If you really want to experience the Swiss Alps, then this is the tour for you.
This tour will take you into the heart of the Swiss Alps and whilst not taking you to the top of Jungfrau or Schilthorn will supply you with stunning scenery and memorable experiences that you will cherish for a very long time. Here are just a few of the highlights of the first par of this popular and breath-taking tour – the next part comes in 2 weeks time.
If you are journeying from Luzern, we will stop at 2 popular beauty spots near the turquoise lake of Lake Lungern. Reason this superb photo which epitomises the beautiful countryside.
So we start with the incredible Aare Gorge near the village of Meiringen famous for being the place where Sherlock Holmes met his death at the Reichenbach Falls. Opposite the Falls is the entrance to the Aare Gorge – a one mile walk through a natural wonder where the river Aare has eroded and cut a gorge through the limestone cliffs.
The second place we visit has to be one of the most spectacular places for lunch in Switzerland. The Giessbach Hotel above the cobalt blue Lake Brienz and facing the breathtaking Giessbach Falls is a must visit for any traveller in the Oberlands. The combination of taking a 20 minute hike actually under the falls, having a delicious lunch in the 150 year old hotel and the taking in the views over Lake Brienz is an experience that you will never forget. And that does not even include the funicular ride down to the lakeside and the boat across Lake Brienz to Brienz itself !
The boat lands at Brienz and then a 30 minute walking tour of the picturesque and historic village takes place taking in the lake promenade, the wood carving shop which Brienz is famous for and one of the prettiest streets in Switzerland – Brungasse which won an award for precisely that.
That’s all for part 1 of this epic day tour of the Best of the Bernese Oberlands tour – there’s plenty more to come in Part II, coming up in 2 weeks time.
Switzerland boasts some of the best Xmas Markets in Europe and in around 4 weeks time they will start to appear. And the good news is, there are over 150 Xmas Markets coming up this year in Swiss Cities, Towns and Villages across the length and breadth of the country.
If you like wandering around stalls and sheds armed with a gluhwein and a bratwurst, then you will love a visit to a Xmas Market. There’s a real myriad of Christmas presents to buy loved ones made right here in Switzerland and many handmade items from overseas too.
Here are my top 3 Swiss Xmas Markets
The Luzern Christmas market boasts the Franziskanerbrunnen fountain, which adorn the metre high candles, twinkling lights and pine fronds is transformed into the largest Advent wreath in Central Switzerland. The concerts of St Maria and the unique nativity scene with life size figurines are also worth seeing.
The city on the Rhine has a very special charm in the Christmas period. The quaint Christmas market can be found on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, right in the centre of the city and at the heart of the festively decorated Old Town. A magnificent Christmas tree stands on Münsterplatz, with ornaments by the well-known decorator Johann Wanner.
Whether at Zurich’s oldest Christmas market in the picturesque Old Town, at the urban “Wienachtsdorf” Christmas village on Sechseläutenplatz near Bellevue, or next to the 15-meter (49 ft) tall sparkling Christmas tree at the Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Train Station: In Zurich, there is a Christmas market to suit each and every taste. A huge choice of gifts and gift ideas enchants visitors to the beautifully decorated market stands.
Luzern is a must-see location for people travelling to Switzerland. It has everything – charm, history, great restaurants, cool bars, superb hotels, lovely shops, interesting museums and is small enough for people to enjoy in a couple of days.
Personally, I say it’s history and geography rolled into one and it’s the geography side I will concentrate on here.
A not to be missed adventure is to go up a mountain and near Luzern there are 4 of them which are close by and accessible. Here we go with a brief description of all them
The closest to Luzern, Pilatus, the “house” mountain of Luzern at 2132m is a very popular destination and in particular the golden round trip which you can do from Luzern by taking the boat to Alpnachstad, the steepest cog wheel in the world to the summit to admire the views. Take some refreshments at the top or even stay at the hotel before heading down on the opposite side with 2 cable cars, stopping half way to check out the 1 mile mountain roller coaster or the rope park before completing your journey by taking the bus from the cable car station to Luzern – a wonderful day out.
Mount Rigi’s majestic peninsula on Lake Lucerne is the perfect setting for an authentic Swiss mountain experience with unforgettable views of over 13 lakes and the spectacular snow-capped Swiss Alps. Located 10 miles from Luzern, Mt. Rigi at 1832m can be quickly and easily reached by boat or car. It is the Swiss people’s favourite mountain destination, can be accessed via Europe’s first ever cogwheel train (est. 1871) and is renowned for its numerous cogwheel railway and aerial cable car routes. You can visit Mt. Rigi 365 days a year and there’s plenty of outdoor action on offer, including 120km of hiking trails. The numerous lookouts, delightful terraces and the Mineral Baths at Rigi Kaltbad also ensure there are plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation on the Queen of the Mountains.
