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Take a deep breath. Savour the aroma of snow-white Narcissus blooms and the unmistakable scent of fresh grass. Listen to the sounds of birds chirping in the background, back from their winter migration. These things can only mean one thing: Spring is overtaking the Swiss landscape. As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, the country bursts to life with a renewed sense of vigour, and grand adventures become possible once again. Springtime in Switzerland is truly magical, and here is why:
Sightseeing is done with ease
The grand cities of Switzerland - Zermatt, St. Moritz, Lucerne, Zurich, Interlaken, Geneva and Lugano - are filled with incredible sights to behold. From museums and art galleries to landmark sites, castles, chapels and Medieval architecture, there is a little bit of everything to explore. During summer’s busy season and winter’s snowfall, navigating through the cities and sites can be difficult. Taking advantage of this idyllic “in-between” time can be just the recipe for some of the best sightseeing opportunities.
Hiking trails reopen
Switzerland is home to some 66,200 kilometres (41,135 miles) of marked hiking trails - pathways that are made up of winding lanes through the Swiss countryside and scenic routes through lush forests. As the temperature warms and the earth thaws in the spring, the trails begin to reopen. While trails at higher elevations are still covered in snow at this time of year, most - if not all - of the hiking pathways up to 2,000 metres elevation are clear and ready for exploration.
The country’s train routes reveal new vistas
One of the things that Switzerland is best known for is its variety of scenic trains. With options such as the Bernina Express, the GoldenPass Panoramic Train, the Glacier Express the and the Gotthard Panorama Express, there is no shortage of thrilling routes. Springtime rides on these trains offer a glimpse at nature as it reawakens from its winter slumber. Passengers gaze upon snow-covered mountains, yet peer down into valleys and across alpine meadows coming back to life in hues of green, white, blue and pink.
Snow is still present but not intrusive
It is not uncommon for snow to fall during March; however, the heavy snowfalls of winter are long gone. Visitors of the ski resort towns in northern Switzerland often enjoy winter sports and scenery through the first month of spring, while travellers are visiting lower elevations, cities and southern locales only see these vistas in the distance. Moving into April and May, even the high-elevation resorts become overtaken with the colours of spring, and the snow fades into a pleasant memory.
Festivals and annual traditions spark excitement
Springtime in Switzerland is marked by celebrations that honour the turning of the season. In Zurich, spring is celebrated with Sechseläuten, an annual feast and festival. There is a parade, music and costumed performers and a traditional Böögg burning. Interlaken hosts a classical music festival each year from the end of March until the End of April, and Ascona’s Festival Artistidistrada features the best of art, music and performance right along the banks of Lake Maggiore. Lucerne’s Festival of Easter is yet another beloved annual event.
Experiencing Switzerland during the spring adds a new dimension of beauty to this scenic country. Holidays By Rail makes it easy for you to see it all with an array of springtime tour options, including Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, Best of Switzerland By Rail, Alpine Lakes & Scenic Trains, Contrasts of Switzerland, Grand Swiss Rail & Drive and Glacier Express With Five-star Rhine Cruise, amongst others. Choose from escorted or independent journeys, rail tours, rail and cruise getaways or even self-drive voyages to immerse yourself of the beauty of Switzerland this season.