Uncategorized

Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast Episode 88 Transcript

April 24, 2024 Last Updated on May 2, 2024

Switzerland’s Hidden Charms: Exploring Enchanting Villages

You can listen to the episode and see the full show notes > here

Hello and welcome to episode 88 of the Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast.  I’m your host, Carolyn, and I’m so happy that you’ve joined me to get tips and inspiration for your Swiss vacation.

When you think of Switzerland, snow capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and panoramic train rides are some of the things that probably come to mind, and these are all a quintessential part of any Swiss vacation.

But Switzerland offers so much more, and its charming villages are just one example. And the wonderful thing is you don’t have to go too far off the regular tourist trail to find them.

Take the village of La Neuveville for instance. It’s probably the most colourful village in Switzerland and is less than an hour from Bern. Situated beside Lake Biel, it is steeped in mediaeval charm and, if you do decide to visit, there’s a fair chance you’ll be the only tourist in town.

La Neuveville is one of 49 villages that are members of the Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland association – villages that have been recognised for their historic importance and their charm.

In today’s episode, Kevin Quattropani, the president of the association, joins me to chat about 7 villages that are within easy reach of the major Swiss cities that most tourists visit.  They are all gorgeous villages that are well worth a visit – and you can reach them all by public transport  which is a definite bonus.

Before we hear from Kevin, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team from Switzerland Tourism, sponsors of the podcast.  Make sure you visit their website myswitzerland.com for loads of helpful Swiss trip planning info.  If you need the train ride of a lifetime, you need Switzerland.

Hi, Kevin. Thank you very much for coming back onto the podcast. It’s really great to have you here. It’s a long time. It was way back on Episode 16, when you last appeared, and we’re now up to Episode 88. So there’s a lot happened in the meantime. And I think it’s really worth covering or chatting about the most beautiful villages again, because they’re just so, so special. And so many of our listeners wouldn’t know that the Association actually exists. So I’m very happy that you’ve agreed to come back on and share more about them with us today. Could you start… Can you start, please, by introducing yourself and telling us exactly what the most beautiful villages in Switzerland Association is.

Yes. Thank you, Carolyn. Thank you very much for having me back. It’s a pleasure to be back. Wow, time goes back very quickly. Well, I’m Kevin Quattropani. I’m the founder of the association The Most Beautiful Village in Switzerland, which was founded in 2013 with the aim of promoting and protecting the nation’s most beautiful villages. To date, our network includes 49 villages in 18 cantons. Plus, we have also one village in the municipality of Liechtenstein. 

We are part of a bigger federation. It’s the federation of the most beautiful villages of the world with other nine countries such as Italy, France, Spain, and Japan. Participating villages must have less than 10,000 inhabitants, have a significant cultural heritage, and be located in a remarkable landscape. They must sign a quality card where they pledge to maintain their cultural heritage while opening up to tourism. We range, let’s say, from villages like Bosco Gurin in the Alps, which has only 55 inhabitants, to small towns like Aarburg on the River Aare with 8,000 inhabitants. We are also partners in Switzerland tourism program, The Magic of Beautiful Places.

Fantastic. And I know from our past chat that there are some villages that our listeners may well have heard of, like Ascona or Morcote, for example. But there’s so many that they wouldn’t have heard of. So it’s great that we’ll be able to let them into the secret about some of those. I’m fortunate to have visited quite a few of the member villages, but there’s still plenty more that I need to visit absolutely. 

And I think one of the great things about Switzerland is that because of the great public transport system, it’s so easy to reach many, all of these villages, really. And a lot of them are actually very close to some of the major cities. So I thought what we’d do today is chat about some of those villages that are really easy to get to from the major centres, because if our listeners are perhaps travelling around Switzerland on a Swiss Travel Pass. They might have a couple of days in one of the major cities or towns and think, I’d love to get off the beaten track a bit and visit one of these beautiful villages. I think you’ve got seven villages that you’re going to share with us today.

So take it away and give us all the inside info.