Mt Titlis at 3339m is the jewel in Central Switzerland’s crown, the highest accessible mountain and the only publicly accessible glacier in the area. You will feel on top of the world as you take in the spectacular panoramic views of snow-covered mountains and unspoilt Alpine landscapes. The Titlis ski area is home to more than 80 kilometres of pistes, with slopes to suit every ability. The season lasts from October until May. And in the summer, the mountain is a mecca for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Do not miss the Rotair – the world’s first revolving cable car taking you to the summit, the glacier cave, the Ice Flyer and the Titlis Cliff Walk
The exciting trip up the Stanserhorn on the CabriO cableway and funicular railway, which dates back to 1893, is like taking a trip through cableway history. The combination of an old funicular and new a(n open air cable car) technology is something to cherish as you climb to 1800m for superb views of the Swiss Alps and the 100 kilometer Alpine chain, 10 Swiss lakes, Stanserhorn rangers, marmots, a plant protection area with enchanting flora and fauna, culinary delights in the Stanserhorn revolving restaurant, the specialty Älplermagronen from an edelweiss pot and lots more are just waiting to be discovered on the Stanserhorn.
Typically Swiss Tours like most service industries relies heavily on customer reviews which will grow business. TST’s uses the most trusted and popular platform in the Tourism business – Trip Advisor.
TST has been fortunate to receive many positive reviews since trading started back in 2018. Reviews clearly work and the more positive reviews TST has received, the more business TST receives. In fact TST has come to the conclusion that by doing your job well and giving customers excellent satisfaction and value is the best and most cost effective piece of marketing a company can do.
Easy relationships and simply having a good time with clients will normally end in a (positive) review being given by the client which when added to several more, is simply the best form of advertising for a company.
So just this week, TST was fortunate enough to receive the 150th 5✰✰✰✰✰ review – this time from a client from Chicago below, with a couple of pics. I know for sure there are not many operators with such a record !!
Chris is an exceptional tour guide! He is very knowledgeable and amazing at what he does. From the moment we booked this tour, Chris was immediately in contact with us to go over all the detail and any requests we might have. Traveling with children (11 and 18 years old), I wanted to make sure we had a safe driver that could take us to see places that we wouldn’t have been able to get to on our own without renting a car. Chris delivered big time! We would highly recommend him for your next trip and will book with him again the next time we are in Switzerland!
April 2021 will see the 2nd in the MASSiVE Series of Promotions and this month the focus will be on the Swiss Drinks Industry which is obviously a very big sector and very wide ranging with multiple brands across the hot and cold and non alcoholic and alcoholic sectors.
When it comes to the age limit, the legal drinking age in Switzerland is 16 for beer, wine and cider and 18 for spirits. Coffee is the most popular hot drink and the coffee culture defintely exists here in Switzerland wth the likes of Starbucks and mutilple pop up coffee outlets springing up in towns and cities. In fact Switzerland are amongst the worlds biggest coffee drinkers with famous brands like Nespresso and Movenpick.
Tea on the hand is less popular and like cofffee, sales are increasing especially green and herbal/fruit teas and together with hot chocolate and a swiss brand Ovalmaltine make up the majority of the hot drink market.
The soft drink market is also very well defined with the usual array of international brands mixed in with some national drinks such as Rivella and Apfelschorle (apple juice and sparkling water)
Alcohol plays a strong role in society and drinking like in most western countries is a popular activity both at home and going out which the Swiss like to do on a regular basis in restaurants and bars and at events. The variety of alcoholic drinks available is very diverse and has increased in line with other western markets. Whether it`s beer, wines or spirits, you will find a great selection of drinks and here I am very proud to showcase 6 drinks makers in Switzerland who produce some of the finest drinks in the land.
Together they form MASSIVE DRINKS and will be promoted heavily during the month of April. I have a craft beer brand from Luzern – Luzern Brauerei, a wine grower in Luzern – Kaiserspan, 2 gin makers from Entlebuch in Frakmont and Studer, a Vodka maker Turicum in Zürich and Langutan, a Swiss Whisky maker from Kanton Bern
We start with Luzern Bier which was founded in 2008 and the beers are brewed to the old cradt tradition. Over the following 2 years the brewery grew and the necessary equipment was purchased to enable the first Luzerner Beer to be produced in 2010. The entire production process, from malt grist and brewing to bottling and labeling. There is a good selection of Lagers and Ales and various other brews at certain times of the year.
All beers are characterized by their unique taste and freshness. They are not filtered, not pasteurized and not treated in any other way : a natural fresh product from the region, brewed in a very authentic way.
