Quintessential Switzerland, oozing with cheese, chocolate and scenic mountains that formed when the forces of nature collided with Africa and Europe, offers more than you think. When one thinks of Switzerland, you think of watches and quintessential Swiss Alp views, but one can’t leave out chocolate and cheese. There are 26 cantons, or states in Switzerland, however, there is one in particular that’s a must visit. The Canton of Graubünden, with around 197,000 in population, where German, Romansh and Italian are spoken, is not to be missed.
With bikers, hikers, and water sport lovers, this area of Graubünden is one of the best places to holiday in the summer. From hiking on trails such as Tgantieni and Alp Fop, to taking a horse carriage ride with Claudio Dannacher, to peddling in a boat on Lake Heidsee with the Lenzerheide Watersport Centre, there is something for everyone.
The Vabella Inn, an hour from the Zurich airport, is nestled in the Swiss Alps. The hotel is equipped for summer and winter sports, where they will arrange for you to go hiking, biking, skiing, boating, take a horse carriage ride and so much more. The Guarda Val Hotel goes to extra lengths to give visitors a quintessential Swiss experience.
Heidiland is a mountain village, centred around the children’s story, Heidi, written by Johanna Spyri in the 1880s. Nestled between Lake Walen and Sarganswer Land, Heidiland is quintessential Switzerland with the plush Swiss Alps as the backdrop. It’s easily reached by a horse carriage ride with Rössliposcht, run by Peter and Nadja Bantli. The village is a place for families, as children walk through the cabins, seeing how this famed little girl character lived.
You can’t mention Graubünden without mentioning aquatic rejuvenation, one of the canton’s best kept secrets. It’s where waters were discovered in the 13th century for their therapeutic healing. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps is the five-star Grand Resort Hotel in Bad Ragaz,.
It’s complete with a medical facility, a cancer treatment centre, thermal baths, healing pools, a spa, seven restaurants – one being a 1-star Michelin restaurant with Swiss Chef Andreas Caminada called Igniv, and a water sommelier. Here you’ll be able to dive into the natural 13th century, 37 C bath, whose thermal source comes directly from the Tamina Gorge, which goes back to the Middle Ages of which the resort is built on top of, for your health and wellness.