Travel

Photo story: At the foothills of Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

Easy city living, spectacular backdrops and an outdoor lifestyle — welcome to Lucerne, Switzerland’s vibrant lakeside city that ticks along to a gentle rhythm at the foothills of Mount Pilatus Monday, 8 April

By Lola Akinmade Åkerström
Photographs By Lola Akinmade Åkerström

From lakeside festivals to boat trips up and down Lake Lucerne with Mount Pilatus looming in the distance, life in Lucerne revolves around the water. Mornings see locals jogging past swans and sailboats, or pacing the promenades as they browse Saturday markets for fresh produce or antiques.

Scaling Pilatus first requires a panoramic gondola ride that slowly takes you from Kriens over lush fir forests before swapping to an aerial cable-car. From there, it’s panoramic views over mountains, pea-green meadows and wooden cabins. If you’ve got the energy, join the locals for a run back down the mountain.

Looking more like a Bond villain’s lair than anything else, Hotel Bellevue sits atop Mount Pilatus, offering captivating 360-degree panoramas of this pocket of the Alps. Far below, spread out like an indigo carpet, is Lake Lucerne, tucked between the mountains — all the more spectacular from this lofty alpine idyll.

Published in the October 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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