David Schurtenberger, Business Leader runs a team of devoted beer lovers and craftsmen taking pride to brew and deliver top quality beers to the local market.
Back in 2013 Merlin Kofler and Oliver Honegger had the idea to start a distillery and after taling inspiration from their visits to English gin distilleries, they started their “drinks” journey together with their friends Philip Angst and Oscar Martin in Zürich where they reside.
Less than 2 years later, they realised their dream to create «The goal was to create a gin that represents Zurich’s spirit and that caters to the locals’ taste, celebrating our city beyond its limits». Local and regional ingredients such as Juniper, coriander seeds, lime blossoms from Lidenhof (the epicentre of Turicum, Zürich`s ancient name in Roman times, handpicked fir buds as well as rose hips from the region.
As well as distilling, the company offers Gin workshops, guided tours and events in their premises.
Kaiserspan Weinbau owned and managed by couple Edith Mächler-Britschgi and Andreas Bachmann have been producing high quality wines in Seetal in Kanton Luzern for over 20 years. Growing conditions are excellent for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Muscat Oliver and Riesling Silvaner grape varieties. Red, white, rosé and sparking variations are produced.
This family run business prides itself on producing wine with passion and years of knowledge and experience resulting in high quality drinks experiences for wine lovers all over Switzerland.
Frankmont is the brainchild of 4 young swiss entrepreneurs from Luzern, Carlo Fischer, Philipp Businger, Robin Odermatt and Mathias Näpflin. A few years ago, they decided in partnership with Studer Distillery in Entlebuch to create a new Gin brand for the Swiss market.
The Frakmont Dry Gin inspires with its fine, classic juniper flavor, the light citrus note and a finish which is refined by the clear mountain water. The native herbs, which also come from the foot of Mount Pilatus, come skillfully to the fore. The crisp, harmonious note of rosemary with a hint of ginger brings the legend to life in the mouth. A mystical piece of Lucerne in all senses.
Langatun is the Celtic version of the name Langenthal, a settlement that can be traced back to the year 861. The name means ‘the fortified place on the Langa’. The word ‘Langa’ is an Old European name for water. Water is one of the most important ingredients in whisky making. The name of Langatun whisky is therefore a tribute to the area’s first settlers and brewers in this area.
This traditional business produces distillates of the highest quality by using old artisanal methods. The home of the Langatun distillery is the historic, listed Kornhaus in Aarwangen. The long history of Langatun (since 1857) is above all the history of the people, the region and the products, which reflect the company’s core values: Honesty, Quality, Commitment and Innovation.
Langatun whisky is awarded and drunk all over the world. The high quality of the casks, the precise method of distillation and the passionate commitment of the employees give Langatun whiskies their incomparably soft, complex and delicate character. The details of the production process are a well-kept secret to which only a few people are privy.
It was in 1883 that the four brothers Robert, Gottfried, Hans and Josef Studer set out from Switzerland to travel the world and learn the fine art of producing liqueurs and spirits in France, Spain and Scotland, among other places. Today, almost 140 years and four generations later, and with a wealth of specialist experience under its belt, the Entlebuch region between Berne and Lucerne is still dedicated to the production of the finest and most noble spirits. The small but subtle difference: today, the tradition-rich Distillerie Studer is not only one of the best distilleries within Switzerland, but rather plays in the league of the best distilleries in the world.
At Studer & Co AG, the master of the finest distillates, quality, tradition and craftsmanship are of paramount importance. To this day, the various fine spirits that the extensive range of products has to offer are distilled by hand in Studer’s manor house according to recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation and according to old fathers’ customs. Only the best ingredients are used, primarily from regional cultivation in Switzerland. And this is noticeable in many ways. Quite apart from the fact that the noble spirits with fine nuances know how to pamper the tongues of connoisseurs and lovers in a very special way, the fine distillates all enjoy an excellent reputation and are regularly awarded prestigious prizes and awards in national and international competitions.
As TST Tours are few and far between these days, TST has tried to adapt and has become relatively successful in some digital or social media marketing. TST has reached out to several organisations and activities across Switzerland and has tried to create partnerships. These have included with Tourism Agencies and mountains so that thy receive some free advertising in return for some competition prizes. So for example last month saw a joint promotion with Graubünden Tourism and in return for 6 interesting FB posts and Linked In exposure, the Tourism organisation offered a night`s accommodation in a lovely hotel and for a first prize a 1st class trip for 2 on the amazing Glacier Express.
