Love snow but don’t know how to ski? Pinay expat NJ Torres-Jacobson gives us 10 tips on how to enjoy Switzerland’s winter wonderful without getting on the skis.
Imagine transitioning from the tropical paradise and sun-kissed beaches of the Philippines to the winter wonderland of Switzerland. My journey as a Pinay expat has been a delightful transformation. It might seem like an unlikely transition, but I’ve discovered a whole new world of excitement, even without being a skiing aficionado.
While I’ve always been a beach and city lover at heart, the enchanting winter landscapes, hearty fondue feasts, and vibrant winter culture of Switzerland instantly captured my heart. The crazy cold and dressing up properly were totally different stories, but overall, I knew in my heart I was moving to Switzerland simply because of how enchanting it is during the winter season. And I’ve discovered that there’s so much more to Switzerland in winter than meets the eye, beyond skiing in the Alps.
So, let me share with you 10 reasons to embrace the Swiss winter wonderland.
1. Snowy road trips with scenic views
Cruising through Switzerland’s winter wonderland isn’t just about reaching your destination; it’s about embracing the journey. There’s nothing quite like driving through Switzerland’s picturesque villages and majestic mountains blanketed in snow with that perfect road trip playlist. The snow-covered landscapes paint a breathtaking picture that’s worth every winding road and hairpin turn.
2. Treat yourself to a thermal spa
A visit to a Swiss thermal spa is an experience all on its own. An all-inclusive hotel package can include extras like cable car rides, ski passes, and even ski instructors for beginners. And after a long day of skiing adventures, indulge in Switzerland’s breathtaking range of thermal spas with views of the Alps. Stay: www.chateau-guetsch.ch / www. villa-honegg.ch
3. Snowfall magic
Watching a snowfall in Switzerland is like watching a fairytale come to life. The serene descent of snowflakes creates a magical ambiance that’s nothing short of breathtaking. January and February offer prime opportunities for experiencing this enchanting sight.
4. Snowy adventures for non-skiers
Not a skiing pro? No problem! Whether you’re a beginner just having fun or a pro, Switzerland’s winter has something for everyone. From skiing and snowboarding to Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding, you can find your winter adventure, regardless of your skill level. Switzerland’s winter scene offers everything from leisurely snow sledding to thrilling snow toboggan rides down the mountainside – a snowy paradise for every kind of adventurer.
5. Winter culinary experience in the Swiss Alps
Picture yourself dipping bread into bubbling melted cheese magic for a heartwarming fondue meal, all while surrounded by snow-capped peaks – a sensory delight for both your taste buds and your eyes. And after savoring the fondue bliss, warm up with a cup of hot wine and treat yourself to the finest Swiss chocolates. You can visit the chocolate factories of Lindt and Cailler
in the winter for a truly Swiss winter gastronomic delight.
Book your tickets via www.lindt-home-of- chocolate.com/en or www.cailler.ch
6. Gliding on ice rinks in Interlaken
Feel the wind in your hair as you glide across ice rinks in Interlaken. Ice skating in this winter wonderland is a delightful activity for both beginners and enthusiasts. Visit www.myswitzerland.com.
7. Matterhorn Majesty: Zermatt’s Winter Beauty
Winter provides the perfect backdrop for exploring Zermatt, home to the iconic Matterhorn peak. Even if you’re not hitting the slopes, the awe-inspiring views and alpine charm of Zermatt are worth the trip. And not to mention that visiting the magical town of Zermatt is a must when in Switzerland.
8. Sky-High Adventures: Jungfrau and Glacier 3000
Venture to Jungfrau and Glacier 3000 for an adventure of a lifetime. These high-altitude attractions offer stunning panoramas of the Swiss Alps that will leave you in awe and utterly captivated.
Book your tickets at www.glacier3000.ch.
9. Walk with a St. Bernard’s (dog)
Yes in Switzerland, it exists. A dog-walking tour for with the Swiss gentle giant dog, the St. Bernards. Ideal for parents with small children.
Book your tickets at www.fondation-barry.ch.
10. The magic of Swiss Christmas markets
Switzerland’s Christmas markets are a true testament to Swiss holiday magic. Despite the chill in the air, the warmth of twinkling lights, outdoor fireplaces, and the festive atmosphere is simply irresistible. Each canton and city offers its unique charm, making the experience truly memorable.
My all-time favorite will always be the magical Christmas wonderland of Montreux. From riding the train to visit Santa’s house all the way to the top, then riding the train back down to see him ride his sleigh with Rudolf and all his sleigh friends in all its magical glory, it’s a very unique and definitely Instagrammable experience only in Montreux.
The second by far will be the Zurich Christmas market. Other than it being the biggest, it is where the popular outdoor Christmas caroling happens. More info: www.montreuxnoel.com /www. zurich.com.
Who would’ve thought that a Pinay beach lover like me could fall head over heels for Switzerland’s winter charms? The best advice I received and would like to pass on is this: “Know how to dress up, cover up, and you’ll enjoy the winter outdoors without a doubt.” With proper clothing and smart preparation,
I learned to enjoy every moment of the enchanting snowy landscapes and all the winter experiences Switzerland had to offer.
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Nory Joy Torres Jacobson is a passionate content strategist, career marketer, and a seasoned PR maven from the Philippines, now thriving in Switzerland. With more than 15 years of solid experience and education, she has diverse capabilities in communications and digital content creation, as well as developed skills in events and media management.