Outdoor Activities in Switzerland

Outdoor Activities in Switzerland

 Sport in Switzerland

The Swiss, as a nation, are great sports enthusiasts and around two-thirds of the Swiss population take part in some sporting activity at least once a week. Among the most popular sports are skiing, rambling, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, cycling, swimming, tennis,gymnastics and walking. The Swiss national sports are Schwingen (traditional alpine wrestling) and Hornussen ( which is a cross between baseball and golf). Winter is the time when Switzerland really comes into its own with its selection of winter sports in some of the world’s most beautiful settings. Winter sports are popular with locals and overseas visitors alike and include snowshoeing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ice skating. In the summer months there is rambling and hiking among the most popular, Switzerland has over 50,000 kilometres of hiking trails. Switzerland is the headquarters of a number of international sports federations, such as the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne (IOC), the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in Zurich, and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon.

Skiing in Switzerland

When choosing a destination to go skiing, why not choose Switzerland, after all it is where the first recorded ski holiday took place back in 1865 in the famous town of St Moritz, and with Switzerland being one of the four countries , along with Austria, France and Norway, to develop skiing, it has learnt to cater for your every need. When people think of Switzerland, they may well think of thee Alps and skiing, however the alps are in more then one country and Switzerland has more to offer than just skiing, yet it goes to prove the effects that skiing in this country has had on the outside world. The Swiss ski resorts, large or small offer excellent skiing facilities and breathtaking scenery, not to mention the quality of food and excellent service, and now with many of the top resorts being car no-go areas, your holiday has been enhanced and the resorts keep their beauty for longer. Some of the more famous resorts are called Gstaad, Wengen, Grindelwald, Villars and Klosters. Zermatt offers the highest skiing in Europe and is the only skiing resort in Europe to offer skiing 365 days a year.The ski resorts are suitable for all levels of skier and offer excellent coaching for the beginners. And once your day of skiing is over, relax back at one of the many fine resorts and enjoy a drink in the bars by traditional log fires.

Engadin St. Moritz: the home of winter sport

Four large and seven small snow sport areas transform Engadin St. Moritz into a varied winter wonderland – one of the most extensive in Switzerland. And one of the most beautiful, too.

Feel the sun on your face and the powder under your feet the whole day long! For the region can lay claim to 350 kilometres (217 miles) of ski pistes. Not to mention fantastic weather – the Engadin is truly blessed with an abundance of sunshine. When the temperatures sink, the winter really comes into its own; as soon as it is cold enough, the Engadin air begins to glitter, as if it were filled with millions of the finest of snow crystals. The locals refer to these magical moments of bliss as a “champagne climate”. The fact that guests usually associate this word with a glass of the effervescent drink can hardly be held against them. After all, that too can be just as sparkling.

Read more about winter sports in Engadin St Moritz

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Walking in Switzerland

Walking through the mountains of Switzerland is both rewarding and a panoramic marvel. The stereotypes we think of such as wooden chalets, gently ringing cowbells, snow capped mountains lining the horizon are the the things you will see as you wonder through the open flower filled meadows alongthe lakes and into the free flowing pastures.You can experience many different types of walks, from easy level terrain to the more experienced steep mountain hikes. Walking is the real way to see and enjoy the real Switzerland.

Hiking in Switzerland

Hiking in the Engadin region of Switzerland

When the sun shines over the Upper Engadin, the lake plateau, the side valleys and the flanks of the mountains are transformed into a poetic interplay of shadow and light. The air is infused with the scent of larch needles and the bark of Swiss stone-pine trees. The intense blue of the sky is intoxicating to the eye; everyday cares feel as if they have been blown away by the pleasantly light, dry breeze. In Engadin St. Moritz, 580 kilometres (360 miles) of footpaths are waiting to be explored: on strolls, walks, longer hikes and multi-day tours. And for every taste, there is another path to happiness. The views are particularly spectacular on the hiking mountain of Muottas Muragl, whose challenging paths offer a magnificent natural high. Strolls down in the valley, meanwhile, are especially idyllic – for example, in the pleasantly shady Staz forest, followed by an invigorating dip in the lake. Those who simply cannot have enough of hiking can plan a multi-day tour through the glorious natural landscape – along the Via Alpina, for example, or through the Swiss National Park, home to an exceptionally rich wildlife

Read more about hiking routes in the Engadin

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Mountain Climbing in Switzerland

