The more than 240 square kilometers large community of Zermatt in the Swiss canton of Valais is a popular holiday and tourist destination in summer and winter. The almost 6,000 inhabitants live here, right on the border with neighboring Italy, at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level. The location in the Mattertal, at the foot of the 4,478 meter high Matterhorn, is idyllic to uniquely beautiful. It is suitable for study trips to the 5,200 square kilometer canton of Valais as well as for holidays with hiking, mountaineering and winter sports all year round.
Cable car ride up to the Matterhorn
A trip to the canton of Valais always includes a trip up the Matterhorn. The summit of the Kleiner Matterhorn is the highest vantage point in Europe at an altitude of 3,880 meters. This is where the Matterhorn lift ends, and from here the visitor is offered a panoramic view over Switzerland to Italy in the south. One of the natural sights in Zermatt is the Gornergrat at an altitude of 3,100 meters. This is where the Gornergrat Bahn ends, a cogwheel train that runs from Zermatt over nine kilometers up to the Gornergrat. Mountain tourists can expect an excursion restaurant up here as well as the well-known and popular winter sports area.
Zermatt as a year-round ski area
The canton of Valais is known as a two-season ski area. The summer season starts at the end of April and lasts until the end of November, immediately followed by the five-month winter season. In the three ski areas in and around Zermatt, skiers can choose from under 200 kilometers of slopes in the three categories of easy, medium and difficult. Skiing and snowboarding are possible here all year round. Zermatt is one of the world’s most popular ski arenas, and here in the Alps the Matterhorn Ski Paradise is the highest ski area anywhere.
A stay in Zermatt is always synonymous with a skiing holiday as well as extensive hikes through the nature around the Matterhorn.
The Lucerne Festival is one of the most important festivals of international classical and contemporary music in Europe. The event, known far beyond the borders of Switzerland, has been held annually at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center for more than 75 years. The first festival took place in 1938 on the initiative of the Italian star conductor Arturo Toscanini.
Three festivals in summer, at Easter and in autumn
Since 1998, three Lucerne festivals have been held annually with different focuses and a wide range of classical and modern music. At the month-long Origin Festival in summer, around 100 concerts with the best orchestras and conductors in the world as well as talented classical musicians take place in August and September. The Lucerne Festival at Easter mainly focuses on church music. The various concerts are mainly held in the small and large churches of Lucerne. In 1998 a Lucerne Festival was launched in autumn. This is primarily dedicated to classical piano music and jazz.
120,000 visitors a year at the Lucerne Festival
National and international stars of classical music take to the stage at the Lucerne Festival, which captivates around 120,000 classical music lovers from all over the world every year. The organizers of the Lucerne Festival have been running the Lucerne Festival Academy together with the Lucerne School of Music since 2004, which deals with the music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Cascata di Foroglio is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Ticino region in Switzerland. The beautiful waterfall is located in the Bavona Valley near Locarno. The grandiose spectacle and the thundering, foaming cascades have made Foroglio the most famous village in the entire Bavona Valley. In this area, where a lot of energy is produced by three power plants and three reservoirs, there is no electricity despite everything. Therefore, solar cells, gas, small water turbines, candles and petroleum must be used instead.
The rushing of this magnificent waterfall can be heard from afar: thousands of liters of water tumbling about a hundred meters down onto the rocks – a spectacle of nature, crowned by a landscape of rugged mountain peaks of exceptional natural beauty. Located in Foroglio, one of the most charming villages in the Bavona Valley, the waterfall that plunges the Calneggia River has attracted thousands of visitors over the years; it has retained all its charm and continues to enchant those who dare to venture into the Bavona Valley. At the same time it is an adventure because it is like stepping into a fairy tale set in a bygone era when people lived according to different values. A world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life; an area of the world where electricity is produced but consciously renouncing everyday life. A simple way of life in a landscape full of natural monuments that surprises and enchants again and again.
Not only the waterfall, but also the entire Bavona Valley is worth a visit. The two-hour hike Foroglio-Calnègia valley offers special impressions. All of the houses here are built from a certain type of stone, which makes the area very picturesque and photogenic. The village of Foroglio, near the Foroglio waterfall, also consists of these stones and has a beautiful and worth seeing church. Those who are exhausted and hungry after visiting the spectacular waterfall can visit the pretty restaurant “La Frodo” and enjoy local specialties.