Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen, and let me assure you, I have been to a few places.
However, Switzerland’s beauty is no secret and therefore some of the places you choose to visit can be rather busy with tourists. But, there are still some hidden gems that are a bit off the beaten track to discover.
Join me as I run through some of the top hidden gems Switzerland has to offer so that you can find some secluded spots to visit during your travels there.
One of the great hidden gems in Switzerland is the charming ski resort of Nendaz. Tucked away in the 4 Valleys Ski Area of Valais, Switzerland this little alpine village is as picturesque as it gets with mountain views, narrow streets, and lovely alpine architecture – it is such a stunning place.
This hidden gem is a great place to enjoy winter sports such as skiing and winter hiking as well as some excellent summer hikes and mountain biking too.
The skiing side of things is excellent for experienced levels and ages, from families to off-piste free riding. The hiking trails in the area offer a glimpse into small villages, farms, and forests that follow old waterways and are easily accessed from the center of the village.
Nendaz is also within easy reach of some lovely day trips to the likes of Sion, Martigny, Zermatt, Spiez, Interlaken, and Bern.
The village itself also has everything you could ask for from great accommodation to lovely restaurants, bars, and more.
Another awesome hidden gem is the village of Stoos which sits on Fronalpstock Mountain overlooking Lake Lucerne. It is safe to say the views from Stoos are incredible as you look over Lake Lucerne and into the Swiss Alps.
Getting to Stoos is part of the adventure as you will have to take the world’s steepest funicular up to the Stoos funicular station. The journey takes about 10 minutes and you will climb 740 meters at a 110 percent incline at some moments plus the views along the way are hard to beat.
Once you arrive, you can walk around the little village of Stoos in less than an hour before taking to the chair lift that leads you to the ski area and hiking trails on the top of the mountain.
Endless views of 10 alpine lakes are available at the numerous viewing platforms all with stunning scenery and scenic landscapes surrounding them.
Getting to Stoos is very easy from Lucerne and Zurich. Simply take public transport to the funicular at Stoosbahn or drive there if you have a car.
Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
Set behind Lutry, a beautiful town located on the shores of Lake Geneva is one of the more stunning hidden gems in Switzerland – the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces.
The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces is not your typical tourist attraction as they date back to the 11th century and were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Following the hillsides from Lutry to Vevey, the vineyards are a beautiful place to hike with never-ending views across Lake Geneva and into the Swiss Alps.
As you hike along the hillside amongst the vines and through one picturesque village after another, you can stop off at vineyards and little restaurants to enjoy the local wine.
It is said that the wines of this region benefit from 3 suns – the sun, the reflection of Lake Geneva, and the warm stones of the terraces. It has quite a minerally taste to it but goes down extremely smoothly with the alpine views.
Getting to the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces is extremely easy. Simply take the train to Lutry and then walk up from the station into the vines.
St Beatus Caves
One hidden gem that is a bit of a must-see if you find yourself around the Interlaken area is the St Beatus Caves.
Sitting on the shores of Lake Thun just 10 to 15 minutes outside of Interlaken, the St Beatus Caves are rather unique and you can walk around a small part of the cave complex which has been made safe for visitors.
The caves got their name from a Swiss legend and the story goes that in 100 AD a monk called St Beatus fought and killed the dragon that called the caves home.
While wandering around the cave system, think of a dragon living there while also taking in the beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. The cave system is also home to underground waterfalls and waterways which are very cool to see.
The area around the St Beatus Caves is also rather beautiful to explore and you can find hiking trails that take you up into the mountains or around the lake. There is also a lovely restaurant with views across Lake Thun to have lunch at.
Creux du Van
Creux du Van is also a hidden gem in Switzerland that is definitely worth a visit in my opinion, especially if you love nature and enjoy hiking.
You will find it in the canton of Neuchâtel and what makes it so special is that it is a natural amphitheater of limestone cliffs that are 160 meters high and three kilometers wide.
Hiking amongst the breathtaking scenery and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes of the Alps and the Jura Mountains is something rather special.
The area around Creux du Van is also home to chamois, ibexes, and marmots. You have the option to hop on a guided tour to learn more about the local wildlife and vegetation, or simply make your own way through the stunning natural surroundings trying to spot wildlife as you go.
There are lots of other great activities available in the area too such as paragliding, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Plus, you can find lots of little cafes and restaurants to stop at for lunch which have incredible views.
Aescher refers to the Aescher Guest House, a hidden gem located in the Appenzell Alps of Switzerland. Once a hidden gem until it was featured on the front cover of National Geographic, it is still worth a visit in my eyes.
The wooden house is built into the side of a cliff at 1,450 meters above sea level and the rear wall of the house is the cliff. It is one of the most unique buildings you might ever see.
While you can not stay at the guesthouse anymore, you can visit it for lunch. Run by a charming family who lives there year-round, it is an amazing place to have lunch, especially with its magical views across the Appenzell Alps.
You can also explore the surrounding area via many hiking trails and stopping in at the nearby town of Wasserauen, which has a range of shops and restaurants, as well as a beautiful mountain lake for swimming and boating is worth it.
You can reach the Aescher Guesthouse via a very intense hike or hop on the cable car. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Aescher from Zurich and can be done on a day trip.
The Aletsch Glacier is a sight to behold and one that is very hard to put into words. It is the largest glacier in the Alps and is literally a river of ice 23 km long that covers a total of 86 square kilometers and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding natural beauty and scientific importance.
Located in the Bernese Alps not far from Interlaken you can actually go hiking and skiing on the glacier and while doing so take in the unique and magical natural scenes that surround it.
Sitting at over 4,000 meters above sea level, the glacier is surrounded by multiple 4000+ meter peaks including Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger. The views are about as dramatic as they get.