Super. Well, exactly. I must say this is typical Switzerland. As you mentioned before, public transport here, I move around basically 99% by public transport. These seven villages we’re going to talk about are very near, let’s say they’re close to big cities, but this could be the same in Italy or in Spain and France. But that doesn’t mean you can get there easily and quickly as you can do here in Switzerland. 

For example, as I mentioned before, we are in the Federation of the most beautiful villages of the world. But for example, in Spain, out of 110 villages, only 10 have a station, a railway station. Instead, we, with 49 villages, 40 have a railway station. It’s exactly the opposite. Even if they are villages, they’re not huge towns, but they’re very well connected. 

I thought we could start with a village that is very close to Geneva. For example, if some of you are flying into Geneva, I think the main places where you arrive is Zurich or Geneva Airport. Actually, from Geneva Airport, you could see this village. Let’s say it’s like 15 kilometres from the airport, so you can see it. But it’s about 30 minutes by public transport from Geneva downtown.

This is Dardagny. Dardagny is one of the last villages that has joined our association, I think, last year. And Dardagny is a peaceful village of 1,800 inhabitants. It’s located in the canton of Geneva, which is quite small, just a few steps from France, because basically all around canton Geneva is France. This village has a 17th century beautiful castle in the centre of the village, which is actually the largest in the canton of Geneva, and now houses the town hall. You can actually visit the castle even if you go to the town hall to do business, let’s say, if you live there. 

Several wine cellars in the village invite you to taste a glass of Pinot Noir, which is a famous type of wine that is produced here. In fact, the whole area is full of vineyards, and it’s very pleasant to walk among the old cottages and ancient chapels. One actually even dates back to the 13th century. So even if you’re only 30 minutes from Geneva, the difference couldn’t be wider from Geneva. For us at least, it’s really has its headquarters, the Red Cross. It’s really very international. Well, Dardagny is the opposite. It’s very countryside. I quite like actually this, when we have a village that is very close to a big city. And to have such a village only 30 minutes away, it’s not bad.

Yeah. So you’re going from the bustling city just to a quiet village, as you say, just within 30 minutes.

Fantastic. Exactly. Also, people are very relaxed and also with this wine tasting. And so it’s really the opposite of Geneva. So it’s easily like a day trip or half a day or a full day trip, and you’re getting the totally different perspective of Switzerland.

Well, I think also people that are living in canton Geneva don’t really know this village or a lot of canton Geneva, because basically our cantons that have a name like Zurich, Canton, Zurich, Geneva, Canton, Geneva, many associate the village, the city with the Canton. Instead, there’s much more to see in the canton on top, of course, of the main village that gives the name to the canton. 

Actually, in Ticino, where I live in Lugano, many think our number plate, LU is Lugano. Instead, LU is Lucerne and gives the name to canton Lucern. Instead, Lugano is the biggest town in the south in Switzerland, Ticino, but the capital is Bellinzona. When the name, let’s say, of the canton is different, normally it means that the main city is not so important for the canton as it is in the cantons where the name of the city is the name of the canton.

Right.

So this was for canton Geneva. I think we’re moving to canton Bern and to La Neuveville, which I think is one of the villages you visited.

I did. I visited it last year and I just fell in love with it. It was so beautiful. It was such a surprise. Well, not a surprise, because I guess I’ve seen on your website. But to walk around the corner, we actually arrived by boat, which is part of the Public transport system.

I walked up from the boat pier into the village and around the corner into the main street, I guess. Wow, it was just so beautiful.

This is probably, I would say, the most colourful village that we have. As you’ve been there, you know this. The houses are very, very colourful. It’s a bit like being in a cartoon, actually, from my point of view. And La Neuveville actually, it’s a little town of 3,900 inhabitants. And as you said, as you arrived on Boat, it is located on a lake. It’s on the Lake of Biel or Bien. I don’t know how you say it in English, but it’s a lake divided between the French part and the German part. It has two names, Biel and Bien. And the many colourful houses, they actually form a wall that enclosed several old pedestrian streets with a stream and a charming fountain in the middle. 

