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More beautiful country than Switzerland

Hi,
I visited Switzerland (Jungfrau area) and loved this country due to beautiful Alps, majestic mountains and train system.
I am planning to visit to go somewhere in May, 2019 with 2 kids and want to book airline and hotels. Which country is more beautiful than Switzerland or has nearly equal.
Thanks

Posted by
703 posts

last year we toured switzerland ( lauterbrunnen area etc) , also ramsau am dachstein, ramsau bei berchtesgaden, and alta badia italy ( dolomites) - we have previously been to the french alps eg: chamonix
we had a car, so getting around was no problem.

after spending many weeks in these areas , over previous trips, we never cease to be impressed with alp areas, and they all offer similar experiences. the BIG difference is price. on all of our trips we have found switzerland 'punishingly' expensive compared to other areas.
we were in the dolimites in may and it was so quiet ( no tourists) , as it is between seasons.( only some cable cars etc working) but the scenery was spectacular!!! easily rivals jungfrau area.
the other area that we very much enjoyed was surrounding the der dachstein , we stayed in ramsau, but there are other quaint villages nearby.
do a search in the tab at the top for previous posts.

Btw, New Zealand is like a 'compressed' europe ( scenery wise) but without the crowds.
hope this helps.

Posted by
16165 posts

Switzerland is a very expensive country, but as I said to a Swiss friend, "They are not making any more Switzerlands, so I guess we just have to pay up." The beauty of the mountains and dense transport infrastructure is unmatched.

But I will give a shout out to the Dolomites in Italy, especially Val Gardena. It is buses, not trains, to get around on, but scenery is amazing and the prices, compared to Switzerland, are a bargain.

Posted by
12351 posts

I can't say anyplace is more beautiful, but there are some that are equal. The Dolomites of Italy are spectacular and at times other-worldly, especially at sunset. The hiking, views, hospitality, and food are all wonderful, and less expensive than Switzerland.

Other beautiful mountains can be found in Alaska, Canada, and California ( the Sierras), but we were not thrilled with the mountains of New Zealand. Actually the most beautiful mountain scenery I Ave seen was in Patagonia, but that is a long way away, and one must hike many miles for the best scenery.

Posted by
6570 posts

Try the Grossglockner High Alpine Highway, south of Zell-am-See, Austria. The view from the south side of The Alps there is breathtaking. We find Austria so much cheaper and easier to travel through than Switzerland.

Otherwise, the island of Kauai in Hawaii has 10,000 ft. mountains rising straight up out of the Pacific.

Posted by
1586 posts

Consider the Jasper / Banff area of Canada or the fjord country in Norway.

Posted by
3107 posts

Another vote for the Dolomites , I would not be tempted to define this as more beautiful than Switzerland , simply different , an equally sublime beauty . Writing from Bolzano .

Posted by
2515 posts

If you want large mountains of the same broad type as Switzerland then other Alpine countries, or North America in the Glacier National Park (USA) - Banff - Jasper (Canada) area.

If you want natural beauty but not necessarily Alpine mountains, then Iceland. It's just an amazing country full of waterfalls, hills, rocky coastlines, glaciers...

Posted by
43 posts

Is Jasper / Banff area of Canada is good and worth to visit because I didn't heard about this area. Actually I love any scenic places. I also visited the Paris but it was "just OK" for me but I liked Switzerland due to best unforgettable scenic views.

Posted by
12594 posts

Aren't you located either in or near Toronto? If so, Banff/Jasper would be a no-brainer: fly to Calgary or Vancouver and rent a car.

https://www.banfflakelouise.com/trip-planning/getting-here

Is Jasper / Banff area of Canada is good and worth to visit

Google up some pictures.
Editing to add: your question was probably better posted in the "Beyond Europe" or "General Europe" forum as it's not really about Switzerland.

Posted by
3319 posts

There is really nowhere that compares to the mountains of Switzerland in quite the same way...they are so massively huge. There are other places though that do have beauty to rival them.
The central fjords, mountains, and islands of Norway are spectacular.
The Dolomites in Italy are the affordable version of Switzerland!
Iceland has vast expanses and dramatic scenery that is just as breathtaking as Switzerland.
The mountain ranges in Patagonia are also worth seeing.

Posted by
31303 posts

I'm not sure there are countries "more beautiful" than Switzerland, but there are certainly some that are equally as beautiful in Europe (IMO). Here are a few you could consider.....

