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It doesn’t always have to be a trip abroad. In Switzerland, there are visually striking alternatives to Scotland, Thailand and the Indian Ocean.
A German acquaintance was driving for the first time in her life on the A6 motorway from Bern towards Thun when the jagged panorama of the Alps appeared on the evening horizon. “This looks like Colorado, but cooler,” she was happy.
In fact, the Bernese Alps are not inferior to the Rocky Mountains. Colorado’s highest peak, Mount Elbert, is 4,401 metres, while the Fensterarhorn, the highest peak in canton Bern, is 4,274 metres.
With a little imagination, many other places can be found in Switzerland that look like foreign destinations.
Soufrière on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is a famous volcanic crater area. Less well known, but equally stunning, is the rocky landscape of the “Gryden” above Lenk in Simmental. The hills are made of gypsum rock, which is slowly dissolved by rainwater, which then seeps out to form funnels that resemble small volcanic craters.
Lenk’s rocky landscape is reminiscent of Guadeloupe. (Photo: Lenk.ch)
Also in the Bernese Oberland, in the Bachalsee region at 2,265 meters above sea level near Grindelwald, one may feel as if one is in an Irish valley. There is also an Irish-like moor around the lake with only the flocks of sheep kept by Border Collies missing.
Bachalpsee could also be located in Ireland. (Photo: Swiss-Image, Jan Gerke)
Depending on which angle you look at the lakeside villas at Deltapark Vitalresort in Gwatt on Lake Thun, you can imagine yourself in a sophisticated Thai beach resort. A wonderful spa, according to the Daily Telegraph, and other health facilities.
The view of the Jungfrau Massif and the stunning Nissin Peak is not Thai at all, but the proximity of a Thai restaurant makes that analogy reasonable.
Perfect weather at Lake Thun – as only in Thailand. (Photo: Delta Park)
Nice Ludwig Castle
You can feel Neuschwanstein, the “ideal illusion of a medieval castle” built by the Bavarians King Ludwig II In 1869 in Lucerne. Château Guetsch was built above the city in 1901 in the Bavarian style, but it has one advantage: it is a hotel where you can have dinner and spend the night.
Fantastic views over Lucerne, Lake Lucerne and the mountains are included.
Lucerne’s Château Gütsch is almost as beautiful as Neuschwanstein Castle. (Photo: Buhao Zhao)
Staying on the deeply indented Lake Lucerne is often compared to the Norwegian fjords. You get this impression especially when you look from Rigi Hochflue in the direction of Flueelen.
The striking similarity between Lake Lucerne and the Norwegian fjord. (Photo: Swiss-Image, Martin Maigli)
The Cinque Terre region on the Italian Riviera north of La Spezia is a popular destination for the Swiss. The five romantic villages nestled on the slopes evoke similar feelings on the shores of Lake Lugano in Gandria. The village of Lugano has preserved its character.
No less beautiful than the Cinque Terre: the village of Ticino in Gandria. (Photo: Swiss-Image, Ivo Schulz)
The Lost Casino can be found not far away in Montreux. Although the yachts are smaller, the port of Lausanne-Ouchy is reminiscent of Monte Carlo. Even the noble hotels from the 19th century are not to be missed, with the neo-Gothic Château d’Ouchy and Beau-Rivage satisfying even the most fussy guests.
Lausanne-Oschi makes you forget Monte Carlo. (Photo: Lausanne-tourisme.ch)