Tourist information for south-eastern Switzerland
Switzerland is one of Europe's most beautiful countries. The mighty
Alpine peaks dominate the whole country, lending a fairy-tale appearance to even
dour cities like Zurich. In the north, away from the mountains, the scenery remains
stunning, with rolling green pastures and chocolate box villages. As well as the
lure of the mountains, Switzerland's cultural diversity lends a distinct character
to its great cities, from French-speaking Geneva to German Bern to Italian Lugano.
The people are famed for their efficiency, their strong sense of independence and
their tradition of neutrality, yet this is combined with a warm welcome for the
many tourists. Although Switzerland is a wonderful winter sports destination, the
lakes, clean air and flower-filled meadows attract visitors throughout the year.
Whether you're looking for the beauties of the mountain lakes, excitement in
the high mountains or lazy walking in the meadows, you'll find it here.
Towns and places of interest in south east Switzerland:
Southeast Switzerland is a land of high alpine mountains and a cultural diversity
represented by its three languages - German, Italian and Romansh. Bellinzona
guards the entrance to the region and is worth visiting for its three spectacular
castles as well as for the city itself. The nearby town of Biasca leads to
the Valle Blenio, one of the many wild and rocky valleys of the Ticino where there
is still a flavour of a by-gone age, although many of the former peasant dwellings
are now second holiday homes.
Switzerland's most easterly canton, the Graubunden, contains the famously
fashionable winter sports resorts of Saint-Moritz, Davos and Klosters,
as well as a number of other lesser, but still excellent, resorts such as Arosa
and Pontresina. Chur is the main town and gateway to the region and
in nearby Maienfeld Heidi was supposed to have enjoyed the Alpine delights.
Chur is worth visiting for its massive cathedral and narrow streets. The ski resorts
of the region are situated at the top of deep valleys isolated from each other by
towering peaks. Go to Arosa for down-to-earth friendliness, Saint-Moritz for expensive
chic, while Klosters and busy Davos are somewhere between. They all offer superb
skiing. In the summer this region is wonderful for high meadow walking and climbing.
Beyond Saint-Moritz is the beautiful Engadine Valley, with the resorts of
Celerina and Pontresina. Here also is the Parc Naziunal Svizzer, a
spectacularly beautiful area of woods and mountains. Every type of outdoor activity
associated with the mountains can be enjoyed here all year round.
The Ticino is the Italian speaking southern part of Switzerland, cut off
from the rest of the country by the alps and reached across the Saint Gotthard
or San Bernardino passes. Although you could almost be in Italy, the region
retains the order and tidiness of the rest of Switzerland. A lovely holiday region,
especially in spring and autumn, when the temperature is just right for walking,
biking and climbing, or in summer when you could be on Mediterranean shores, relaxing
among the palm fringed beaches of Lakes Maggiore and Lugano and enjoying
the Italian food.