The journey of a lifetime awaits you way up in the Alps. Jetting away from home to adventure travel in Switzerland is your opportunity to trek, ski, kayak, or take any other outdoor transportation you’d dream of through one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes that exists on our planet. Sitting in the heart of the continent at the crossroads between northern, southern, eastern, and western Europe, Switzerland is every bit as culturally prosperous as it is physically beautiful no less. Go experience it for yourself!
Switzerland is a republic that is independent from the surrounding European Union, with 26 cantons sprawled out across its mountain landscape in the Alps. The country is bordered by France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria to the east, and Italy to the south; hence the most widely spoken languages in the country are French, German, and Italian. The southern reaches of Switzerland are more mountainous, and therefore less densely populated than the south.
The country’s two major cities, Geneva and Zurich, are both very popular destinations to visit during adventure travel in Switzerland. Zurich, capital of the German-speaking Zurich canton, is the largest city in Switzerland and a major global financial center. Geneva, where French is the dominant language, is Switzerland’s second-largest city and widely known for headquartering a breadth of international organizations, including the United Nations and Red Cross.
Both of these two major cities sit on lakes of their own namesake (Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich), and are also within easy travel of more remote destinations where you might go for outdoor activities during your adventure travel in Switzerland. Other popular destinations across the countryside include Bern, Lucerne, and Interlaken.
Adventure Travel in Switzerland
Switzerland is a hugely popular adventure travel destination for good reason. Amidst the backdrop of the Alps, outdoor thrill seekers of all different ambitions can find activities that suit their fancy. From backpacking to snowboarding to paragliding to spelunking, the mountainous landscape offers a tremendous amount of potential for fun while you adventure travel in Switzerland.
Another brand of adventure travel, namely eco-tourism, is also becoming an especially popular way to see the country. Eco programs allow you to do engage in many of the same activities as do normal adventure travel programs in Switzerland, while also taking an extra step to care for the environment through learning and volunteering on various projects. Nature enthusiasts, these ones are for you!
There are many different adventure travel programs in Switzerland, each with a more exciting itinerary than the next, so do your research thoroughly to find the program that fits perfectly with what you want out of the experience. Some programs can last just a week or two, while others will carry on for multiple months depending on the structure of your program. It’s not a bad idea to allot yourself some free time to travel Europe one end of the trip, either!
Costs & Affordability
Adventure travel programs in Switzerland will vary widely in affordability, depending on the duration of your trip and the types of activities that are on the agenda. Some programs may cost upward of several thousand dollars, while others will be much more affordable, so research widely to find the perfect fit for your interests abroad and your budget.
Switzerland, also, is an expensive country to travel in, but the good news is that most essential costs of the trip (housing, meals, transportation) will be covered in the upfront program fees. The local currency is the Swiss franc, which is approximately equal to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
Because you will be moving around a lot, you will generally make use of a variety of different accommodations throughout your adventure travel in Switzerland. Everything ranging from hotels and inns to more exotic ranches or resorts might be on the table, so be sure to check out the detailed itineraries of as many different programs as possible while making your decision!
Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, it is still part of the Schengen area, which means that adventure travellers from many countries will be able to enter for up to three months before having to apply for documentation. This visa policy does vary toward different nations, however, so check out our Swiss Embassy Directory to find out more regarding your individual circumstances.
Benefits & Challenges
Elevation. The air is fresher 13,000 feet above sea level. Embarking to adventure abroad in Switzerland is the chance to cut loose the pressures of life in the lowlands and experience the freedom of life adventuring above the clouds.
Language Immersion. Italian, French, German, and English are all spoken commonly throughout Switzerland; if you’re at all intent on picking up a second language, then the nation at Europe’s crossroads certainly isn’t a bad place to start.
Global Focus. Switzerland is host to a huge amount of international organizations, and the country’s global outlook really shines through in its national culture. Aspiring globe trotters, take notes.
If you’re looking for a fulfilling adventure in a peaceful, progressive, and scenically stunning country, then you’ll be hard-pressed to do any better than Switzerland. Journeying through the Alps overlooking all of Europe is your chance to leave it all behind, and discover everything ahead.