10 Hidden Gems in Switzerland Off-The-Beaten Path

Visiting Switzerland and looking to discover some of the off-the-beaten path destinations? Here are 10 hidden gems in Switzerland off-the-beaten path by travel bloggers to add to your itinerary. 

Lugano

By Joanna from theworldinmypocket.co.uk

Lugano is a wonderful mountain town in the Ticino canton, very close to the Italian border. It has a very Mediterranean feel, with a lovely promenade along the lake with the same name, and surrounded by tall peaks. You can easily visit this hidden gem in Switzerland as a day trip to Lugano from Milano, if you are in a rush. 

One of the most beautiful views of Lugano is right from the train station. As you come out and start descending into the town, you will see the gorgeous panorama of the city below, with the tower of Catedrale San Lorenzo in prim plan. 

For a spectacular church, check out Santa Maria degli Angioli. This 15th century monument is a unique example of a typical Lombardian – Piedmontese Bernardian module architecture. The church was also part of a Franciscan monastery, which is reflected in the interior layout. The fresco on the partition wall was painted by a disciple of Leonardo DaVinci and depicts the crucifixion of Christ. 

Another great thing to do in Lugano is have lunch with a view. You can take the old funicular up Monte Bre, where there are a few alpine restaurants serving traditional Swiss dishes, such as cheese fondue. 

Don’t forget to buy some chocolate as well, it is one of the best in the world.

Maggia Valley

by Giorgy from G-Extreme Travel

You find yourself in Switzerland and wondering where you should go next. Well, something that people always forget is the sunny and beautiful region of Ticino located in the south of Switzerland. Ticino is well known for its stunning mountains, blue lakes, and picturesque villages. However, what many people don’t know is that this region is home to some of the best hidden gems in Switzerland. One of these hidden gems is the Maggia Valley.

The Maggia Valley is a valley located in the Ticino region of Switzerland. This valley is well known for its beautiful landscapes and its many hiking and cycling trails. The valley also has a river that runs through it, which makes it a perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

DISCOVER 12 HIDDEN GEMS IN TUSCANY OFF-THE-BEATEN PATH

There are many things to do in the Maggia Valley, but the best thing you could do is catch the hidden waterfalls in the valley. Such as the most well-known Foglio or the Salto. Around this Valley, you can even find “Grottini” local restaurants offering delicious and special dishes of the region.

For those who want to stay in the area, we suggest you the Romantic Relais & Spa Castello del Sole, an elegant 5-star hotel located in Ascona surrounded by a park with century-old trees where time seems to have stopped.

If you are looking for a hidden gem in Switzerland, then look no further than the Maggia Valley. With its stunning landscapes and many things to do, you are sure to have a great time in this hidden gem of Ticino.

Nendaz

By Michelle C. of Intentional Travelers

Nendaz, a small ski resort town up in the Swiss Alps, is popular for both winter and summer outdoor activities and is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Switzerland. 

Getting to Nendaz is a scenic journey from Geneva via train to Sion, then a Postbus from the valley up to the mountain town. The drive up the winding mountain road is a beautiful initiation to the area with spectacular views over the valley.



In the summer and fall, there are great hikes leaving from town. Several of the trails in the region follow along the “bisses,” or old waterways, in and out of small villages and farms, through the hills and forests. The ski lift to Tracouet’s Black Lake provides another panoramic perspective and more hiking trails.

The vacation rental options in Nendaz are abundant, although many of the hotels close as it gets into shoulder season. Staying in Haute (“high”) Nendaz not far from the Tourist Office is best for easy access to restaurants, grocery stores, bus stops, and the ski lift. 

Even in summer it can get cool in the Alps, so be sure to pack a light jacket as well as good walking shoes and sunscreen. For winter, bundle up and bring snow clothes. 

There is plenty to keep you adventuring in Nendaz, but it can also be a good base for day trips. Neighboring towns like Sion, Martigny, Zermatt and even places a little further like Spiez, Interlaken, and Bern are great, especially if you have your own vehicle.

Lucerne

By Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler 

The small city of Lucerne is usually overlooked by tourists who visit Switzerland for its larger cities, famous landmarks, and beautiful ski destinations. However, this small town has plenty of personality, character, and -of course – fondues to satisfy any visitor, making it one of the perfect hidden gems in Switzerland for off-beat travellers.

In addition to being a great place to visit, Lucerne is also known for having beautiful scenery. You can enjoy the view of the lake from the top of Mount Pilatus, take a boat trip around the lake, go swimming, or relax and read a book. While you’re in town, make sure to check out the Chapel Bridge, which was built in 1783.