Getting to the Aletsch Glacier is quite easy. You will need to make your way to Fiesch and take the cable car/gondola to Fiescheralp. Once you have arrived, you will need to meet your guide at which point you can begin hiking to the glacier.
Once you have made your way to the Swiss hidden gem that is Niesenbahn, it is time to ride it up to the top of the Niesen mountain.
Sitting close to the shores of Lake Thun and not far from Interlaken, the journey up to the mountain peak is simply magical with panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, alpine lakes, and the surrounding valleys.
Once at the peak of Niesen, you can enjoy a range of activities including hiking, paragliding, and dining at the mountain restaurant.
There are quite a few hiking trails that lead to scenic viewpoints each showcasing a different view of the surrounding landscapes.
You also have the option to take the cable car up, hike around the peak, have lunch at the restaurant, and then hike back down instead of taking the cable car down.
Getting to Niesenbahn is also super easy especially if you are staying in the nearby lovely town of Interlaken.
If you are looking for a true Swiss experience that pulls together Swiss history, culture, cuisine, and the outdoors, then a trip to the hidden gem of Gruyeres should be high on your list.
Gruyeres is a picturesque medieval town located in the Canton of Fribourg, known for its famous cheese and charming architecture and art lovers simply have to visit the HR Giger Museum.
Housed inside the Gruyeres Castle which is also a delight to see, the museum is home to works by HR Giger and is the busiest attraction in town.
A walk around the town is also a delight with its narrow streets, historic buildings, and quaint shops. Make sure to stop in at the Gruyere Cheese Factory, where you can learn about the cheese-making process and sample some of the famous cheese.
There are also lots of hiking trails that lead you from Gruyeres into the Alps and in the winter you are only a stone’s throw away from skiing trails too.
Getting to Gruyeres is very easy from Geneva, Bern, or Lausanne and takes just 2 hours by public transport.
Sitting at the end of the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley and at the base of the UNESCO site of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Glacier Protected Area, the stunning car-free old town of Gimmelwald is a slice of alpine paradise.
It is the perfect place for a quiet, scenic getaway in the Swiss Alps with several beautiful tourist attractions to visit in the town and nearby.
The village is famous for its traditional Swiss chalet architecture, incredible mountain views, and great alpine activities too.
From Gimmelwald you can hike into the mountains, ski, paraglide, and lots more. A trip to the nearby Lauterbrunnen Valley, a valley of 72 waterfalls is also a must. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Switzerland and it is just down the mountain road and home to the famous waterfalls of Staubbachfall and Trümmelbachfälle.
There are two ways to get to Gimmelwald. Either take the train to the Lauterbrunnen station and then take a bus to the village or you can take a cable car from the town of Stechelberg to Mürren, and then take a short train ride or hike to Gimmelwald.
Guarda is one of the best-hidden gems in Switzerland as it combines some of the most beautiful scenery the Swiss Alps has to offer with one of the most stunning villages in Switzerland.
Sitting in the Lower Engadine Valley of eastern Switzerland, Guarda is home to gorgeous Swiss architecture with its colorful and unique houses that date back to the 17th century. This old town even won the Wakker Prize for preservation in 1975 and hasn’t changed much since.
While in Guarda, be sure to explore the village’s narrow streets and historic buildings, try some local Engadine cuisine at the restaurants, and visit the famous Chasa Jaura museum, which showcases traditional Engadine life and culture.
Hiking around the Lower Engadine Valley is also a must as you follow a beautiful river through the valley surrounded by magical mountain views.
Getting to Guarda is simple, just take a train to the nearby town of Scuol and then hop on a direct bus to the village. You can also stay at one of the few hotels in Guarda if you are looking for a peaceful alpine retreat.
The mountain/ski resort of Flims is another great place to see when you visit Switzerland and a true hidden gem.
It is not only a charming alpine village with lovely old buildings and amazing mountain views, it is also home to thermal baths and spas as well as being a great place for activities in the winter and the summer.
The skiing and snowboarding in the winter are excellent and you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and swimming in the nearby lakes during the summer too.
The area is also known for its thermal baths and therefore spending some time in the natural healing waters is a must – the most famous of which is the Tamina Therme in Bad Ragaz.
Getting to Flims is very easy if you have a car during your visit. Alternatively, grab a train to Chur and then hop on a bus to Flims.
Appenzell is a small, picturesque town located in the Appenzell Inner Rhodes canton of eastern Switzerland.
The town is known for its beautifully preserved buildings and stunning mountain views. Be sure to explore the town’s narrow streets, see the old buildings from the Middle Ages, and visit the famous Appenzell Folklore Museum, which showcases the region’s history and culture.
The area is also known for its traditional Swiss cheese and chocolate so be sure to taste some of these delights at the local shops and markets.
Foroglio sits at the end of one of the most beautiful valleys in the Swiss Alps and combines old village charm with stunning natural beauty.
Sitting close to Locarno near the Swiss-Italian border, the village of Foroglio is the last village in the Verzasca Valley and is known for its stunning waterfalls, charming houses, and beautiful landscapes.
A visit to Foroglio involves walking around the olden age alpine architecture taking in the historic buildings and a stop off at the small museum that showcases the history and culture of the region is also a must.
You should also take a short hike to the nearby waterfall, hike along and swim in the beautiful river, as well as stop for lunch at the village restaurant.
To get to Foroglio first go to Locarno by train and then take a bus up the valley to the village.
Wengen is another charming alpine village that sits right next to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is a car-free village with chalet-style architecture that is perfect for a quiet alpine retreat into nature.
The mountain views from Wengen are hard to beat especially as you wander the streets filled with buildings from the 1800s.
It is also a great place to hike and ski from, visit Jungfraujoch, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Gimmelwald, and lots more that the Jungfrau region has to offer.