  • The Dolomites (Italy) and Alpi di Siusi - as others have suggested there are some incredibly scenic places there - https://goo.gl/images/2d3rNC . It has a similar appearance to Switzerland and German is commonly spoken.
  • Hallstatt and the Salzkammergut (Austria) - the village of Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in Europe. It also has a similar appearance to Switzerland and again German is spoken - https://goo.gl/images/JNkJ2s .
  • Chamonix & Mont Blanc area - this is very close to Switzerland in the south east part of France, and shares some of the same features - https://goo.gl/images/xR3JBp & https://goo.gl/images/WDvxLd .

If you're looking for places outside of Europe, you could have a look at......

Good luck with your search!

Posted by
2 posts

I've been to almost all of the places mentioned, and while many areas have spectacular mountains, what makes Switzerland unique (in the world, in my experience) is the easy access to amazing views via the myriad cable cars/trains, etc (which in part is what you're paying those exhorbitant prices for). It seems there is almost no mountain area that you have easy access to (including a restaurant and berghotel) - because of this access we fully expect to be able to hike in Swiss Alps well into our 70's - this is also a factor if you're taking kids along. The downside of that access is that you don't really have much "wilderness" left (and the wildlife that goes with it) like you do in the American and Canadian West. So as much as we love the Swiss Alps (and hope to be back many times), we still are drawn to the American and Canadian West while we're still able to complete longer, more strenuous hikes (and enjoy the search for moose, bear, elk, eagles, etc.)

Posted by
31303 posts

For an interesting perspective on the beauty of Switzerland in comparison to British Columbia, I recently spoke with a Swiss couple in Bella Coola, B.C. They come to B.C. several times a year and stay in a remote location about an hours boat ride from the town. At their "wilderness home", there's no electricity, running water or plumbing, no communications etc. and at least a two hour return ride to get provisions. They love this lifestyle and prefer "roughing it" rather than having all the amenities that most of us take for granted in the modern world (that would NOT work for me!).

This will provide some idea of the scenery - https://goo.gl/images/YkvvB1 and the town - https://goo.gl/images/GX1uMN .

Posted by
2023 posts

Norway comes very close to being a rival of Switzerland-incredible scenery.

Posted by
1724 posts

As many have already said:

Jasper/Banff/Assinboine/Glacier ; all near Calgary, Canada
Italian Dolomites
Norway (Lofoten/Senja which are both quite far north)

I would say each of the above 3 are even more dramatic scenery than Switzerland but none have as good public transportation.
Don't know enough about Patagonia, New Zealand or Nepal but those are others that many bring to similar conversations.

Posted by
3554 posts

Just a little FYI.

Many, if not most, of the mountainous areas of the northern hemisphere could be at least partially inaccessible due to snow in May. Be sure to thoroughly research the average weather conditions for any location you are seriously considering.

Posted by
1724 posts

Good point Lo, I missed the time of year. Forget about the Canada areas mentioned for May.
Most any mountain area you are taking a chance with a May trip.

Posted by
703 posts

in three trips to the european alp areas , all in may, we have been able to drive around and tour the mountains, hike, catch cable cars etc. each time we have been concerned about there being too much snow, but it has not created any problem. just the reverse, there has been just enough to enjoy seeing it ( on the sides of roads etc) at higher altitudes.
early May could be different however, depends on the season/year.
hope this helps.

Posted by
1724 posts

Glenn,
Also depends on what type of walks/hikes you enjoy.

In May in the European Alps in many locations one may find it beautiful from the village to see the snow at the higher altitudes and the lifts still operating.
But if one wanted to do a walk/hike at one of the more scenic higher altitude trails those would be extremely dangerous at that time of year without proper equipment (more than most tourists are prepared for and depending on the children could be unsafe for kids) ; on routes that are a relative easy walk/hike in the summer months.

Either way for a May trip much needs to be considered other than beauty of the destination.

Posted by
12594 posts

Oops, I missed the May thing too.

So, does it have to have mountains to be beautiful? Does it have to be Europe? And is traveling by public transit a necessity (previous mention of loving the trains)? For some drop-dead scenery, I'd try the American Southwest in May: do a park trip of Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches & Canyonlands. Or a selection of those. Rental car is a necessity as are advance reservations. We've taken umpty trips to that region and never get tired of the scenery.

Kenny, are you based in or near Toronto, as a previous post implies? And as May is an unusual month to travel with children unless they're not school-aged, it might also be helpful to know how young they are? What does you family like to do on your trips, as far as sightseeing?