While summer and winter remain the most popular seasons to visit Switzerland, autumn also gains its fair share of interest. A season far too short, Switzerland Tourism says this is, however, the most ideal time for a sensory indulgence.
From feasting the eyes on the season’s changing colours and warm tones to feasting on delicious seasonal specialties and wines, here are some of the best ways to make the most of autumn in Switzerland.
Embark on the Grand Tour of Switzerland
Nothing beats driving along a freeway while admiring the backdrop of the alps and deep verdant valleys dotted by quaint villages and pretty cows. Stopping wherever the heart desires for a photo opportunity, bite or exploration, the Grand Tour of Switzerland is a great way to see the country in the most flexible and relaxed manner. With 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to discover, this Alpine road trip traverses five alpine passes and along 22 lakes. As an added bonus to travellers, each stage of the tour even has its own Spotify playlist! See here for a taster of this Grand Tour of Switzerland.
Wind down on wine trails
Wine O’clock is synonymous with winding down. In Switzerland, this also means a chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes around. Given the diversity of languages, cuisine, traditions and customs around the country, this too, extends to Switzerland’s wine-growing heritage. There are vineyards in every region; and wine trails abound. Day excursions, overnight visits or extended stays, there are all sorts of scenic wine trails to suit any occasion and time.
It’s not just the big French, Spanish and Italian wine regions that put on yearly festivals. The Swiss wine growers do as well. Perhaps not on such large scales, but keeping it low key and intimate is the way to go for the Swiss folk. As it is, Swiss wines are not widely exported given the limited amount produced – just enough for their own consumption in the country. Indeed, next to quality, the Swiss are all about exclusivity. And autumn is the best time to enjoy a string of wine festivals and tastings.
Sweet chestnut festivals
Nothing smells quite like autumn as the smell of roasted chestnuts in an open fire. Encapsulating the season with its warm smoky nutty flavour, reminding people that colours are changing and Christmas is just around the corner, chestnuts bring together communities, families and friends. And as the ambassador of the season, it is only right that festivals are had in its honour – and festivals, there are many. One of the best experiences visitors can have in Switzerland at this time of year is attending a chestnut festival or celebration to meet the locals, taste regional delicacies and gorge on chestnuts.
For more information on travelling around Switzerland in autumn, visit MySwitzerland.com/autumn.