Top 5 Winter Activities in Gstaad
Gstaad has a diverse array of activities, perfect for non-skiers and those looking for more sedate amusements on holiday.
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 to enjoy, Gstaad 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.
1. Explore themed trails on foot
With over 30 prepared hiking trails, Gstaad 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.
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. Keen bikers can also take part in the Snow Bike Festival, a three-day race taking place in mid-January consisting of three unique events - the 19 km Afternoon Race on Friday afternoon, the 60 km Marathon Race on the Saturday and the 36 km Downhill Endurance Race on the Sunday.
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.
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.
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 Christmas market 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.
For further information on the resort take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Gstaad.