Is your child adventurous, wildlife-mad, or do they love to get stuck into a challenging puzzle? With something for all interests, all ages and all weathers, you’ll be spoilt for choice this summer in Switzerland!
For the Wildlife Expert…
With over 400 species of birds, Switzerland is a paradise for bird watchers. And this summer you can cut the wait and lose the binoculars. Get an incredible up-close view of eagles, hawks, owls and vultures at the Locarno Falconry. Learn about the vital role these birds of prey play in maintaining our ecosystem, hear more about how these majestic creatures live, and see the art of falconry in action with a display from the Spanish Riding School. With wet weather options for rainy days, there’s no excuse to miss out on this unique chance to see Switzerland’s finest birdlife.
Every year the warmer weather brings a migration of nearly 2000 ibex towards Pontresina. This huge colony congregates here to graze, rest, and playfight while visitors look on. You can stroll the 1 kilometre trail (accessible with a pram) or catch the Languard chairlift up to the mountain-top Ibex Gallery to find out more about these wild creatures. Kids can even get a taste of mountain life, clambering through the themed playground near Alp Languard.
For older kids and early risers who are keen to see more mountain wildlife in its natural habitat, an early-morning guided tour through the Zaniglas Valley at Grächen is a great option. Your guide will tell you about the local flora and fauna before venturing into the forests at Grächen in search of chamois, marmots and ibex. There’s also a breakfast served at the Hannigalp mountain restaurant while you can relax and take in the views after your hike.
If your family wants to go it alone, the Swiss National Park in the Val Trupchun, in the Engadine region boasts a stunning wilderness, bursting with life. Travel to the park’s entrance by catching the Express Parc Naziunel from S-chanf railway station. This quaint little train takes a relaxed route through local villages, giving you time to see the area and pull on your walking boots before your hike! Once you’re in the park, keep your eyes peeled for deer, chamois, ibex and marmots.
For the Adventurer…
For families looking for something a little different from their hike, the Aletsch Arena offers a guided tour to the extraordinary Aletsch glacier. Allow plenty of time to take in the sparkling white landscape with ice sweeping down over 23km before you.
For the Active Imagination…
Hike through the fairytale forest of Braunwald with your kids, as they discover the trail of Bartli the Dwarf. The 4 kilometre trail has exciting discoveries along the way, from the dwarves’ castle, to the cliff of precious stones, to the iron grotto, and more!
Enter the world of Engelbert the smuggler at this themed adventure trail and playground, located at Trübsee. Explore a smugglers’ tower, treasure chests and rope bridges at the playground. Alternatively, take an hour-long hike in the beautiful surroundings. Be sure to buy your smuggler card first at the Trübsee station for access to the adventure trail.
Search for treasure with Nendaz’s local hero Cheesy the Cow! Cheesy has his very own 2.5 kilometre panorama trail where kids can stop along the way to learn about the local habitat. Also, search for treasure by solving the clues! Families can make a day of it with a picnic or restaurant lunch afterwards.
For a Head for Heights
See the forest from new heights with the Treetop Path looking over the Neckertal valley, near St. Gallen. This 500-metre, fully wheelchair-accessible path winds its way from the forest floor to a height of 50 metres, giving a unique view of the treetops and beyond, all the way to Toggenburger Churfirsten and Appenzellerland. Take a moment to absorb your surroundings with 40 stops along the way to discover, listen to, and observe the trees and animals around you. Whether you’re looking to exhale after a busy week, discover a new fitness trail, BBQ with your friends, or take the kids for a bistro lunch and afternoon at the playground, the Treetop Path at Neckertal has it all.
And finally, for the Intellectually Curious…
Delve into the world of The Magic Mountain with this fox trail searching for the secret library where Thomas Mann is rumoured to have written his famous novel. Teams of families or friends must crack codes, solve puzzles and find hidden messages along the way in this outdoor challenge for all ages!
Learn about alpine life and stop for some incredible photo opportunities along the way on this new 6.5 kilometre trail from Somtgant to Radons near Savognin. You can stop at information points along the way to read about work and life in the alps. Kids can get involved with a milking well and pitchfork swing at the themed playground.
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