With its central location, not to mention the royal seal of approval, Switzerland is one of the most popular ski destinations in Europe. The busiest ski resorts include Grindelwald, Gstaad/Saanenland, Murren, Verbier, Zermatt, Arosa, Davos, Klosters and St Moritz.
Switzerland has more than 1500 lakes and it is said that you are never more than 10 miles from a lake anywhere in the country.
The country’s diverse landscape ranges from 643 feet above sea level in Ascona (the Ticino region), where the climate in the Mediterranean is 15,199 feet above sea level in Dufour Park. These locations are just 43 miles apart.
Peace and Neutrality
Peace-loving Switzerland has not been in a war since 1515 and generally-speaking there is a low rate of serious crime in Switzerland compared to other European countries.
Does chocolate constitute as a foodstuff? It does when it’s Swiss-made and goes by the name of Nestle, Cailler, Lindt or Toblerone.
Coupe Chalet is another treat to try if you’ve got a sweet tooth. This delicious dessert is made with vanilla ice cream, meringues and vin cuit (a blend of wine and fruit juice) and topped with Gruyere crème.
The fat fest doesn’t end there. Gooey cheese and richly flavoured beef fondues are much loved by locals and visitors to Switzerland. A word of warning – according to local tradition, if your piece of bread falls into the fondue pot, you’re expected to pay for the meal.
The Land of Heidi
The story of Heidi was written by Swiss author Johanna Spyri over 100 years ago. The Alpine tale has been translated into 50 languages from its original German version and has appeared in a number of film adaptations.
Heidiland is one of Switzerland’s main tourist areas, named after the Heidi books.
Yodeling has been used in Alpine folk music as a method of communication between herders and their animals since medieval times.
Switzerland is not only famous for exclusive, luxury brands such as Rolex, Mont Blanc and Cartier, it is also known for being the home of the world’s biggest selling plastic watch, The Swatch.
Around 60% of Switzerland’s electricity is made from hydroelectric power. Up to 63,577 km of walking paths criss-cross the country.
An Oasis of Tranquility
Switzerland has long provided a peaceful bolt-hole for jaded rockstars, actors and sporting personalities. Tina Turner, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Roger Moore and Michael Schumacher have all set up homes here.
1. Istanbul: A One of a Kind City
Istanbul, with its magnificent Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar is the only city in the world built on two continents – Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus River divides the two continents, joining the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. So…Asia or Europe – you decide!
There are around 9000 different species of flowers in Turkey and 453 different species of birds. Legend has it that it was the Turkish who introduced tulips to the Netherlands originally.
While huge shopping malls and carbon-copy high streets invade western Europe, the market culture is alive and well in Turkey. Istanbul is home to the Grand Bazaar, a 540-year-old market that hosts 64 streets, 4000 shops/stalls and 25000 workers. A visit to the Bazaar is a must and it is the perfect place to pick up spices, leather goods and woven rugs.
Turkish delight (lokum) is just one of the culinary treats awaiting you. Other flavoursome dishes include kebaps (skewered meats), Doner (spiced meat skewered on a spit), Kofte (a type of meatballs) and Manti, (dumplings). Sweet fruit teas such as apple tea and strong coffees are popular too.
5. Aegean Coastline
The colour turquoise comes from the French word for Turkish and is said to be inspired by the colour of the Aegean Sea. But the shimmering waters of the Aegean are just one reason for tourism along Turkey’s south-western coastline.
The cosmopolitan resort of Bodrum is the tourism hub of this region. Travellers flock here from all over the world to soak up the Mediterranean climate, the sandy beaches and the lively nightlife.
6. Ancient Sites
Troy, the legendary city of Homer and site of the Trojan war is located along the Aegean coast, as is Ephesus which is regarded as one of the most impressive cities of the ancient world. In Eastern Turkey lies Mount Ararat, said to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark after the great flood.
7. Natural Wonders
Turkey has more than its fair share of stunning geological wonders. The fantastically named Pamukalle (translation – cotton castle) and Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia are just two amazing examples.
8. It’s Cheap!
Turkey consistently finishes first in surveys of Europe’s cheapest holiday destinations – perfect if you’re looking for an affordable, last-minute dose of sun, sand and sea.
9. Friendly Welcomes
Turkish people are renowned for their friendly hospitality and live by the philosophy that a ‘stranger on the doorstep is a gift from God.’
Welcome to Ski Ambience!