10 Best Rated Alps Villages to Visit
Enclosed in this article is the list of best Alps Villages that one must visit to cherish picturesque beauty and a unique climate.
No doubt that all of the villages are picture-perfect, rich with natural attractions, a wealth of culture, and the center of adventurous sports- some villages happen to be more so than others. For that reason, we have picked the best of the best to guide you for a perfect Alps getaway.
If you travel to search for a pastoral paradise, plan your trip to Europe and head up to the mountains. There you will find a massive swath housing quaint towns and uber-chic cities hugging the floors of rugged mountains, nestled with emerald Alpine lakes and rivers, and historic architecture riches, featuring a radiant charm and matchless hospitality. You will be never disappointed by the Swiss warmth, out-of-the-world facilities, and welcoming services.
The Alps villages and the glorious mountain range does not only equip staggering panoramic views but also provide a chance to participate in numerous outdoor adventures. In summers, these areas pull hikers and skiers in the winters. It is a fact that Alpine Villages are one great big picture postcard.
So which villages to add to the Alps itinerary? Give a read to our top ten picks and decide!
1. Visit Interlaken, SwitzerlandInterlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken tops the list of best alpine villages as it is the most popular, oldest, and best-known holiday spot for both international visitors and Swiss citizens alike. It stands in the Bernese Highlands along the Aare River on an alluvial plain, sandwiched between Brienz and Thun Lakes. Interlaken features incredible outdoor adventure opportunities, tantalizing Alps views, world-class chocolate options, and so much more.
When you visit Interlaken, do keep your sportsman spirit high as you will be exploring one of the thrill-seeking capitals of the world. Be it skydiving or paragliding, you name any extreme sport and you will find your options in Interlaken.
The spectacular location and the stunning mountain scenery spellbound the tourists, which means that if you aim to remain solidly on your feet during your trip, there is much to explore here. There is a golf course in Unterseen and a swimming pool on the right bank of the Aare, opposite the Kursaal. To add more, there is sailing, tennis, horseback riding, and windsurfing on the lakes.
The best time of year to visit this charming town is summertime, starting from June till September. Summers happen to be pleasant in Interlaken as the temperature stays between 18°C to 20°C (best for walks, climbs, or other outdoor excursions).
If you ask us, plan a three-day Interlaken trip. During this time, you can learn about Swiss culture, and explore the stunning landscapes of the Jungfrau via Europe's highest railway, and the two infamous Alpine lakes.
Here is more that you can do to make the most of your visit.
Explore the St. Beatus caves, Visit the Oberhofen castle, Tackle Whitewater rafting on the Lütschine River, and Find your chocolate fix at the Funky Chocolate Club
Places to stay at Interlaken:
Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage, The Hey Hotel, Hotel Berghof Amaranth
Best restaurants to dine-in at Interlaken:
Ox Restaurant and Grill, Taverne, Balmers Biergarten
Read also: 20 Best Places to Visit in Sicily
2. Visit Lucerne, SwitzerlandLucerne
Out of all the villages in the Swiss Alps, tourists hold Lucerne the most beloved. Why shouldn't any traveler add Lucerne to his bucket list- a spectacular city standing beside Lake Lucerne, featuring a heart-lifting mountainous landscape in the backdrop?
There is a quantity of old-world charm to this place. Also, there are a lot of attractions in this picturesque city that consumes its visitors. You will feel a great connection with the lakes and mountains at Lucerne.
Moreover, you can enjoy activities like paddle steamer cruising or climbing the famous Alpine peaks. Pilatus and Rigi are the favorites among travelers due to their breathtaking views. You can even walk aimlessly around the historic streets of the traffic-free Old Town or explore medieval guild halls featuring frescoes on their facades or wander around the medieval wooden bridges flaunting paintings in their ceiling vaults or scale the infamous defensive towers.
Two or three days are enough to soak in the Lucerne atmosphere and explore the main attractions. The best time to be here is between April and October.
Here is a list of things to do in Lucerne to make the most of your trip
Stroll around the captivating and colorful Old Town
Take beautiful photographs on the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke)
Visit the Jesuit Church
Explore the dying lion Lucerne monument
Enjoy the Bourbaki Museum-home to a museum, art galleries, and a restaurant
The best Lucerne Hotels and Restaurants
Here are some of the Luxury hotels at Lucerne where you can consider checking in.