So this theme continues into March and as Easter is on the horizon, I thought it would be a cool idea to run a mega campaign all about one of Switzerland`s most famous export. The campaign is called MASSIVE CHOCOLATE as it all to do with Chocolate and it will be Massive. The start date is March 5th and activity will be posted on Facebook all through March culminating on April 1st with the TST Newsletter featuring an interview with Urs Furrer from Choco Suisse, the Trade Organisation representing the best chocolate makers in Switzerland.
The plan is to offer 3 Facebook posts to all of the participating chocolate making companies which will hopefully provide some interesting insights into the world of chocolate. Here is some more information about the participating brands in MASSIVE CHOCOLATE.
Lindt is probably the most recogniseable Swiss Chocolate brand founded in 1845 by Rodolphe Lindt at its headquarters are near Zurich. Lindt pioneered the conching method which evenly distributes cocoa butter within chocolate to enhance the flavour. Their 2020 Home of Chocolate is the largest Chocolate museum in Switzerland and contains the world`s largest chocolate fountain at 9m in height.
Aeschbach Chocolate is a smaller family owned Chocolate factory based in Luzern. Aeschnbach`s chocolate is hand made and uses the freshest ingredients. At there factory there is the excellent Choco World where the history and production of chocolate is superbly exhibited. You can make your own chocolate bar and of course sample some delicious chocolate and enjoy a drink in the cafe.
Cailler, the oldest Swiss chocolate brand still in existence since the early 1820s, is nestled in the foothills of Gruyères. Its chocolates are produced at Maison Cailler. In 1929 Cailler merged with Nestle and produces a range of brands. You can learn about their chocolate through a multi-sensory experience and of course take time to sample their chocolates and buy some product in the well stocked shop.
Läderach first started production in Glarus in 1962. Discover all you need to know about Läderach and much more in the new House of Läderach. Experience an unforgettable day in our new event location with café, factory store, chocolate museum, live production and a walk-in atelier where you can make your own chocolate. Läderach is famous for it`s different slabs of chocolate in Läderach shop windows across the land.
Aquilino Maestrani was one of the founding fathers of a chocolate culture that survives to the present day. In 1852, the ambitious entrepreneur and inventor founded the Maestrani company and helped shape the history of Switzerland. The factory in Flawil covers 4 famous brands – Minor, Munz, Maestrani and the Chocolarium which is an interactive experience showing us how Happiness makes it`s way chocolate !!
For more information on MASSIVE CHOCOLATE go to www.facebook.com/typicallyswisstours or check out Linked In or the TST Newsletter out 1st April in tine for Easter,
Tours are a wonderful way to experience what any destination has to offer. Typically Swiss Tours (TST) is no exception.
There are multiple tours for every budget and interest level. These can be a simple one day set itinerary tours to more complex multi-day tours taking in several locations. Clearly embarking on a tour with a local tour company with experience will certainly add value and take away the hassle of trying to organise it on your own.
A major advantage of booking a Private guided tour is the option for a personalised , tailor-made tour. Typically Swiss Tours, like most tour companies has many pre planned options on the website – www.typicallyswisstours.com. However TST offers clients to personalise or customise tours which means you can choose exactly what you want to do and see and how long you want the tour to be. Some good examples are a tour that takes in an activity such as water skiing or a paraglide or wants to visit a particular town or village.
For those clients who either have or have not done the research a private tour guide will get to know you and take the time to plan a day according to your wishes. Perhaps there are certain important aspects about mobility and diet which are important to the tour which clearly can be added to the discussion to base a tour around the guests. And with technology being what is it this days, there is really no excuse not to build up a good relationship with clients so that when the day, there is no need to break the ice.
The size of the private tour really depends on the size of the vehicle the Guide has and in TST`s case it is a 6 seater, Mercedes V Class. Tours are always exclusive to the party and arrangements are made as much in advance of the tour as possible, normally by a Zoom call so people can get to know each other. The in terms of the day itself, the guide will ensure that the places discussed are covered and then will try to always add on elements as surprises. All with the intention of giving the guests a truly memorable day.
Typically Swiss Tours is often asked by people visiting Luzern, which Mountain should we go up ? To be honest it`s a very good question as the 4 Mountains in question- Mt Pilatus, Mt Rigi, Mt Stanserhorn and Mt Titlis are all super excursions and if you had the time and the money, I would recommend a visit up all of them. They are clearly different in many ways but each has its own charm and attraction and one thing is clear, the views from the top of the Swiss Alps are breath-taking and memorable.
This blog will aim to describe each mountain attraction and showcase the primary features which attract thousands of visitors each year.
Mt Pilatus is Luzern`s house mountain as it dominates the Luzern skyline. At 2132 or 7000ft above sea level, the views from the top of the Swiss Alps are amazing and worth the trip up either by the steepest cog wheel railway in the world or by 2 cable cars stopping half way at Frakmuntegg where several activities take place such as the longest toboggan in Switzerland and a rope park amongst the many hiking trails and fire pits.