Actually, when you get in the middle of this village, you really have this small stream flowing there and these very nice fountains with a lot of cafes in that area. There are actually still several medieval towers that serve as an entrance to the old town. This is also in Switzerland, we don’t have so many. Like in Italy, they really have still a lot of villages that have all the town walls intact and a lot of entrance.

In Switzerland, unfortunately, we don’t have so many. We destroyed them, let’s say, over the years to build new things in that sense. La Neuveville is quite particular because it’s one of the few that still has this type of wall done by houses and these towers to enter. It is by the lake. And in fact, the beautiful gardens on the lake invite you to stroll and enjoy the view of the Lake of Bienne and the village of Erlach. And it’s castle that you see in front of you, which actually, Erlach is also a member of our association. So in that area, actually, we have three villages, one next to each other, even if it’s different canton, different languages, but it’s a very, very nice area.

Yeah. Now we should mention too that, La Neuveville, I actually arrived when I said by boat, we came from the south, we came on the boat from the south, but you can actually arrive by train from Bern. That takes around 50 minutes, I believe. Is that right?

Yes, from Bern, by train is 50 minutes. Exactly.

Yeah. So under an hour, you’re out there into one of the most, as you said, one of the most colourful villages. It’s like walking through an ice cream shop, really, like all the different colours of the gelato.

Exactly. And also the scenery from the train ride is quite remarkable.

It is, yeah. Now it’s a beautiful part of Switzerland. So what about Zurich? Is there any of the member villages that are close to Zurich?

Now we get to another canton where the name of the biggest city, Zurich, is also the name of the canton. I think many of you will land in Zurich, probably more than in Geneva. This village is interesting. It’s Grüningen. It’s about 40 minutes from the center of Zurich. In this case, you can get by public transport. It’s quite also a nice ride, but let’s say by car would be only 20 minutes. It’s really near to Zurich downtown, and it has 3,800 inhabitants. It’s a beautiful little town in the Zurich countryside. 

There are popular markets as held here on a regular basis. Basically, every week you have a market going on. The town is also home to a famous botanical garden, which is open from March to November. This is also quite particular. Not a lot of villages have a botanical garden. There’s also an old castle that houses a museum, a beautiful historical cafe, and in winter, a skating ring in the inner courtyard. This place I like quite a lot because also the lady that has this cafe, this cafe is located in the basement of the castle. It’s really old. When you go in there, it’s really like going back in time.

Also the lady is quite old style, let’s say. I really like that. Especially on a Sunday, it’s really, as I say, the opposite to Zurich. Zurich is very Wall Street, a bit like for Americans, so business, money and whatever. Here, it’s all about la joie de vivre .. How we say, enjoy life and have a piece of cake and a good coffee and that’s it. It’s a very nice place to go, this castle, because it’s open to the public. You don’t have to pay a fee to go in there. 

You have this beautiful castle, a beautiful cafe, you have gardens where you can struggle around. That is very nice. The central street of Grüningen of this village is made up of historic white houses. Here, they’re not so colorful as in L Neuveville, but the particularity is that they are all white and they also form a wall and they are very harmonic. In short, it’s a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon here from busy Zurich.

Yes, sounds like a great escape. Definitely, visit on a Sunday and go to that cafe.

Yes, I always go on Sundays.

We’ll send the cafe owner your regards, shall we?

Yes, please.

Okay, what else have you got for us?

The next village is another village that you have visited is Schwellbrun. Schwellbrun in Appenzell. Appenzell, I think, is also a favorite for tourists from abroad, the canton of Appenzell. And Schwellbrun is a German-speaking village. It’s about 30 minutes from St. Gallen, but actually it’s like 45 from Zurich, so it’s also not that far from Zurich. And Schwellbrun is the highest village in Appenzell at 1,000 meters above sea level. And from here you have a very nice view of the Santis mountain, which is one of the most well-known mountains we have in Switzerland, not as known as the Jungfrau or the Matterhorn, but still for us it’s quite famous, the Santis mountain. 