There are plenty of things to do in Lucerne. In addition to being one of Europe’s oldest cities, Lucerne also offers plenty of modern attractions. Explore the Glacier Garden which shows Lucerne in the Ice Age, visit the Old Town with traditional Alpine houses, enjoy a drink at a local pub or go shopping for traditional Swiss souvenirs like chocolate! 

The AMERON Luzern Hotel Flora is an affordable, centrally-located hotel in Lucerne that is perfect for exploring the city. 

Whatever you choose to do in Lucerne, you’ll enjoy it.

Mürren

By Helene & Paul from paulmarina.com

Mürren is a small hamlet in the Lauterbrunnen valley, in the Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland and is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Switzerland. This village is special because it is located away from roads on a 300-meter-high cliff. The only way to get there is by cable car or with the iconic Swiss mountain train. Mürren is completely car-free making this a lovely place to discover for all those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

Numerous hiking trails lead away from the village and visitors can also get to another car-free village nearby, Gimmelwald. A trip up to the Schilthorn summit is a must-do when in Mürren. The Schilthorn was made famous thanks to the “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” James Bond movie. The summit offers an unparalleled view of the Mönch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountain peaks. 

Due to its location, Mürren is also known as the mecca for adventure sports. Paragliding is a must-do when in Mürren and climbing the via Ferrata is another highlight to the area. Families with children will appreciate the interactive flower trail and playground at the nearby Allmendhubel station. The views in Mürren are breathtaking and worth a trip to this hidden mountain village. 

The best way to make the most of a trip to Mürren is to stay in the village. The hotel Eiger is one of the few sustainable retreats worth exploring in the area.

Foroglio Village

By Zoe from Together In Switzerland

For one of the most idyllic hidden gems in Switzerland, make sure to stop by the quaint, fairytale like village of Foroglio. Located in a beautiful valley in the Ticino region, the village of Foroglio is reachable by car or with the 2 public buses from Locarno. You can also consider hiking there along the many valley trails.

The stunning picturesque village is a place to visit all year round, with stone-built houses and narrow cobblestoned pathways. Spring and Summer brings the village to life, with green growing bushes and flowery gardens that makes the village like a secret garden. For Autumn and Winter the village becomes more mystical, hidden and a little eerie with the low pretty rainclouds and orange fall colours.

The highlight of visiting the village is seeing the Foroglio waterfall, where you can dip in your toes to the fresh cold waters or take a full blown swim during Summer temperatures. You will often find locals here relaxing, as well as those walking their dogs for a splash of fun.

Top tip: If you like hiking, take the route from the village to the top of the waterfall. There are a few houses here and a gorgeous stone bridge that you can walk across. Perfect for those who have a passion for landscape photography. 

For a place to stay, there is a very small 4 persons home that you can stay at called Casa Serafina, which is located right in the village centre. But a recommendation is to also stay in Ascona or Locarno, which are both not far away with lots of choices in hotels. 

Gruyeres

By Jolene from Wanderlust Storytellers

When you hear the word Gruyere, your first thought may be of the delicious cheese and although Gruyeres is where it comes from this medieval village has so much more to offer! It is definitely one of the hidden gems in Switzerland to add to your itinerary. 

This small, charming cobblestone hidden gem in Switerland is a must see and great for a day trip from Geneva as it is located just two and a half hours by train.Once you arrive you will feel like you have landed in a fairytale.

Before you start indulging in the speciality dish Moitie-Moitie (fondue), be sure to walk through the village along the cobblestone streets to do a little shopping. The village boasts many boutiques with a variety of local village crafts, specialty dishes and unique souvenirs on sale.

Do not miss visiting the Medieval Gruyères Castle as the views of the surrounding hills from the castle are simply breathtaking!

When you are ready to take a break and enjoy some local cuisine, head to one of the many places to eat and try the village’s renowned dish, Moitie-Moitie (fondue) that is made with the popular Gruyères and Vacherin cheese – it is to die for.

If you have not had your fill of cheese, visit the Gruyères Cheese Factory to see exactly how they make this cheese which is really interesting.

Although Gruyere does not have much in the way of nightlife, it is still a beautiful village to spend a day or two. Book a room at the Boutique Hotel Alpenrose, a luxurious hotel with balconies giving you superb views of the mountains. Or at the Hotel de Ville which is located in the village center. This hotel is a chalet building with rooms that still retain traditional wooden features.

When you are done visiting this gorgeous village, make a small detour to the town of Broc where you can visit the Cailler Chocolate factory – a definite must do for something sweet after all the savory cheese dishes that you may have sampled.

