Charming places, hidden from the crowds

Choose from more than 50 unique villages on the Grand Tour of Switzerland. Each represents the country and region in its own unique ways, highlighting traditions and local cultures. Seeing various styles of architecture representing the eras of their construction, you’ll experience Switzerland as never before. Let’s discover some of these buildings!


Saint-Saphorin, an enchanting winegrowing village in the Lavaux vineyards, is situated at the base of Mont Pèlerin’s first slope. Due to previous landslide threats, the authorities constructed arcades which now support the house facades, earning the village an identity as a fortified village. The village center features narrow passages and cobblestoned lanes lined with vintners’ houses and traditional dwellings built in the regional style. These houses are characterized by lime-covered structures and symmetrical, vibrant facades. The main square hosts various festivals throughout the year, including spring, grape harvest, and Christmas celebrations.

See how the lakeside village of St-Saphorin is fortified
See how the lakeside village of St-Saphorin is fortified, © Switzerland Tourism.


Giornico, situated in the Leventina region, was a significant stop for pilgrims and travelers on the historic Gotthard route. Surrounded by vineyards, the village is divided by the Ticino river, with a small, inhabited island at its center. On the left bank, the village center showcases a compact layout with narrow laneways lined by former vintners’ houses. The Torre di Attone, one of the village’s oldest structures, also stands on this side. Accessible via Romanesque bridges, the inhabited island is home to numerous sacred buildings. Among them is the protected Church of St Nicolao, a notable Romanesque edifice in the canton of Ticino. Another prominent landmark in Giornico is Casa Stanga, adorned with over 50 coats of arms dating back to 1589. These emblems likely originated from renowned travelers who visited the village.

Wander the old streets of Giornico, seeking Romanesque buildings
Wander the old streets of Giornico, seeking Romanesque buildings, © Switzerland Tourism.


The medieval town of Bremgarten, located on a peninsula in the bend of the Reuss river, is divided into an upper and lower town. Visitors can enjoy strolling through its charming alleyways and historic buildings. Bremgarten’s name derives from its unique position on the riverbank, where it was built directly into the bend of the Reuss. It served as a crucial transportation hub in the Middle Ages, intersected by important country roads and featuring the central Reuss Bridge, a beautiful covered wooden bridge dating back to the 16th century. The lower town, once surrounded by a formidable city wall, now showcases remnants such as the Hexenturm and Hermannsturm towers, which define Bremgarten’s skyline. The focal point of the lower town is the church district, featuring a sloping church and a former convent. In the upper town, notable attractions include the castle and the grand facades along Marktgasse, which leave a lasting impression.

Discover more unique villages on the Grand Tour of Switzerland!
Cross the Reuss bridge over sluicing water in Bremgarten
Cross the Reuss bridge over sluicing water in Bremgarten, © Switzerland Tourism / Jonathan Ducrest.

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