<p>Gstaad has a diverse array of alternative activities to enjoy during the winter season.</p>
Photo: Gstaad Marketing GmbH/Mattias Nutt

Top 5 Winter Activities in Gstaad

Gstaad has a diverse array of alternative activities to enjoy during the winter season.

Resort Guides
Published at: 9 Jun 2020
Last updated at: 16 May 2023

Within easy reach of Geneva and Zurich, Gstaad has a reputation for glitz and glamour attracting plenty of famous faces over the years. Although there is around 200 km of skiing in Gstaad to enjoy, this Swiss ski resort also has an extremely diverse array of activities, perfect for non-skiers and those looking for more sedate amusements in the mountains. With this in mind, here are five of the best alternative activities you can enjoy in this glorious resort.

Serena Norton
Serena Norton
Winter hiking in GstaadPhoto: swiss-image.ch

1. Explore themed trails on foot

With over 30 prepared hiking trails,Gstaad ski resort is a great place to explore on foot. There are a number of themed trails which are designed to expand your cultural knowledge of the destination.

Popular trails include the Schönried – Saanenmöser History Trail, a 2 km panoramic trail with information boards along the route summarising the local history of the area between the 13th and 19th century, the Zweisimmen Castles Trail, transporting you back to the Middle Ages and the Yehudi Menuhin's Philosophers' Trail, a 1 hour hike along the River Saane with 12 boards carrying quotes from Lord Yehudi Menuhin who founded the famous Menuhin Festival in 1957.

STAY: Ultima Gstaad Residence - Connected to the Ultima Gstaad hotel, Ultima Residence is home to six luxurious residences where guests will feel as if they are staying in their own private chalet.

Winter biking trails in GstaadPhoto: Gstaad Marketing GmbH/Mattias Nutt

2. Tour the mountains by bike

Winter biking, also known as fat biking, is becoming increasingly popular in Gstaad. Permitted on most of the region’s winter walking trails, winter biking is a fun way to explore the landscape. Sparenmoos above Zweisimmen provides ideal winter biking terrain with a choice of scenic circular tours and downhill runs. If you are looking to discover more hidden gems in Gstaad, bike guides are ideal for both beginners and more experienced mountain bikers. Local professional tour guides, these bike guides will be able to show you the best spots that Gstaad and the surrounding area has to offer.

STAY: Le Cerf Rouge - Located in the village of Rougemont, enjoy the scenic cycle through Saanen to get to the centre of Gstaad.

Horse & Carriage ride in GstaadPhoto: swiss-image.ch/Markus Buehler

3. Enjoy a sleigh ride through the beautiful countryside

What better way to explore the area than by horse and carriage? Take a tour around Lake Lauenen in a carriage pulled by a Freiberger horse. A range of different tours are available with Kutscherei Reichenbach, a family-owned company offering everything from circular tours with a stop for a warming mulled wine to moonlight trips under the starry sky.

For an alternative sleigh ride experience, excited huskies are also ready and waiting to take you on a unique alpine experience on the nearby Glacier 3000. Let these dogs show you what they were bred for as you take in the breathtaking mountain views and Swiss landscape.

Gstaad designer shops in winterPhoto: Gstaad Marketing GmbH/Mattias Nutt

4. Shop 'til you drop in Gstaad's designer boutiques

Gtsaad’s pedestrianised promenade is paradise for shopaholics with its range of elegant boutiques, flagship stores, sports shops and jewellery stores. Designer shops lining the streets include Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Hermès and Prada. Regional mountain cheeses and fine wines are also available to buy in smaller stores and from local farms themselves.

If you are in need of a break from the shops, why not pop into one of Gstaad’s many art galleries featuring works by regional and international artists. Gtsaad also has several museums which provide an insight into the culture, traditions and craftsmanship of the region.

STAY: Ultima Gstaad is located just outside the centre of Gstaad and with a chauffeur service provided, you can be collected with your bags at the end of your shopping spree.

Montreux Christmas marketPhoto: swiss-image.ch/Christof Schuerpf

5. Visit one of the famous attractions in the region

Gstaad is an excellent starting point for visiting many of the local attractions. Within an hours drive of Gstaad is the 13th-century Gruyères Castle where visitors can discover remarkable treasures from the Middle Ages. Also close by in Broc, is the fabulous Cailler Chocolate Factory where you can learn all about how the chocolate is made and tantalise your tastebuds with an amazing variety of flavours during a chocolate tasting.

Other nearby attractions include Bex Salt Mines, Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva which has an excellent market during the Christmas holidays and the Le Moléson mountain summit which is equipped with a funicular and cable car allowing you to discover the magnificent panorama from the top.