Switzerland brings to mind postcard-perfect images of the snow-capped Alps – the ultimate romantic destination for honeymooners! Little do people know that this mountainous country has some thrilling adventure activities to offer. From skiing down the powdery alpine slopes to chugging up a mountain on gravity-defying funicular rides to swinging between canyons, we give you 10 thrilling sports/ activities to try out if you’re planning a Switzerland vacation.
10 adventure holidays in Switzerland for thrill-seekers:
Skiing is synonymous with the Swiss Alps! The sport is available around the year in Switzerland- be it summers or winters. The country is peppered with some of the best ski resorts in the world. There are easy ski runs for beginners and then there are runs challenging enough for the experienced. Places like Zurich, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Jungfrau, and Engelberg have world-class ski resorts and ski instructors.
Adventurous and racy toboggan runs are total fun for families and youngsters alike and must be included in your itinerary for adventure holidays in Switzerland for the snowy slopes of Alps offer some of the best toboggan runs. There are easily more than 150 toboggan runs across the country, but for unforgettable thrills, you can try the longest toboggan run in Europe, the “Big Pintenfritz” where you first get to walk up from Bussalp to the summit of Faulhorn mountain and then sled down a distance of 15kms with a vertical drop of 1,600m to reach Grindelwald!
Hiking in the Mountains
The pretty little mountain country of Switzerland is bound to be a hiker’s paradise! For there are mountains to climb, vineyards to explore, meadows to cross and forests to plod through. You can even hike your way to dreamy castles! There are 65,000 kms of hiking trails criss-crossing across almost the entire country, that are well-marked and waiting to be tread on! You can go hiking round the year in Switzerland, for it offers hiking in spring, hiking in summer, hiking in autumn and even winter walks.
Most of the tours take hikers to the heart of the Mount Alps. The trails go past green routes, banks of calm and serene lakes and some even take you to historical places. In fact, there are so many great hikes in Switzerland, that it is difficult to choose a few, but we’ll highlight some that just can’t be missed. There’s the 6km long Eiger Trail in the Grindelwald area, the Five Lakes Walk of Zermatt, the 12 kms long trail along the Aletsch Glacier in Wallis and a 11.7 kms long summer hike through the premier Lavaux Vineyards.
Steepest Funicular Ride
You may have enjoyed funicular rides in theme parks, but nothing can beat the heart-stopping thrill of hurtling up and down a mountain! The Gelmer funicular ride in Bern, Switzerland is the steepest in Europe. The first test of the strong hearted starts from the starting of the ride, where one has to cross a suspension pedestrian bridge over the Handeck Gorge. The end reward of this 1860mtrs ride is a stop at the scenic Gelmer Lake.
Titlis Cliff Walk
The country of snow-capped mountains is also home to the highest pedestrian bridge of Europe – the “Titlis Cliff Walk”. This suspension bridge is at a height of 3000m from the sea level and stretches between two cliffs of Mount Titlis in Engelberg. This can be a pulse-racing experience as the bridge sways a little with every step you take! Also be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning views, especially if you’re there on a clear day.
Glacier Bungee Jumping
If you’re looking for a burst of adrenaline, try jumping into the depths of a glacier! And the Grindelwald glacier gorge that lets you free fall from 85m with the Jungfrau Mountains as the backdrop is the perfect place for some “glacier bungee jumping”.
Or you could go the 007 way and try bungy jumping from the Contra Dam in Ticino that was featured in the James Bond movie, The Golden Eye. At 220mtrs above sea level, it is world’s highest bungee Jumping spot. This drop is definitely not for the faint hearted, so are you up for it?
Also Read: Family Holidays in Switzerland
If you enjoy ziplining, then you have ample options in Switzerland. In Grindelwald there are steel cables stretching for 800m from the mountain top till the base that let you zip down to the valley, whizzing down at a speed of 54 miles per hour over the green meadows. You can also head to Forest Fun Park in Zermatt that has super-fun zipline and other aerial adventures.
For a bird’s eye view of the charming Swiss Alps, include paragliding in your adventure holiday in Switzerland. Soaring over the white mountain tops of the Alps, you can admire the majestic alpine beauty. There are many tour companies across Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Lucern and Davos offering paragliding.
Show off your driving skills as your ATV (all-terrain vehicle) tyres go screeching as you navigate around the beautiful mountainscape of Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland. You will be guided by local drivers as you explore nearby farms, meet the farmers, sample his local produce – fresh mountain cheese and farm-made honey. Sounds delicious and adventurous, right?
Canyon Swing is a tad similar to bungee jumping, the only difference is that instead of bouncing back to the top, you swing up and down the length of a glacial canyon in the Alps, after a freefall from a platform 90 metres high! The adrenaline rush you’ll experience can’t be described in words, so do add canyon swinging to your checklist while planning adventure holidays in Switzerland.