Montreux

By Sharon from Germany Footsteps 

Montreux is one of the hidden gems in Switzerland, nestled by Lake Geneva with some great attractions around the town. It’s an easy day trip from Geneva, only being about an hour away, but it’s worth a longer stay.

Montreux’s most famous attraction is the UNESCO listed Chillon Castle which is located on a tiny (attached) island. Its exact age is unknown, but it first appeared in texts in 1150. Over the years, it’s been used a prison, fort, administrative centre and now it’s a tourist attraction. There are often events and workshops here.

Queen fans will especially want to visit Montreux. This is where they recorded some of their music and there is a special exhibit located in the former Montreux Mountain Studios called Queen: The Studio Experience. There’s also a Freddie Mercury statue on the waterfront.

Wine lovers should add UNESCO-listed Lavaux Vineyards to their list to visit on their way to or from Montreux. There are tours, tastings and more.

Rochers-de-Naye, at 2042 metres, is a great place to head for fantastic views both at the top and on the journey. There is a train up here from Montreux. In winter, this is an alpine park with skiing and in summer, a wildlife park with hiking.

Montreux Noel is the name of its Christmas festival which is amazing with a big Christmas market and events all over the city including medieval Christmas celebrations at Chillon Castle and Santa’s home at Rochers-de-Naye.

For a great accommodation choice, La Rouvenaz is a cute place to stay with lake views in a great location for Montreux’s attractions.

Crans Montana

By Linda from hikingthealps.com

As most people only know Crans Montana for its famous skiing, the village is a hidden gem for hikers in the summer months. The mountain village of Crans Montana is located in the Valais, high above Sierre and Sion in the Rhone Valley. From its sunny high plateau at 1500m you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the Swiss Alps on the other side of the valley. This view includes famous 4000m peaks like the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. 

Gondolas and cable cars start from the popular resort town and take skiers in winter and hikers in summer up to almost 3000m. So you can visit the small glacier Plaine Morte without much effort. 

For hikers, 320km of beautiful and varied hiking trails are available in the summer months. A hiking highlight is the Bisse du Ro, one of the many historic water pipes of the region. The probably most spectacular Bisse of all, winds its way for 6km along rugged rock over wooden bridges from Crans Montana to the beautiful Lac de Tseuzier. A 120m long suspension bridge, which leads 70m high over the abyss, defuses the most dangerous spot. 

Other scenic hikes start from the summit of the Cry d’Er, which can be reached by gondola and lead, for example, to the beautiful Tièche valley. The wonderfully wide valley offers, in addition to extensive flower meadows and many watercourses, a few impressive waterfalls.  

If you come to Crans Montana outside the high season in July and August, you not only pay less for accommodation, you even travel free of charge with all mountain lifts during the low season.

Geneva

By Ossama from awesometraveler.blog

Photo by Lukas Blaskevicius on Unsplash

Geneva is a charming place that is filled with amazing sceneries and landscapes and is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Switzerland. Whether it is a beautiful view of Geneva Lake or walking the evolution path at Geneva Botanical Garden in Geneva, there is something for everyone.

Geneva botanical garden is nothing like a regular Chinese or Japanese botanical garden, but it is a lot more. It is rich in flora and fauna. By walking around the Garden, you not only enjoy the sceneries, but also learn about the exotic birds, 12000 species of plant, and other types of animals in the zoo section. As a matter of fact, it is considered one of the biggest gardens in the world. It occupies about 28 hectares.

Geneva Lake is the largest alpine lake and the most visited landmark in Switzerland. It is surrounded by breathtaking Gardens, parks, and fountains. The biggest fountain in the Jet d’Eau fountain. It is also known as the Geneva water fountain and is one of the tallest fountains in the world.

While walking around the lake, you can easily spot Chateau de Chillon at the shoreline. It is an important landmark and contains a cultural heritage museum. I would highly suggest you visit the Great Hall of the Chillon Castle to have a beautiful view of Geneva Lake.

As far as accommodation goes, you should stay in Lake Geneva Hotel because it is facing Geneva Lake, has an amazing view of the Alps Mountain, and close to downtown. Not to forget that it is at the foot of the Jura Mountain, which give you the chance to enjoy its ample activities.

Additional Resources:

Hidden Gems in Austria: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/15-hidden-gems-in-austria-off-the-beaten-path/ 

Hidden Gems in Greece: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/hidden-gems-in-greece-off-the-beaten-path/

Hidden Gems in Spain: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/hidden-gems-in-spain-off-the-beaten-path/

Hidden Gems in France: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/15-hidden-gems-in-france-off-the-beaten-path/

Hidden Gems in Germany: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/hidden-gems-in-germany-off-the-beaten-path/

Hidden Gems in Italy: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/hidden-gems-in-italy/

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