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Recently WAVEJourney met with Switzerland Tourism and learned what events, festivals and activities are upcoming for winter 2016/2017. Below we have listed a few of the highlights that we think will be of most interest for trip planning this season.
Check them out – we think you’ll enjoy learning about them, too.
Viv and Jill
The Diavolezza ski area has been open since 22 October 2016 while Corvatsch will open on 19 November 2016 and Corviglia on 26 November 2016. Guests staying more than one night can purchase a Hotel Ski Pass for CHF 35.- per person/day for the duration of your stay.
Zurich at Christmas Time – The Enchanting Christmas City Zurich is absolutely captivating at Christmas time. The narrow, winding streets of the Old Town are filled with the scent of cinnamon, mulled wine and beeswax. And as soon as the Christmas lights along the Bahnhofstrasse are switched on on November 24, Christmas markets are held all over in the city and in various towns and villages. They include Zurich’s oldest Christmas market in the Niederdorf quarter of the Old Town. The Main Train Station, meanwhile, is home to the largest indoor market in Europe, the highlight of which is a 15 meter (50 foot) tall Christmas tree decorated with glittering Swarovski crystals. If you stroll along the Bahnhofstrasse, sooner or later you will come across the spectacular “Singing Christmas Tree”. Lined up on a vertical, stepped podium in the shape of an enormous Christmas tree and adorned with fir branches, diverse choirs from the region spread Christmas cheer with their repertoire of Christmas carols. A particularly attractive “Christmas Village” is located at Sechseläutenplatz, in front of Zurich Opera House, comprising compact rows of festively decorated market stands. There is also a tiny children’s zoo, where younger visitors can stroke Santa’s donkey, and a small ice rink, where ice-skating enthusiasts can demonstrate their skills. Incidentally, in winter open-air ice rinks can also be found in the middle of the forest at the hotel, The Dolder Grand, directly next to Lake Zurich at the Romantik Seehotel Sonne in Küsnacht, or close to the Main Train Station in the courtyard of the National Museum, with its romantic castle-style architecture.
The legendary dog sled race at the foot of the Susten Pass in the Bernese Oberland takes place February 25 and 26, featuring Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds and Greenland dogs. More than 100 teams of mushers and dogs are traveling to Gadmen for this event every year. In 2017, there are some attractive new highlights on the supporting program, including dog sled rides for children – a real treat for young dog lovers!
Gotthard Base Tunnel – is set to open in December 2016. On June 1, Switzerland celebrated the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel – at 35 miles/57 km the longest train tunnel in the world. At a depth of more than 6560 ft/2000 m inside the Gotthard massif, trains will travel at up to 155 mph/250 km/h. And as an attractive alternative, travelers can make the return trip by the historic panorama route over the Gotthard. Trains officially begin circulating through the new Gotthard tunnel after the timetable changes in December 2016.
Go on a Space Misson in Lucerne – The main attraction of the new space travel exhibition at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne from November 25 is the “space transformer”. Just like in a space station, visitors are able to walk on the walls and ceiling, which gives them a feeling of weightlessness. Adventurous visitors can try a multi-axis trainer. The machine makes it possible to experience how astronauts prepare for their mission in space.
Igloo Hotel on Stockhorn – This winter, the igloo village on the Stockhorn in the Bernese Oberland features an igloo hotel for the first time. The small hotel opens on December 25 and will be hosting guests until March 12, offering three rooms and space for up to 14 people. Visitors can sleep in the Standard Igloo, the Romantic Igloo or the Romantic Family Igloo.
Fatbiking Pleasure Ahead – In the Lake Geneva region, a new 2.5 miles/4 km fatbiking slope opens this December, allowing bike enthusiasts to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views from Bretaye to Villars. Once a week, a guided downhill fatbike run will be combined with an evening fondue in a mountain restaurant, so participants can take on the descent from Roc d’Orsay to the center of Villars.
Lauberhorn Race – January 13 to 15, 2017 – The Lauberhorn Race, the biggest annual winter sporting event in Switzerland, takes place in mid-January against the most beautiful mountain backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The growing audience numbers and the huge media attention prove that – with more than 80 years of tradition behind it – Wengen is one of the highlights of Alpine ski racing.
White Turf St. Moritz – February 12 to 26, 2017. The annual White Turf event, a tradition dating back to 1907, is no longer “merely” a horse-racing meeting. It stands for thundering hooves on spraying snow. Courageous men and intrepid women on skis pulled along at high speed by horses at the only skijoring race in the world. It is a veritable feast for all the senses, and a social highlight of the season.
Swiss Travel Pass – For ease of getting around Switzerland, take a look at all the benefits of a Swiss Travel Pass.
For More Information & Winter Activities: