Best Swiss Bird Watching Resorts

Switzerland’s top birding destinations in 2016 and 2017.

Kandersteg

Andersteg-Allmenalp via ferrata, Summer toboggan run...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Zermatt

Ver thirty 4000m peaks within reach, Summer skiing o...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Murren

00km walking trails, Visit the Trümmelbach falls, Fu...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Grindelwald

00km walking paths, 160 km mountain bike trails, Firs...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Lucerne

Igi, Pilatus & Stanserhorn mountains, Visit the famo...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Locarno

Antastic parks and gardens, Swim at Lido Locarno, Boa...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Saas Fee

Iews from the rotating restaurant, 350km of hiking t...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Wengen

Limbing on the Eiger, 500km+ walking trails, See the ...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Lugano

La freccia rossa’ tourist train, Visit Lake Como & ...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Weggis

Pot the ‘Elephant stone’, 46km hiking trails, Lovel...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Top 10 Most Popular

Switzerland’s high Alpine passes are ideal for spotting migrating species on their travels. The nation is home to nearly 400 different species - kestrels and buzzards in particular are pretty widespread. Head up to the Jungfrau region’s Schilthorn – best reached from Mürren – to see the main attractions: golden eagles and Lammergeiers (bearded vultures) soaring high above the slopes. Griffon vultures have been spotted too, albeit very rarely but you might be lucky…

The high passes above Zermatt are our favourite places to twitch; get a good look at the snow grouse, rock partridges and snow finches in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn. Locarno’s Brabbia Marsh experts usually do classes and expeditions for those who are new to the pursuit so don’t feel like you have to be an expert to enjoy it! We’ve pulled together a Top Ten list of the resorts we think are the best for getting to see interesting species in stunning environments.

Holidays in Switzerland’s best ten bird watching resorts

On the banks of the Kander river and framed by colossal Alpine peaks, Kandersteg is small, friendly and utterly ‘Swiss’. While the pace of life in the village is lovely and leisurely, things really heat up when you reach the mountains – this is a seriously good area for hiking and mountain biking. We love the downhill free-trail, which is packed full of berms and jumps and the area has plenty more for the to-do list including a rope park, swimming pool and summer toboggan run.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more iconic mountain than the Matterhorn or a more typically Swiss town than Zermatt. Prepare to be enchanted on seriously scenic hikes, bike rides and mountain climbs and enjoy the finer things in life in the posh bars and restaurants. Look carefully and you’ll discover little Alpine chapels and Alpine lakes dotted around on the 400km of hiking trails, including glacier routes. To enjoy the sights without the legwork, take the half hour train ride to Gornergrat.

Peering over the Lauterbrunnen valley and with the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger in its sightline, the views from Mürren might just be some of the best on earth. You can’t come here without taking the cable car to the top of the Schilthorn – of James Bond fame – for a staggering 360° panorama. The car-free village is a quiet spot for a proper getaway and there’s seemingly no end to the hiking and mountain bike trails... as well as loads of opportunity to sample some more obscure sports like ‘trotti-biking’ (riding big-wheeled scooters).

Overlooked by the north side of the Eiger, Grindelwald’s the life and soul of the Jungfrau towns. It’s a mix of vintage Swiss and newly built architecture, topped off with sights of the big three – the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger. If you can drag your eyes away from the mountains, there’s plenty to do, from walking and golf to bungee jumping and Via Ferrata. Kick back and watch the world go by in the evenings (best accompanied by a glass of chilled Valais wine).

Lucerne is one of the cultural hubs of central Switzerland. Picture a fairy-tale town and this is probably what you’d come up with; the Renaissance and Baroque architecture, lakeside setting and mountainous surroundings make this one of the prettiest towns in the land. To really appreciate the setting, take the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to the top of the Pilatus for a panoramic view of 73 alpine peaks or look over the water from the medieval Kapellbrucke or the water tower. There’s a lot going on here in the summer – including the annual festival of classical and contemporary music which usually features big names from around the globe.

With the warmest weather in Switzerland, Locarno is a brilliant blend of Italian and Swiss on the tip of the legendary Lago Maggiore. If you’re not too caught up indulging in La Dolce Vita, have a go at sailing or set off on one of the fantastic local walks. The town hosts its international film festival every summer (famed for the outdoor viewing experience in the Piazza Grande) and it’s always worth visiting the church of Madonna del Sasso up in Orselina – if only for the sights of the lake and town.

Saas-Fee is quiet and rustic, complete with old barns and narrow pathways but there’s nothing quaint about the activities: hike hundreds of kilometres, get stuck into adventure trails and cycle a gruelling stretch of the Tour de Suisse. If winter feels a lifetime away, get your skiing fill on the awesome Allalin glacier – look out for the pro’s who practice here in the summertime. At the end of the day, recharge those batteries at the Kneipp hydrotherapy area and Aqua Allalin or tuck into some well-deserved Swiss cheese from the local dairy. Then there’s the scenery – up in the Saas Valley, at the base of the highest mountain in Switzerland with sights of 4000m summits, it’s pretty dazzling around here.

Wengen’s storybook Switzerland – you reach the town by mountain railway (the whole place is car-free) and once you’ve soaked up sights of colourful chalets decked with flower displays, look up and out for sweeping views over the Lauterbrunnen valley and iconic Alpine peaks. The train you use to arrive connects you to the Jungfraujoch railway, which climbs up, through the Aletsch glacier, before reaching 3454m - the highest railway station in Europe. The summit has awesome sights of the nearby mountains like the Monch, as well as distant landmarks as far as the Black Forest. Experience the landscape close-up on the 500km of hiking paths or by climbing, cycling or any other of the activities on the menu.

On the top edge of Lake Lugano and 8km from the Italian border, Lugano is often called the ‘Monte Carlo of Switzerland’ which gives you a taste of the town. The San Salvatore and Sighignola mountains provide plenty of scope for hiking and the area also has some of Switzerland’s best MTB thanks to the bike park at Tomaro. Zip-lining is also super fun if you have a need for speed... The pace isn’t always set at full throttle – wander down the promenade or around the Piazza Bernardino Luini. The Renaissance fresco at the Madonna degli Angioli church is probably the best known of its kind in Switzerland.

Mark Twain called Weggis the ‘loveliest place’ he’d visited... and we’re inclined to agree. Known as the ‘Riviera of Central Switzerland’ and with a type of rose named after it, this is a seriously pretty village on the shores of lovely Lake Lucerne. If you’re not relaxing with a glass of Eggisbühler as you listen to one of the daily concerts, go for a scenic walk, hike or bike ride; the climate causes the area to bloom with hundreds of species of flowers throughout the summer. Take the old cog railway up the Rigi for cracking views of lakes and mountains and get a boat across the lake for a sight of the Rigi itself, which looms over the town.


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