8 destinations (+2) for a Spring weekend in Switzerland

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8 destinations (+2) for a Spring weekend in Switzerland

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Spring is just around the corner and the mild weather is again inviting us to spend time outdoors! After winter, it's finally time again to put on comfortable shoes, pack your backpack, and head out to explore new trails and new places easily accessible by public transportation and with not much effort. So here for you is a selection of 8 destinations or hiking trails worth visiting on a day trip or a weekend trip around Switzerland. And if you are in the mood for a short trip across the border, scroll down to the end of the article!

We love... Spring!

Spring is just around the corner and the mild weather is again inviting us to spend time outdoors! After winter, it’s finally time again to put on comfortable shoes, pack your backpack, and set out to discover new trails and new places easily accessible by public transportation and with little effort. Switzerland is a perfect destination for all seasons. In Spring, when the mountain trails are not yet safe, the extensive national hiking network offers many enjoyable valley trails, made even more fascinating by the slow awakening of nature. On the other hand, if you prefer to explore cities or indulge in urban leisure and shopping, then you will find good ideas in this article for you as well!
And so here is a selection of 8 destinations and hiking trails that are worth visiting on a day trip or weekend break. And if you’re in the mood for a short trip out of the border, scroll to the end of the article to learn about two places just out the borders you should definitely visit this spring!

Spring Hikes

Along the picturesque terraces of the Lavaux

The Wine Trail along the Terrasses de Lavaux is a fascinating hiking trail that runs along the rolling terraced hills on the northeastern side of Lake Geneva. This wonderful wine region, about 800 hectares wide, is one of the largest in Switzerland and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The walking trail, about 12 kilometers long, starts from St. Saphorin and reaches Lutry. In this article, we tell you about our itinerary and give you some useful tips for planning your visit. And if you have a full weekend available, we definitely suggest combining the excursion with a visit to the city of Montreux and its many highlights.

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Along the shores of Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz is certainly one of the most popular in Switzerland and among foreign tourists. Its turquoise waters and the enchanting mountain scenery that surrounds it – rich with hiking trails and historical routes to discover – make it a perfect destination for all seasons of the year. The hike we propose is a linear route that starts from the small village of Iseltwald and, following the path along the shoreline of Lake Brienz, reaches the valley station of the Giessbach funicular railway and then the Giessbach waterfall and the Grand Hotel of the same name. From here, after a brief exploration of the falls, it is possible to take the funicular back down to the valley or walk down the trail to the boat terminal that takes you back to Brienz. In this article, we tell you about our hike here and give you some useful tips for your itinerary!

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The three castles of Bellinzona

Located in the heart of Ticino, in a valley crossed by the homonymous river, Bellinzona as well as being the capital of the Canton Ticino is also one of the Swiss cities richest in history and evidence of the past. The city welcomes visitors with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, the warm colors of its historic center and the grandeur and austerity of its castles and fortifications. Three medieval castles are located really close to the city center and wherever you’ll look you will surely find traces of the ancient fortifications and the mighty defensive walls. We had already been visiting the city in 2017 but, thanks to a small unforeseen train delay, we decided to return to visit the three castles, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, through an excursion itinerary that starts from the train station and returns there, passing through the historic center and the fortifications. So in this article for you is our route and some useful tips!

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Ticino, from Monte Brè to Gandria and Lugano

The small village of Gandria – near Lugano – is certainly one of the best known and most popular destinations among travellers to Ticino because it allows visitors to taste an authentic sample of the Swiss Dolce Vita, landscape, culture and traditions in a short time. The small village perched on the shores of the lake is definitely charming! You will love getting lost in its narrow streets, passageways and stairways! And you won’t be able to resist taking pictures of its colorful buildings and flowery corners, the result of a mild and decidedly Mediterranean climate. Discovering this magnificent corner of the world does not take long, but if you want to extend your stay, we suggest you arrive in Gandria from above: the top of Monte Brè, the mountain that watches over the village. In Gandria, you can enjoy an afternoon snack, have lunch or dinner, and then walk back to Lugano following the “Gandria path”. In this article is our route and some useful tips!

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Use our hiking map with a 25% discount!

For a safe hike, it is important to have the support of maps and GPS. That’s why we plan and track all our hiking routes using Outdooractive, a platform for tracking outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and more. By subscribing for free to the website you can browse the entire route database, copy our routes, edit them and create your own and of course share them with friends.
If instead you want to sign up for a PRO or PRO+ subscription, until April 1st 2024 you can say goodbye to winter with a 25% discount on a new Pro and Pro+ subscriptions! Unlock amazing features and tools, be inspired, and start planning your next big adventure today!

