At a press conference yesterday held by Switzerland Tourism, I was excited to hear about the launch of the ‘Grand Tour of Switzerland’ – a 1600km road trip that combines all of Switzerland’s best touristic and nature highlights, in one scenic journey. The tour can be done from different gateways like Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lugano etc and can be split into any number of journeys.
My last visit to Switzerland was on a Backpacking gap year across Europe. It was the summer of 2007 and I was In Love With Lauterbrunnen
, a little village in the countryside of Switzerland. So you can imagine my excitement when I hear about the idea of travelling there, this time on a road trip across Switzerland in winter!
While celebrating 150 years of winter tourism, the tourism board representatives showcased the many travel ideas and inspirations for Swiss vacations for Indians, not only during summer but also during autumn and winter. With more and more people choosing to go on long, self drive vacations, exploring Switzerland by car during this year’s Autumn/Fall season might just be a brilliant idea.
Indians have had a love affair with Switzerland since decades. a huge portion of the credit goes to Raj Kapoor and Yash Chopra for the magical landscapes of Switzerland that were permanaent backdrops for their romantic cinema. And the numbers support the romance pretty well, with 2015 seeing a huge surge in Indian tourists with a growth of 26.7% recorded during Jan to June this year. In fact, June was one the best months with over 40% growth over 2014.
Mr. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “As Indians are getting more and more adventurous and are looking for new experiences, we think they are now ready for a winter holiday. In view of this we are delighted to launch ‘In Love with Switzerland’ Campaign in India to promote the winter season. Winter in Switzerland is not only about skiing but has a lot of options for the first time winter tourist.”
“The concept of pure white relaxation in winter and cozy pure winter are created for the Indian visitor and offer special activities like sledging and air boarding for the active ones and open air hot springs and igloo stays for the more relaxed visitor.”
Two of the must-visit places in Switzerland during winter are the resorts of St. Moritz and Davos Klosters, which are connected by the Rhaetian Railways. This region is an absolute winter wonderland and offers great attractions for all. While Davos Klosters is a family friendly resort with great winter activities for kids and adults alike, St.Moritz is a glamorous resort where the world’s rich and famous congregate to enjoy winter.
To add to this, a very scenic ride away on the Bernina Express lies Ticino, the Italian speaking region of Switzerland which enjoys year round Mediterranean climate, Swiss efficiency with an Italian lifestyle and great food and wine. It is an ideal place to thaw out before heading back.
So when are you heading for that road trip through Switzerland? Don’t forget to use the hash tag #InLoveWithSwitzerland on your next Swiss vacation. I cant wait to head there during the winter season myself!