Tolkien fans might think they have to fly out to New Zealand to see the Shire. They are wrong. In October 2013, a Hobbit Museum opened its doors in Switzerland. Geographically in the tourist region called Heidiland, the region is an ideal holiday destination for families with children. For the parents, there are excellent local wines to test which the Swiss usually keep to themselves.
The Albula Pass is a historical throw-back for the traveller. It presents itself today as it did in 1865 when the road was built. Along it runs the historical train route built in 1903 with its stunning viaducts. And in winter, it becomes an enormous sledge run.
The Forcellina and Lunghin Passes build a crossroad with the Septimer Pass. The Forcellina Pass starts in the Avers Valley to end north of the culmination point of the Septimer Pass; the Lunghin Pass starts in the Engadin to reach a point slightly more to the north. Like the Septimer Pass, they are a paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers.
The Maloja Pass is sometimes called ‘the pass that never was’ due to its geographical peculiarity. It connects the Engadin Valley with the Bregaglia Valley in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland. If you travel on it from the Engadin side, the view from the starting point will take your breath away.
In Switzerland, you get the possibility to rub shoulders with many important people going on holiday there. Until 1979, the members of the Imperial Family of Persia were regular visitors to the Engadin where they had a holiday home near St. Moritz.
Tucked away in a south-eastern corner of Switzerland, a valley offers a rest to travellers going from the Engadin to the Valtellina Valley. The Valley is dominated by Poschiavo and its lake of the same name. If you want a holiday away from all hustle and bustle this is the place to go to.
If you want to get the feeling for how the ancient Roman travelled, the Septimer Pass is the road to travel. The Septimer Pass lies in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland and connects the Julier Road to the Bregaglia Valley south of the Alps. You’ll have to travel it as the Romans did, though, on foot.
When travelling the Alps, a historic route to take is the Julier Pass connecting the lowlands of the canton of Grisons with the high valley of the Engadin. The pass is kept open all year round and is equally breathtaking in winter and summer.
When looking for breathtaking views, travel the Bernina Pass. It connects the Engadin Valley with the Pushlav Valley in the canton of Grisons in Switzerland.
Architect Peter Zumthor from Basel, Switzerland, received the Pritzker Prize, the highest accolade an architect can get. Zumthor’s modern buildings built with traditional materials and using ancient crafts have made him a household name for outstanding architecture on building sites in difficult surroundings. Buildings designed by him may be found in the Alps as well as further afield in interesting locations.
The Devil and the Russians both have a place in the heart of Switzerland. The bridge was the start of the St. Gotthard pass as we know it today. And just beside it is a plot of Russian territory, perpetually flying the Russian flag.