Spring is the favorite season for many. Especially for those who do not necessarily appreciate the cold winter and are often plagued by fog at lower altitudes. Therefore, it is all the more beautiful when nature really comes to life again in March, April and May, depending on the altitude. The days become longer, the temperatures warmer and there is a new desire to do something.
For your spring vacations or for your spring in Switzerland, we list 12 things you can do in this beautiful season.
Admire the cherry blossoms
To see the cherry blossoms in their full glory, you don't even have to travel to Japan. Also in Switzerland, especially in the northwest of Switzerland, the many cherry trees show their most beautiful side in spring. Here are four hikes where you can marvel at the cherry blossoms.
- Fricktaler Chriesiwäg: This trail in Gipf-Oberfrick is located in the Jurapark-Aargau Nature Park. The Fricktal is a region particularly rich in cherry trees. Along the route, there are always information boards that introduce you to the world of cherries. The trail starts at the community center Gipf-Oberfrick and there are two variants of different lengths. The 5 km long trail takes about 2 hours, for the 9 km long trail you need about 4 hours.
- Chirsiweg Nuglar-St. Pantaleon: This 4.3 km long trail leads you in the north of the canton of Solothurn on a circular path through the municipal districts of Nuglar and St. Pantaleon. Depending on the weather and the time of flowering, it is most beautiful here in March or April. For the well signposted, easy hike you need about 1.5 hrs.
- This 10.7 km long trail leads you through the cherry blossoms in the Baselland. You can start your hike in Sommerau and end it in Oltingen or vice versa. On the way you will pass narrow valleys and sunny Tafeljura plateaus. Allow approx. 3 hours for this hike.
- Zug is famous for its cherry blossom cake. So it's hardly surprising that you can take numerous cherry blossom hikes here in spring. A somewhat longer tour, for example, leads from Arth to Zug or vice versa. If this 20 km long route is too much for you, you can reach one of the villages on the way by public transport. Walchwil or Oberwil bei Zug are good options.
Of course, cherry trees can be found everywhere in Switzerland. Even in the cities, it's worth sitting in a park in spring and enjoying a bit of Japanese flair.
Fricktaler Chriesiweg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Renato Bagattini) Cherry blossoms in spring (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Martin Maegli)
Walking through apple blossoms
What cherry trees can do, apple trees have been able to do for a long time. In particular, the canton of Thurgau in eastern Switzerland is known for its many orchards. But the Valais and the Lake Geneva region are also important growing regions. At Lake Constance, there are numerous smaller and larger hiking trails where you can marvel at the apple blossoms on foot or by bike.
- Apfelweg Altnau: The apple trail in Altnau actually consists of three trails and is most beautiful in April and May. All three paths start in the village, about 500 m from the train station. The apple trail "Lisi" is 4 km long, the apple trail "Emma" is 3 km long and the apple trail "Fredi" is 2 km long. You can also combine these three trails to one long route and go by bike. By the way, you can find out the current state of the blossoms by calling +41 71 531 01 30.
- Roggwiler Weg:** This 9 km long trail leads you through large orchards via Freidorf back to Roggwil. Here, too, you will encounter a blooming splendor in spring.
- This poetically named trail starts in Sulgen and leads through blooming fields with tall fruit trees down to Amriswil. The hike is just under 15 km long and takes about 3:45 hrs.
Altnau apple trail (Photo: MySwitzerland) Altnau apple path (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Visit a waterfall
Waterfalls often carry extra water in the spring due to the melting of snow in the mountains. There can also be heavier downpours in the spring, making the waterfalls even more impressive.
- Lauterbrunnen: The "Valley of 72 Waterfalls", as the Lauterbrunnen Valley is also called, is an ideal destination in spring. You will find a spectacular waterfall at the Trümmelbach Falls. These underground accessible waterfalls are closed in winter, but open their gates to visitors in April.
- Rhine Falls: The largest waterfall in Europe carries a full 600,000 liters of water per second. This is equivalent to about 3500 full bathtubs. It's quite a spectacle and especially beautiful in spring when the trees in the parks shine lush green.
- Giessbach Falls: The Giessbach Falls plunge 400 m in 14 cascades behind the grand hotel of the same name on Lake Brienz. There is a path that leads behind the waterfall. From here you can discover the Grandhotel Giessbach and Lake Brienz from a new perspective.
- Reichenbach Falls: Famous for the detective Sherlock Holmes and his rival James Moriarty, this waterfall in the Bernese Oberland captivates visitors with its 120 m height. On three viewing terraces you get a great view of the waterfall and the Haslital. From here you can also hike to the Rosenlaui glacier gorge or to the Aare gorge.
