Switzerland , obviously is one of the most scenic and beautiful countries in the world. One would think it easy to create good photos in one of the world’s most stunning places . Switzerland is also a highly developed nation with its areas of urban sprawl, light pollution and traffic jams. It takes some planning and location scouting to be able to get great images.
Many beautiful spots are accessible by car and you can simply take a rental car and drive all across the country. Some of the best photos can be taken on or near the many mountain passes. Parking in towns can be since expensive and public transportation is easily available you have to plan ahead.. Most of the places described in this list are reached by train and cable car so using public transportation is recommended if not otherwise mentioned.
Here are 8 places where you can get amazing landscape photos in comfort and style…
1. Mount Säntis
Mount Säntis the highest peak in the Alpstein massif of the Appenzell Alps. From here you have a fantastic 360 degree view over Lake Constance all the way to Germany, the central Swiss alps and on across the Rhine Valley to Austria.
2. Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus rises high above the central Swiss city of Lucerne. Here you can stay year round in complete comfort and enjoy the panorama. In the far distance the icy tops of the Bernese Alps rise like the sentinels of a bygone age. Yes you can have you perfect Cappuccino in the morning and photograph a natural landscape of incredible beauty at the same time.
Some places in Switzerland are almost ridiculous in their perfection. One has to tweak himself to make sure it is reality and not some obscure Meta verse illusion cooked up by some Disney Esque tricksters. Yes the flower meadows and their overfed and happy cows exist and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau Mountains really are made of stone and glued by ice and yes, again you can eat and sleep well. Take the gondola up to the Schilthorn mountain in the morning when the fog is lifting and the peaks shine in the first rays of sunshine. Make sure to stay away from the LED screens which screen one of the most awful James Bond movies ever made. It was filmed at the mountain and is still used to attract tourists like a scenery this fantastic would need a trifle movie flop to get people interested.
Another day another mountain with a garden terrace and mountain view. Rigi, long known as a place for retired people to go and enjoy the scenery, should not be missed. The rather luxurious hotel restaurant is surrounded by alpine meadows and the eye, or the camera lens, wanders across the central Swiss mountains, its peaks and valleys. While Pilatus is more dramatic and steeper, Rigi is more gentle and allows a broader view.
5. Muottas Muragl
OK you can just stay in or near St. Moritz and go from there with a plenty of stunning vistas right there. Staying overnight up at Muottas Muragl instead of down in town is worth it. You get the train ticket with you lodging and you can go up and down at will. The view over the Engadin valley right from your room is worth it. We caught the first snow of the season and had mixed fog in the valley which made for amazing photos.
No way you travel to Switzerland without getting a photo of the famous Matterhorn. The best way to do it is either stay in Zermatt and hike the nearby hills..Better,, you take the train up to the end of the line at Gornergrat and stay overnight. The famous Swiss peak is right in front of you and if you are a real nature photographer you hike down to the Riffelsee at dawn and get a photo of the mountain with its reflection in the water. Allow 30 to 40 minutes to hike down along the tracks. Enjoy the calm and quiet sunrise before the first train arrives and hordes of cell phone waving tourists arrive and the first drone of the day hovers over the lake.
7. Bergell, Soglio
There are many more mountain peaks you can stay on and many more valleys and lakes to explore. One of my personal favorites was always the Bergell valley. You get a dramatic view into it from the top of Maloja pass and there is a hotel there. Heading into the valley you should visit the village of Soglio. Here you have a fantastic view to Bondasca valley towards the Sciora- mountain chain, with Piz Cengalo and Piz Badile. The classic view would be the stone village and church tower with the peaks behind it.
8. Ticino, Maggia valley
If you wtted your taste in the Italian influenced Bergell valley you may want to explore Switzerland’s south facing and Italian speaking canton Ticino. Traffic can be a real deal breaker here so if you like to head into the valleys for photography avoid the weekends. Maggia Valley and its nearby Verzasca valley have long been favorites of Swiss amateur and professional photographers. The restored old mountain villages with its stone work and ages old timber are photogenic but most photographers like spending time along the gneiss rock boulders of the rivers.
© Christian Heeb, March 2022
Explore more photography spots on our Top of Switzerland Photo Tour and the Golden Larches & Snowy Peaks in the Swiss Alps Photo Tour