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5 Regions to Experience Switzerland’s Alpine Flora

5 Regions to Experience Switzerland’s Alpine Flora

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Switzerland is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe—the Alps cover more than half of the country’s terrain. Safe to say, the Swiss know a thing or two about the benefits of high-altitude living—the feelings of well-being that come with days spent exploring both Alpine wilderness and the plants that thrive there. For both of these reasons, you should consider backpacking through Switzerland. Not only will you experience the country’s wild landscapes and flora, but you’ll also get a look at the cultivation of these same plants. Alpine herbs are grown by more than 100 farmers in Switzerland. They thrive in the unique climates and soils of Switzerland. Here’s how to explore five of these fertile regions on foot. 

Healthy living is possible in the Swiss Alps.

 

1. Valais

The Valais region is home to one of the most iconic peaks in all of Switzerland—the Matterhorn—as well as the tallest peak in the country—the 15,203-foot Dufourspitze. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and its even more resilient cousin, horehound (Marrubium vulgare), Both can be used in Ricola Max Naal CareThe location is ideal for thriving plants, as it is away from heavy industry, traffic and other human activities. The herbs growers in this area are protected from any pollutants.

Find the herbs in the wild on the Tour du Mont Blanc, one of Europe’s most popular long-distance treks, which runs 105 miles through Valais and gives you the full regional experience. Take it one day at a time or use the UTMB book to run the entire trail. It is an ultra-race that runs along the same route and starts in Chamonix, France each August.

Instead of a full-day hike, why not try a day hike? You can take the 10.8-mile roundtrip trail to Gemmi Pass and enjoy the most stunning views of Valais Alps. On a clear day, you can spot the Matterhorn and Dufourspitze—two must-sees in the region—from the top of the pass. Cable cars can be used to take you to top of the pass so that you make the most out of your time. 

2. Val Poschiavo

Train ride from Bernina Pass, Switzerland’s southernmost region, to Val Poschiavo. The elevation is more than 7,390 feet Rhaetian Railway It is famous as the highest rail line to traverse the Alps. The rYou will then descend into the valley via high-alpine glaciers.

Explore the pass on foot on the Via Albula/Bernina, a hiking trail running semiparallel to the section of the Rhaetian Railway that’s designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 80-mile trail can be broken down into ten stages so that you can either walk the whole distance or stay at inns. The final stages of the hike descend into Val Poschiavo, and then continue through the valley until you reach Tirano in Italy. Keep an eye out to see sage from late spring through summer.Salvia officinalis), which thrives in Val Poschiavo’s warm, dry climate and light, stony soil. Sage is one of ten herbs used in Ricola’s products, including the Original Natural Herb drop. You can’t miss the plant’s refreshing aroma and delicate purple and white blooms. This plant is a soothing balm for the soul. 

Plant lovers will also enjoy a visit at the Other Side of the Pass Ricola Herb Garden near PontresinaThe, which is open year round, but especially beautiful from May to September when the herbs in bloom, is also available for visitors. You can continue exploring hikes under the glaciated peaks at Val Roseg. 

3. Emmental

The Emmental region is straight from a book. Imagine rolling hills, idyllic farmland, dotted with grazing cattle and jagged snowy mountains as backdrops. The soil is acidic and receives high amounts of rainfall, making it ideal for growing crops like lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Just ask the local Schütz family, who have naturally cultivated the herb—which is named for its citrus scent and has recognizable jagged, mintlike leaves—for Ricola for 20 years. 

Two-wheeled travel is the best way to see this region. Because of the hilly terrain, e-bikes are popular; they’re allowed on nearly 280 miles of designated bike trails and can be easily rented at bike shops throughout the region. 

You can also explore the area by foot. For stunning views, hike up to the Lueg—one of the most famous viewpoints in Affoltern im Emmental. The route from the village center is approximately four miles round trip. However, you can take the path at multiple points to keep it short and sweet. 

4. Central Switzerland

The peaks of central Switzerland have a storied past—from legends of dragons living atop Mount Pilatus to the origin of the nation itself. Central Switzerland can be used as a jumping-off point to many healing activities throughout the country. It is also a wonderful destination on its own. The alpine foothills of the high alpine are home to vibrant green mountainsides in summer, and large lakes that receive snowmelt. Elder treesSambucus nigra) This is where they thrive, in the wet forest clearings as well as on the banks and banks of streams and rivers. Linden flowers (Tilia platyphyllos) appreciate the region’s chalky soil and humidity. You’ll find both of these herbs in Ricola’s proprietary ten-herb blend.

Experience this giving environment for yourself on one of Switzerland’s newest long-distance trails, the Tell Trail, which runs through the heart of central Switzerland. The 130-mile route, which links to six of the most prominent peaks in the region—Stoos and Rigi, Pilatus Stanserhorn Titlis, Stanserhorn, Pilatus, and Brienzer Rothhorn—was completed at the end of 2020. You can hike all eight stages, or just a section as a day hike. And don’t miss out on experiencing feats of Swiss mountain engineering, including The Mount Pilatus cog railway is the highest in the world. Mount Rigi’s cog railway is the oldest in Europe..

Hike the popular and worthwhile trail to get a taste of the central Swiss mountains without having to commit for a long time. Rigi Panorama Trail. This five-mile trail offers stunning views of Lake Lucerne and allows you to see how the mountains provided a natural refuge for those who formed, in 1291 the mountain-guarded confederation states that would become modern Switzerland in 1848.

5. Jura Mountains

Travelers pay a lot of attention to the Swiss Alps. The less-known, but equally impressive Jura Mountains offer a different experience. The subalpine range is just above 5,600 feet high, so the ecosystems are lusher than the alpine landscapes of the south. Mallow (Malva sylvestris)sometimes called cheese weed because of the fruit’s cheeselike flavor—thrives in these lower elevations, and native hyssop (Hyssopusofficinalis) It is loved by hikers for its sweet aroma. Both have a place in Ricola’s line of herbal drops. 

To experience the Jura Mountains for yourself, head out on the oldest long-distance trail in Switzerland—the Jura Crest Trail—established as early as 1905. The route covers nearly 200 miles and begins in Zurich. It follows the ridge from Geneva. There are breathtaking views, meadows and inns that end every day. The entire trail can be completed in approximately two weeks. You may also choose to tackle a smaller section.


A family company since 1930, Ricola is one of the world’s most innovative confectionery producers. Over 60 varieties of specialist herbs are exported by the family business to more than 45 countries across Asia, America and Europe. All of the products are manufactured in Switzerland. Ricola uses only the finest Swiss herbs in order to benefit consumers around the world.

5 Regions to Experience Switzerland’s Alpine Flora

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