With summer at its end, you may be wondering whether it’s still a good idea to book that Transatlantic flight.
Especially if you’ve been waiting for prices in Europe to decrease and the temperature to cool down a bit, as of course you don’t want to get caught in one of those raging fires that desolated Southern Europe in August.
Well, you’re in luck.
As we have reported before, fall will see tourist prices drop significantly across the Old Continent, and contrary to popular belief, it will not freeze over just yet.
In fact, one European destination in particular has exciting new launches for you to look forward to this fall – not to mention its magnificent nature, which looks even prettier amid the lush foliage.
In case you were in doubt, this fall, it’s beautiful Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, where you should be headed, and here we give you 4 reasons why:
New Exciting Train Journeys Launching
Switzerland is best known for its scenic train rides traversing the Alps and rolling green prairies, and fortunately for travelers, one of the leading rail tour companies in the country has recently announced not only one but five new train experiences.
In response to the high demand from customers who often come to Switzerland dreaming of embarking on a scenic journey across its mountainous territory, Railbookers is adding the following itineraries to their list of products this:
- A 7-day trip linking Zurich to Lucerne, featuring panoramas atop Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi, for $1,649
- A 9-day tour of the Swiss Mountain Peaks, including the Golden Pass Express and a city break in Zurich, for $2,549
- A 9-day tour of the Swiss Mountain Peaks, including the Golden Pass Express leaving from Zurich, for $2,299
- A 10-day tour across Switzerland featuring St Moritz, The Top of Europe, and The Matterhorn departing from Zurich, terminating in Milan, Italy, for $2,399
- A 10-day tour across Switzerland featuring St. Moritz, The Top of Europe, and The Matterhorn departing from Milan, Italy, and terminating in Zurich, for $2,499
The new products are all incredibly exciting, as they cover all of Switzerland’s most famous landmarks, such as Jungfrau, Interlaken, Grindelwald, and the Matterhorn views from Zermatt’s iconic Gornergrat railway in a single vacation-size package.
No need to worry about planning at all. They’ve got it covered.
These tours normally include a Swiss Travel Pass for the indicated period, accommodation in a centrally-located hotel with breakfast, and sightseeing tours, with Zurich-based bookings normally including a tour of the Lindt Home of Chocolate.
They can be booked either immediately for trips taking place this fall or up to two years in advance.
Another huge plus of Switzerland in the fall is the temperate climate, as temperatures are neither too hot, as in July or August, nor too cold, as in the freezing months of December and January.
In the fall, it is perfect for taking long walks in the wild, climbing hiker-friendly peaks, and chilling by crystal-clear alpine lakes.
Sightseeing is also best in fall, as the sun is less brutal, and there are enough daylight hours for you to explore and take leisurely walks at a slower pace without worrying too much about nightfall and stronger winds.
Whether it’s strolling the cobbled historic center of Basel, going on a pub crawl around the lively Zurich, or getting lost in the foliage-covered Swiss mountains, you will find yourself wearing fewer layers of clothes compared to winter, yet you won’t feel the urge to go back inside for a little AC break every two hours.
Fall is also when snow starts gathering atop the highest alpine mountaintops, so tourists will get a chance to marvel at the majestic Swiss peaks in their classic form: verdant at the base, with an unblemished, virgin white tip.
Across German-speaking Europe, fall is one of the most hotly-anticipated seasons due to the traditional Oktoberfest, a beer festival and carnival. As one of the founding peoples of Switzerland are the Germanics, Switzerland also partakes in the festivity.
Or, more specifically, German-speaking Switzerland, which comprises up to 65% of the territory.
Though it is certainly not as wild as Bavaria, and you are unlikely to find unruly locals in traditional attire drinking straight from a barrel tap, or themselves under the table, Zurich’s Oktoberfest – one of the largest – is still a lot of fun.
It is held at Seedamm Plaza, starting mid-September until the end of October, and the atmosphere is a lot calmer than other wilder Oktoberfests in neighboring Germany, as Zurich residents are mostly interested in congregating, enjoying the live music, and bonding over a jug of cold craft beer.
Bavarian-style food is also served, with table reservations made via this link. Other ‘fests’ can be found all around German Switzerland, including in Wädenswil, Lucerne, and Winterthur.
A Brand New Tourist Attraction
There is yet another exciting reason to visit Switzerland this fall, as a new cable car linking the country to Italy, Europe’s new highest one, has launched in summer and it is set to continue operating throughout the upcoming season.
If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, you are likely considering adding the stunning Matterhorn to your itinerary. A large, pyramidal peak straddling the Swiss-Italian border, it is a popular Swiss postcard, and one of Europe’s most beautiful natural landmarks.
Though the border runs right across it, reaching Italy from this part of Switzerland always involved complicated logistics, as it required traveling on cross-border train lines or driving vertiginous mountain roads.
Now, the cable car makes it easier for non-skier visitors to Switzerland to visit a picturesque region of Italy for a day if they don’t mind being suspended in the air for two hours as the most breathtaking of sceneries unravels beneath them.
The ride is equipped with 35 luxurious cabins in total, which travelers can book to commute comfortably between both destinations, and it includes a stop in Testa Grigia station, where they have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand right on the border, one foot in Italy, the other in Switzerland.
There are nine stops, five of which are on the Swiss side, starting in Zermatt, in Switzerland, and terminating in Cerivina, in the Italian Valle d’Aosta region, previously an extremely inaccessible part of the country – for Switzerland-based tourists – due to a lack of connectivity.
On the Italian side, numerous nature-based activities await them, such as biking through the dramatic, rugged landscape, hiking, and even golf.
Additionally, the Plateau Rosa Snow Xperience World of Adventure has opened on the Theodul Glacier, near the Testa Grigia station, a point of interest for winter sports enthusiasts, as they are now able to hire equipment, and book instructors ahead of the ski season.
One-way tickets start from CHF 156 (around $174.20). Quite pricey, but then again, Switzerland is not exactly known for being a budget destination.
Tickets for fall crossings can be booked here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com