Enjoy the Swiss Winter

Stockfoto-ID: 85452983 Copyright: vent du sud

These stories tell about fascinating encounters with local hosts, turning personal experiences into unforgettable memories. Be inspired and discover the versatility of Swiss snow sports.

Berner Oberland, a home from home
Kayaking in winter is everything except cold. Warming drysuits guarantee a next-level experience on wintry Lake Brienz. Dave Storey discovered this for himself. Born in England, he shows his guests steep rock faces, mystical and moody views and the power of nature.

The guests, strongly resembling yellow Michelin men, are huddled in a circle and laughing, as they force excess air out of their dry suits. These will eventually keep them warm without limiting movement. Excitement is slowly mounting. After a few exercises on dry land, it is time to hit the icy water. For most, a few practice strokes suffice before they get the hang of it. And there are always helpful tips from the coach. "The boat is an extension of your body," explains Dave, as he demonstrates how to make turns. He enjoys this interaction with the guests.
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When 80 balloons rise up to the heavens against a backdrop of snow-covered Alpine peaks, you know it’s time for the Hot Air Balloon Festival. This is a place where dreams come true - whether it’s circumnavigating the world, like swiss aviation pioneer Bertrand Piccard, or simply flying in a hot air balloon for the very first time. The special microclimate in Pays d Enhaut in the canton of Vaud makes Chateau d Oex balloon capital of the Alps, and passenger flights are available daily.
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Albula Skateline
The skateline created for skaters every winter in Surava is 1,8 mi/ 3km long. The unique attraction is the result of coincidence and the almost boundless enthusiasm of the local club. During the high season the ice track is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (5:30 p.m. on Sundays). Ice skating at night is a very special experience indeed. You can hire all the necessary equipment - even head torches.
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Record-breaking angler on sheet ice
The Arctic char that Ueli Fankhauser caught in the summer of 2017 measured 36 inches/92cm. This was the largest of its kind ever to have been caught in Melchsee-Frutt. The record holder then tried his hand at winter fishing for the first time - and ice fishing, no less. Fishing is a top attraction in the winter resort of Melchsee-Frutt. There is an abundance of big trout and char in the nearby lakes. After a record catch in summer, enthusiastic angler Ueli Fankhauser was keen to put in a repeat performance in winter too. This time with the help of local guide Gusti Berchtold.
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Pliés and deep snow
The Lauchernalp ski area, authentic Valais villages and wildly romantic landscapes: the Lötschental is an insiders’ tip and an El Dorado for freeriders and ski tourers alike. The door to a career as a prima ballerina on the great stages of the world was open to Stephanie Schelling, but her longing for ski tours in the Valais mountains was stronger. Now, Stephanie Schelling combines these two seemingly contrasting hobbies as a ski guide. For Stephanie, a successful ski tour does not end with the final turn but on a sunny terrace. From here, the gaze wanders once more up to the peak and over the tracks they have left on its slopes and couloirs. The ski tour is followed by a Valais platter and a glass of white wine - the perfect way to round off the day.
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Go sledging in the heart of Fribourg’s old town
A unique opportunity: from 17 to 19 January 2020, the old town of Fribourg will be transformed into a sledging run. An almost 200m-long stretch extending from the start of Rue de la Samaritaine to the Place du Petit-Saint-Jean is to be covered with snow. The sledging run will be open throughout the day until 10 p.m. and will be free for everyone. The snow for the run will be created from the surplus ice removed from the Düdingen ice field.
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Porsche chairlift in Arosa
A new chairlift is being built on the Brüggerhorn in summer 2019. From December 2019, guests will be transported to the top of the Brüggerhorn twice as quickly on 42 comfortable Porsche 6-seater chairs. It covers a distance of 1,337m and an altitude difference of 430m. The new lift can convey up to 1,200 passengers per hour. The system has also been equipped for night-time operation. This means the chairlift can open for evening events such as full-moon skiing.
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Kloster Engelberg celebrates its 900th anniversary
To celebrate turning 900, Kloster Engelberg is offering visitors a trip back in time. The Benedictine monastery in Engelberg has shaped the history of the mountain valley ever since it was founded back in 1120. With its active, open-minded approach, it was instrumental in the establishment of Engelberg as an internationally renowned holiday and tourist destination and continues to play a key role in the town today. The anniversary celebrations will start on 1 December 2019 and run until the end of 2020.

Fatbike night ride in Zermatt
This winter will see Zermatt host a new nighttime fatbiking event. Lasting around 2.5 hours, the fatbike tour will take cyclists along snowy paths after nightfall. Special bright lights attached to the bike will ensure safety at all times. This is the first tour of its kind in Switzerland. Following a leisurely ascent, the trail will culminate in a rapid descent back down to Zermatt. The tour will take place weekly on a fixed day of the week from December through to mid-March. Daily tours available on request. CHF 120 per person, including all equipment (minimum number of three people).

