Switzerland is a stunning winter destination. The Alps sparkle with pristine pistes, jaw-dropping vistas and glamourous snow sports while the cities twinkle with Christmas markets, ice rinks and more. Here's our guide to some of the coolest things to do and places to be this winter in Switzerland.
Luxuriate in the mineral waters of the Kaltbad spring while taking in the superlative view of the mountains from its indoor and outdoor pools. If you’re staying at the attached Hotel Rigi Kaltbad then for two hours each morning you (and your fellow guests) can have the mineral waters all to yourself.
This mountain chalet restaurant during the winter season helps host the thrice-weekly fondue-luge evenings, when people arrive on the chair lift after dark for a fondue before heading off with a headtorch and a toboggan to sledge the 7km run down to Les Diablerets village.
There’s plenty to challenge advanced skiers, notably the Lauberhorn ski race run or the Inferno on the other side of the valley - the latter, in particular, lets you channel your inner James Bond. Grindelwald has a buzz thanks to the young seasonal ski staff letting off après-ski steam.
After spending a morning in the snow working up an appetite, there are few better places to end up for lunch than this mountain restaurant. Perched at 1,792m on the south-facing side of the Grindelwald valley, its sun-trap of a terrace overlooks the vast Eiger mountain on the opposite side.
A ski region that remains outside the international mainstream despite its highly regarded skiing, Andermatt has recently enjoyed a renaissance. Skiers of all levels can expect far less piste traffic than at the larger Swiss resorts, making it a good choice if you like to take your time and relax.
This mountain station enjoys a stunning location at the foot of the Eiger, Münch and Jungfrau in the spectacular Bernese Oberland. From here it's possible to take the rather overpriced mountain train to the so-called 'top of Europe', the Jungfraujoch, which looks out (in good weather) over the Aletsch glacier. Otherwise, it's a popular hub for skiers, sledgers and walkers.
Nestled between 3,000-metre summits and overlooking the Swiss National Park, Scuol boasts an enviable location. The south-facing resort is sunny, but also snow-sure, with a nice range of blue and red runs for family-friendly skiing, while mogul fields and 13km of black descents cater for the more experienced.
St-Luc offers a charming blend of old and new from its splendid Belle Epoque guesthouses and 18th-century flour mills to the super-modern François-Xavier Bagnoud astronomical observatory. Star gazers will love the observatory's 60cm telescope, as well as enjoying a 6km-long planet trail walk that rises from 2141m to 2513m and is open year-round.
Located in the Torrent ski area near Leukerbad in the Valais alps, this family-run restaurant is a popular mid-ski lunch spot thanks to its glorious sunny terrace looking out over the peaks to the south. The food menu draws on Valais-typical dishes including plenty of dried meats and cheeses and hot dishes such as a half roast chicken with fries and salad.
The Berghaus Diavolezza offers accommodation, food and ski packages. But we mostly want to go for the open-air whirlpool jacuzzi located on the restaurant's sun terrace. With stunning views across the Bernina Massif and Piz Palü, this is surely one of the world's most impressve hot tubs.
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Take advantage of the crisp weather and incredible views from the sun terraces of these Alpine restaurants and cafes this winter.