ZURICH-Nobody walks out of Switzerland without appreciating the beauty of the green and clean country and there is hardly anyone who has visited Zurich but missed the mesmerizing Rapperswil.

People come and go to Rapperswil around the year. All are spellbound and want to return. One can easily find dozens of foreigners who are on their second or third trip to Rapperswil. For the Swiss people, it is like Murree. They go there whenever they get a chance.

Rapperswil-Jona, the rose town located on the upper end of Lake Zurich, and the neighbouring sports and leisure district of Jona combine sights, cultural life, hiking and sports possibilities with a Mediterranean holiday atmosphere.

Rapperswil earns its name as the town of roses owing to more than 16,000 roses that flower in the rose gardens of the Capuchin monastery and on the “Schanz”. The latter is a rose garden for the blind with particularly fragrant roses, the names of which are written in brail on guide panels.

The Children’s Zoo, a cruise on Lake Zurich, and in the summer, the 15000 blooming roses are the main attractions. Roses decorate the coat of arms of the town of Rapperswil-Jona located on the upper end of Lake Zurich, and all types and colours of this gorgeous flower bloom in Rapperswil’s public areas and three rose gardens.

Rapperswil-Jona has a well-developed tourist infrastructure and as the region’s transport hub is easily accessible by public transport.

The castle towers above the town and lake and is the landmark. The castle hill affords a panorama view from the Glarus Alps all the way to the Zurich Oberland. Several churches, chapels and monasteries bear testimony to the past.

The medieval old town with very little traffic - a protected historic monument, the Lake Promenade and varied excursion possibilities make Rapperswil particularly suitable for families with children.

In addition to the lake dam for road and rail, a new wooden bridge for pedestrians - probably not unlike in the past - provides access to the other side of the lake.

This wooden bridge also happens to be the longest such bridge in Switzerland. And Rapperswil is also an embarkation point for the regular ship services on Lake Zurich, including two authentic paddle steamers, to Zurich.

The area around Lake Zurich in addition to a wealth of beautiful scenery offers a whole range of fun and experience opportunities. Knie’s Children’s Zoo and the Circus Museum are a particular attraction for children and circus fans. The animals at the children’s zoo can be stroked and there are also elephant rides on offer.

In summer a 700-metre-long summer toboggan run on the nearby Atzmännig is great for some family fun. In winter there is a ski region suitable for families with easy ski pistes.

On the other side of the lake, Pfäffikon with the Alpamare fun and experience baths featuring a wide range of water slides and wellness treatments are well worth visiting. Einsiedeln, the most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland with a famous monastery, is accessible in 30 minutes.

Overlooking the town, the Rapperswil castle is perched high on a hill and is home to a Polish museum. This top spot additionally offers visitors breathtaking views of the lakeside surroundings.

Beatrice Andreas, a visitor, said she always went to Rapperswil over the weekends whenever she was in Zurich.

“I live nearby and catch a train to Rapperswil when I am off from work. I only miss Rapperswil when I am away from Zurich,” she maintained.

Andreas said Rapperswil was a huge attraction for the foreign tourists and equally popular among the locals.

John Smith and Emily Williams - a honeymoon couple - said they could not have found a better place to spend their special days than Rapperswil.

“We have hired a hotel close by and are coming here every day. This is a good romantic place. This (site) is hard to resist,” remarked Emily William.