Many people, when they think about the Swiss Alps as a travel destination, don’t get past winter sports. But this is a mistake. The Swiss Alps is a popular vacation destination all year round. Well-known ski resorts such as Zermatt offer activities all year round, and if you go high enough, you can still ski on the Theodul Glacier.
In this post, we are going to discuss some other activities you can try if you plan to book a luxury Swiss cabin in the Swiss Alps this summer. If you want a mixture of sporting activities to keep you entertained, it’s a good idea to look at staying in or close to one of the main resort centers, but this isn’t obligatory. Whilst many of the big ski resorts offer different sports during the summer, you can stay in a bed & breakfast or even go camping and still have plenty of fun. And besides, sports aren’t the only activity on offer in the Swiss Alps during the summer months!
Here are a few more to whet your appetite.
1. Road Cycling
When it comes to cycling, there are few more exciting routes than traversing some of the many peaks made famous by the Tour de France. There are some ferocious climbs and corresponding descents in the Swiss Alps. You may not have the stamina to ascend the Tremola on the south side of the Gotthard Pass in one go. At 1,091 meters, it’s a challenging climb for all but the toughest cyclists. But the switchbacks are amazing, and you’ll want to take plenty of photos en-route. There is a nice restaurant at the top of the mountain, so at least you can refuel on Ovomaltine!
If the tough climbs of the Swiss Alps are too much for your legs, stick to flat routes along the valley floor and around the lakes. These are just as scenic, but not as tough on your quads.
2. Mountain Biking
Not all cyclists want to stick to smooth tarmac roads, which is just as well, as there are some amazing off-road cycle routes for mountain bikers. The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the best-known mountain biking trails. It was originally used by alpine walkers but has since been adapted for mountain bikes. It is very technical in places and certainly not easy, but the breathtaking scenery more than makes up for the tough ascents and descents. Along the way, you will pass by the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, taking in several high mountain passes and reaching altitudes of more than 2,500 meters. Make sure you switch on your Strava before you set off, as there is a lot of kudos to be claimed from completing such a challenging route.
If the Haute Route is too taxing, check out the bike trails in the Saas Valley. There are more than 70km of mountain bike trails, with sections for all abilities.
3. Walking and Hiking
It should go without saying that hiking and walking are both very popular in the Swiss Alps. You can hike from Zermatt up to the foot of the Matterhorn, descend the Gorner Glacier, and explore the region’s glacial lakes and mountain passes. Book a hiking vacation with a tour guide if you want to make the most of the mountain trails. That way you won’t get lost or end up taking a dangerous route.
Glacier hiking is something different, but it should never be attempted without a professional guide and suitable equipment. You can catch the cable car from Courmayeur and walk the glacier on Mont Blanc. The views are amazing. The Aletsch Glacier is also worth hiking.
4. Whitewater Rafting
Adrenaline junkies will want to try whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps. There are rafting tours available from Interlaken and you can try your skills on class IV rapids. Courmayeur is a popular destination for whitewater rafting enthusiasts, but Lutschine is perhaps the most well-known.
There are no shortage of cool Alpine lakes to swim in if you head to the Swiss Alps. Pack a picnic lunch and head up into the mountains on a hot day. Find a secluded lake and let the kids swim while you watch over them with a nice glass of wine in one hand and a sandwich in the other. There are many lovely mountain lakes close to Zermatt, so you can swim with the Matterhorn reflected in the water.
Kandersteg is one of the best locations for swimming in the Swiss Alps. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the scenery is outstanding. If you don’t want to swim, hire a boat and paddle up to the waterfall that feeds this beautiful mountain lake.
6. Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is a lot more relaxing than cycling, but no less fun. There are some wonderful lakes and streams in the Swiss Alps. The water is fresh and clear, which is perfect for fish species such as trout, char, and grayling. Some of the best fly fishing in the Swiss Alps can be found at Zermatt. With the mountains towering behind you, settle down for a peaceful day of fishing. Some local operators also offer fishing tours. You can fish on scenic privately-owned lakes adjacent to glaciers. What could be more perfect?
7. Play Golf
Switzerland isn’t known for its golf, but don’t let this dissuade you from taking your clubs along for the journey. There are two excellent 18-hole golf courses in the Swiss resort of Verbier, which should keep you entertained for a few days. You can practice your swing with the majestic Mont Blanc looming over you.
If you really want to take it easy, pack some sketchpads, pencils, and paints, and find a scenic spot to do some painting and drawing. There are few more scenic places than the Swiss Alps, so you won’t be short on inspiration.
The Swiss Alps are the perfect vacation destination for anyone. With luxury Swiss shepherd huts, chalets, ski cabins, and resort hotels, you can have a relaxing break and arrive home completely refreshed.