SWITZERLAND - THE HEART OF EUROPE
Switzerland has so much to offer for every type of corporate event; an environment that provides magnificent Alpine scenery, soaring snow-capped mountain peaks, shimmering blue lakes, luscious green valleys, ice-blue glaciers and stunning cosmopolitan cities. Add to this world-class resorts, charming friendly people and being one of the cleanest and efficiently run countries in Europe and you have a destination that offers everything you need for an event that will live long in the memory of your delegates.
Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel stands as the core of central Europe. Since the Middle Ages, the town has played an important role in trade and it now forms a busy meeting place for creators, businessmen and vendors, who fill the taverns with resounding laughter and the clinking of glasses.
Founded by the Romans, the old town has been well preserved and is one of the finest in Europe. In the Marktplatz visitors can pick up fresh foods and sample local delicacies or choose to relax in the many parks and green-belt areas that surround the city. The 12th-century Gothic cathedral also provides breath-taking city views and contains the tomb of the 16th-century Dutch scholar, Erasmus.
Basel boasts a temperate climate with 300 days of sunshine every year. In the summer, the banks of the Rhine become a popular destination to escape the heat, and you’ll see plenty of people swimming in its waters. It also has a great art scene, a zoo, botanical gardens, over 40 quirky museums to choose from and some of the best theatres in the country, which makes it a popular destination for tourists.
Basel is also home to Switzerland’s biggest festival, Fasnacht, a carnival that kicks off at 4 a.m. on the first Monday after Ash Wednesday. Masked musicians parading through the streets of Basel’s old town and continues for three days with parades, satirical poets and plenty of beer and food on offer.
From its thriving city, which is the economic and cultural hub of the nation, to its gentle green charming landscape, Zurich has it all. The cultural hub has always prospered in economic power and in intellectual liberalism, having hosted revolutionary reformists, philosophers and scholars for hundreds of years.
Bustling with activities, Zurich is one of Switzerland’s loveliest cities, which has much to attract and interest the visitor; ranging from its classic old town, elegant lakeside, pulsating activity of the Bahnhofstrasse, meandering alleys, world famous museums and intimate galleries. From processions to mark the start of cherry-picking season, to the spring festival and medieval jousting on the river, Zurich’s carefully cherished traditions also provide a fantastical special for guests and Swiss nationals.
Super sleek, slick and cosmopolitan, Geneva is a rare gem. The city, which frames Europe’s largest Alpine lake, is Switzerland’s third-largest city, however, the whole world is present here. The UN, International Red Cross, International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, you name it, they’re in Geneva.
Now over 200 international organisations are based in the city, making the most of its bounty of plush hotels, incredulous choice of international cuisine, luxury jewellers and chocolate shops for which the city is known. Strolling through manicured city parks, sailing on the lake and skiing in the Alps next door also provides popular respite from work.
Interlaken is a popular summer and winter resort, making it the perfect location for a wide array of activities to suit all tastes. Situated at the foot of the mighty Jungfrau Mountain, Interlaken enthrals visitors with its overwhelming lake and mountain panoramas, mediaeval ruins and superbly preserved surrounding villages. The fashionable Hohematte, a 35acre park, provides guests with a spectacular view of the mountain’s magnificent glaciers.
The friendliness of the inhabitants, woodland beauty and remedial atmospheric qualities of the region have drawn hundreds of visitors to the location over the years, including a number of well-known poets and musicians which include Lord Byron, Mark Twain, Wagner and the German poet-nobleman Johann Goethe. Today, the feeling of the past is still very much a part of the town, with well-preserved 19th century buildings and horse drawn carriages which provide quaint experiences for visitors.
Montreux provides a melting pop of art, history, scenic beauty, folklore and elegant traditions. Immortalised by Byron in the 19th century, Montreux has been welcoming and enchanting guests for well over a hundred years.
Ideally situated on Lake Geneva, Montreux enjoys a remarkably mild sunny climate where vine clad terraced slopes and forests melt upwards to the soaring peaks of the Alps. The Montreux Jazz Festival is also a visitor’s favourite, with people travelling all over the world to enjoy the music, whilst exploring the beautiful location.
Offshore is a medieval island castle, Château de Chillon, with ramparts, formal halls and a chapel with 14th-century murals. The towns flower lined promenade, magnificent sculptures, Mediterranean trees, grand Belle Époque buildings, stately homes, enticing shopping boutiques, famous home-grown wines and spectacular views are also just some of the pleasures.
At easy distance are major cities of the nation, delightful villages, stunning mountain summits climbed comfortably in antique trains and stately paddle steamers on the shores of the river.
Welcome to Lucerne, the world’s famous city in the midst of an Alpine wonderland.
Lucerne, like many of Switzerland’s largest cities, is perched on the shores of a scenic lake. Possessing a rare beauty that makes Lucerne Switzerland’s most photogenic city, it also has a lovely Old Town, a strong cultural tradition and several very interesting sights.
Lucerne straddles both sides of Lake Lucerne, which flows outward into the River Reuss. Two unusual covered bridges, Kapellbrucke and Spreurbrucke, along with the former bridge’s soaring water tower, are Lucerne’s most famous landmarks.
Built in the 14th century, a walk through these bridges’ dark interiors reveal the city’s history – including the Black Plague – in a series of interior paintings done by local artists over the centuries.
Just as unusual is Lucerne’s Glacier Garden where viewers skirt giant boulders and peer down into deep glacier potholes. Nearby is another city symbol, the Lion Monument; this arresting sculpture of a dying lion commemorates the Swiss war dead from the18th century battles.
Lucerne also abounds with gothic squares, ornate churches (the reformation never made it here) and marvelous museums that keep the cameras clicking steadily. Just outside the city center is one of the world’s finest technology museums, the Swiss Transport Museum.
Also recommended as a day excursion is a trip to the summit of Mount Pilatus, via a genuine cog railway system. A visit to Lucerne, without a morning or afternoon cruise on Lake Lucerne – affording terrific views of the city and surrounding Alpine countryside – is, by our standards, an incomplete visit.
Lausanne, whose 127,000 inhabitants make it the second-largest city on Lake Geneva and the fifth-largest in Switzerland, is built on three hills overlooking the lake, called Lac Léman by the city’s inhabitants. The upper and lower towns are connected by a small metro (subway).
Lausanne has been inhabited since the Stone Age (it was the ancient Roman town of Lousanna). In 1803 the canton of Vaud, of which Lausanne is the capital, became the 19th to join the Swiss Confederation.
For centuries Lausanne has been a favorite spot for exiles and expatriates, attracting, among others, deposed monarchs. Lausanne flourished particularly in the Age of Enlightenment, when it was associated with Rousseau and Voltaire, two of the leading writers in the 18th century.
Even today many French-speaking Swiss cite the city as the place they would most like to live because of its low-key elegance and sense of grace. Regrettably, it’s no longer a center of the intellectual or artistic elite. Voltaire and the likes have given way to water-skiers, swimmers, and “Sunday sailors,” most of whom have never heard of Rousseau, much less read him. Even so, Lausanne retains an aesthetic charm and a cultural tradition — today it’s the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee.
Stein am Rhein
Lavaux, a Unesco World Heritage
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