Gstaad
© Alexis Bidegain / EASYVOYAGE
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Gstaad

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Our Editorial team's advice

A charming little village perched at an altitude of 1,050m, Gstaad is part of the municipality of Saanen. A kingdom of luxury brand boutiques, Gstaad is more famous for its famous inhabitants than for its ski slopes. And yet, you have to admit that the village has more than one string to its bow! Besides the plethora of events that regulate life in this resort year-round, there are plenty of things to do in both winter and summer.

While boardsports may be the top attraction in winter, other fun possibilities for parents and children include a dogsled race or a hot air balloon ride. That is, unless, they decide to spoil themselves in one of the villages well-being centres. In summer, hiking and other nature-based activities take over. In short, it is impossible to get bored here, even if skiing is not your cup of tea!

Although it may not be the fastest solution, it is undeniably the least stressful and most ecological one! To reach Gstaad from London, take the Eurostar to Paris and then a TGV Lyria from Paris to Lausanne (3h 50m). Another train will take you to Montreux in no more than twenty minutes. This is where you'll start the 'Golden Pass' portion of your trip, a train with a panoramic view of the landscape. Another option is the 'TGV des Neiges', which takes passengers from Paris to Montreux.

To see

The gorgeous landscapes from the window of your hotel room (or its chalet), from the top of the slopes or, even better, from a hot air balloon.

To do

Enjoy the miles of slopes for skiing, snowboarding, monoskiing and other boardsports. It's also a good time to try out a dogsled ride. Several companies propose walks or visits of the slopes.
Get some exercise thanks to the many sports available (tennis, swimming, etc.) or, on the contrary, relax in one of the well-being centres of the luxury hotels.
Cultivate yourself with the many events held here. The Musical Summits of Gstaad, a festival of classical music, is held here every year and is one of the main events. Come here again to attend the SWATCH FIVB (beach volleyball competition), the Menuhin Festival (classical music), the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open (tennis tournament), the Hublot Polo Gold Cup (polo competition) or the Country Night Gstaad (a country and western event).
Spend the night in the ice hotel located at the top of the Saanenmöser slopes.

pros

  • +  The spectacular landscapes
  • +  The amount of activities
  • +  The charming centre

cons

  • -  The prices of the hotels and in the shops and restaurants

To think about

Bundle up well in winter, whether you are heading for the village or the slopes.
Have a well-endowed bank account: the shops, restaurants and activities are not exactly cheap!

To avoid

Taking a taxi. The fare will be exorbitant, even if it's only a 5 minute trip. Many hotels offer transfers to the train station, the airport or the slopes. Get more information at reception.

To try

All of the cheese-based dishes, from raclette to fondue and the unavoidable gruyère. Let yourself be tempted by the Chinese fondue as well, which involves cooking small pieces of meat in boiling water!
Rösti, a dish of grilled potatoes (from the Germen verb rösten, meaning "to roast") is easy to prepare and is always served with meat or vegetables. It is one of the most typical and, not to mention, cheapest dishes. It is made using potatoes, onions, butter, bacon, salt and pepper.

To bring back

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
A (or several) Swiss knife