Skiing is the most important sector of Swiss tourism. Millions of tourists from all over the world crowd the world-known winter resorts. Places like Davos, St Moritz and Zermatt are among the best ski centres in the world. Excellent snow conditions, extensive slopes, breathtaking scenery and above all, the Swiss quality of service are only a small part of the reasons that make Switzerland one of the best destinations for a winter holiday in the world. Even if you don’t care for skiing, the resorts are worth visiting, as there is a tremendous variety of other winter activities which will make your holiday unforgettable. The ski season in most resorts lasts from the beginning of December through the middle of April, and on some glaciers, decent skiing is possible even in the summer. You can trust any of the tour operators or organise your holiday by yourself – no matter which way you choose, it will be pure pleasure.
Switzerland is a real hiking haven. The varied landscape guarantees that everyone will find the right hiking trail, depending on his abilities and wishes. An extensive network of over 180 maintained and marked (in three languages) trails comprises the whole country from the Rhine valley to the highest peak Matterhorn. This is an exceptional possibility for nature lovers to explore the incomparable beauty of the Swiss countryside on foot. The most popular and attractive trails are around Lake Geneva and in the Zurich region, as well as in the higher parts of the Alps for more advanced hikers. Another alternative is the Nordic walking, which can be organised by numerous local tour operators or by tourists themselves.
Switzerland is a cycling country. Here this is more than just an activity, it is a healthy way to enjoy the magic of nature and the hospitality of local people. The country boasts 3,300 kilometres of perfect cycling routes of all levels of difficulty. The project “Veloland Schweiz”, which was launched in 1998, provides a network of nine national cycling routes. In addition, there are countless regional and local routes. Switzerland is ideal for a cycling holiday for people of all ages and abilities – from professional athletes to families with children. Those who prefer to organise their routes alone will be delighted to find that there is no chance of getting lost – the red-marked cycling alleys are in abundance everywhere. Switzerland has a lot to offer to mountain bikers as well. More than 130 exciting mountain bike tours are available in all regions of the country. No matter whether you prefer short steep climbs or a long-distance tour lasting several days, you will find everything needed at the official Swiss tourism website where you can book your desired trip with all the details.
The landscape of Switzerland is second to none when it comes to rock climbing. It is a nerve-racking experience for seekers of emotions. Numerous clubs offer full service for climbers, including experienced guides and instructors as well as state-of-the-art equipment. Vie ferrate, a new way of climbing, has conquered the country recently. These are climbing routes which are also accessible for "non-climbers", thanks to the firmly-installed wire ropes and artificial hand and footholds. There are already 20 such routes in Switzerland.
This is an attractive activity for those who want to feel real freedom. Floating in a balloon over the beautiful landscape is an experience one could never forget. However, the flights are strongly dependent on weather conditions, so the best time for ballooning is in the summer. In Switzerland, there are 550 hot air and 50 gas balloons with roughly as many pilots. At www.ballonfahrer.ch everyone can find detailed information about take-off locations, prices and clubs, and you can even book a balloon flight online.
Switzerland is the ideal destination for your golfing holiday. Everything can be reached quickly and easily, and the marvelous landscape and untarnished nature creates a feeling that defies description and the perfect golfing facilities are scattered throughout the country. All of this allows keen golfers to enjoy the pleasures of a golfing holiday to the max. There are also combined packages for further convenience of tourists, such as “Golf & Wellness” and “Golf & Gourmet”. Comprehensive information about all golf courses in the country can be found at www.swissgolfnetwork.ch.
Active Holidays in the City
It is also possible to spend your holiday in the big city in an active way. Lots of indoor and outdoor swimming pools are available in all cities. For a more authentic and refreshing holiday, you can try the fabulous Swiss lakes near Geneva, Zurich, Locarno and many other settlements. Numerous spa and wellness centres offer total relaxation. Tennis is a widely practised sport in Switzerland, and as a result, there is hardly a town or a resort without at least one first-class tennis court.