QWhere do I need to go to best experience the grassy Alpine scenery we all associate with the Heidi stories?
Switzerland is a beautiful country, and the mountainous landscape means striking Alpine scenery isn’t hard to come by. Once the spring hits, the snow melts to reveal tranquil landscapes of forested hills, deep valleys and azure lakes.
But those raised on the Heidi stories will doubtless have a more specific picture in mind — one of mountain slopes carpeted with summer meadows, wooden Alpine chalets and goats chewing at the pasture. The good news is that the Swiss are extremely alive to the global popularity of Heidi, and have made it very easy for tourists to experience this Alpine fantasy.
If you head to the canton of Graubünden, take the train from Chur to Bad Ragaz and get off at Maienfeld. Here, an official Heidiland Trail leads from the town’s pretty central square up a winding hill path into the hamlet of Oberrofels, where most of Johanna Spyri’s classic novel was set. Here you’ll find a lovingly reproduced Heidi Village, including the original Heidi House and a museum, which shows how she would have lived.
From here, head further up the Heidi trail into higher pastures to visit the chalet that passes as Peter the Goatherd’s Hut, before ascending to Heidi Alp, the supposed home of Heidi’s wise Alm-Uncle. From here, views of the stunning meadows below are satisfyingly Swiss. www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/maienfeld-in-the-footsteps-of-heidi.html
Heidiland: When to go
Published in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)