The village is surrounded by vast green meadows with many cows. So if you like country, let’s say, to see, but also to smell, this is a good place because it’s really got that feeling. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more bucolic village than this one. My also head of the 49 we have, this is one of the most bucolic, especially also because for me, has the grass there. I don’t know, has a very particular green color.It’s not the same green color that we have here in Ticino or in Berner Oberland, it’s really a difference. For me, Appenzell is grass in a way to this green color from Appenzell. 

In this village, there are a lot of local, let’s say, cheese that sell cheese or local products, so it’s a good place also to buy stuff. From Schwellbrun, there are countless beautiful nature walks that start from here. It’s a typical Appenzell place, so it means it’s hills. It’s not mountains, but they go up and down. But to walk, it’s a very good place because you don’t have to climb very high and then go down again. You just go just slightly up and down, but you’re not flat and you have very nice views around. So Schwellbrun is definitely an interesting village.

Yeah, that’s one thing I really noticed about Appenzell and Schwellbrun in particular, as you say, it’s rolling green hills. When people think of Switzerland, they often think of the Alps, and of course, that is Switzerland. But in Appenzell, they are your more gentle rolling hills with the Santis there in the distance.

Exactly. That’s a perfect way to describe Appenzell I think.

Yes, I think too. I think too. Unfortunately, from where I live, it’s one of the farthest place to go if I want to go for a weekend. But Switzerland is not Australia, so I can get there easily in comparison. 

I would say the next place we’re going is actually a canton well known for the Alps, is canton Graubünden, where you have places like Davos, St Moritz, Arosa, so very famous places. Their mountains can get up to 4,000 meters. So it’s quite Alpine location. And in fact, this village we have, Bergün, it’s a typical Alpine village. And it’s about an hour from Chur, which is the capital of Graubunden. And Bergün is at 1,400 meters, and it’s located on the UNESCO Albula train line that connects Chur, Chur to St. Moritz. 

So I think many of you that have already been in Switzerland probably have passed it, but maybe have not got off the train. So it’s really worth getting off the train first because I don’t know in other countries, but here if you have a ticket, let’s say from Chur to St. Moritz, you can get off and get on again on the train with no problem.

It’s not only bound for train number one or number two or whatever, so you can get off easily. And in the past, travelers used to stop here before going up to the Engadine to acclimatize themselves to the altitude. In fact, a large courthouse, which is now a Swiss historic hotel, can be found here. So also in the past, a lot of people used to stop in Bergun. 

But that was when we used to think that to go up to the heights. Well, heights. Well, heights, Engadine is 1,800 meters. You used to need time to acclimatize to the heights. So now people go up without all stopping in Bergun. The village has many, really many Engadine style houses, even if it’s not in the Engadine, and an ancient tower from the 13th century. And especially interesting in winter, it’s the Europe’s longest toboggan run, which is basically operating from end of November to end of March, where you can really then sledge down from Preda, which you go up with the train to Preda, and then you come down with the sledge and you really sledge in the village. Because in the village, in winter, you cannot travel by car, it’s full of snow, and you see people coming down with the sledge until the station, and then they get the train back up to Preda. In winter, it’s quite nice.

Yeah, quite unique. I’ve imagined going up on a cable car and then coming down on a sledge, but to actually go up on a train and then sledge down, that’s something quite different.

Yeah, here it’s only with the train. There’s no cable car, so it’s the train. And it’s the Red Train, the very famous Red Train that runs in all of Graubunden.

Yeah, so some of our listeners probably familiar with the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express, which both run along that Albula line. So they’ve probably gone past Bergun, but as you say, they probably haven’t stopped. So to stop there, they would need to be on or to get off rather, they need to be on a regional train if they want to do that, and then hop back on later.

Yeah, I believe the Bernina Express stops there, but not the Glacier Express. So if you’re on the Bernina Express, actually, you can go directly from Poschiavo, which is another of our villages, to Bergun, but not with the Glacier Express. Yeah, great.

Okay. All right, so moving on from the Alps, let’s head south. What village would you like to tell us about in Ticino?

