Romantic getaways in the Swiss Alps

By Sergio González | 13:26

Switzerland is famous for chocolates, cuckoo clocks, financial secrecy and for being a synonym to political neutrality. However, if you ask anyone how they think Switzerland looks like, all odds are they’ll picture a bucolic scene taken from the 1974 Japanese anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

A huge success home and abroad, especially in Asia, Europe and South America, the story behind Heidi is based on a popular Swiss tale. It never really made it into the USA or UK since the English translation and distribution was pretty poor, but it’s the reason why thousands of Japanese people travel to Switzerland every year.

These naive scenes work along little birds singing in the morning, the relaxed Swiss atmosphere and medieval villages frozen in time and full of magic. The Alps are full of romantic corners and getaways where you and your loved one can forget the world ever existed. Whether if it’s a tasty dinner by a fireplace while it’s snowing outside, a hiking trail ending in the most astounding views ever, or rowing in a lake for your significant other, the Alps have you covered.

The Swiss lakes are among the most beautiful in the world and although they don’t have every color of the rainbow as volcanic lakes in Iceland or New Zealand do, their waters come straight from the melted virgin snow and ice, making them extremely pure and with an astounding blue turquoise color like nowhere else. Warning: water is pretty chill even in the summer.

One wouldn’t expect vineyards growing in the cold Alps but the Ancient Romans already noticed that Lavaux, by Lake Geneva Riviera, had a special micro-climate. However, the Lavaux terraced hills we can see today “only” date back to the 11th. Rent a bike or get yourself into a pair of comfy shoes and explore one of the few vineyards in the world which made it to the UNESCO World Heritage status.

If you want to discover one of Switzerland’s best kept secrets, you should be ready to walk because Baun, the most bucolic village ever, is hardly connected to the rest of the country; the only road leading here was built in 1956. Baun is the right place to switch off every e-device and let your partner know there’s nothing in the world better than him or her.

Lauterbrunnen Valley is, as many other valleys in Switzerland, the result of millions of years of glacial erosion but what makes it so special is the 70 waterfalls that flow all over. You may have never been to Lauterbrunnen Valley though you “have already been there” because it has been inspiring all types of artists like Wagner or JRR Tolkien. Will you find the same romantic inspiration?

Castles in Switzerland are so cute it’s hard to imagine they are born into life from a fairy tale. If by Lake Lucerne you’ll find pastoral, agricultural villages where cell phones hardly ever sound, by Lake Neuchatel some of the most beautiful Swiss castles lie, like Le Chateau du Grandson. You shouldn’t miss the promenades that go up the hills but an improvised picnic among the vineyards is a date not even Cupid could have made more romantic.

Castle of Chenaux, in the medieval village of Estavayer, and Thun Castle, by the city and lake with the same name, are must-see visits for every romantic traveler but there’s no way you should skip a visit to Gruyeres. Despite being able to taste this worldwide famous cheese onsite, the 13th century castle, the cobblestone streets and the night lighting will make the perfect spot for a proposal your grandchildren will be proud of.

Whether you are in Switzerland or elsewhere, whether you are single or not this February 14th, we wish you the best St Valentine’s Day ever!

Photo credit: Jason

 

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