SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME: Switzerland's best Christmas traditions

A Winter holiday in Switzerland is the thing of dreams. It’s a nation that indulges in the spirit of Christmas like no other! But you’d be forgiven for thinking their main offering comes in the form of extreme Winter Sports and chilly excursions…

A Winter holiday in Switzerland is the thing of dreams. It’s a nation that indulges in the spirit of Christmas like no other! But you’d be forgiven for thinking their main offering comes in the form of extreme Winter Sports and chilly excursions…

In fact, the Swiss are also experts at making the most of Christmas with a whole host of traditional activities (with an appropriate sprinkling of Christmas cheer!) that are perfect to get stuck into surrounding the big day itself…

Here’s a handy guide to some Winter pleasures that await in Switzerland.

 

SAY CHEESE

Fondue Truck

Cheese is synonymous with all-things Swiss.

There aren’t many places in the world where you can indulge in a total obsession with cheese. But, thankfully, Switzerland is one place where you can!

In Zurich, the Fondue Tram will take you through some of the most insta-worthy city sights while you enjoy a Grisons starter platter and cheese fondue washed down with some warm Glühwein. For something more intimate for a group of four, you may like to hop on the world’s very first Fondue eTukTuk, a fun and quirky Zurich city tour that combines the city’s best attractions with a classic Swiss cheese fondue.

Further south in Montreux, the Cheese Train might pull on your heartstrings with its decadent and delicious 5h30min return Montreux to Château d’Oex tour, where you’ll not only indulge in specialty cheeses and wines of the region but do it while meandering through the magical snow-capped landscape.

If cheesy rides aren’t for you, then perhaps pop-up fondue chalets are! These can be found in most major cities including Zurich, Basel, Zug and many others.

 

CELEBRATE WITH ST. NICK

Harley Niggi-Näggi in Basel

From late November, St. Niklaus will make his rounds in Switzerland. And each city sees a different side of his personality.

In Basel, a procession of 50 Santa Clauses on roaring motorbikes will ride through a cheering crowd giving away thousands of giveaways. This is called the Harley Niggi-Näggi and the event raises funds through the sale of mulled wine and sweet treats for various charities. Clearly, it’s not just reindeer sleighs that Santa rides!

Then over in Zurich, Santa pays a visit to 24 city children along the city’s Maerli tramway, where he is joined by two angels.

 

ICEY SLIDES

Credit: Robert-Maybach

When it comes to winter, hitting the slopes for a bit of toboggan action is all part of the Swiss tradition!

If you’re a seasoned rider, head to Europe’s longest toboggan run stretching 15km in Grindelwald. For something shorter but equally exhilarating, Mt Titlis is where you need to be (and they even have night runs!).

For a quick 10min dash through the snow with the magnificent and not to mention insta-worthy Matterhorn as your backdrop, then the slopes of Gornergrat in Zermatt is the place to be.

For more ideas and inspiration, visit www.myswitzerland.com/winter.