Exactly.

Yeah, welcome to my canton, which is the canton of Ticino, which is the only canton totally south of the Alps, and a canton that speaks Italian. So of course, this village, Giornico, which is about 30 minutes from Bellinzona, which I told you earlier is the capital of Ticino, speaks Italian. Giornico is known as the village of the Seven Churches, some of which, like the Romanesque Church of San Nicolau, are really unique nationwide. And in the past, caravans on their way to the Gotthard Pass used to stop here to rest their animals and prepare for the ascent. Because basically from Bellinzona until Giornico, it’s slightly uphill, a bit slightly. And then from Giornico, you really start to go up. 

So with the animals where they had things to put on the animals to take materials, they used to change there in Giornico before preparing to go up to the San Gotthard Pass. And Giornico houses the Leventina Museum, which is the area of Giornico it’s called Leventina, which is well worth a visit. And the village is home to the only inhabited river island in Ticino, which is connected by two beautiful medieval bridges. So on this island, which is in the middle of the Ticino River, you have also a grotto.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the grottos, but grotto is a very typical like Trattorias in Italy, a very typical restaurant where you can eat. And this grotto on the island is really superb because it’s down by the river and you can see the old medieval bridge on top and it’s on an island, the only inhabited island in Ticino. From this village, Giornico comes for us, at least, the very famous wine, Giornico Oro, which means Giornico Gold. Even the etiquette, what you have on the bottle is gold, really shining gold. This is one of the finest Merlot wines around. Merlot, it’s a typical wine that we produce here in Ticino, which is normally quite appreciated outside of Switzerland. This Giornico Oro is by far one of the best Merlot you can have.

Yeah, right. Okay. You mentioned that it’s known as the Village of Seven Churches. What’s the population there now? Did it used to be a lot bigger? Why so many churches?

Well, the population now, I think it’s about 1,200 inhabitants. But the thing is, as I said, it used to be not famous, but let’s say a lot of people used to stop there because of changing this caravan to go to the St. Gotthard. Basically, with a lot of people moving around, because in those days, the St. Gotthard was the main pass throughout the Alps, but which meant also, let’s say now with COVID, if there was some illness around in Europe, it could arrive there because a lot of people were spending the night there and whatever. When maybe… La malaria, I don’t know how to say it in English. Anyway, when some disease, when they found a solution or something, they maybe built a church to say thank you for this. In that sense, it was a place where you could really exchange views, et cetera, with people from all over the place. But of course, there was a lot of movement in comparison with a lot of other villages.

In that sense- It’s more of a transport hub in a way, I guess.

Yeah, it could be. Today would be a transport. It’s not anymore, but it could be a transport hub, yes.

Okay, very interesting. I think you’ve got one other village that you’re going to tell us which is a very new one.

Yes, exactly. Now we are going to Basel which is in the far north. If Ticino is in the far south of Switzerland, Basel is in the far north. And close to Basel, we have the last village that joined our association, which is Arlesheim. This is very close to the center center because it’s only 15 minutes by tram from the center of Basel. So here the difference couldn’t be greater from really a big city, a busy city like Basel and this village. 

So despite being only 15 minutes by tram from the center of busy Basel, it has a distinctly village-like feel. Its beautiful, cozy, pedestrian square adorned with a monumental fountain, invites you to stop for a coffee in one of the local bakeries. And from the square, several paths lead to Switzerland, largest English gardens. There’s not many people know that we have really English gardens in Switzerland, and this is really the… I am half English, actually, my mother comes from England. I can tell you this garden is really like going back to England. I know a lot of people that live in that area go on weekends to stroll around because it’s huge.

But it’s just a couple of minutes from the center of the village and you have these beautiful English gardens which are simply idyllic. And another jewel of Arlesheim, it’s this monumental Baroque Cathedral, which is really huge for a village which overlooks a charming pedestrian square. So it’s very pedestrian, this village. The tram basically just gets in the centre and you get off the tram and then you just walk around. 

