Gravity-defying peaks, spectacularly green valleys, dreamy ski slopes, and pretty lakeside towns – Switzerland is a dream come true for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and chocolate aficionados alike. A trip to Switzerland is everything you’ve heard about and so much more. Quaint towns are alive with alpine tradition, hiking trails wind their way through the seemingly never-ending Swiss Alps while velvety smooth chocolate and cheese (along with some refreshing beer!) await at the end of each day of hiking.

 Exodus’ Lesli Downham just returned from a spectacular trip through the Swiss Alps and has plenty of tips and tricks to share for anyone dreaming of visiting this hiker’s paradise. Here’s her list of the top 5 things you have to do on a trip to Switzerland.

 Rhine Falls, Switzerland

1. Waterfalls

In Switzerland, it is impossible not to go chasing waterfalls! They seem to follow you wherever you look, and you’ll never be disappointed by the views. As you walk along beautiful alpine paths, you’ll be serenaded by the magical sounds of rushing water that accompany you. Whether you are high in the mountains or simply walking through the towns, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty that is sure to astound you.

 Walking Swiss Alps

 2. Hospitality

Never will you encounter locals who seem more excited to see you. From simply stopping to get a beer or asking for directions, everyone is kind and helpful. The whole country is filled with that small atmosphere where everyone seems to know everyone, and they stop to say hi and ask how your day is going. Even just walking into a grocery store you seem to make new friends that you’re sure to remember for a lifetime.

Cheese Fondue

3. Food

Although you may spend your days hiking or mountain biking, don’t expect to lose any weight while in Switzerland.  Everywhere you turn is a charming café that you just have to stop in for a coffee and a gipfeli (Swiss German for croissant). If you’re looking for something a little heavier, cheese fondue is a must-do, to be enjoyed with a refreshing beer at the end of a long day of sightseeing.

Speaking of cheese, let’s talk about the local mountain cheese. If you are lucky enough to visit the AllmenAlp (which, if you book with Exodus, you will be!) you can see in person how farmer, Reichen, makes cheese from the local cows.

He rents the valley cows from the other local farmers for the summer and brings them all the way up to the Alp, where he cares for them and makes cheese for the local establishments.

Hiking the Swiss Alps

 4. Hiking

You will be hard-pressed to find more beautiful hiking anywhere in Europe. The abundance of paths makes the daily choice of where to go nearly impossible. No matter where you end up, you’ll be greeted by stunning views of glacial lakes, incredible mountain ranges, waterfalls and traditional swiss villages throughout your hike.

Hiking in Swiss Alps

 5. Musical animals

Ever dreamed of living in a musical? Simply walk through any path in Switzerland and you’ll hear the sweet sound of cows, sheep and even llamas ringing through the air. The only thing you need to do is add a little dance as you meander around a beautiful waterfall to complete your one-man show. 

 Want to book with Lesli? You can talk to her at