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Perhaps it’s time you visited Switzerland if your only impressions of the country are of watches, Swiss cheese with holes, and bankers. If you’re having trouble seeing why you should, we’ll try to address a few of the most common concerns.

Switzerland is not merely a place to go snowboarding or downhill skiing. They produce some of the finest chocolate in the world; that much is certain. Which, without further thought, is likely reason enough to hop on a plane and head in that direction. Is there anything to do except ski or places to go besides chocolate factories? The answer is yes.

After reading about these incredible Swiss destinations, you’ll book your plane trip immediately.

1. The Valle Verzasca Bridge (Ponte Dei Salti)

Ponte Dei Salti, Switzerland

Is there anything fascinating about a bridge that dates back more than 400 years and was built during the Middle Ages? Unless, of course, you mean the Ponte Dei Salti Bridge in Switzerland’s Valle Verzasca. Jump is what Salti translates as in English. Do you find yourself more intrigued by the prospect?

Not only is it possible to jump over the bridge into the pristine waters below, but it also offers amazing picture ops because of the distinctive design of the twin arches and the nearby magnificent rock formations of Valle Verzasca. Without a bungee cord, even the ten-meter plunge is an adrenaline rush.

2. The Castle of Gruyères, Gruyères

The Castle of Gruyeres, Switzerland

Gruyères Castle in Gruyères, Switzerland, is the place to go if you’ve ever wanted to imagine you’re a knight in shining armor or a damsel in distress while parading on the castle’s walls. The history of this almost 800-year-old building is enough to make your blood run cold, even though it looks like it was plucked right out of a fairy tale.

As you wander the castle’s interior, you’ll find a display of mummified hands that will give you the willies. True, but no one knows who it belonged to or what happened to the rest of the body. Think about it when you go out onto the battlements to take in the breathtaking panorama of the surrounding mountains; if you get a scent of cheese, it’s not your imagination. Some of the best examples of this cheese may be found in Gruyères.

3. Kandersteg's Oeschinen Lake

Kandersteg's Oeschinen Lake, Switzerland

To put someone in their place, suggest they trek around Switzerland’s Oeschinen Lake. Pine-covered shoreline of this vast body of water provides the cleanest air and the most picturesque setting for a stroll or picnic.

Does it seem too slow and boring for your tastes? Not happening. At an elevation of 1,500 meters or more, this alpine site is popular for cross-country skiing when snow covers the ground. Experience the longest, scariest slide of your life on the toboggan run after a dizzying cable car ride to the top.

4. Geneva's famous "Jet d'Eau."

Jet d'Eau, Switzerland
Even the finest among us probably know someone who can out-spout the Jet d’Eau fountain spout in Geneva, Switzerland. This super water cannon soars through the air for an incredible 140 meters. That’s as tall as 32 double-decker buses piled on each other. It’s not your typical shower flow; it utilizes almost 500 liters of water every second to achieve that incredible height.

5. The Grand Canyon of Switzerland, known as Ruinaulta

Ruinaulta, Switzerland

If you’ve ever wanted to pan for gold as the early settlers did, you may assume you must go to the United States. Er, incorrect. You may even do this in Switzerland, the world’s wealthiest nation, and retain all your money from this endeavor.

No matter what you call it, the rough terrain of the Ruinaulta, Rhine Gorge, or Switzerland’s Grand Canyon will appeal to your explorer’s spirit. You may hike into the gorge, try white water rafting on the rushing Rhine or prospect for gold in the river’s shallows. You will feel like a true explorer no matter what you do while you’re there.

When to go: April through September, unless you enjoy your landscapes blanketed in snow and don’t mind subzero temps.

6. Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm, Switzerland

If the Harder Kulm in Switzerland is on your itinerary, you had better have a strong stomach for heights. We won’t beat around the bush: reading about this area will make you dizzy, so you may want to skip this number.

If you have the nerve, ride the cable car for more than a kilometer to the top of the mountain, where you may walk out onto a footbridge and gaze over the lakes of Brienz and Thun far below you and the famed Eiger, which towers over them all. The high altitude will blow your head.

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