Rhine Falls (Photo: Seraina Zellweger) Giessbach Falls (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Visit animal babies
Spring is the time when lots of cute, cuddly baby animals see the light of day. That's why it's especially worthwhile at this time of year to plan a visit to the zoo, animal park or farm in your neighborhood.
At the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum near Brienz you will also see many cute calves, piglets, puppies or kittens romping around in spring.
By the way, many animal parks in Switzerland are accessible for free. These include:
- Wildpark Peter und Paul in St. Gallen
- Roggenhausen Wildlife Park in Aarau
- Lange Erlen Zoo in Basel
- Alpine Park in Interlaken
- Animal Park in Biel
- Animal Park in Langenthal
- Wildpark Bruderhaus in Winterthur
- Wildlife Park in Zurich
- Wildpark Heitern in Zofingen
Young deer kiz in spring (Photo: Pixabay) Young piglets (Photo: Pixabay)
Sleep on the straw
If you want to immerse yourself in farm life, sleeping on straw is the perfect opportunity. On the website MyFarm of Agrotourism Switzerland you can find farms all over the country that offer sleeping on straw. This way you are even closer to the offspring of the animals on the farm. You can also watch the awakening of nature in the best location.
Sleeping on straw (Photo: myfarm.ch) Calves on the farm (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Make your own syrup or jam
When everything in nature blossoms, amateur cooks and kitchen fairies also blossom. There is so much that you can use in spring to make a delicious jam or a refreshing syrup. This way you have a suitable souvenir for every visitor for the rest of the year and can benefit from spring for a long time to come.
- Dandelion Blossom Jelly: Pick the yellow flowers from the dandelion and boil them in about a quart of water. Let them stand overnight and cool. The next day, pass the flowers through a sieve and boil the mixture again with jelling sugar and lemon juice. After 5 minutes you can fill the mixture into sterile jars and seal them airtight
- Elderflower syrup:** Put the picked flowers in a bowl and pour water over them. Add sugar and citric acid and stir until everything has dissolved. After two days covered at room temperature, you can strain the syrup, boil it and bottle it in pre-warmed bottles
Lilac blossom jelly: Pluck the lilac blossoms and boil them for 10 min in bubbling hot water. The next day, strain the flowers and squeeze them with a cloth. Heat the flower liquid with the jelling sugar and boil it for 5 min. Now you can fill the jars and wait until your lilac blossom jelly has set.
Making elderflower jelly yourself (Photo: Pixabay) Make dandelion jelly yourself (Photo: Pixabay)
Explore a dam
Switzerland is the country with the highest density of dams and counts over 220 large dams. Many dams and reservoirs can be visited on a shorter or longer hike. Of course, there are often trails you can take on a mountain bike as well. Dams are especially in the Valais a great destination in spring, when the mountains are often still covered with snow.
- Grande Dixence: The melt water from 35 Valais glaciers collects here. The Grande Dixence is the highest gravity dam in the world at 285 meters. You can reach the dam by cable car from Hérémence in Valais. Here you can also hike along the lake or start a bigger hike in Valais.
- Cleuson dam: If you're looking for a turquoise-blue reservoir, a trip to the 87m high Cleuson dam in Valais is perfect. Thanks to the fine-grained silt sediments that reflect the sunlight, the lake gets its unique color. On a walk you will learn interesting facts about the project on numerous information boards.
Cleuson Dam (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Florian Bouvet Fournier) Dam in Switzerland (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Andre Meier)
Escape the fog on a mountain top
Especially in the midlands, even in spring there are days when a thick layer of fog spreads. In this case, the best option is to seek the heights as soon as possible. Often there is still snow at higher altitudes. So you can say goodbye to winter in peace and experience another wintry day.
The many mountain railroads in Switzerland are ideal for turning your back on the fog for a day. In our guide about 20 mountain peaks in Switzerland you will find more information to spend a sunny day in the heights.
Piz Gloria revolving restaurant (Photo: Schilthornbahn) View Rigi Kulm (Photo: Rigi Bahnen)
Plan a trip by boat
On certain lakes you can travel by ship all year round. In the winter, however, the ships don't run as often as in the summer. Most of the shipping companies in Switzerland start operating more in the spring. Therefore, this time of year is perfect for a trip on the lake. Watching the awakening nature from the lake is definitely something worth doing.
- Boat trip on Lake Lucerne: Spend a whole day on the lake with the day ticket, take a round trip or combine the boat trip with a hike. By the way, a great destination for an excursion with children on Lake Lucerne is the Glasi in Hergiswil or the Museum of Transport in Lucerne.
- Boat trip on Lake Geneva: On Lake Geneva you can travel by boat all year round. But taking a boat from Lausanne to Chillon Castle or Evian in the spring is the perfect excursion in this mild climate.