More information hereBlueme-Bädli
During the winter months, you will now be able to enjoy Switzerland’s richest thermal mineral waters at the Blueme-Bädli as well as at the Thermalbank and Bagno Populare. The picturesque Blueme-Bädli on the terrace of the Atrium Hotel Blume offers an inviting place to relax in the thermal waters. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free of charge.
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Train Travel just got More Luxurious.
Ride the Glacier Express the Excellent Way!
The Glacier Express - a route running between St Moritz and Zermatt in Switzerland — is on more bucket lists than you could even imagine for a reason. Along the eight-hour journey, it treats you to views of the Matterhorn, Oberalp Pass, and the Landwasser Viaduct. The ride just got even better: In March 2019, the Glacier Express launched its Excellence Class. In the new exclusive 20-window-seat railcars, travelers are treated to a regional 5-course meal with accompanying wines, panoramic views, and personal tablet use. During the entire journey, the guests are taken care of by a concierge. He serves culinary delights, drinks from the Glacier Bar, answers personal questions and is happy to share exciting anecdotes and information about nature, culture and people along the journey.

A Heaven for Art Lovers is about to Open…
New Arts District to Open in Lausanne.
The opening of the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts (mcb-a) in Lausanne in October 2019 officially launches the new “arts district” in the city: PLATEFORME 10. PLATEFORME 10 will combine the mcb-a, Musée de l’Elysée (photography) and mudac (design and applied arts) museums, complemented by the Toms Pauli and Félix Vallotton foundations. Lausanne’s new cultural center will be a lively space open to all. The layout and atmosphere of the premises will highlight the cultural character of the neighborhood, with a variety of shops and dining areas.

Chocolate Lovers Are about to Get New Treat.
Lindt’s Home of Chocolate Welcomes Visitors as of 2020.
In 2020, just in time for its 175th anniversary, Lindt opens its “Home of Chocolate”, which marks a major milestone in the Swiss chocolate history. This new visitor center on the factory premises in Kilchberg, 10 minutes from Zurich’s city center, will boost a multi-media and interactive exhibition, a research facility and show production. Plus the world’s largest Lindt chocolate shop, a Lindt café and a Lindt Chocolateria for chocolate courses. Another highlight is the world’s largest chocolate fountain in the entrance area, which will be 24 feet / 8 meters high.

Excellence Class on the Glacier Express.
The Excellence Class will start in its first full winter season.
The new premium car class of the Glacier Express, was launched in March and takes train travel on a next level. It offers a total of 20 seats and impressive panoramic windows. Each guest is guaranteed a window seat. Services include a personal travel companion, a comprehensive culinary offer and tablets for on-board entertainment.

A spa with a view
The Kulm Spa in St Moritz is one of the first wellness addresses in Switzerland. Its stylish outdoor pool and sauna exceed an impressive 21,500 sqft/2’000 m2, offering stunning views of the lake and the surrounding Engadine mountains. The wellness concept is based on three pillars: relaxation, detoxification and regeneration. As of November 2019, the spa will collaborate with the exclusive Swiss premium cosmetic brand “Valmont cosmetics”.

The ultimate mountain escape
Located above the town of Monthey within the canton of Valais (23 miles/38 km south of Montreux), the Whitepod Hotel offers a unique back-to-the-roots experience. Each one of the 18 pods is anchored to a wooden platform, comes with a furnished terrace with spectacular views of the valley and Lake Geneva. Exclusive suites amenities include a Netflix access (for the long winter nights) and a private sauna. With an authentic wooden “mayen” chalet at its centre and a gastronomical restaurant, the domain provides 4.3 mi/7 km of private slopes and more than 14mi/ 25 km of sign-posted trails. Furthermore, hotel guests will enjoy access to a private ski lift.

Back to school
Do you dream of getting (back) on your skis? More than 100 Swiss Ski schools offer various lessons for ski and snowboard in most ski resorts. Some destinations even propose special packages to experience the pleasures of sliding on snow for the first time or re-experience them after a break. These deals include equipment rental (and sometimes even clothing rental), lift pass and ski lesson. Crans-Montana, Nendaz and Veysonnaz, the Aletsch Arena and Zermatt all offer such packages for discovering or rediscovering the joys of skiing.

Gourmet après-ski
For the new winter season 2019/2020, Andermatt’s local mountain Gütsch will become a unique hotspot for gourmets. Situated 75 mi/120 km south of Zurich, the Gütsch will welcome two top-class restaurants: The Japanese by The Chedi Andermatt (awarded with one Michelin star) and the new gourmet restaurant of the 18-Gault & Millau-rated former Fletschhorn team in Saas Fee around 2007 Chef of the Year, Markus Neff. Situated at 7,500ft/ 2’300 m above sea level, the building designed by Swiss born, London-based architect Christina Seilern will be accessible through the mountain station Gütsch-Express.

Olympic Games gateway in Lausanne
From 9 to 22 January 2020, Lausanne will host the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. 26 years after obtaining the title of
Olympic Capital, Lausanne will become an Olympic City by hosting the second biggest winter multi-sports event after the Winter Olympics and will offer young athletes an unforgettable Olympic experience. Culture, performance and education will come together to create a real sporting festival!

Winter Canoeing on Lake Lucerne
Alongside an experienced guide, guests can now tour Lake Lucerne in a canoe during the winter months. Warm clothing and a cold protection suit are a must. A memorable experience is promised with panoramas of unforgettable snow-capped peaks and wintry mountain scenery. There are a variety of routes that skirt the picturesque lakeside villages of Weggis, Vitznau and Brunnen.