Switzerland is as close to Utopia as you will get and the Swiss are finicky about nurturing their natural wealth. Scenic highlights of how the Swiss work with nature to promote responsible tourism.
Fondue on a river current-powered ferry
Basel’s four ferries can help you cross the Rhine without a motor, using only the power of the river’s current. Fondue party on a ferry, people?
Pedal between two eco-friendly power stations
The Mount Soleil solar power station produces enough power to keep 200 homes lit up annually and the wind turbines do a crackling job on Mount Crosin. Incidentally, you could cycle from one power station to the next, or simply use pedal power!
Take the world’s largest solar-powered catamaran
The world’s largest solar-powered passenger catamaran glides over Lake Biel in the Jura & Three-Lakes area of Switzerland. The boats travel along the northern shore, lined with charming wine-making villages as far as St Peter’s Island. At Lake Geneva, float on a solar power boat and enjoy the tranquility as they’re kitted with virtually silent electric motors. Get a picnic basket to enjoy the sublime views.
Eat local in a picturesque Swiss Village
Relish a culinary treat in the quaint Graubünden region with a backdrop of idyllic villages and the majestic Alps. Savor local delicacies in keeping with the preserved original recipes at the quaint villages of Bregaglia Engadine, Valposchiavo, Surselva, Engadine Val Müstair, Vals, Prättigau, Schanfigg, Viamala and Regione Moesano. Culinary bliss with the Swiss is what it’s all about.
Get moving with SwitzerlandMobility
Forget renting a car, an unforgettable way to get a taste of the real Switzerland is to hike, bike, mountain bike, skate and canoe. The folks at SwitzerlandMobility have made it incredibly easy with 23 national, 147 regional or 430 local signposted routes.The network covers over 20,000 kilometers, and is perfectly coordinated with public transport. Visit Switzerland Mobility to plan your route.
Take the world’s first 100 percent solar-powered cable car
In Toggenburg, the cable car connects Wildhaus with Alp Gamplüt. Choose this nature-friendly way to soak in the mesmerizing Alpine scenery.
Take the the world’s first solar-powered ski lift
Graubünden’s Safien Valley boasts of the world’s first solar-powered ski lift. Take the 450-meter long facility for some of the most memorable skiing of your life.
Soak in the views at a solar-powered revolving restaurant
The revolving, glass restaurant Le Kuklos on the Berneuse Mountain, above Leysin, rotates with the help of solar energy. Located next to Tours d’Ai, and at an altitude of 2,048 m, you can see Lake Geneva, the Swiss Riviera, the Jura mountain chain and Rhone valley as it revolves 360° within an hour and a half. Matterhorn, Mont-Blanc, Grand Colombin, Eiger and other peaks show up in the vista while you relax here. The best way to enjoy a brew with a view, we say.
Sledge on the Solarbob
Solarbob is the most exciting, eco-friendly way to bobsled — you sit in a sled, ascend the mountain by the solar-powered lift and once at the top, whoosh, down you go for a nail-bitingly speedy descent. With over a thousand metres of track, the Solarbob is the world’s first bobsled run in a carbon-neutral manner.
Reach a remote mountain village with Bus Alpin
Instead of rushing to the nearest car rental, consider the Bus Alpin in the following regions — Alp Flix, Bergün, Binntal Landscape Park, Chasseral Regional Park, Gantrisch Nature Reserve, Greina, Parc Jura vaudois, and Thal Nature Reserve. During 2006 and 2007, more than 2,500 passengers were transported and 30 per cent of these visitors left their cars behind in favour of public transport, sparing around 100 tons of CO2 emissions!
Bike it for free
Switzerland is a very bike-friendly country. There’s free bike hire as part of the eco-friendly initiative Suisse Roule, in Bern, Lausanne, Zürich and Geneva. No membership cards required, and free of charge. Visit www.schweizrollt.ch now!
Travel far, travel light, the Swiss way.