- Shipping on Lakes Thun and Brienz: There are no boats on Lake Brienz in winter. Also on the Thunersee the timetable is heavily thinned out. Fortunately, the season starts again in spring with the spring timetable. By boat you can visit for example the Beatus Cave on Lake Thun and the Giessbach Falls on Lake Brienz. Depending on the melting snow, the waterfalls carry a lot of water at this time of year
- Ship on Lake Constance: At the end of March, you can travel by boat on Lake Constance on weekends and holidays. From the end of May, the ships operate daily again. This gives you the opportunity to admire the blossoming apple and cherry blossoms from the ship. You can also stop off in Rorschach, Romanshorn, Kreuzlingen and Constance to enjoy the first ice cream of the season.
Lake Brienz (Photo: Seraina Zellweger) Lake Thun (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Visit a castle
Certain castles keep their doors closed during the winter and do not reopen until spring. Others are open all year round, but with limited opening hours. However, a visit to one of Switzerland's many castles is worthwhile not only because of the extended opening hours. Often you will find mighty trees in the immediate vicinity of the castle, which show off their flowering splendor in spring. Be it magnolias, cherries, beeches, maples or even rose bushes; your visit in spring will be made even more special by the enchanting blossoms.
- Schloss Wildegg: Next to this castle in the canton of Aargau is a large tulip garden with a magnolia tree. Therefore, the castle is a popular destination in spring.
- Lenzburg Castle: The picnic areas around the castle, the baroque garden and the rose garden are the perfect place for a trip in spring. Here you feel like a lord of the castle or a lady-in-waiting in the awakening nature.
- Chillon Castle: The waterfront between Montreux and Chillon Castle is also in full bloom in spring. You will probably rarely be alone here. In early summer, even more visitors seek the summer temperatures on the lake and around the castle.
- Rapperswil Castle: The rose garden next to the castle Rapperswil blooms especially beautifully in spring. Travel for a day trip by boat from Zurich and visit the stately castle in the cute lakeside town.
Chillon Castle (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz) Lenburg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Taking a bike tour
The Swiss like to call their country "Veloland". No wonder that the overview page of all bike paths on SwitzerlandMobility bears this very name. The more than 12,000 km of bike paths invite you to take leisurely tours, especially along the lakeshores and in the midlands in spring. An excursion by bike can also be combined with a visit to a waterfall, a lido (in later spring), a castle or a pretty town.
- Kreuzlingen to Stein am Rhein:** For this 27 km long route you need about 2 hours. You cycle along the Rhine, past blossoming orchards and can visit the pretty old town of Stein am Rhein at the end.
- If you've always wanted to ride through the lush green vineyards of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll love the tour from Lausanne to Montreux. You'll ride for about 40 km through the Lavaux vineyards. The path goes up and up and the descents feel like you are on a roller coaster. You are constantly accompanied by the view of the enchanting Lake Geneva.
- Solothurn to Altreu: From Solothurn to the largest stork colony in Switzerland in Altreu it is only about 10 km. A large part of the route leads along the Aare. In spring the storks return from their winter stay in the south. Then a visit to this idyllic oasis on the Aare is particularly worthwhile. And in Solothurn, a delicious ice cream is waiting for you at the vitamin station when you get back.
Bicycle tour on Lake Geneva (Photo: Seraina Zellweger) By bike through the vineyards in Lavaux
Hiking to a mountain lake
In Switzerland there are about 1500 lakes and rivers. So it is not surprising that you will pass a mountain lake on very many hikes. Depending on the snow conditions you can visit the higher lakes only in summer. But many of them are already an ideal destination in April or May.
- Seealpsee:** You can visit the Seealpsee in the Alpstein all year round. But in spring with the awakening nature it is especially beautiful, even if the water is still a bit cold for swimming. If you are tough, you can swim here in the middle of the idyllic landscape of the Appenzellerland. Otherwise you can simply enjoy the view and watch the ducks on the lake. You can reach the Seealpsee in about 1:30 hours from Wasserauen.
Oeschinensee: It's no secret that Oeschinensee is one of our favorite lakes. The approximately 1 square kilometer lake is the largest mountain lake in Switzerland. It is fed by the surrounding glaciers and is correspondingly cold. You can reach it from Kandersteg either on foot or by cable car.
- Caumasee: The turquoise blue Caumasee near Flims is a jewel in the middle of the forest. Numerous hiking and mountain bike trails lead to this oasis. Even though the lido does not open until the beginning of June, a hike through the forest to this enchanting lake is worthwhile.
The deep blue Lake Oeschinen (Photo: Seraina Zellweger) The Seealpsee in the Alpstein (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
As you can see, spring in Switzerland offers many possibilities. We would be very happy if you share your favorite picture of this beautiful season with us. On Instagram with #swissactivities or @swiss_activies or on Facebook with @Swissactivites.com.