Mount Rigi is known as the Queen of the Mountains and was the first mountain railway built in 1871. 3 years earlier Queen Victoria made it to the top on horseback. There are hiking trails galore on Rigi and panoramic views stretch for over 150km. Rigi can be accessed by train from Vitznau and with gondola from Weggis to Rigi Kaltbad. Boats sail from Luzern to both ascent points from Luzern.
Mount Stanserhorn has been attracting visitors since 1893 and has always been a two trip activity. The journey starts in Stans on wooden funicular wagons which take you 1/3 of the way up the mountain. Then you transfer to the impressive and the world’s first  “CabriO” double deck open top cable car which transports you to the summit at 1898m. Travelling on the CabriO is a unique experience, being outside in the fresh mountain air until you reach the top where a revolving restaurant awaits you and some marmots, not to mention the stunning views.
Last but not least is Mount Titlis which is the tallest of the mountains at 3238m. It`s a 45min train or drive from Luzern. One reaches the top by 2 cables cars, the second one being the first rotating cable car in the world which travels over the glacier. Here you can visit an illuminated glacier cave from an entrance within the cable-car station, which also includes shops and restaurants. Also at the top enjoy the Ice flyer and the Cliff walk as well as the breath-taking views. The summit of Titlis is located above the snow line, thus it has a cold, snowy climate with permanent snow cover and freezing temperatures.
All 4 of these majestical mountains will no doubt provide visitors with a fantastic day out in the fresh mountain air. Add some stunning views, some impressive engineering and some delicious food, then your Luzern mountain experience is complete. It’s very difficult to choose one, so my summary is if you want snow, it`s Titlis, if you want walks, It`s Rigi, if you want activities, it`s Pilatus and if you want engineering it`s Stanserhorn. If you want a great day out, it`s all of them.
If you fancy a trip up any of these mountains, please contact Chris at Typically Swiss Tours. We can provide you driving and guiding tours to most of the top destinations in Switzerland. Please call +41 79 286 0451 or write to [email protected]
[su_row][su_column size=”2/3″ center=”no” class=””]Chocolate is loved by millions of people around the world and for several reasons, the main one of course, is because of its unique, rich and sweet taste. You can buy it in all the countries of the world and it is relatively cheap. No wonder Chocolate consumption continues to grow year after year. In 2019, total world consumption reached 7.7 million metric tons (an enormous sum). Of this figure, Switzerland not only accounts for a large percentage of the production of chocolate, but—and perhaps and not surprisingly—is the biggest consumer of chocolate per capita in the world eating 9 kilos of chocolate every year.
Today, we’ll learn a brief history of chocolate and focus on its development in Switzerland and why chocolate is synonymous with Switzerland. I will analyse the latest data about whether chocolate is good for you and lastly I will take you on a whistle stop tour of 4 chocolate factories which are open to the public and where you can indulge in this delicious treat.
The origin of chocolate goes back 4,000 years to Mexico where the first cacao plants were found. The Olmecs, one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, were the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They drank their chocolate during rituals and used it as medicine. Centuries later, the Mayans praised chocolate as the drink of the gods.
Mayan chocolate was a revered brew made of roasted and ground cacao seeds mixed with chillies, water and cornmeal. Mayans poured this mixture from one pot to another, creating a thick foamy beverage called “xocolatl”, meaning “bitter water.”
By the 15th century, the Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. They believed that chocolate was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, and drank it as a refreshing beverage, an aphrodisiac, and even to prepare for war.
Chocolate reaches Spain
No one knows for sure when chocolate came to Spain. Legend has it that explorer Hernán Cortés brought chocolate to his homeland in 1528. Cortés was believed to have discovered chocolate during an expedition to the Americas. In search of gold and riches, he instead found a cup of cocoa given to him by the Aztec emperor. So this is how chocolate came to Europe and later in this article, I will inform you about how Switzerland became so important in the development of chocolate as we know today.
First though, some facts about chocolate and our health. Here are some well known facts:
Chocolate consumption has long been associated with conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
Chocolate is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants.
Some studies have suggested chocolate could lower cholesterol levels prevent memory decline.
Chocolate contains a large number of calories.
People who are seeking to lose or maintain weight should eat chocolate only in moderation.
Recent research suggests that chocolate may have some health benefits which go against the traditional view that chocolate is bad for you. The main reason chocolate receives this bad press is because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes.
However, there is a growing amount of evidence showing that cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate contains biologically active phenolic compounds (antioxidants) which may have a range of health benefits such as
lowering cholesterol levels
preventing cognitive decline
reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems
One element that is widely recognised is the higher the cocoa content the more health benefits there are, so dark chocolate clearly is the healthy option if there is one and one must also take into account the other “less healthy” ingredients, such as sugar and fat.