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern
Hotel des Balances
Art Deco Hotel Montana
The top-performing Lucerne restaurants are
Read also: 27 Top-Rated Landmarks in Hawaii
3. Visit Montreux, SwitzerlandMontreux
Next on the list of villages in the swiss alps that you must add to your Switzerland itinerary is Montreux. Like other Alps villages, this charming French-speaking city is also accentuated with an upscale vibe and majestic views.
This flawless resort town is Nestled amid enormous Alpine peaks on the eastern Lake Geneva shore. Montreux has rightfully earned the title 'the jewel of the Swiss Riviera'. The charms that this enchanting city holds are beyond any comparison.
Fact: Can you name some famous personalities who preferred to frequent this amazing lakeside resort? Let us tell you- It has been a favorite vacay spot of Charlie Chaplin, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley.
The picturesque Lavaux vineyards are located at the foot of Montreux. Given the sporting activities and cultural attractions, Montreux is a great base to spend three days altogether.
If we talk about the weather then April to October are the best months to pick for sightseeing around the lake. However, if you are interested in attending some local events then you can pick June to be a part of Montreux's Jazz Festival or August 1st for Switzerland's National day.
Best things to do and see in Montreux
1. Visit du Château de Chillon
2. Attend the exhibition of Queen: The Studio Experience
3. Feel fresh at the Promenade
4. Follow the lantern trail of Les Pléiades
5. Witness the Montreux Noël
Best hotels in Montreux
1. Alpine Classic Hotel Leysin
2. Hotel du Nord
3. Hotel La Tour d'Ai
Best restaurants in Montreux
1. Le Pont de Brent
2. Funky Claude's Bar
Read also: Most famous Landmarks in Puerto Rico
4. Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt
Located in the Southern corner of Switzerland, nestled at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn- one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, the mountain village of Zermatt is the best village in the Swiss Alps that has much to offer.
Matterhorn is the biggest pull for tourists in Zermatt. Whether you are looking forward to enjoying the fresh alpine atmosphere or the physical excursion by hiking or climbing or skiing, this mountain is where you should be. Matterhorn is sandwiched between Switzerland and Italy sitting astride the border and features a notable pyramidal peak that stretches up to 4,478 meters.
The other notable attractions at Zermatt are the welcoming restaurants, swish hotels, boutique shops, buoyant après-ski scene, and a car-free locality. The months from June to September are ideal to immerse oneself in this mountainous zone as in the summers, the temperature lurks between 12 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. However, we greatly favor September as this time of the year has proven to be ideal for hiking, biking, skiing, and other adventure activities.
Here is a list of things that you can do at Zermatt
1. Ride a cableway to Matterhorn
2. Enjoy a picnic at Rothorn
3. Take the train to Gornergrat
4. Take a helicopter tour of the Majestic Mountain
5. Stroll around the captivating Zermatt village
6. Pump yourself with adrenalin fuel by visiting thermal spas
Here are the best places to stay in Zermatt
1. CERVO Mountain Resort
2. The OMNIA
3. Grand Hotel Zermatterhof
Here are some of the best places for foodies in Zermatt
2. Brasserie Uno
3. Restaurant Old Zermatt
5. Aosta, ItalyAosta
Next on our list of Alps villages is Aosta Valley (Valle d’ Aosta), Italy’s smallest region. Snuggled close to France and Switzerland's borders, this mesmerizing valley is surrounded by Europe’s highest peaks and natural bliss. This region is a hot-favorite holiday destination amongst Italians as it brims with historical and culinary treasures. Adventure tours and ski resorts are other attractions that pull tourists toward this valley.
Valle d’Aosta is a central valley that is sandwiched by thirteen other surrounding valleys. Not days but you require weeks to explore the hamlets and trails of these glacial and river valleys. Some of the valleys stretch towards Switzerland while some connect to Gran Paradiso National Park. Two of the valleys are noteworthy of all Val Ferret and Val Veny that a tourist can locate it at the foot of Mont Blanc. It won’t be wrong to say that Valle d’Aosta is the heart of beautiful alp valleys.
Unlike other Alps villages on our list, Aosta valley is a seasonal destination. Summer here is ideal for cycling and hiking whereas the winters here are known as the skiing season. Having said that, you must pick either June or August to vacay at Aosta because off-season, this place seems dead. Many restaurants, resorts, and businesses even close down. Never pick spring because it happens to be the trickiest time of all. The weather gets harsh and unstable and snow covers most of the trails.
