As sun-drenched days become a distant memory, autumn brings fresh, colourful delights to Switzerland. Golden rays of light wash over the striking reds, burnt oranges and earthy browns of the changing trees, while the breathtaking Alps will have you convinced you’re in a real life fairytale.
As well as the magical scenery, Switzerland is brimming with unique culture, festivals, food, drink, hospitality, and history at this time of the year.
Head to a fair
The Basel Autumn Fair takes place between October 29th and November 13th this year. It’s the oldest and largest amusement fair in Switzerland – and is not to be missed. With a history dating back more than 540 years, the dazzling celebration is a huge part of Basel’s heritage.
From the enormous ferris wheel in Münsterplatz to wonderful handmade goods at Petersplatz – there’s something for everyone. Foodies will especially love sampling everything from roasted chestnuts to traditional Basler Läckerli.
As well as the thrill of the fair, Basel has a treasure trove of history and culture to explore. If you’re staying for the weekend, be sure to book up at the luxurious Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. Sitting on the Rhine itself, the 300-year-old grand hotel is the perfect place to relax, dine, and be pampered this autumn.
Hear the cow bells
Autumn is definitely the season the cows come home – and they certainly do it in style. Swiss cows return from high pasture to their valley homes, many wearing fancy bells around their neck and pretty floral bonnets on their horns.
One of the most beautiful places to hear the cow bells is the Bernese Oberland Alps. With a hub of sparkling lakes, charming villages, and dreamy medieval towns – it’s quintessential Switzerland at its finest.
The centre of this region, particularly around Lake Thun, is considered the Earth’s spiritual energy centre. Rejuvenate in absolute luxury by booking a night at Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz, located on the azure waters of an artificial lake in the region. From the roaring fireplace lounge to the seductive wine cellar, this centuries-old hotel offers an unforgettable stay.
Come for the cheese
There’s one thing that’s on everyone’s minds at this time of year in Switzerland – cheese. Cow herders make cheese throughout the summer up in Alpine chalets – come autumn, there are hundreds of different varieties of Swiss cheese from every region.
Cheese festivals are big events, where cheese from the dairies is distributed among farmers. There’s music, colourful cattle and parties galore – all to be savoured while breathing in the crisp mountain air.
A great place to get a taste of Swiss cheese is in Bern – which even has its own Full Moon Fondue event. Savour the delicacy beneath the bright night’s sky before retiring to 17th century manor house Hotel Baseltor in Solothurn’s Old Town. Just over a 30-minute drive away, this historic gem’s 15 rooms are pristinely decorated with design furniture and modern bathrooms and homemade delicacies, fresh from the market, are served from the hotel restaurant.