Why Switzerland and chocolate are synonymous with each other
So why do Switzerland and chocolate go together like hand-in-glove? Well there is no major reason apart from a group of Swiss chocolate pioneers starting in the 17th Century started to “play with” and process chocolate which at that time did not resemble the chocolate we enjoy today. Only in the 1800s did we see the first significant improvement in chocolate production, starting with the first mechanised chocolate factory in Vevey by François-Louis Cailler who had worked as an apprentice with Italian chocolatiers in Ticino. Cailler’s machinery began churning out the first mass-produced Swiss chocolate.
Then came Rodolphe Lindt based in Bern merging with the Sprungli family in 1892 which is the basis of the modern day Lindt brand we see today. Lindt was responsible for creating the conching method which gives chocolate its creamy smooth texture and Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé added milk powder to produce milk chocolate. In 1908, Tobler produced his famous triangular shape Toblerone bar with nougat, almonds and honey and in the 1930s Nestle launched its white chocolate milky bar.
So those are the main elements in the history of why Switzerland and chocolate have a long history. To give you an idea of just how big this industry is – the Annual revenues of chocolate production in Switzerland are about 1.5 billion Swiss francs (about $1.5 billion) and the Swiss produce about 180,000 tons of chocolate per year.
4 of the most well-known chocolate factories to visit in Switzerland.
So where does all this chocolate making take place and can you see it all happening? The good news is that there are over a dozen such places in Switzerland where you can visit and see how chocolate is made and naturally sample and buy as much chocolate as you can afford!! Here are some of the best places I know personally and take my guests there as well.
So here are 4 of the most well-known chocolate places to visit in Switzerland. There are over 10 other chocolate places located all over Switzerland such as Alpenrose in Lugano, Laderach in Bilton, Chocolat Frey in Buchs and Camille Bloch in Courtelary.
There is a relatively inexpensive entry fee for all the places listed and all are well worth a visit whether you are a chocolate lover or not. I am sure that after a trip to one of these chocolate-filled places, you will agree that Switzerland produces the best chocolate mainly because you might just have sampled more than you should have
This small family run chocolate factory prides itself on producing fresh chocolate for large and small companies as well as its own brand. A large production facility and a mouth-watering café, there is Choco world which gives visitors an insight into the world of chocolate, the history and just about everything you need to know about it. It is customary at all these tasty places, there are plenty of sampling stations including 3 chocolate fountains – delicious !!
This massive facility opened on September 13th this year and will boost a multi-media and interactive exhibition, a research facility and show production. Furthermore, the world’s largest Lindt chocolate shop, a Lindt café and a Lindt Chocolateria for chocolate courses. A special highlight, however, is the world’s largest chocolate fountain in the entrance area which is more than 9 metres tall.
Explore the story of our chocolate through a series of interactive, multi-sensorial experiences, and maybe uncover a few secrets along the way.
Our unique museum tour of about one hour leads you through the history of chocolate, from Aztec cocoa ceremonies to the innovations of today. Discover how we use exquisite cocoa beans and high-quality ingredients to make the finest chocolate creations, and indulge your palate with an amazing variety of flavours during a chocolate tasting.
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Maestrani Chocolate – Flawil
Discover the chocolate factory independently and solve the secret of how happiness gets into chocolate. Enjoy a sweet journey through the fantastic world of discovery. Product sampling included!
So there you go, 4 of the most mouth-watering and delicious chocolate experiences in Switzerland. If any one of them has whet your appetite to visit, check out our Chocolate, Cheese & Drinks tour for more information.
During the Corona crises, I have been trying to think of new ways to attract customers. One of the ideas I have had is to add a wine experience to the Cheese and Chocolate Tour. Therefore, I have been learning about Swiss Wine, a very interesting subject and certainly an experience that guests will enjoy.
So the question is why is Swiss wine an enigma and seemingly not very popular outside of Switzerland? Many people do not even know that wine is produced here. However, I can confirm that many good quality wines are produced here in several regions and over the past 20 years Swiss winemaking has come a long way with a focus on quality as new grapes were introduced and older varieties resurrected. Swiss winemakers took off to the USA, Australia and New Zealand to learn winemaking techniques and bring their skills back to Switzerland to cater for a growing market of wine drinkers both here and from abroad.
So today there are approximately 15,000 hectares of vineyards in Switzerland across several Kantons in Switzerland. 58% is red wine and 42% white with Pinot Noir and Chaesselas the 2 most common varieties.