Here are the activities that you must add to your Aosta bucket list
1. Explore the Aosta Valley castles
2. Tour the Grand Paradiso National Park
3. Explore Roman Ruins in Aosta town
4. Try Fontina Cheese
5. Visit La Salle and Val di Rhemes
6. Plan a hiking trip in Courmayeur
The best places to stay in Aosta Town
1. For a budget vacation, go for Maison Du-Noyer
2. For a luxury stay, pick Hotel Milleluci
3. Relais Bondaz is the best option for a medium-budgeted comfort
The best restaurants to dine-in Aosta
1. Osteria La Vache Folle
3. Ristorante Vecchio Ristoro
Read also: 23 Top-Rated Famous Landmarks in France
6. Cortina d’Ampezzo, ItalyCortina d’Ampezzo
We are proceeding with our recommendations regarding the best alpine villages to visit, with Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which is quite often regarded as the Pearl of the Dolomites. Located 166km north of Venice and 133 kilometers the East of Bolzano, technically, Cortina d’Ampezzo is constituted as a portion of Veneto, not that of Alto-Adige. However, it is considered to be one of the Dolomites because it falls under the Teutonic-flavored group.
Though all of the Alp’s villages can be any tourist’s happy place, this one, in particular, is a gem. It has certain bling to it that separates it from the rest. Picture-perfect lakes, heavenly delicious food, the snow-capped mountains, and the hybrid Germanic/Italian culture are enough to pull millions of tourists towards Cortina d’Ampezzo every year. Even Cortina d’Ampezzo has made a place in the UNESCO listing, what else can be said more?
Upon gliding through history, we came to know that Cortina d’Ampezzo emerged as the best mountain resort on the international map when it successfully hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics. Since then, it has gained the attention of celebrities, actors, and European jet-set alike.
strong>Fact: Did you know that some of your favorite movies such as Cliffhanger, 007-for your eyes only, and Pink Panther was filmed in Cortina surroundings?
The best months to visit Cortina are April, May, June, September, and October. Staying true to its glamorous impression, Cortina can be a little expensive as compared to other destinations in the Dolomites, especially during August and January to March (the high-ski season). There are various Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels around. However, there are many budget-friendly Air BnBs where one can stay without costing an arm and leg.
So, what activities should you pick for your visit to Cortina? Here is the list.
1. Go skiing (Cortina’s core activity)
2. Hike around Cortina
3. Ride the Cortina Cable car
4. Enjoy world-less food at Cortind d’ Ampezzo’s restaurants
5. Shop til you drop at the swanky boutiques
6. Explore the open-air museum, Museo All'aperto delle 5 Torri
7. Book a one-night stay at Hotel Ambra
Here are some hotel recommendations for you.
For a budgeted choice, you can pick from Hotel Natale, Hotel Montana, and Hotel Meuble Villa Neve.
For a luxury stay, you can opt for Cristallo, Rosapetra Spa Resort, and Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel.
Here are some unforgettable Cortina restaurants that can be trusted for both divine taste and welcoming ambiance.
Ristorante Tivoli Cortina
II Vizietto Cortina
Read also: Some of the best places to visit in Europe
7. St. Moritz, SwitzerlandSt. Moritz
Next in the best villages in the Swiss Alps series comes St. Moritz, a luxurious yet glamorous mountain resort where you can stop for fun, romance, relaxation, sports, and more. Most of the tourists regard St. Moritz as a cosmopolitan built around the Alp's bliss. Why? Because of the places flaunting big city vibes and local cultural highlights, you get this extra-urban feeling when you arrive at this exotic destination.
Located in the eastern Alps’ Engadin Valley, St. Moritz has a kind of sporty pedigree as it is the place where locals arrange polo matches on a frozen lake (St. Moritz also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948). If visiting during summer, you can make the most of your time catching funiculars and gondolas for an unforgettable mountain experience. Or you can even opt for hiking on the glacier or explore the Engadin Valleys’ cinematic majesty from soaring lookouts.
Here is more to add to your St. Moritz itinerary
1. Plan a day trip to Val Fax
2. Stroll through the art galleries
3. Shop from lavish boutiques, exquisite jewelers, and infamous interior stores
4. Attend lively parties in the lounges or night bars
5. Try fly fishing
6. Go surfing and sailing
7. Walk around Lake St. Moritz
Popular hotels that travelers lookout to stay in St. Moritz
1. Art Boutique Hotel Monopol
2. Crystal Hotel
3. Hotel Schweizerhof St. Moritz
Here are some of the food options that you must try
Indulge in guilty by having St. Moritz's signature Engadin walnut tart from Conditorei Hanselmann.
