Transport yourself to one of the world’s most captivating destinations, the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Just a six-hour flight from the GCC, discover an array of on- and off-piste adventures, as you take to the slopes, explore epic glaciers, and traverse the wintry landscapes on snowshoes. At the end of the day, retire to a palatial resort among the snow-dusted mountains, and refuel with hearty Swiss fare at the region’s most charming restaurants.
Immerse yourself in the winter wonders of the Villars-Gryon-Les-Diablerets ski area in the Vaudois Alps, a 90-minute drive from Geneva. Featuring close to 135 kilometers of stunning pistes, snow gardens and snow parks, this expansive area is home to three ski resorts, catering for families and friends at all skill levels. If you’re just starting out, learn the art of ski touring with personal guides, professional ski schools, and plenty of open spaces to master the craft.
Epic Glacier 3000 Experiences
Open for skiing between 9 November and 30 April, Glacier 3000 is a magnet for winter sports. Experienced skiers can take on some of the longest and most challenging ski runs, including a brand-new Black Run that is one of the steepest in Europe. For something less intense, take a one-hour walk on the glacier to savour panoramic views and warm culinary experiences, or enjoy a dogsled ride, as a pack of Huskies ferry you across the captivating glacial landscape.
The Delights of Snowshoeing
Take in the delights of Villars-Gryon-Diablerets-Bex at your own pace, with snowshoe trekking in spectacular surroundings. From an easy 40-minute circuit around Lac de Bretaye to a moderate 2.5-hour trek from Les Ecovets to La Truche, you’ll feel truly immersed in the magic of the season as you hike along picturesque alpine trails.
Outdoor adventures call for epic alpine feasts. Indulge in high-altitude dining after a day on the slopes, where you can savour Swiss mountain specialties such as bubbling fondue, hearty sausages, and golden pots of cheesy pasta. High in the alps near Meilleret, Les Mazots features an outdoor terrace with views over the ski fields, where you can dine on fondue, risotto, and roast beef. Just off the slopes at Villars-Gryon-Les Diablerets, at an altitude of 1690 metres, Restaurant du Lac des Chavonnes serves traditional regional fare in a charming chalet setting. Winter warmers include roast mountain lamb, and the wild mushroom vol-au-vent.
Relax and unwind after a day spent exploring the Vaudois Alps with a stay in one of the canton’s most palatial resorts. Backdropped by Lake Geneva and the Alps, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace puts you in the heart of cosmopolitan Montreux. Dating back to 1906, the Belle Epoque retreat features luxurious rooms and an acclaimed spa, where the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi beckon after a day on the slopes. Recently returned to its former glory, the atmospheric Villars Palace offers 99 chic rooms, a rejuvenating spa, and postcard-perfect views over the Swiss Alps.