Switzerland’s Six Wine Regions
Valais (33% of total wine volume produced) In the heart of the Alps, with vineyards extending over 100km along the Rhône river.
Vaud (25%) Predominantly along the shores of Lake Geneva, with some vineyards at the southwestern end of Lake Neuchâtel.
German-speaking region (19%) Widely scattered across 17 German-speaking cantons from Basel and Aargau in the northwest via Zurich, Schaafhausen and Thurgau, to St Gallen and Graubünden in the east.
Geneva (10%) In the foothills of the sub-Alpine Jura mountains and both banks of the Rhône as it leaves the western end of Lake Geneva.
Ticino (7%) On the southern side of the Alps close to the Italian border, with abundant sunshine tempered by lake-effect rain from its proximity to Lakes Lugano and Maggiore.
Three Lakes (5%) Mostly on the slopes of the Jura along the northern banks of Lake Neuchâtel, with the balance on the equivalent shores of nearby Lakes Biel/Bienne and Murten/Morat.
I have picked out a couple of regions and winemakers that Typically Swiss Tours has met and will be taking customers to should they wish to visit a Swiss Vineyard to possibly complement a visit to a chocolate factory and/or a cheese dairy.
I have chosen the Kaiserspan vineyards at Hitzkirch, 25 mins outside of Luzern. Here, Andreas and Edith carefully turn Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling Silvaner into delicious red, white and rosé wines. Not far away on the banks of Lake Luzern with superb views Tony Ottiger produces the same varieties and Sauvignon Blanc and Rosenau as well. I envisage a day up Mt Pilatus, followed by a stroll round Luzern followed by a mid to late afternoon vineyard visit to be a lovely day.
Likewise, in the Lavaux region, Typically Swiss Tours has teamed up with La Crausaz vineyard which is situated on the south facing hills above Lake Leman, near Montreux. This perfectly located vineyard produces Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir amongst many selections. A trip here would complement a day in Montreux or even better round of a perfect culinary trip to Cailler chocolate and Gruyere cheese, located 30 mins away.
All three vineyards offer an introduction as to how the wines are produced, a small tour around the vineyard and a sampling of some selected wines and perhaps some lunch if ordered in advance. Naturally, there will be an opportunity to purchase a couple of bottles to sample later or take back as souvenirs. I have personally visited all 3 places and can confirm that this experience is not one to be missed. The views across the vineyards with lakes and mountains provide a perfect backdrop for a wonderful Swiss wine tasting experience. And why do this …….
Well, Swiss wines are becoming more popular year on year. The Swiss say themselves they cannot produce enough for their home market, never mind the foreign one and consequently only 1.5% of production is exported. A trip to a vineyard will certainly open up your eyes to the quality and increasing appeal of Swiss Wines.
One thing is for certain, a trip to a Swiss Vineyard will not disappoint and certainly add value to any culinary trip here in Switzerland.
Term and Condition
Booking instructions and conditions:
Typically Swiss Tours welcomes any adult on all experiences. Accompanying children are also welcome on our tours however, they must be accompanied and supervised at all times by an adult other than a Typically Swiss Tours guide.
Travel Insurance is NOT included in the cost of your booking. We strongly recommend that you purchase an appropriate level of travel insurance to provide you with coverage for any financial loss incurred as a result of cancellation of your booking due to unforeseen circumstances. We also recommend that you consider insurance to cover costs incurred by you for any medical expenses resulting from injury or illness, medical or ambulance transportation, damage to or loss of baggage, loss or theft of valuables (including phones and cameras) and for delays and/or interruptions to your travel plans.
Health & Safety
By placing a booking with Typically Swiss Tours, you agree to the following
• I and my travel companions are solely responsible for our health and safety.
• I acknowledge that I and my travel companions are physically capable of participating in and completing the activities and I/we understand that some activities may involve a level of physical exertion to participate.
• I acknowledge that, by informing Typically Swiss Tours of any medical concerns in advance of my booked tour, it may be possible to adapt the activities to ensure my/our continued health and safety.
• I also acknowledge that if I do not advise or discuss with Typically Swiss Tours at the time of booking or prior to departure about any medical or physical conditions that I or my travel companions have, that I/we may need to forego participation in some of the planned activities unless a suitable alternative activity can be arranged during the tour.
Under no circumstances can Typically Swiss Tours be held responsible for poor weather conditions. Tours will proceed with adaptations to suit the conditions. With sufficient notice we can assist you by amending your booking, however our standard amendments and cancellation policy will remain.
• Payments are accepted in Swiss Francs.
• Bookings are not confirmed without payment of the required deposit as below.
• Non-payment of any amounts when due, risks cancellation of your booking without any refund of prior payments made. Notification of this action will be sent to the email address provided.