Have Dal Mulin’s veal shank ravioli.
Visit Dal Mulin or Chesa Veglia for wordless food.
8. Chambery, FranceChambery
Once the capital of its sovereign state, installed in a valley sandwiched between Pre Alps mountain ranges in the Southeast of France, Chambery is a historic city that surprises its visitors for all the right reasons. It also constitutes a portion of the Savoie Mont Blanc region. It has every single thing that a tourist asks for a perfect getaway- deep rich history, exotic local food and wine, friendly people, and insta-perfect views.
If you want to take in the historical exhibits, a visit to the medical Castle of Dukes of Savoy is a must. The architectural feat such as the Chambery Cathedral and the Elephant Fountain honoring the 18th century General Benoit de Boigne give the tourists a hint that Chambery is as much Italian as French.
Search for more and you will find the options of strolling through the old town, hiking the peaks of the Chartreuse and Bauges national parks, or exploring the majestic Lac du Bourget. You can also access top-rated French Ski resorts which are only a few minutes drive away from the town when visiting Chambery during winter.
More attractions to explore while your stay at Chambery
1. Stop at the art museum, Musee de Beaux Arts.
2. Shop at local stores.
3. Head to Lake Bourget.
The best hotels to pick in Chambery are Hôtel Le Cinq Chambéry and Petit Hotel Confidential.
For food, do pop into La Forge Des Halles. It is where they sell locally produced or cooked food items. The menu is pretty simple and every single dish tastes divine.
9. Annecy, FranceAnnecy
Now with our choices for the best Alps villages to visit, we want to draw your attention towards Annecy, France in Haute-Savoie. It won’t be wrong to call Annecy the prettiest medieval Town built on Europe's cleanest Lakeshore. Your vacation cannot get better anywhere than Annecy. Laced with historic streets and canals, this glorious town calls your name on hot summer days.
While the scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful, do know that Annecy features a year-round gossamer haze too and there are tons of activities to do and places to explore. Annecy is also known as Europe’s outdoor sports capital.
Let us jot down the things to do in Annecy
1. Plan a visit to Lake Annecy.
2. Walk through Jardins del’Europe.
3. Visit du Pont des Amours.
4. Stand on Pont Perrière.
5. Stop at Saint-Pierre Cathedral.
6. Hike around Annecy.
The best hotels in Annecy which provide the best value for your money are Imperial Palace Annecy, Adonis Annecy, and hotel Des Marquisats.
Don’t forget to have ice cream at Le glacier des Alpes as it is known as the best in the whole of France.
10. Bressanone, ItalyBressanone
Built in 1901, the oldest town in the Dolomites, Bressanone, is located in northern Italy. It is a small area but stocks numerous attractions to captivate tourists of all ages. Privileged to be a part of UNESCO’s listing, here are the activities that you can schedule for your day trip to Bressanone.
1. Stroll around the historical center
2. Stop by the Cathedral
3. Explore the Romanesque structure, Cloister
4. Explore the white tower and Pharmacy Museum
5. Hike on the Plos Mountain
Here are some hotels in Bressanone with spectacular views: Plose Wellness Hotel, Forestis Dolomites, and Apartment Lodge Gasserhof.
The eateries that are worth trying are Traubinwert Brixen, Restaurant Pizzeria Kutscherhof, and Restaurant Finesterwart.
We can truly say that Alps Villages are a perfect destination for both nature lovers and sportspersons.
Not only that this lot features some of the most spellbinding natural scenery in the whole of Europe with crystal-clear lakes, awe-inspiring mountains, pristine forests, and rushing waterfalls, but it also stacks gazillion outdoor activities for those who love spending time outdoors in the natural bliss.
Alps villages are home to hiking, skiing, climbing, biking, and other thrilling adventures.
The Alps also connect with the historic Duchy of Savoy, as well as the Dauphiné region. In Chambery, there is this impressive Château de Ducs de Savoie whereas Annecy’s Old château is the Counts of Geneva artifact. The mountain resorts such as Interlaken and St. Moritz can be picked for lively ambiance, regional charm, and excellent facilities.
Alps Villages are the mecca of natural and cultural attractions. Tourists certainly get rejuvenated here with fresh air and leisure.
Read also: 20 Best Things to do in Malta