You should consider a summer holiday in the Swiss

Beach holidays in the Med have always been popular but holiday makers that ignore the Swiss Alps are missing a trick.
Not only is it the same sun that shines on the Mediterranean beaches as on the Swiss Alps but, instead of trash, crowds, traffic and hazzle, there is the stark contrast of the silence, space and relaxation of Europe’s highest mountains.


What I liked about Zermatt is its authenticity. It’s still a working community with the men in short woollen trousers and the women in long thick dresses of dark red wool. It’s not solely a tourist resort.

There are parades and festivals, singing and yodelling, squeezeboxes and zithers. These days this German-speaking town has a Portuguese community that’s 3000 strong alongside the original Zermatters (2000) and other foreigners (1000).
At the main church there’s mass at 10 for the Germans, at 4 for the Italians and at 5 for the Portuguese. This progressive harmony is similarly evident in the lack of rubbish and graffiti. There are no cars, only electric taxis and the electricity is all powered by local water.
The summer season, from mid-June to the end of September, is a third less busy than its December to April winter counterpart. It took me a bit of time to adapt to the altitude but twenty yawns later and I was ready to explore. It’s all about early rising. And for the goats too who come directly through the village at 9am.

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