AAA Travel Tips / The Top Experiences for Every Family Vacation in Switzerland

The Top Experiences for Every Family Vacation in Switzerland

Switzerland Tourism/Markus Thoenen
By Special Contributor to AAA
May 13, 2022
Switzerland is the perfect destination for a family vacation. No matter your family’s interests, the ways a family can have an unforgettable experience are as numerous as the Alps are tall.
In the summer, Switzerland’s jaw-dropping waterways, mountains, caves, and hiking trails are sure to fulfill your need for adventure. In the winter, take it to the slopes on legendary ski and snowboard trails. Year-round, you will find quant villages, charming European cities and amazing museums for you to explore.
Family vacationers will find relaxation, education, action and adventure, and/or nature or urban experiences. Here are some highlights of the kinds of experiences you can anticipate having. Each highlight is specific, but you can expect to find similar experiences all over the country!
Switzerland Tourism/ Yannick Romagnoli

Relaxation

Gstaad – Fondueland!
• In the heart of Gstaad, a popular resort town, lies an incredible opportunity to try traditional Swiss fondue, as well as many other delicious cheeses. The Chessler and Bodmen fondue huts offer hungry visitors massive pots of fondue, all of which can be eaten outdoors with the Alps as your esteemed dinner guests.
Thun and Brienz Lake Cruise
• Embark on one of a fleet of fourteen boats through the Lakes Thun and Brienz with Bernese Oberland Navigation. These lakes are posed squarely in the mountains of the Bernese Oberland, meaning you’re surrounded by Switzerland’s amazing Alpine peaks. Make your trip complete by adding one of many excursions.
Furka Steam Railway
• Hop aboard the cog steam train in Oberwald for a tour of the Furka Pass. Enjoy this largely untouched part of the Alps, steep hills and wild gorges from historic rail cars, some of which are more than 100 years old!

Nature

Ropetech Adventure Park
• Get a new perspective of the Swiss forests in the of the Bernese Dählhölzli Forest from above at this fixed rope park. Kids as young as 4 years old can explore the park while visitors up to the challenge will find thrills on more advanced rope trails.
Tête-Noire Gorge
• Head the Gorges Mystérieuses in Trient, which can be found on the way to Chamonix. Your family will discover the gorge’s secrets – unique rock formations, a “fairy grotto”, rushing waterfalls, and other natural phenomena. With low skill requirements and amazing beauty to behold, this is the perfect hike for families.
Aletsch Arena Cable Car Ride
• Available in both summer and winter, a cable car ride up the stunning and renowned mountains of the Aletsch Arena cannot be missed. The cable cars bring you more than 9,000 feet above sea level, providing family members of all ages the most accessible way to take in view the massive and simply awesome Aletsch Glacier.
Switzerland Tourism/Markus Thoenen

Education

UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch
• Touch. Taste. Smell. Often called the “Wild West” of the Lucerne region, Entlebuch’s natural diversity and beauty has been preserved in an area called the biosphere. Your family will be able to learn about this reservation and sustainability up close and personal.
Alpine Life
• Visit Savoignin to take a special tour that teaches all about the life and culture of the people of the Alps. Learn how cows are kept and why animals on the farm wear bells. Experience farm life firsthand while on a mountain peak with breathtaking views of the Alps from high up.
Wild Animal Watch
• The animal lovers in your family are in for an experience they will never forget! You’ll travel with a knowledgeable guide, who’s expertise is necessary to seeing the antelopes, marmots and ibexes of Switzerland. Embark on a morning journey into the forest in Grächen to find wildlife, and then enjoy a delicious mountainside breakfast.

Urban

Night Guard Tour of Zurich
• What was Zurich like in the days of old? Learn about this city through the stories of a “night guard” historic interpreter. You’ll learn of the fires, judgments, plagues and even “witches” he has worked through as a loyal guard of the city.
Chocolate Tour of Basel
• If there is one thing Switzerland is known for, it’s chocolate! Get a taste of locally made specialty chocolates and other confections on a guided tour through Basel.
Natural History Museum Bern
• With exhibits spanning centuries of natural history, this museum is one of the most renowned in Switzerland. The rotating exhibits of this museum will make sure that every visitor has the chance to see something that interests them.
iStockphoto.com/ihsanyildizli

Action

Family Rafting
• Get ready for whitewater rafting thrills through rapids and water slides. Head to the Engadin Outdoor Center for an exciting family experience in the gorgeous Swiss countryside.
Llama Trekking
• You will find getting to know your llama counterparts an experience you won’t soon forget as you trek and hike through Switzerland. This is available in several parts of the country, such as the Saas Valley near Grächen.
Try Cross-country Skiing
• Switzerland is known as one of the world’s best destinations for winter sports. With skiing and snowboarding for all levels, you are sure to have fun on the slopes! In Postfach, learn cross-country skiing with an instructor from the Arosa Swiss Ski and Snowboard School.

Adventure

Matterhorn Glacier Ride
• Journey up over 12,500 feet above sea level via luxurious cable cars to the Matterhorn. From there, you’ll take in views of the largest glacier in the Alps and mountains stretching from Italy, France and Switzerland, with Mont Blanc being the highlight.
Historical Canoe Tour
• Hop aboard a canoe and retrace Swiss history with a knowledgeable tour guide. The guide will bring you throughout Lake Lucerne, showing you old Swiss trading routes and the site of the Switzerland's founding.
St. Beatus Caves
• The St. Beatus Caves, located on the shores of Lake Thun, are sure to delight every adventure-goer in your family. Being one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations, the journey into the gorges and waterfalls of these caves are both exciting and safe. Here, you’ll not only find amazing natural rock formations but also the newly renovated and delicious “Stein and Sein” restaurant.
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