4 cool alternative activities for non-skiers Switzerland
Maybe it’s just me, but I have the feeling that most people only think of skiing when it comes to visiting Switzerland in the winter. And although the alpine country seems perfectly built for skiing, there is plenty on offer for all of us non-skiers too!
I have been fortunate to try a few cool winter activities in the Swiss Alps over the last couple of years, so here are my first-hand tips on what to do while your friends are racing down the slopes.
Outdoor ice skating in Interlaken
You gotta be fast to make it this season (as it ends of February 23rd 2019), but this is a dream come true for anyone who loves ice skating outdoors. The Top of Europe Ice Magic in Interlaken is a wonderland of 5 different ice rinks connected by 450 meters of icy trails – set on an open “field” between the towering Alps in central Switzerland. Throw in a bunch of atmospheric “after-skating tents”, a row of enticing food stalls and some big mugs of steaming hot glühwein (mulled wine) and you have the perfect winter activity concept right there!
The season normally kicks off in the beginning of December where it is perfectly combined with the city’s Christmas market, so if you can’t make it this year – start planning your trip for next winter right away!
I dedicated a blog post to this experience a couple of years ago, that you will find HERE
Dogsledding with huskies in Valais
A pack of agile, wolf-looking Siberian Huskies that pull you rapidly along snowy trails with views to white-tipped, alpine peaks on the horizon. What’s not to like? Dogsledding is a ton of fun and it’s truly fascinating to get to learn about these incredibly strong and beautiful dogs and to experience their pure passion for running. They simply love it, and they’ll be eager to keep going after each break you take to admire the surroundings.
I had my first dogsledding experience near the resort of Crans Montana in the mountains of Valais – being led by my expert guide and dedicated husky musher Pierre-Antoine Heritier. You’ll find my previous blog post dedicated to the experience HERE
Alpine sledding in Bergün
Wow, this was fun! Speeding down snow-covered roads on a simple sled without breaks …other than your own feet of course. This is exactly what you can do near the town of Bergün in Switzerland’s stunning Graubünden region.
Just jump on the train to nearby Preda and let the gravity and the snowy roads lead you back down to Bergün while crossing under bridges and zooming through a world of white. The route will start off slow so you can get to grips with the steering (leaning from side to side), but soon you’ll be able to gain great speed – which is why wearing a helmet is mandatory. One thing is for sure, you’ll be wanting to go right back up and start all over again. The season runs until mid-March, and you will find info about the dates and the prices HERE
Snowshoeing in Graubünden
Forget about the old racket-looking snowshoes you know from the cartoons – the modern ones are light and made of hard plastic, and they will let you hike through deep snow that you would normally sink into. Last year I had the pleasure of following in the tracks (literally) of the experienced alpine guide Romeo Lardi. A winter-wonderful trek from the lonely train station of Alp Grüm (that is reached on the magnificent Bernina Express) and down through forested areas to the station of nearby Cavaglia.
It was my first go at snowshoeing and it was hard work, but it was a memorable experience as we passed under snowclad pine trees and across train tracks to the soothing sound of our creaking steps in the soft snow. Romeo can be booked as a guide in other areas too, so check out his website HERE
HAVE YOU TRIED ANY NON-SKIING WINTER ACTIVITIES IN SWITZERLAND?
Let me know in the comments below – or on Travelooney Blog’s Facebook page