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We’ve all seen photos of the snow-capped villages and sparkling white slopes that characterize Switzerland in winter. But the powder is just part of the picture when we imagine traveling to the region’s renowned mountains — the swanky ski resorts, with legendary Swiss service and even more unbelievable views, is part of that dream, too.
Unfortunately for most of us, five-star experiences in Switzerland’s most exclusive ski towns can easily cost around $1,000 per night. But there’s a strategy for bringing all the posh pampering and picture-perfect vistas closer to reality: staying in summer, when rates are up to 45 percent off.
There are times when taking to the open road — an escape from our day-to-day life — is better suited by way of a long hike. From the cool coasts of the Great Lakes to warmer climates in Australia, here’s where you can reconnect with nature, no matter what type of hiker you are.
Ever wanted to step into a living postcard? Switzerland — with its sturdy mountains, lush grassy fields, and crystalline waterways — is in the business of offering just that. You can pass through a variety of seasons in just one day by hitting the rails and touring through its iconic Alps and valleys by train.
All this can be overwhelming to tackle — which is why Swiss Travel Pass has put together a new Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. It’s essentially a highlight reel combining eight of the country’s most scenic routes, covering all 11 of Switzerland’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Better yet, there’s a sale going on right now for first class passes, for those who want to make it a truly memorable experience.
Looking to book your next European adventure right now? SWISS airlines’ current sale includes nonstop flights to Zurich and Geneva for as low as $837, round-trip. We love these fares, especially because they cost about $660 less than what we’re seeing for summer flights.
Here are some of the fares we found. Read more
This year, majestic Switzerland is celebrating 150 years of winter tourism. The birthplace of it all is credited to the resort town of St. Moritz, where in 1864 a hotel owner promised his summer guests that they’d be able to enjoy the sun even in the winter. A year later, the first winter guests arrived at the Kulm Hotel — and they haven’t stopped coming ever since. To celebrate, we’re taking a walk down memory lane, with a look at photos from yesteryear and from today at some of Switzerland’s most popular winter destinations.
Some of the world’s best views come from the middle of the world’s scariest bridges. That’s not to mention the adventure you’ll get from crossing these sometimes rickety but always thrilling expanses. Here are our picks for the world’s 10 scariest bridges with amazing views, sure to get your heart pounding.
Temperatures aren’t the only things dropping in fall and winter: Airlines are lowering their fares, too. If you plan on traveling in the coming months, snag one of these six deals before they’re gone.
1. Japan: 20% off plus a free stopover
Take your pick of six Japanese cities and get a complimentary stopover in Hong Kong when booking roundtrip flights from the U.S. on Cathay Pacific. Even better, in this Japan Fare Sale, rates with this first-rated airline has already been cut by 20 percent. $1,122 gets you flights from New York City’s JFK to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Okinawa, then Okinawa back to JFK. The same set-up between LAX, Hong Kong, and Osaka will cost you around $1,021. The offer is good for travel through December 9 and must be booked by September 30.
Switzerland’s Hotel Palafitte lays claim to an unusual distinction: it is the only hotel in Europe built on stilits — an architectural detail more commonly associated with the Indian and Pacific oceans. More than mere novelty, the stilts are an architectural design meant to enhance the surrounding views. The luxury boutique property, a member of Preferred Hotel Group, was built as part of Switzerland’s 2002 National Exposition and consists of 40 spacious private bungalows, twenty-six of which are called “Lake Pavilions” and situated lakeside and built directly over Lake Neuchâtel in Romandie, the French-speaking area in western Switzerland. Read more
Swiss Air Lines is offering some good fares to a number of European cities for the fall and winter, but you will have to make your mind up quickly as the sale ends at midnight tonight. If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to make a spontaneous booking, take a look at our handy checklist. Otherwise, you can book through our Travel Search tool, or visit the airline’s web site directly.
No one wants to be cooped up in a bus when they’re discovering a new place. Enter VBT, which offers deluxe bicycling and walking vacations for small groups in 26 countries throughout Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and here in the States. With intimate tour sizes of 14-20 and bilingual guides from the travel region, the packages especially speak to those who love immersive experiences with a healthy dose of physical activity. Even better is their seasonal sale, which is now offering up to $300 off prices that are already a good 30 percent less than similar tours on the market.
Last month, we honored the newly-opened, 134-mile-long John Muir Way with a few suggestions for other long-distance walking routes in Scotland. If that’s whetted your appetite for more challenging hikes, here are a five trails to start prepping for, from California’s epic Pacific Crest Trail to a simple four-day trek in New Zealand. Read more
What’s better than getting cultured with a round of opera in Europe? Doing it en plein air. Whether you prefer soaking up some sun during the day or catching the sunset in the cool evening, summertime brings a boon of theater and music festivals all over the region. Here, four open-air celebrations worth battling the crowds and heat.
After a year-long absence from Eurail’s Select Pass program, France officially returned to the network last month, becoming the 27th participating European country. (Other changes: Eurail has chosen to do away with passes that allow travel between three and five pre-selected countries, in lieu of a four-country pass only.) To celebrate, we’ve put together three wanderlust-worthy itineraries for taking advantage of the newly revamped program.
Barcelona has its Sagrada Familia. Sydney has its white-hooded Opera House. And other places? Well, they’ve got steps – lots and lots of them. As the examples illustrate below, epic staircases aren’t just a way to reach higher ground. They can be major attractions unto themselves. From the fabled Ha’iku Ladder in Hawaii, to Norway’s never-ending Flørli Steps, these jaw-dropping ascents aren’t for the faint of heart. But once you get to the top, we think you’ll agree the views more than make up for the effort. Read more
British Airways has just launched its discounted “daytripper fares” for travelers flying from London to a handful of European cities. The catch? (Or, perhaps the benefit?) You have to return to London in the same day. Round-trip tickets, including all taxes and fees, will cost £79 (about $130) to Dublin and Geneva, £89 (about $149) for Edinburgh and Rome and £99 (about $165) for Vienna and Munich. You can only travel with carry-on luggage from London’s Heathrow airport, and only on Saturdays or Sundays.
These fares are tailor-made for travelers who want to cram in a second destination with their London trip — a fairly common strategy, especially considering how easy it is to get to Paris, Scotland, or other parts of England by rail. Flying expands your options even more.
Of course, taking into account check-in, transfers, and flight time, this doesn’t leave you much time to enjoy that second destination. But if you really have the urge to pop across the Channel (or Irish Sea) for a few hours, here are some suggestions for quick, interesting itineraries you can accomplish in a day.
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