Roving Report: Skiing in Splended Switzerland
Contemporary Switzerland is renowned for so much more than its chocolate and yodelling. Switzerland use four different languages which are French, German, Italian and Romansh, and is one of the most developed countries in the world with the highest nominal wealth per adult. It was not invaded during either of the World Wars and in 2015 is was named the Happiest Country on Earth! If these factors can't convince you alone to travel to Switzerland, then maybe we can! We sent our roving reporter Andy there for a visit to Geneva, to suss out the slopes and other excursions.
I travelled from London to Geneva by plane, which only took around 90 minutes, then another 75-minute transfer time from the airport to the resort by road or rail, both will give you an idyllic, scenic journey along Lake Geneva. There are multiple flights available from London to Geneva all year round, and there are also regular regional flights from other major airports such as Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh etc.
The resort I was staying was called Villars in the Lake Geneva Region, it's a traditional-style ski resort and mountain village, located 1300m above sea level, with skiing up to 3000m. Of course, the main attraction here in the Winter is skiing, with glorious scenic trail walks available in the summer. Here you can find some of the best views of the surrounding mountain ranges which include Mont Blanc. This is the perfect location if you're looking to explore Lake Geneva as are resorts such as Montreux and Lausanne where you will find there is easy access.
There is plenty of accommodation to choose from ranging from several 4-star hotels which can hold groups for up to about 50 rooms, to 3-star hotels for those on a smaller budget or for whom accommodation is not a key factor of their trip. Amongst these is the super 5-star privately owned Chalet Royalp, which has 63 rooms and suites, plus 30 luxury apartments, which can be privatised if you have the budget! All rooms and suites guarantee an amazing view with your own terrace to view it from. You'll never go hungry with a great range of restaurants within the resorts and on the mountains.
There's plenty to do here, you'll never be bored! From the Rach Railways that runs from the village all year, up to 1850m, to the cable cars from nearby Les Diablerets up to the glacier at 3000m to give you the ultimate birds eye view! Both also give access to extensive skiing areas in winter and walking trails and other activities in summer. However, it's not all about skiing, and there are some options for non-skiers, or good for just a day off from the slopes are the spas, mountain restaurants, snow-shoeing and the cable-car ride with the glacier walk.
You can also take trips into Montreux and Lausanne. Montreux town has a promenade which is lined with flowers and sculptures, it's a place known for the Jazz festival held every July, and for Queen fans it has an interactive exhibition in Queen's former recording studio complete with memorabilia and costumes. Then Lausanne, a hilly old city complete with medieval, shop lined streets and a 12th-century Cathedral, is home to the Olympic committee headquarters, an Olympic museum and the lakeshore Olympic park! There's so much to do and see, you'll be feeling the need to return.
The unique selling point of this whole trip is the Swiss Charm and perfect mountain scenery. The people are great, and the views are picturesque, it certainly seems like the happiest place to live! Switzerland works well all year round as there is so much to do, it's not just all about skiing, it's rich with art, culture and history with plenty to see and lots to learn. However, if you are here for the skiing then there is an excellent range of activities for all abilities including beginners.
If I had to leave you with my top 5 tips, it would be:
1. Take the rack valley up the mountain.
2. Visit the glacier at 3000m
5. Enjoy the local restaurants with fondue and other Swiss specialities.
4.Build in time for shopping and relaxation.
5.Switzerland offers great opportunities all year round, don't be put off by the fact you don't want to/can't ski!
If an incentive trip to Switzerland sounds like something you could be interested in then why not get in touch with us? Contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org