Much of Switzerland has preserved its medieval heritage perfectly – partly owed to their neutral status during the world wars, and partly because there are so many castles and châteaus throughout this tiny country. While the Valais region was once a part of the Duchy of Savoy, along with the Valle d’Aosta of Italy and the Haute Savoie of France, The rest of Switzerland was wedged between the Austrian Hapsburgs and the Duchy of Burgundy – requiring a lot of strong, high walls.
There are excellent restored and preserved examples of these historic castles throughout Switzerland and the Alps – all within reach for a day-trip from any of our custom itineraries. Some of our favorites are the Stockalpler in Brig, the Schloss in Spiez, Château Chillon near Montreux, and the Chateau Gruyères. And just across the border in the Valle d’Aosta of Italy, the Savoyard castelli are even more prolific – lining the valley, each within sight of those on either side, in various states of restoration. From Castello di Fénis to the Forte di Bard, there are over 70 to explore throughout Aosta.
A fantastic day-trip for fantasy-loving children of all ages, or history buffs, the castles of Switzerland and northern Italy are accessible from any trip to the Alps.