Actually, my parents went there some weeks ago. I told them to go and visit the village and they thought they were at the wrong stop because it was so peaceful. They arrived from the centre of Basel and said, Where are we? Because there was nobody around. Okay, I mean, it was not a nice day with the weather and whatever, but they really saw a big difference between Basel and they were staying by the central station, which is very busy, nearly like Zurich. And then they went to this beautiful village. But I’m very happy about having this village also because it’s our first village in Basel Land, in the canton of Basel. So as I said, we have, yes, 49 villages, but in 18 cantons.

And in Switzerland, they are 26. So we don’t yet have a village in every canton. Basel, it’s very nice now to have a village also in the canton of Basel.

Yeah. And we should also mention that, and you did touch on this before when we spoke about La Neuveville, that you said there’s three villages in very close proximity. So that’s the same in some other cantons too, isn’t it? Although the villages might not be so close, but some cantons have more than one of the member villages.

Yes. For example, Graubunden or Valais, we have seven villages in each of these cantons, also canton Vaud, we have eight, I think it’s the canton where we have more villages, eight. But then we have cantons like Zurich, where we only have one village, and there are still some cantons like Solothurn, where we don’t still have a village. So yeah, it’s not that every canton must have a village. Or as you said, in some places, they are very near to each other. In other places like in Graubunden, which is quite a big canton, the seven villages are quite far away, one from each other.

Yeah. But the great thing is, and that’s why I wanted to mention or to talk about these ones today, is that there are villages that are so accessible from the main city. So people don’t have to miss out on visiting these villages because they can reach them very easily.

Exactly. I should say you have to spend a week in every village. But basically, as I know that Switzerland has so many attractions to see, I wouldn’t tell you to miss out on the Jungfrau or whatever for our villages. But as you mentioned, they’re so near to city centres. I think even only a couple of hours like Arlesheim, 15 minutes by tram, you don’t have to use the whole day. You can do also other things. You can see what you had in mind to see, but maybe add on a couple of hours just to stroll around the English garden or to have a coffee in the main square. I find it’s worth it.

Yeah, absolutely. I think these days too, particularly since the pandemic, more and more people are looking to do things that are a little bit perhaps off the beaten path and sure they want to see those main attractions like the Jungfrau, but they like to combine that with something a little different too. Visiting the village is a great option.

I think what you said about combination, I know what you said about combining things, I totally agree because also about our 49 villages, some, as you said before, like Ascona or, are very famous. So you also find quite a lot of peoples. But other ones are basically, as I said, Arlesheim was only my parents around. I like this combination. You don’t really have to only go to places where it’s all about only yourself, but not even only go to places which are so well-known, so forth of tourism. Combining the two, I think it gives you also a better view about Switzerland and not only the postcard Switzerland, let’s say, but also places where people still live as they used to live some years ago.

Yeah, definitely. Well, you’re doing a fantastic job with the association in promoting the beauty and the history and the significance of these villages. So well done on that. But I think you might have another project on the go too. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

Yes. Well, Carolyn, let’s say starting from the realisation that the meaning of village, so village in French or Dorf in German, borgo in Italian or Pueblo in Spanish, in different language can be different what people understand on the village. So beginning from that and adding that in Switzerland, there are several small towns which are just over 10,000 inhabitants, which is at the moment our maximum for the villages, for example, Payerne or Solothurn, have just over 10,000, but they have a lot in common with our large villages. 

So we decided to launch the Swiss Historic Towns label, where the emphasis is placed, in addition to beauty, on the history of these towns and their liveliness. Basically, villages and small towns below 10,000 inhabitants and which have a more village-like character are labelized as best Swiss villages, while towns above 10,000 inhabitants, up to a maximum of 25,000 inhabitants to a maximum of 25,000 inhabitants. With a more historic character are labeled Swiss historic towns. We believe that this improves their promotion internationally.

Okay, so are there already members of the historic towns Association?

