SNOW DAY: 7 Reasons to Spend Winter in Switzerland (even if you don’t ski)

Postcard-perfect Switzerland is a traveller’s dream -- and in winter, it’s so much more than just snow sports. Pack your winter woolies for the whole season, you’ll fall love at frost sight.

Postcard-perfect Switzerland is a traveller’s dream — and in winter, it’s so much more than just snow sports. Pack your winter woolies for the whole season, you’ll fall love at frost sight.

Forget what they said in the Sound of Music: in Switzerland, the hills are really alive when it gets to wintertime. Not a skier? No worries — here’s seven activities that will keep you busy no matter your interests…

 

VISIT MAGICAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS

In the northern hemisphere’s winter, you really can’t miss the classic seasonal experience of a Swiss Christmas market. Luckily, there’s plenty to choose from.

Montreux Christmas Market
Switzerland Tourism /Christof Schuerpf

In Zurich, you’ll find Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas market, complete with a huge ice rink. Head to the chilled town of Montreux to sample some gluhwein and gingerbread at a picturesque market, right on Lake Geneva.

Switzerland Tourism /Jan Geerk.

Or head for Basel, where you’ll find more than 100 stalls with artisanal crafts, delicious drinks, and traditional Swiss food, sure to warm up even the Grinchiest of hearts.

 

CHECK INTO AN IGLOO

Engelberg-Titlis Tourism/swiss-image.ch

Ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in an Igloo? Switzerland might just be the perfect place to do it, where your experience can be paired with cheese fondue, mulled wine, snowshoe hiking and a spa under the stars. If you back your building skills, you can even learn to construct your Igloo from scratch before staying overnight.

 

DASH THROUGH THE SNOW

Why not enjoy a bluebird snow day with the company of some pups? Dog sledding is a surprisingly relaxing way to enjoy Switzerland’s mountainous scenery at your own pace. In Appenzell, east of Zurich, you can learn to handle the team of Malamute sled dogs as you glide through the powder, and enjoy the pure alpine air from a wide-open sled.

 

BUILD YOUR OWN TOP SPEED TOBOGGAN

For a bit (or a lot!) more speed, thrillseekers will love tobogganing. Head for Col de la Crois to learn how the Morerod family handcraft the “Rolls Royce” of Swiss toboggans — they drive like a go-cart and fly like a rocket. In winter, cyclists and motorists are off the roads, so toboggans are free to take over the thrilling seven-kilometre slope.

 

GET ON BOARD WITH SPECTATOR SPORTS

Visit the frozen lake of St Moritz in January and February, and you’ll find flocks of well-heeled travellers on their way to see Switzerland’s famed winter spots. You’ll find everything from the Snow Polo, to Cricket on Ice, and the 100-year old tradition of White Turf horseracing.

 

SEE SWISS SCENERY BY RAIL

The Glacier Express Switzerland Tourism /Christof Sonderegger

Whiz past lush villages, and weave through snow-capped scenes. There are few sights more beautiful than Swiss scenery, and travelling by train offers you a panoramic view of the best bits.

The Golden Pass

Some of the most impressive journeys include the Glacier Express (from Zermatt to St Moritz) and Bernina Express (from Chur to Tirano) and the GoldenPass Line (from Interlaken to Montreux).

 

KICK BACK IN A RUSTIC ALPINE CHALET

Switzerland Tourism/Sylvia Michel

No Swiss winter experience would be complete without a stay in a traditional Swiss alpine chalet. There are so many cosy winter hideaways that you’ll be spoiled for choice — whether you’d prefer to ski-in and ski-out, or ski-in and spa-out.

To discover more ways to fall in love at frost sight with Switzerland, visit myswitzerland.com.