Author: Ipsita Barua, Travel Editor
The trees are almost bare. The temperatures, free falling every day. The sun, barely seen. It’s officially winter, but the fun doesn’t freeze in this part of the world. With pristine pistes and stunning Alpine vistas, Switzerland has always been a hotspot for the rich, famous and the adventurous during the winter months. My first winter after moving here was spent replacing logs in the fireplace, making batches of soups and learning how to layer up while going out. That was winter activity enough for me! Any attempts at socializing would invariably lead to planning ski weekends or discussing the best ski passes. Everybody, except me, seemed to know how to ski. Even a toddler could give you a tip or two. With zero skiing experience and limited information on winter activities, that winter was my harshest.
Two years down the line, I still don’t ski but have found a lot of other activities that don’t leave hibernation as your only choice. Here are some of my favourites that do not require any skills, just a whole lot of enthusiasm and some bit of planning. Make sure you have the proper clothes, footwear or gear as required and you are ready to live up the winter wonderland life.
Note: During these unusual times, please check with the venue or tour operators before heading out
Glide over mountains and valleys on an electric vehicle in the E-snowmobile Park in Lenk. The snow-covered trail offers two different routes for children and adults that guarantee much excitement and action along the snowy twists and turns. The penguin-themed Pingu-Stübli with an unobstructed view of the children’s course is the perfect place for some hot bites and refreshments while keeping an eye on the little ones as they careen around the trail.
More information here
When it’s too cold outside, go underground. This fascinating 2-day guided exploration takes you to the depths of the largest cave system in Europe, the Hölloch. Experience amazement and awe as you navigate through rock formations that are over 120 million years old and learn interesting facts about the cave’s uniqueness. You will spend the night in the furnished bivouac, where you can while away the evening chatting with fellow travellers over a cozy fondue dinner. Well lit and furnished with all the required essentials for your comfort, this is a truly unique winter experience you can brag about.
More information here
Walking through a snow-covered landscape, lit with the soft glow of the moon is nothing short of a fairytale. Strap on your snowshoes and make your way through silent forests and breathtaking silhouettes, off the beaten tracks. All moonlit snowshoeing tours are guided and are mostly combined with either a fondue or a raclette meal at the end of the walk. It requires no prior experience and the shoes are provided by the tour operators. From trails over lakes to those through valleys and forests, there’s always one close to you. Check out the areas and details below.
Wellness and Mineral Baths
When it’s all cold all frozen outside, there’s nothing more soothing than a sauna session or a hot mineral bath. Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and serenity with superlative mountain views in a Swiss day spa or wellness centre, most of which offer day passes and treatment packages to let you make the most of the available facilities and services. With outdoor pools, special massages, beauty treatments and dining options, you will find everything you need to relax and rejuvenate.
Note: Please check the opening dates and hours of operation before visit
Also called sledding, this is one of the most popular adrenaline-pumping winter activities that can be fun for the entire family. Because there aren’t any reindeers here to pull yours, you will need some practice in controlling the sled speed or stopping at will on a slope. There are over 200 sledding runs in Switzerland with stunning views, sharp curves, winding descents and one particular route even includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you have had your fill of the usual daytime tobogganing, try it at night with head torches under a starry, wintery sky.
Find more information on tobogganing runs here
What’s your favourite winter activity in Switzerland that you enjoy with friends and family? Add on to our list so that non-skiers like me can be out and about this winter!
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