Deposit and Final Payment
• Day tours
• A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking when booked 30+ days prior to the date of tour.
• Full payment of the balance is due 30 days prior to the date of tour. In some cases, cash will be accepted on the day.
• If booked within 30 days of the date booked, full payment is required at the time of booking.
• Multi-day tours.
• A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking.
• Full payment of the balance is due 30 days prior to the date of departure.
• For bookings placed 30 or less days before departure date, full payment is required at the time of booking.
Booking Amendments and Cancellation – COVID update included
We recognise that due to the pandemic, our policies need to reflect this. We are happy to answer any questions you may have on this subject on [email protected] or 0041 79 286 0451
We understand that you may need to make changes to your travel plans, possibly at short notice. We ask you to contact us to discuss your circumstances with us, allowing us to assist in whatever way we can.
There is no additional charge to amend your booking (e.g. change of date), if and when available. However we ask you to advise us of any intended change with as much notice as possible. It’s important to be aware that some fees or additional costs may result from amendment to the itinerary planned. You will be informed of any such additional costs when known.
Before cancelling your booking, we encourage you to contact us to discuss before doing so, because alternative options may be available (such as rescheduling or voucher for future use).
If you need to cancel your booking, you must provide written notification outlining your reasons for cancellation to [email protected]. The date received in our inbox will be the effective date of cancellation, unless your intention to cancel has been previously communicated to us. Upon receipt of your fully completed form and supporting documentation, we will process your cancellation request and issue a refund (if applicable) as soon as practicable. If cancellation falls within our terms of cancellation, Typically Swiss Tours management always uses fair and reasonable discretion on a case by case basis. These are the Typically Swiss Tours cancellation conditions.
As a general rule the following conditions apply
Before 30 days prior 90% refund of cost of tour.
Before 21 days prior of the tour date 50 % refund of cost of tour.
21 days and less, no refund.
In case of accident or sickness, the customer has to provide a medical certificate to prove why the tour must be cancelled. With a medical certificate, 90% of the tour fee will be refunded.
If Typically Swiss Tours needs to cancel your tour, all payments made by you to Typically Swiss Tours for that tour will be refunded in full.
If the customer doesn’t show up at the agreed time, TST is not responsible if the customer misses the tour. However, TST will be entitled to charge the full amount of the booked tour.
There is no additional charge to amend your booking (e.g. change of date), however we ask you to advise us of any intended change with as much notice as possible. It’s important to be aware that some fees or additional costs may result from amendment to the itinerary planned. You will be informed of any such additional costs when known. Cancellations
Before cancelling your booking, we encourage you to contact us to discuss before doing so, because alternative options may be available (such as rescheduling or voucher for future use).
If you need to cancel your booking, you must provide written notification outlining your reasons for cancellation to [email protected]. The date received in our inbox will be the effective date of cancellation, unless your intention to cancel has been previously communicated to us. Upon receipt of your fully completed form and supporting documentation, we will process your cancellation request and issue a refund (if applicable) as soon as practicable. If cancellation falls within our terms of cancellation, Typically Swiss Tours management always uses fair and reasonable discretion on a case by case basis.
If Typically Swiss Tours needs to cancel your tour, tuition session or retreat due to unforeseen circumstances, and alternative arrangements cannot be made, all payments made by you to Typically Swiss Tours for that tour, will be refunded.
If the customer doesn’t show up at the agreed time, TST is not responsible if the customer misses the tour. However, TST will be entitled to charge the full amount of the booked tour.
Applicable Law/Court of Jurisdiction:
All legal relationships between the participant and TST are subject to Swiss law. Bern, Switzerland, has been agreed upon as the place of exclusive jurisdiction.
What information do we collect about you?
We collect information about you when you register with us or place an order for products or services. We also collect information when you voluntary complete customer surveys, provide feedback and compete in competitions. Website usage information is collected using cookies.
How will we use the information about you?
We collect information about you to process your order, manage your account and, if you agree, to email you about other products and services we think may be of interest to you. We use your information collected form our website to personalise your repeat visits to our website.
Typically Swiss Tours will not share your information for marketing purposes with other companies.
We would like to send you information about our products and services and other companies in our group which may be of interest to you. If you have consented to receive marketing, you may opt out at a later date. You have the right at any time to stop us from contacting you for marketing purposes. If you no longer wish to be contacted for marketing purposes, please email us at [email protected] and we will take you off our mailing list.
Access to your information and corrections
You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please write to us at the following address:-
• [email protected]
• Stirnrüti Strasse 64, 6048 Horw, Switzerland
We may make a small charge for this service. We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate.
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How to contact us
By Email : [email protected]
By telephone: 0041 79 286 0451
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