Would you like to use our hiking map?

For a safe hike, it is important to have the support of maps and GPS. That’s why we plan and track all our hiking routes using Outdooractive, a platform for tracking outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and more. By subscribing for free to the website you can browse the entire route database, copy our routes, edit them and create your own and of course share them with friends. If instead you want to know why you should sign up for a PRO or PRO+ subscription and why we have already done it, we have told you about it here along with 5 other essential apps for hiking in Switzerland.

City tours

Discovering Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland’s most famous French-speaking city, is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, where the Rhone River leaves the great water mirror to continue its journey first to France and then to the Mediterranean Sea. The elegant and sophisticated city, both modern and ancient, is famous throughout the world for its humanitarian vocation and for being the headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross. But despite this strong institutional character, you will certainly be amazed by its ability to perfectly combine an ancient soul with a young and modern attitude. In Geneva you’ll find many attractions not to be missed and lots of opportunities for leisure and entertainment. In this article we point out the eight must-see attractions for your weekend in the city!

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Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls

Located in the northeastern part of Switzerland, just a stone’s throw from the German border, Schaffhausen is certainly one of the most charming Swiss cities. The city is perfect for a weekend or a day trip, especially during spring and summer when the green surrounding it becomes intense and the Rhine Falls are stronger and more spectacular than ever. Over the centuries, the city has preserved its valuable old town like few other major cities have, by restoring historic buildings and preserving their charm. And if you are visiting Schaffhausen, you can’t miss a visit to the nearby Rhine Falls, which, with their 150 meters wide, are the largest waterfalls in Europe! For a first visit in the city, in this article you can find our tips and places not to miss!

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Lucerne, the city of lights

Situated on Lake Lucerne and surrounded by a magnificent mountain landscape, Lucerne represents a perfect synthesis of all that Switzerland has to offer to visitors and, also for this reason, it is an unmissable stop for those visiting the country for the first time. The small, hospitable and people-friendly town has a quaint, well-kept old town centre, an elegant lakeside promenade and numerous attractions not to be missed. Despite its small size, the town has a lively and first-class cultural offer. There are many museums to visit, and even more shows and concerts for all tastes at the city theatre and the larger KKL, a modern cultural centre on the lakeside in the city centre. We are really in love with this town, which we have been calling home for two years! In this article we point out the attractions not to be missed during a weekend trip!

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Bern, the city of bears

As Switzerland’s federal capital and gateway to the Alps, Bern knows how to impress first-time visitors. The city offers a relaxed and glamorous atmosphere: the narrow medieval alleyways invite you to stroll along, the open-air cafés provide refreshment after a long walk or a cool afternoon aperitif, and the numerous craft shops in the old town offer original and good quality products. But Bern is also the gateway to the Alps: from here the options for excursions and sporting activities seem almost endless! You can choose between a trip to the hilly landscapes of the Emmental, a visit to the imposing mountains of the Gantrisch Nature Park or a hike through the idyllic Oberaargau. In this article we point out the attractions not to be missed during a weekend trip!

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Outside the swiss border

Mainau, the island of flowers in Germany

Located on the southern shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and connected to it by a footbridge, Mainau Island in Germany is certainly a must-see destination for anyone visiting the lake area and its historical and natural attractions. Thanks to a mild climate – the same that has allowed to develop a rich winery tradition in the area – the whole island is a wonderful garden that offers events throughout the year and invites visitors to relax and have fun in close contact with nature. The island can be visited – by purchasing an entrance ticket – throughout the year and in every season it will amaze you with its ability to transform and change its face. However, we absolutely recommend a visit in April, when first the daffodils and then the tulips blossom and dress the island in a triumph of colors: a true wonder! We were here on a day in mid-April and in this article we tell you about our visit and give you some useful tips for your stay.

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The lands of Prosecco in Italy

All over the world, Veneto is synonymous of Venice. The great lagoon city, with its unquestionable charm and its peculiarities, certainly steals the scene to all other places and attracts the attention of travelers who choose the regions of northeastern Italy for a vacation or a weekend.
However, the region of Veneto is very big and, in its territory, it successfully combines the maritime spirit of Venice and the mountain soul of the provinces of Belluno and Treviso. It also has a rich and varied history that gives it unique characteristics in the Italian cultural and tourist panorama. That’s why in this article we want to leave the well-known and popular lagoon and move a little further north, close to the Alps: we bring you with us to the province of Treviso, to discover the green hills of Prosecco in Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, territories that, moreover, since 2019 are part of the Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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