Top 5 Reasons to Visit Gstaad in Summer
In summer Gstaad transforms into a spectacular paradise with an abundance of events and activities to enjoy.
One of the most exclusive celebrity-packed resorts in Europe, the elegant village of Gstaad is located in the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps and known for being one of the most upmarket winter ski destinations. When the snow has melted and warmer temperatures arrive, Gstaad remains as beautiful as ever, transforming into a summer paradise with an abundance of activities and spectacular events for everyone to enjoy.
1. The Shopping
A shopping paradise, the famous cobbled promenade of Gstaad is lined with picturesque chalets in which an array of designer boutiques lie, from Hermès and Cartier to Ralph Lauren and Prada. For the chocolate lovers of the group, a visit to the Earlybeck Boulanger or Charly’s tea room is a must, with a vast selection of homemade chocolates and decadent desserts to choose from. When it comes to regional specialities, look no further than Pernet Gstaad stocking a range of delicacies both locally and internationally including fine wines and spirits.
For incredible interior design pieces, both Rougemont Interiors and Schirato Interiors are filled with stunning furniture and fabrics for both modern and classic interiors. At just a five minute drive from the centre of Gstaad, Saanen also has a delightful shopping scene with shops selling a selection of local delicacies and some incredible one-of-a-kind art pieces.
2. The Culture
Gstaad has several art galleries and museums captivating people from across the world. Located in Saanen, the Museum der Landschaft is an agricultural museum with a collection of artistic and agricultural assets used to tell the history of the valley. With a permanent exhibition on Saanen customs and traditions, as well as regular temporary exhibitions throughout the year, the Saanen museum gives a stimulating insight into the culture, traditions and art of this stunning Alpine resort.
For lovers of art, Gstaad is home to a wealth of art galleries with exhibitions ranging in styles from oil paintings to sculptures, Blankenburg cutlery and woodblock prints. For contemporary art, the SAMHART Gallery presents contemporary art in all its forms while the Urs von Unger Gallery has a collection of art and antiques. Gstaad also has a Bel-Air Fine Art Gallery as well as the Maddox Gallery home to contemporary and street art exhibitions.
Should you prefer art in the form of music, every year Gstaad also hosts the Menuhin Festival with over 75 classical concerts showcasing a vast array of famous soloists and ensembles alike.
3. Sporting Activities
As popular in summer as it is in winter, Gstaad’s hiking trails are second to none with over 300 km of trails to choose from. With varied hiking options, Gstaad has something for everyone including a number of cultural and themed trails for families and groups to enjoy. Gstaad also has 500 km of GPS tours and sign-posted routes for mountain bikers to discover, over varied topography and several valleys, including the famous Lauenensee and panoramic loop around Hundsrügg and Rellerli.
With over a thousand cultural and sporting events available to visitors each year, the summer months of August and July see Gstaad host world-famous sporting events including the Swiss Open which has been held since 1898 with stars competing on clay courts to win this ATP tournament. Gstaad also plays host to the Swatch Beach Major Series and the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, Europe’s highest grass polo event attracting around 6000 spectators a year.
4. Wellness & Relaxation
With several specialist spas and wellness hotels, it comes as no surprise that Gstaad has been awarded the ‘Wellness Destination’ quality seal by the Swiss Tourist Association. An award that is presented to holiday destinations offering a high-quality range of spa and wellness amenities, Gstaad has seven hotels with full spa and wellness facilities as well as 10 further hotels with various spa amenities.
With an extensive wellness area, residents of Ultima Gstaad can enjoy the 15-metre swimming pool, hammam, sauna and indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, as well as six treatment and massage rooms, a health bar and gym. Offering tailor-made treatments, guests can also choose from botox, revitalisation, cryolipolise and even DNA testing.
Offering a variety of services, the sports centre in Gstaad also has indoor and outdoor pools as well as a Finnish sauna, steam bath and whirlpool to name just a few, with yoga retreats to fuel your body and focus on your well-being.
5. The Summer Schools
For a summer your child will never forget, three incredible summer schools await to give them the experience of a lifetime, making friends as they discover and learn.
At Lovell International Summer Camps, several separate programs are offered from a little campers club for 2 to 5-year-olds to a leadership training program between the ages of 16 to 18. Located in the heart of the resort and famously known for being the most expensive school in the world, Le Rosey also organizes two and three-week sessions from June to August in Gstaad, combining a variety of language courses as well as excursions, sporting and art activities. Finally, the John F.Kennedy International School offers a jam-packed outdoor camp inspiring passion and motivating children to become successful leaders.