Top 10 Most Beautiful Regions in Switzerland
Switzerland is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and is home to a wide variety of landscapes and climates. The 4,478m high Matterhorn is undoubtedly its most famous peak. The Swiss Plateau is the most populous region, with rolling hills, open pastures, and sprawling forests that contrast sharply with many of the country's other regions and landscapes.
Although Switzerland is best known for its Swiss Alps and Jura Mountains, it also has over 1500 lakes, including Lake Geneva, Lake Constance, and Lake Maggiore. Furthermore, it has four national languages, so each region has its own identity based on whether French, German, Italian, or, in the case of Graubünden, Romansch is spoken in its cities and villages.
1. Lake Geneva Region
While many visitors are drawn almost instinctively to Geneva and its list of fabulous sights such as the famous Jet d'Eau and its marvelous Old Town, the rest of the Lake Geneva Region is awash with beautiful nature to discover, so it is well worth venturing further afield.
Because it is partially surrounded by France, the region's three main cities of interest – Geneva, Lausanne, and Montreux – are all French-speaking and sit on the shores of the beautiful Lake Geneva. This means you can take a scenic cruise around the lake from one to the other, taking in the breathtaking scenery along the way before stopping to explore their many attractions.
2. Jura Region
The Jura Region, located in the country's northwest, offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore, with mountains and valleys coexisting with sparkling lakes and flower-filled meadows.
One of its many highlights is the Three-Lakes district, which features rolling hills, vineyards, and forests, and the idyllic scenery is ideal for hiking or taking a scenic boat trip on the lakes of Biel, Murten, or Neuchatel. Hike to the top of the Chasseral for one of the best views in the area, as the highest point in the area offers unrivaled panoramas of the surrounding countryside.
The Jura region is definitely worth visiting for all that it has to offer, with charming and historic towns like Solothurn, Estavayer-le-Lac, and Biel tucked away amongst all the magnificent scenery.
3. Bernese Oberland
The Bernese Highlands, as they are known in English, is vastly different from the Bernese Lowlands in that the region is home to some of the country's tallest, most famous, and iconic peaks.
Wherever you go in the region, you will be greeted by towering mountains and alpine valleys, as well as some delightful lakes and glaciers. As a result, hiking, rock climbing, and skiing are all popular activities here.
Whether basking in the most breathtaking view imaginable from atop the domineering Jungfraujoch, stopping by the scenic mountain towns of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, or staying in Interlaken, which is bordered by two beautiful alpine lakes, visitors are sure to be spellbound by all of the incredible nature that has been laid out before them.
4. Northwestern Switzerland
Northwestern Switzerland is dominated by the city of Basel, which has an amazing medieval old town center to explore as well as a plethora of great museums, contemporary architecture, and historical landmarks. Furthermore, it is an excellent base for visiting the Jura Mountains or the Black Forest in Germany, as well as Alsace in France.
The wonderful Rhine river runs through the city, peacefully meandering its way through the charming towns of Laufenburg and Rheinfelden in the east of the region, as well as the beautiful medieval city of Aargau, where the Hapsburgs originated.
There are some great castles to visit in the picturesque countryside, such as those at Wildegg and Lenzburg, as well as many charming little villages to stop off at as you explore Northwestern Switzerland.
5. Central Switzerland
Central Switzerland, located in the country's heart, is widely regarded as the nation's birthplace and is home to some of the country's most impressive sights.
The charming city of Lucerne, located on a stunning lake of the same name, is just one of the most popular tourist destinations that it has to offer, and from here you can hike to the top of a number of amazing mountains, with views from the tops of Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi, and Mount Titlis all being equally beautiful to behold.
The region is a nature lover's dream due to the spectacular scenery on display in the form of craggy mountains and alpine valleys, and there is plenty of great hiking to be had as well as watersports and boat trips to be enjoyed on its lakes.
6. Zürich Region
The Zurich region, which includes both Switzerland's largest city and the surrounding area, has much more to offer than just the country's financial capital, and it is well worth spending a few days exploring its many sights.
While Zurich has a beautiful lakefront, nature is never far away, and you can be cycling or hiking through the nearby Alps or taking a boat ride on Lake Zurich in no time.
At the opposite end of the lake, there's the lovely medieval town of Rapperswil, as well as the small lakeside town of Zug and the ski resort of Flumserberg.
7. Eastern Switzerland
Eastern Switzerland, which stretches from Lake Constance in the north to the Alps in the south, has a diverse range of landscapes and is a joy to visit at any time of year.
The alpine meadows are ideal for hiking or cycling in the summer, and the scenery is just as beautiful in the winter and lends itself perfectly to skiing and snowboarding. As scenic alpine villages are tucked away amidst the Appenzell Alps and valleys, the views on display are nearly always heart-wrenchingly beautiful to behold.
In addition to a plethora of outdoor activities and natural wonders, Eastern Switzerland is home to Saint Gallen, which has a plethora of fantastic old buildings, interesting museums, and, of course, the famous Abbey of Saint Gall, which has a wonderful library for you to visit.
Valais, located in the country's south on the border with France and Italy, is built around a long, narrow valley that follows the flow of the Rhone River as it flows through the Swiss Alps.
Valais has some of the most beautiful scenery in Switzerland, with glorious glaciers, towering mountains, and dramatic valleys. It is great to visit both in summer and winter for outdoor activities, as there are many fantastic ski resorts dotted around the area.
The distinctive peak of the Matterhorn, one of the tallest mountains in the Alps, is one of the must-see sights in Valais, and many mountaineers, hikers, and skiers set off from the scenic resort of Zermatt, which lies at its base.
Despite being the largest region in the country, Graubünden is also the least populated, which means that there is plenty of untouched and unspoiled nature to be found wherever you go.
While the exclusive ski resorts of St. Moritz and Davos have incredible snow-capped mountain scenery right on their doorstep, there are many other lesser-known places to visit, each with its own amazing vistas, landscapes, and natural beauty.
The Engadine Valley, for example, is beautiful to explore with its lovely river, forests, and meadows, and the wild and free Swiss Natural Park has a plethora of winding trails and paths for you to explore. You really can't go wrong in Graubünden because the scenery is almost unrivaled anywhere in the world.
Because it is located in the south of the country, bordering Italy, it should come as no surprise that Ticino is the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, and as such, its many villages and towns have a very different look and feel.
This is evident in the city of Lugano, which is located on the same-named lake and is surrounded by the mountains of Monte Bre and Monte San Salvatore, both of which offer fantastic hiking and panoramic views from their summits.
Aside from its most popular destination, Ticino offers the historic city of Bellinzona and some of the best hikes in Switzerland in the stunning Verzasca Valley and along the crest running from Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema.