument and the Chillon Castle; experience the Glacier Express train from Zermatt to Andermatt; and take a tour of Berne and Gruyeres. The land portion only begins at $2,549; air and land (depending on departure city) starts at $3,519. You can save $400 per person by using promo code STN400.
If your definition of vacation is an active one, then the Swiss Orienteering Week July 19-26 in Zermatt might be your choice. There are six races that combine a variety of terrain, including open forest, alpine pasture, massive boulders beginning with a sprint in Zermatt. The remaining races are all around Zermatt and can be reached by mountain railways and cable cars.
Competition draws about 5,000 runners from over 30 countries. If competition is not your active choice, choose from 400km of marked walking and hiking trails in Zermatt, mountain biking, golf, paragliding and the list goes on. Reduced entry fees available until May 31 for children (from CHF200, US$227) and adults (CHF 320 or US$363).
Swiss city museums are plentiful and varied from natural the Winterthur Natural History Museum in Winterthur and Basel; Museum of Fine Art in Basel; watchmaking in Biel and Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. There are also city museums (Zurich, Basel, Bern, Luzern among others) to architecture (Bern) and textile (St. Gallen).
Combine a lake cruise on a genuine paddle steamer followed by a train ride over mountains with the Wilhelm Tell Express. The trip takes you through Central Switzerland and the Ticino canton, starting with a 3-hour cruise on Lake Lucerne followed by the rail journey. A multilingual personal travel guide accompanies you on the train pointing out special features along the way. A single journey costs in the summer runs CHF 194 (US $220); there are discounts with the Swiss Card/Swiss Half-fare travelcard and others.
Photo: Orienteering is popular during Swiss summers (Swiss Orienteering Team)