From lakes to mountain peaks, Lucerne in Switzerland delivers blissful nature-based adventures. It’s particularly appealing to solo female travellers, writes Natasha Dragun.
Nature has this inexplicable way to heal and make you feel, well, good. We’ve known it for centuries, and now science proves it. Whether it’s the soothing sound of birds and waterfalls, the coolness of the wind and warm touch of the sun, the feeling of grass beneath your feet, or the clarity of the light, being outdoors delivers a high – both emotional and physical. Small wonder Switzerland’s spectacular Tell Trail is a salve for the soul.
Hiking through Lucerne, Switzerland on the Tell Trail
This epic adventure in the Lucerne region is nature writ large. Eight days and 156 kilometres hiking through the heart of the country with wild and humbling landscapes as your backdrop. One of which is Lake Lucerne – an immense sparkling waterway between mountains and valleys. The region is also dotted with castles and historic towns like Altdorf, the starting point for the Tell Trail.
This place could have slipped from the pages of a fairytale, it’s that pretty. Amongst others, it attracted William Tell in the 14th century (hence the trail’s name) who came here with his son. The visit is immortalised in a monument standing proudly in the town’s market.
As difficult as it is to leave, the route beckons. We set off through postcard-perfect hills – endless green only broken by doe-eyed cows and petite villages. This part of Switzerland is famous for its alpine cheese. Together with a refreshing regional beer, it makes an ideal refuel on the hike.
Mountain Magic: See Switzerland’s ‘Big Six’
The next week becomes a blur of mountains, each one more majestic than the next. In fact, the trail winds across central Switzerland’s ‘Big Six’. Take in Stoos, Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn, Titlis and Brienzer Rothorn, the latter of which is the endpoint of your journey.
Completing the entire route is a rite of passage, but you can still savour the trail even if you just have a day or two. Cog railways, aerial cableways and public transport offer a glimpse of this bucolic countryside in just a few hours. But believe me, that won’t be enough time.
Switzerland for solo female travellers
There has been a 42 per cent increase in solo travel bookings over the last two years. And a whopping 84 per cent of those booking solo travel trips are female. Operators and destinations are catching on to solo female travel, increasingly tailoring activities and attractions to this groundswell of female globetrotter.
In Switzerland, solo female travel is less of a trend, and more of a way of life thanks to the 100% Women campaign. In partnership with Mammut Alpine School and out & ABOUT – Switzerland Trekking, Switzerland Tourism has crafted a portfolio of mountaineering, trekking and biking expeditions for female travellers. Alongside this, the Women Travel Hub curates wellness, mindfulness, culture, food and wine experiences created specifically for female travellers to Switzerland. It’s not only a great way to delve deeper into Swiss culture, but also make new friends in the process.
Post-hike indulgence: Enjoy some R&R in Lucerne
Champagne? Fondue? Egyptian cotton sheets? Is there any better tonic for mountain-weary limbs than a little luxury? You’re in luck, because Lucerne Switzerland and surrounds offer a dedicated portfolio of upscale accommodations, courtesy of Lake Lucerne Luxury Hideaways.
Wander to Rigi Kaltbad station, zip down to Vitznau and jump aboard a boat to cruise to Lucerne, its atmospheric alleys of boutique stores, Swiss chocolate shops and coffee houses all leading to your choice of luxe lodgings.
Check-in, perhaps, to the Grand Hotel National, perched lakeside and with dramatic alpine views. Or Hotel Schweizerhof, enjoying prime position in the Old Town, just a short stroll from the legendary Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument. On a curve of the lake to the south sits the Bürgenstock Resort – almost like a country unto itself, replete with four hotels, 10 restaurants and bars, spa treatments for days… and some of the most dreamy lake views you’ll come across.
Leave the water behind and head into the mountains to discover Kempinski Palace Engelberg, occupying a handsome 1904 Belle Époque building that will make you feel like royalty.
We’re particularly fond of the hotel’s ‘Sauna World’ within the spa, where three saunas are heated to different temperatures, with an ice chamber when you need to cool down.
Titlis: The perfect day trip from Lucerne Switzerland
When it comes time to stretch your legs again, you can do it in a day. From Lucerne, it’s just a scenic 45-minute train ride to the town of Engelberg. Here, an aerial cableway (the world’s first rotating cable car) transports you to the top of glorious Mount Titlis.
If the views of the glacier and its legendary cave don’t take your breath away, the crisp mountain air will. The only way your heart will beat faster is if you catch a ride on the Ice Flyer chairlift. Or perhaps wander out on the Titlis Cliff Walk, with its vertigo-inducing views. There’s also snow tubing and ice mobiles if you feel the need for a little bit of speed. So, this is what it means to feel alive…
This article on Lucerne, Switzerland was created in partnership with Switzerland tourism, learn more at myswitzerland.com
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