Episode 88 Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast, Exploring enchating villages in Switzerland
Podcast Episodes

Episode 88: Exploring Enchanting Villages in Switzerland

December 27, 2023 Last Updated on May 13, 2024

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 this episode of the podcast, Kevin Quattropani, the president of the association, joins me to chat about seven 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.

Listen below to learn more!

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Show Notes

In this episode you’ll learn about:

  • The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland association
  • 7 enchanting member villages that are close to major Swiss towns and cities
  • What to see and do in the villages
  • How to reach the villages by public transport
  • Where to get more information about the villages

Our Guest

Kevin Quattropani in Bellinzona
Kevin Quattropani

Kevin Quattropani is the founder and president of the Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland association.

A resident of Lugano, Kevin founded the association in 2015 to recognise the beauty, history and significance of Switzerland’s villages.

Swiss villages mentioned in this episode

>> Close to Geneva: Dardagny – Located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Dardagny is just 35 minutes by train from Geneva. Key highlights of the village include a castle wine cellars and charming cottages.

>> Close to Bern: La Neuveville – Built on the shore of Lake Biel (Lake Bienne), La Neuveville is one of Switzerland’s most colourful villages. It can be reached by train from Bern in 50 minutes and as well as the brightly painted buildings, must-see sites include the numerous fountains and medieval towers.

>> Close to Zurich: Grüningen – Only 40 minutes by train from Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, Grüningen offers a complete change of pace. Highlights include a castle, a botanical garden and an array of attractive white houses.

>> Close to St. Gallen: Schwellbrunn – Perched on a hill overlooking lush green pastures, Schwellbrunn is an attractive village in the Appenzell region in Switzerland’s east. After a 30-minute train ride from St. Gallen, visitors can enjoy stunning views as far as the Alpstein and Lake Constance and admire the beautiful houses with historic detail.

Grüningen Switzerland
Grünigen is an attractive village just 40 minutes from Zurich. © Christian Guerra – The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland

>> Close to Chur: Bergün-Bravuogn – Located in the Romansch-speaking canton of Graubünden, Bergün is home to an historic courthouse, a 13th century tower and a large number of Engadine style houses. It is 90 minutes by train from Chur on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Albula railway line.

>> Close to Bellinzona: Giornico – Known as the Village of Seven Churches, Giornico has some notable houses of worship to visit. It’s also home to Ticino’s only inhabited river island which is connected to the mainland via two original mediaeval bridges. This Italian-speaking village is 30 minutes by train from Bellinzona.

>> Close to to Basel: Arlesheim – Just 15 minutes from Basel by train, Arlesheim feels like a world away! Key highlights of the village include a stunning Baroque Cathedral and the largest English garden in Switzerland. The central square is a popular spot to relax and enjoy a coffee.

Baroque Cathedral in Arlesheim Switzerland
Arlesheim’s Baroque Cathedral is a highlight of the village. © Christian Guerra – The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland

Useful resources

Read our article: 22 of the Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland

Listen to a previous podcast episode: The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland (episode 16)

Read the full transcript of this episode > here.

You can learn more by visiting the Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland association website, and following them on Instagram.

To see all our podcast episodes, > click here.

This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism

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