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Nine wonderful winter activities in Switzerland that aren’t skiing

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Nine wonderful winter activities in Switzerland that aren’t skiing
ivankmit/Depositphotos
11:47 CET+01:00
Looking for a few winter options that don't involve skiing or snowboarding? Read on for a few of our suggestions...

Toboggan rides

Photo: pressmaster/depositphotos

Toboggan rides are a simple way to be outdoors and enjoy the snow. The run from Preda to Bergün is regularly touted as one of the top toboggan destinations in Switzerland. Stretching for 6 kilometres, it is the longest flood-lit run in Europe and features as many twists and turns as the stunning Rhaetian Railway line that you’ll need to take to get there.

Descending 400 metres, the run takes you under several viaducts and offers lovely views of the Albula Valley. You can rent a toboggan on-site and there are food and drink options at both the start and finish.

Dog Sledding

 
Perhaps a little surprisingly, dog sledding is quite popular in Switzerland and there are options in numerous parts of the country. Malamut Tours in Appenzell, for example, offer you the chance to learn about all aspects of “mushing” and how it works – as well as the chance to enjoy some stunning views of Swiss winter. There are options for couples and groups, and the video above should give you an idea of what to expect.

Visit a chocolate factory

Switzerland is very well known for chocolate so it should be no real surprise that there are numerous chocolate experiences to be had here. The Chocolarium in Flawil, canton St Gallen, is possibly the most Willy Wonka-esque. With demonstrations on how chocolate is made, a 100-metre production line and courses you can sign up for, it is sure to delight anybody with a weakness for chocolate.  

Snowshoeing

Photo: ankamonika/depositphotos

Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the fantastic natural beauty of Switzerland’s winter landscapes. It requires little to no previous experience and can be done by almost anybody who can walk.

If you are interested in giving it a try then the Crans-Montana route in Valais could be an ideal starting place. Around 2 kilometres in length, the round-trip route is classified as easy but still offers some lovely Alpine and forest views – particularly at sunset. It takes around an hour to complete.

Stay in an Igloo

Photo: Iglu-Dorf Facebook Page

Ever wondered what sleeping in an igloo would be like? Well, Iglu-Dorf has seven different locations across Switzerland where you can find out. From December 14 until the end of April, guests are able to stay overnight in a room made of snow. Some resorts have a hot tub and some offer weddings. If you want to try it for yourself, we recommend booking as early as possible.

Walk with a St Bernard

Photo: swisshippo/depositphotos

Take a walk through the scenic mountain region of Champex-Lac accompanied by a pack of St Bernards. The loveable giant dogs are harnessed to a sled so that children up to the age of 10 can take turns being pulled while adults act as tour guides. The walk is 45 minutes long and suitable for most people. 

More information on this here.

Go to a Christmas Market

Photo: Interlaken Tourism

No prizes for originality but with Switzerland being home to so many excellent Christmas Markets, it would be a shame to ignore them – especially when lots have their own unique atmosphere and approach. This year, for example, Zofingen has created an event based on smells while Yverdon-les-Bains is setting up stall in and around its medieval castle and historic centre.

Whether you are looking for stocking fillers or just enjoy the festive atmosphere, a Christmas market is always worth a visit. We’ve made a list to help you decide where you want to go.

Read more: Your guide to the best Swiss Christmas Markets in 2018 

Ride the world's steepest funicular 
Stoos in Canton Schwyz made headlines around the world in late 2017 after its long awaited funicular opened, claiming to be the world's steepest. With a gradient of 47.73 degrees (110 percent), the ride can take 136 passengers 744 metres up in just four minutes. 
 
 
Experience Tamina Lumina 
 
Combining story telling and state of the art light technology, Tamina Lumina is a winter experience that is sure to excite the whole family. It has been running for two years now, and features stunning light projections in six different locations - including a waterfall.
 
Tamina Lumina opened on November 24 and runs until January 12. The video above should give you an clearer idea of what to expect, or head the event's Facebook page for more information. 
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