Switzerland offers many climbing choices, along side the well known names which of course are extremely popular. Parts of the Swiss Alps are similar to the Canadian Rockies, with similar mountain peaks and green alpine meadows. But there are also jagged areas of beautiful steep limestone, and clean granite peaks reminiscent of the Bugaboos of British Columbia. Among the several main climbing centers in Switzerland, Zermatt is perhaps the best known, but certainly others deserve equal attention. Saas Fee, the valley just east of Zermatt, also has a wide variety of good climbs, offering perhaps even a better selection of climbs in the middle range of difficulty. The Berner Oberland, home to the famous Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger, also boasts other worthy objectives such as the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn. Accessed from the pastoral town of Grindelwald, this area is only about 3 hours from Zermatt by train. The Engadine valley in southeast Switzerland is another good center, home to the beautiful town of St Moritz as well as the more mountain-climber oriented village of Pontresina. Piz Bernina and Piz Palu are the best known and most popular climbs in the area. These and surrounding summits Piz Morteratsch and Rosegg, contain some of the best alpine climbing in Switzerland. If you have enjoyed spending some time in any of the previous areas, you should definitely consider a trip to the Engadine next!Finally, the fantastic ratite walls of both the Salbitschen area and the Piz Badile are prime destinations for the alpine rock climber. The amazingly extensive Swiss Federal Railways system is the best way to get around the country. Using the trains you can reach several areas in a short time and create a great climbing trip. Grindelwald is about 3 hours from Zermatt. Saas Fee is even closer. The Engadine is further away, and takes most of a day to get reach from any of these areas.

Mountain-climbing in the Engadin region of Switzerland

Alpinism enjoys a long-standing tradition in the region, especially in Pontresina.

The mountain village, surrounded by the Bernina massif, is the ideal location for mountain-climbing. The imposing mountains were first conquered in the middle of the 19th century, mainly by local mountaineers. And the majestic ice- and snow-covered Engadin mountains have been a major attraction and destination for mountain-climbing enthusiasts ever since. How about traversing a glacier equipped with pickaxe and crampons, or climbing via the Bianco ridge up to the Piz Bernina attached by rope to an experienced mountain climber, or feeling the proximity of the granite along a climbing route? Try one of the vie ferrate, or manoeuvre your way along the easy or difficult obstacles at lofty heights on the high-rope challenge course. All these thrilling challenges can be tackled in Pontresina and the surrounding area.

Read more about Mountain Climbing Routes in the Engadin

Click here for Climbing in Switzerland

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Cycling and the EuroVelo in Switzerland

Cycling or Bicycling as it is less known is a form of transport, recreation and sport which has had a significant resurgence in recent years due to rising fuel costs, traffic congestion as well as a means of keeping fit. Depending on the kind of cycling you wish to do, there is a bike suitable to your needs. From mountain bikes, Tourers, Road Bikes to racing bikes, there is a cycle to fit all. In areas in which cycling is popular and encouraged, cycle-parking facilities using bicycle stands, lockable mini-garages, and patrolled cycle parks are used in order to reduce theft. Local governments promote cycling by permitting bicycles to be carried on public transport or by providing external attachment devices on public transport vehicles. Conversely, an absence of secure cycle-parking is a recurring complaint by cyclists from cities with low modal share of cycling. The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is coordinating the development of a network of high-quality cycling routes that connect the whole continent. The routes can be used by long-distance cycle tourists, as well as by local people making daily journeys. EuroVelo currently comprises of 14 routes and it is envisaged that the network will be substantially complete by 2020…..

Read More on the EuroVelo Routes

Mountain Biking in the Engadin region of Switzerland

Engadin St. Moritz is a paradise for everyone who feels at home in the (bicycle) saddle. Exploring this glorious Alpine landscape is a never-ending thrill – whether alone or in a group, independently or on an organised tour… …

such as on a mountain bike, for example – over 400km (250 miles) of enchanting singletrails and marked routes lead throughout the Engadin mountain landscape, past breathtakingly beautiful backdrops and up to spectacular heights. Those who prefer a gentler start to their day can take a cable car, funicular or gondola and ride the first couple of hundred vertical metres up onto the Corviglia in comfort. And their smile is sure to last, given the breathtaking panoramic trails and the thrilling descents that await them at the top. It is not without good reason that the Engadin is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the Alps. The route network is constantly being expanded.

Read more about mountain-biking routes in the Engadin region

Campsites in Switzerland

Camperstops in Switzerland

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