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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Travel section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • After a successful corporate career in supply chain management, Marta Koncz, took the leap to follow her passion for travel and start her own business: Agate Experience, to help people discover and explore the hidden gems of her adopted home country, Switzerland.
    Marta has always loved to travel, to discover new cultures, dishes, and customs, and experience something new. Even as a schoolgirl she planned trips for her classmates. As an adult, travelling was more than just a passion, it was also a therapy for Marta as she found she learnt a lot about herself through her adventures and seeing life through a different lens. It was also the perfect way to destress and relax from a busy working week.
    Through Agate Experience she offers fun travel experiences and opportunities to discover the hidden gems of Switzerland.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - A keen photographer and former expat who loves to travel, discover food, wine and cultures, does a bit of feng shui & home design and plays Scrabble & Gateball. She has been living in Switzerland since 2000 and would like to share her experiences, photos and perspectives on all of the above! This is her first travel blog catered for Swiss locals. 
  • Rachel Beacher is a British journalist who would be ready to backpack around the world tomorrow if she could find an easy way to carry two small and unruly children. She most enjoys travelling to places that are family-friendly, and easily accessible from Geneva. Before becoming an expat in Switzerland, Rachel was a writer and editor for UK newspapers and magazines. She moved to Lausanne in early 2013, speaks passable French, and has been writing travel articles for over 15 years. She is the co-founder of Living In Sion.

Marta in the vineyard

By Marta Koncz, www.agateexperience.com, photo above (credit Anna De Wit)

Did you know that Swiss wine has been produced for 2000 years, since the Roman Era? Thanks to this long history, wine is part of the social, cultural, and culinary habits of Switzerland, especially that 98% of the wine produced here is consumed within the country!

white grapes

Autumn is a special time for wine makers. It is the time of the harvest and to celebrate their hard work and products. Therefore, there are plenty of events and programs happening all around Switzerland to honor the Swiss wine (see below).

cave vallorbe

By Marta Koncz, www.agateexperience.com

My favorite place to be in the French-speaking part of Switzerland during a warm summer day is Vallée de Joux; what offers a great diversity of landscapes and activities from the banks of its lakes to the summits of the surrounding mountains.

If you are a big fan of water, visiting Lac de Joux is a must! The lake is clearly a paradise of aquatics; it provides endless possibilities of water sports, such as windsurfing, water skiing, kitesurfing, canoeing, kayaking or even paddle boarding.

If you want to take it easier, you can chill in one of its well-developed beaches in Le Rocheray, L’Abbaye, Les Bioux and Le Pont. Or, if you prefer more natural ambience, discover the beaches at Lac Brenet what is considered as the "little brother" of Lac de Joux and is also ideal for gentle walks along its shore.

If you are a hiking enthusiast, you might want to climb up to Mont Tendre, the highest point of the Swiss Jura. The name of the peak means Gentle Mountain. Based on the stories I read it was named like that because it is easy to climb and ideal for beginner hikers. (I can second that)!

On the top there is a possibility to rest and refuel your energies at the Chalet du Mont Tendre.

tulips

By Marta Koncz, www.agateexperience.com

Lately, I was asked several times what to wear on hikes, with a special interest in which shoes are suitable.

Well, in terms of clothes, the magic word is layers! Spring or summer, the weather can change very quickly in the mountains, therefore it is useful to have a light pullover and rain proof windbreaker in your backpack. Keep in mind that it is always a few degrees colder in higher altitude!

However, make sure not to wear too many clothes. You will warm up while walking and it will feel good to take those layers off. Also, you will be highly exposed to the sun. Therefore, it is essential to have a cap, sunglasses, and sun cream with you.

tulips

By Marta Koncz, www.agateexperience.com

I love walking in Spring, I can never get enough of admiring the awakening nature and the blooming flowers as far as the eye can see.

Usually, I kick off my flower "treasure hunt" with the cherry blossom; the flower that due to its short lifespan, is the symbol of the fleeting nature of life. You might have seen it earlier this spring in the Arboretum in Aubonne, in the Jardin des Alpes or Parc de l’Ariana in Geneva, behind the former Musée de l'Elysée or at the EPFL Campus in Lausanne and along Route de Crassier in Nyon.

Cherry Blossom

1

By Marta Koncz, www.agateexperience.com

For many people, going to the mountains is a sole summer activity; and, as autumn arrives, they cease going outdoors till the following summer season.

It is true, that the cable cars and gondolas shut down during fall for few weeks for maintenance, however they reopen with full force by the time the first snow falls. There is a lot to do in the mountains during winter!

Skiing

The good old classic downhill skiing is probably the first comes to your mind when thinking about winter activities. It is indeed a popular and well-established sport in Switzerland dated back to the 19th century.

As such, there are plenty of options. My favorite resort is Portes du Soleil. Located between France and Switzerland, it is easy to reach both from Geneva and Lausanne; and it is the largest ski area in the Alps with 600 km of slopes, suitable from absolute beginners to very experienced people.

If you are not fan of speed, you can also try cross-country skiing. In this case, I suggest visiting Vue des Alpes. It is on the border of the French speaking part of Switzerland, one hour from Lausanne and 1 hour forty minutes from Geneva; but its worth the effort. It offers 110 kms of cross-country tracks and amazing panorama to the surrounding Alps, Jura, and Vosges!