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Overview

This is Switzerland’s most historic region, the home of William Tell, and of the original Swiss Confederation, formed in 1291. Today tourists flock to the cosmopolitan city of Lucerne, the idyllic villages around the lake, and the majestic Alpine resorts. Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee in the local German) is a maze of narrow coves and fingers, bordered by pine woods and framed by the white-tipped Alps. At the mouth of the lake is Lucerne, with her medieval city walls, old town, and fine museums. Take a cable car up to Pilatus, Rigi or Bürgenstock for panoramas of mountains, lake and forests. There are plenty of opportunities for ...

This is Switzerland’s most historic region, the home of William Tell, and of the original Swiss Confederation, formed in 1291. Today tourists flock to the cosmopolitan city of Lucerne, the idyllic villages around the lake, and the majestic Alpine resorts. Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee in the local German) is a maze of narrow coves and fingers, bordered by pine woods and framed by the white-tipped Alps. At the mouth of the lake is Lucerne, with her medieval city walls, old town, and fine museums. Take a cable car up to Pilatus, Rigi or Bürgenstock for panoramas of mountains, lake and forests. There are plenty of opportunities for winter sports (although less than in Graubunden, Valais or the Bernese Alps). Engelberg is the main ski resort. Other interesting destinations include the pretty lakeside town of Zug and the huge 10th-century monastery at Einsiedeln. The week-long Carnival, in early March, is an incredible spectacle, with elaborate costumes, a cacophony of marching bands, and nonstop partying.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    February is high ski season. January is less crowded. Early March is Carnival time.