Switzerland, although very expensive to visit, is a superb holiday destination, especially for anyone who appreciates dramatic mountain scenery. I`ve stayed in Zermatt during a tremendous spell of weather and was fortunate to see the sun setting on the Matterhorn, its sheer slopes taking on a golden glow in the dying light, but for me, the Interlaken area is hard to beat. It too offers not only superb climbing and hiking but the town has the advantage of being situated between two lakes, Thun and Brienze, both of which are plied by frequent ferries. This allows visitors the option of soaking up the stunning Alpine landscape at a sedate pace. The Swiss transport system is second to none and trains, gondolas and chairlifts mean that many world-class mountain viewpoints can be reached without effort. Unfortunately, as in Scotland, Switzerland`s variable weather can often spoil plans, but the peaks become even more spectacular when they start to reveal themselves as conditions improve.
As well as hiking along many of the country`s superbly engineered mountain trails, years ago, when I was younger and fitter, I climbed the Monch and the Jungfrau. Along with the notorious Eiger, these two 4,000 metre peaks of the Bernese Oberland form one of the most recognisable skylines in the Swiss Alps. An added bonus is that you can take the train part of the way: from Kleine Scheidegg the Jungfraujoch Railway tunnels through the core of the Eiger, stopping at a couple of viewing galleries en route, then climbs steadily to reach the highest railway station in Europe. The location is nothing short of sensational!
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