Let’s say from our 49 villages, we have now labelled three as Swiss historic towns, which are the three that have more this character of town and of history, like Bremgarten on the River Ruess, which is the same river of Lucerne or Aarburg on the river Aare and Diessenhofen on the river Rhine. But we aim to have new ones. I’ve been speaking with Bellinzona, for example, with its UNESCO castles or with Payerne, which is this beautiful Abbey. And so we are in talks. For the moment, new ones we don’t have yet, but also I don’t have that much time at the moment to dedicate this. But we are starting on this project, and I think by the end of the year, we will definitely have some new Swiss historic towns coming in.

Yeah, fantastic. This is all a passion project for you, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. I mean, basically, it’s one project, a bit split in two. Because of this difference, we have noticed as we go a lot abroad and misunderstanding of village, dorf, et cetera. Town for some villages is more appropriate than village, especially in English. But basically, it’s a passion of exploring, let’s say, generally less well-known places. But I know that you need also well-known places to have attention, let’s say, from the media, from other places. 

I’m very happy to have Gruyeres to have Ascona or whatever, but I wouldn’t want only to have top places that are already very well known, like Zermatt, for example. They’re all very nice places, but I don’t know if they need me, let’s say. Instead, other villages, I’m really sure, for example, of these seven we have spoken today, maybe all or a lot of them can really benefit from our network.

Yeah. Well, it’s a fantastic job. As I said before, you should be congratulated on all the work you’ve done to get all these villages together into an association and bring them to our attention so that we can go out and appreciate them just like you do. Right. So where can our listeners find out more about both the associations that we’ve talked about? Yeah.

Well, I would like to say you can find us also on the bookshelf in the sense with a guide, but we are still debating if do we have a guide, a printed guide in French, in German, and Italian, not yet in English, but I know it’s something we must do and I want to do it. But for the moment, you can find all the information online, of course, on the website for the villages is swissvillages.Org. And for the historic towns, it’s swisshistorictowns.Org, or on social media, for the villages, SwissVillages, and for the historic towns, SwissTowns. So basically you find all the information there. But I’m still a bit old school, so I would like also to have a printed guide, something that people can maybe take back to their country or whatever. But we are working on that.

Yeah, great. It is a fantastic souvenir. You kindly gave me a copy of the German edition last year when we. The German edition. And yeah, it’s a great memory to have and a great reference point. But I do need to get my husband to translate it, unfortunately.

But it has beautiful pictures. At least it has beautiful pictures that you can appreciate. It does. Exactly. Yeah.

Now I will include those web addresses and the social media handles that you’ve mentioned in the show notes for this episode. So if people missed those and they want to visit you and find out more, they’ll have that information there. Thank you very much, Kevin. It’s been great chatting to you again. And I hope now that we’ve given lots of inspiration to our listeners, and they’re going to make sure that they include at least one of the beautiful villages or the historic towns in their Switzerland itinerary.

Thank you, Carolyn, for having me, and I hope to speak to you soon.

Thanks, Kevin.

Thanks, Carolyn.

How incredible do those seven villages sound? 

I love the fact that you don’t need to skip the major attractions in order to visit these villages – they are within easy reach of the major cities and all can be reached by public transport. Why not do a mountain excursion or visit a major attraction in the morning and head to a beautiful village in the afternoon?

Whether it’s the colourful village of La Neuveville, the rolling green hills of Schwellbrunn or the Baroque beauty of Arlesheim that appeals to you, you won’t need to venture very far from the major centres to visit.

And with breathtaking villages so close to Zurich and Geneva, too, there’s really no excuse for not including a visit to one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland in your itinerary.

I’m already planning to visit a couple of the villages Kevin chatted about today in my next Swiss vacation.

If you’re interested in learning about more of the member villages, have a listen to episode 16 of the podcast.  I’ll include a link to that episode and links to the websites and social media pages for the most beautiful villages in Switzerland and Historic Towns in the show notes.

Those show notes can be found at holidaystoswitzerland.com/episode88

Thanks for joining me today.  I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and safe 2024 and I hope you’ll join me again in the new year for more Swiss travel tips and inspiration.

Tschuss.

You can listen to the episode and see the full show notes > here