9 Top Ideas for Ski-Shy Folks
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9 Top Ideas for Ski-Shy Folks

If you’re not strapping on a pair of skis this winter, then there are countless fun and exciting activities that won’t involve you being stranded at a café at the bottom of the ski run and stuck behind a book as you sip on hot chocolate all day (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

Would you like some more winter inspiration? We've gathered a lot of tips here for exciting things to do.

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1. Go on a winter hike with snowshoes

The views up top on the Aletsch Arena are breathtaking © Switzerland Tourism/ Silvano Zeiler

One of the very best ways to get outdoors in winter is also one of the easiest to do: snowshoeing. Most ski resorts have marked trails, and snowshoes can be rented at local ski shops.

This Switzerland Tourism guide has every information you can imagine about snowshoeing, so make sure you give it a good read. And if you want to experience the breathtaking views in the picture above, head over to this guided tour.


2. Go up top to take in the views

You might be ski-shy, but hopefully you're not sky-shy 😅 Meaning you enjoy winter hikes that go up to the sky, where all the snowy mountain views unravel. 

While there are countless options for such hikes, we wanted to bring forward something a little bit different this time: the winter hike from Kandersteg-Sünnbuel to the Gemmi Pass. Way back during the Middle Ages, the Gemmi Pass was one of the most important links for goods and people travelling between the Bernese Oberland and Valais. Now, you can retrace this road in a 4-hour adventure complete with spectacular cable car and otherworldly viewpoints.

Another great pick is the Salève plateau, known as the Balcony of Geneva, offers extraordinary panoramic views of the area in winter. There's a cable car on the weekends, but why not hike up instead? Free guided hikes on the Salève are offered year-round every Sunday by the Association Genevoise des Amis du Salève (AGAS).


3. Learn curling

What could be more Swiss than curling - which by the way is one of the newest Olympic sports?

Fewer sports are more intriguing than curling, so we'd say it's a pity not to experience it firsthand, while in Switzerland. The country is filled with traditional curling centers - both indoors like in St. Gallen and outdoors like the curling center in Arosa, Graubünden.

Find a complete overview of your options for curling, in here.


4. Relax in an outdoor thermal spa

Ultimate thermal bathing experience at Leukerbad © Leukerbad Tourism

Spas with outdoor thermal pools are one of the best ways to enjoy panoramic views.

Family and friends who've been skiing can join you there when they get off the slopes. The Leukerbad Thermal Spa in Valais, for example, has 30 different thermal baths to choose from - both indoors and outdoors under stunning views. People of all ages can have a blast soaking in the refreshing minerals-filled water, and the children pools come with 100 meters of water slides. 


5. Go eskimo and sleep in an igloo

Enjoying a night by the igloo © Switzerland Tourism/ Christian Perret

Make an igloo. Yes, as simple as that.

Imagine building your own house in a single day, and then learning a few snow survival skills in the process. Doesn't this scream 'sense of accomplishment'? Gather all your strength and skills and join group classes in various regions across Switzerland. We're pretty sure putting up the tent will feel like a breeze after experiencing igloo building.

You can also spend an exciting night in the mountains in one of Switzerland's igloo villages (some of them even have a whirlpool!).


6. Drive a dog-pulled sled

If building an igloo seems too tame, why not learn to drive a dog sled?

You can see places like Toggenburg or St. Cergue in a completely different light, alongside wonderful furry companions.


7. Brr…a winter swim!!!

A genuinely local winter activity that is not for the faint of heart is training for winter swimming in Lake Geneva.Starting in October, intrepid swimmers meet on Sundays at 10 am at the Rotonde des Bains-des-Pâquis to prepare for the Coupe de Noël in December.

Or you can go even further, with an ice dive under the magical Lac Lioson...accompanied by instructors, of course. 


8. Visit a glacier

Admire a sea of white in the Aletsch glacier © Switzerland Tourism/ Christof Sonderegger

Switzerland has over 120 glaciers, most of them located in the Valais and Graubünden Alps and the Bernese Oberland. The biggest is the Aletsch Glacier, which not only has UNESCO World Heritage status, but is also easy to access.

Visiting a glacier will help you experience some unique (yet sadly disappearing) wonders. So hurry up and make your pick(s) here.


9. Learn animal tracking

Find out what all those prints in the snow mean, and about the animals that share the mountains and forests with us. Learn animal tracking in the snow: ibex and golden eagle, or maybe deer?

And, when all else fails, put on your mittens, grab a few friends, head to the nearest park and start an epic snowball fight!


Looking for more winter inspo?

More winter activities