You have probably already heard of the story about Heidi, an orphaned Swiss girl, who was so home sick that nothing could help her. Then a doctor recommended her to go to the mountains, saying that the fresh air would make her feel better. Not only the mountains have helped Heidi, they also helped her best friend Clara walk again. Although a piece of fiction, this story shows us just how beautiful and calming Switzerland can be. Many fiction writers and storytellers have found the inspiration for their books in Switzerland, and if you want to make your vacation unforgettable, these are just some places that will make you feel like you are in a fairytale.
1. The Areuse Gorge
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This gorge is located near Neuchatel. It was created as the water descended from the Jura Mountains into the Mitteland. This gorge’s route will take you down the stairs carved in stone and across narrow stone bridges. Mighty rock formations above you, and the sound of the bubbling river below will make you forget about the outside world. You will also be amazed by the diverse wildlife this isolated piece of heaven has got. This is a perfect place if you want to relax, take a walk and see how one river can change the whole landscape.
Tip: Even though this trail is secure, do not try to lean over the fence, watch your step and read the warning signs before you enter this amazing gorge, so your trip will go with no accidents.
This town is a very popular tourist destination. In the summer, its famous bridge- Kappelbrücke gets overwhelmed with colorful flowers falling from its sides, while snow-white swans swim in the river below. The bridge is made from wood and decorated with pictures that illustrate few of the Swiss histories, so you can learn a bit while crossing the river. Besides the bridge, the Lion Statue is also a place you must visit while in Luzerne. The statue of a heavily wounded lion was carved in living rock. In front of the statue, there is a pond, perfectly reflecting the statue, while the vines descend from the cliff above almost touching the surface of the pond. Even though this place is in the middle of the town, its foliage and wooden structure seclude it and isolate from the city noise, making you feel like you have ventured deep into a forest. This majestic sculpture and its surroundings were even mentioned in Mark Twain’s writing.
3. The Greisinger Museum
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Fans of J. R. R. Tolkien beware! This place will give you goosebumps, and make you scream out of excitement. This museum exhibits the largest collection of Middle Earth related artwork, collector’s items, and literature. Once you enter this museum through a distinguished Hobbit’s house door, you will feel like you are in the Middle Earth. You may be wondering why Switzerland has a museum like this. Well, in 1911 Tolkien went on a hike from Interlaken to Zermatt followed by 13 companions. There are guided tours you can take following his footsteps, that will let you see where he drew his inspiration from. Misty Mountains will never be the same after you see the mountain peaks that are said to have inspired their landscape (Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau)
Tip: You need to book your ticket in front, because this museum can only be visited on a guided tour.
4. St Beatus Caves
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Located near Interlaken, these caves let you descend 1000 meters underground and discover a whole new world. These caves have an amazing set of cave decorations formed by mineral sedimentation over centuries. The cave is lit and you will not have to worry about getting lost here, but nevertheless these caves are still a bit scary. Legend has it that a mystical dragon took a refuge here while running away from St Beat. In front of the cave’s entrance there is a museum in which you can learn more about the prehistoric settlement that was once here.
5. St. Ursanne
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This medieval village looks like it was teleported from a fairytale straight into our world. Its colorful house’s facades and the high towers between them can only be seen once you enter this village through one of its three gates. Legend says it was founded by an Irish monk, which only adds up to the magical attraction of this village. John Howe, a Tolkien illustrator placed 13 installations throughout this village and made it even more magical than it was. Probably the most famous installation is Maleficent- like dragon wrapped around one of the bridges leading into this village where the time seems to have stopped. Take a look at this romantic hike you can end with exploring the St Ursanne.
TIP: A guided tour is amazing, and will show you all the attractions and points of interests in St Ursanne.
What are some places you have visited that made you feel like you are in a fairytale?
Let us know in the comments below!