Snowsports may be the order of the day when it comes to holidays in Switzerland, but hitting the slopes isn’t all this beautiful country has to offer its visitors. Think serene lakes, cosmopolitan cities and food, glorious food, and then pack your bags.

Landlocked between the European powerhouses of Germany, France and Italy, coastal resorts may not be an option, but what Switzerland lacks in sea and sand, it more than makes up for in spectacular scenery – including more than 1,500 lakes.

Lake Maggiore, Lake Geneva and Lake Constance, are the best known and most popular, with locals and tourists flocking to their shores to soak up the glorious surrounding landscapes, enjoy a slice of peace, relaxation and reflection, or even dabble in some watersports activities.

And of course, Switzerland is dominated by its spectacular mountain ranges, the Alps and the Jura. Throughout summer, the mountains are awash with keen outdoor adventurers exploring the many well-signposted trails. In winter, these mountainsides transform from areas of luscious greenery, perfect for hiking and cycling, to gargantuan, pristine white playgrounds, making up some of the best ski resorts throughout the whole of Europe.

The Matterhorn may not be the country’s biggest mountain, but it’s probably the best known, and basking in its shadow sits Zermatt, a renowned ski resort with unsurprisingly spectacular views and the highest winter sports area in the Alps. St Moritz is another famous spot for skiing holidays in Switzerland, having twice hosted the Winter Olympics, while Verbier is popular among experienced snowsport athletes, being one of the world’s best resorts for off-piste skiing.

Intermediate level skiiers may like to tackle the slopes at Jungfrau or Saas Fee, while beginners might feel more at home at Engelberg-Titlis, which is popular for family holidays in Switzerland too. But with more than 300 ski resorts to choose from, there’s the perfect ski (and apres-ski) spot for everyone.

Beneath the slopes, Switzerland also boasts a number of gorgeous cities, towns and villages, ideal for a weekend away or city break. With a mixture of history, culture and beautiful chocolate-box houses and streets, worthy of any postcard back home, it’s little wonder Switzerland city breaks prove popular.

Zurich is the country’s largest city and while not the capital, is the financial centre. On the one hand, it’s old town is swathed in stunning architecture, with its cobbled lanes and winding alleys beautifully preserved, while on the other hand, Zurich has embraced modern life to become a hip and trendy cultural hub, providing visitors with the best of both worlds.

Geneva, with its many museums and cosmopolitan vibe, and the Swiss capital Bern with its picture-perfect old city, Clock Tower and cathedral, are other popular destinations for a weekend break.

And of course, no Switzerland holidays – however long or short – are complete without sampling some of the country’s sumptuous cuisine. From melt-in-the-mouth chocolates (Toblerone is produced in Bern) to Swiss cheese, a food tour is a must – maybe just pack an extra large pair of trousers to travel home in!

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