Vaudois Alps Holiday Guide
As an idyllic Swiss skiing destination, the Vaudois Alps are home to a total of 260 miles of pistes, as well as a host of other winter sports, from snowboarding and ice-skating to curling and tobogganing. If you’re up for something a bit different, you can also try your hand at ice climbing, dog sledding and heli-skiing during your winter holiday. But the Vaudois Alps are equally appealing in the summertime too. Come late spring, wildflowers cover the pastures and valleys and miles of hiking and biking trails open up for you to explore the stunning alpine scenery.
You’ll find cultural and historic attractions too. Head to the centuries-old working salt mine at Bex, a fascinating underground labyrinth of passageways and tunnels where you can learn about the history of mining salt from 1684 to the present day. Also nearby is the distinctive turreted castle in the Medieval town of Aigle, which has since become home to the Vine and Wine Museum, recognising its prominent position in the Vaud wine region. Other places worth visiting include the family-oriented Deer Park and the Gentiana Botanical Garden, both in the ski resort of Leysin, and the Glacier 3000 ski area in Les Diablerets. Here you’ll find numerous winter fun activities. Take a chair lift to the top of the mountain and have a high-speed ride down on the alpine coaster, a trip on the snow bus or a vertigo-inducing stroll over the Peak Walk suspension bridge – or you could just head to a mountain hut and enjoy a meal, looking out across the valley.
Like most holidaymakers, you’ll probably fly into Geneva International Airport and make your way to your chosen resort by road or rail. Three of the best known ski resorts – Leysin, Villars and Les Diablerets – are easily accessible from any direction, and a narrow gauge railway links them to the towns of Aigle and Bex.
But there are plenty of worthwhile excursions beyond the main ski resorts, including to the charming waterfront towns strung along the northern shoreline of Lake Geneva. The obvious places to start are Montreaux and Vevey, linked to each other by a lakeside path, and both home to some fabulous dining, shopping and mountain views. Also worth exploring in more depth is the Vaud canton capital of Lausanne, which was designated the Olympic Capital in 1994 and houses the Olympic Museum and archives. Alternatively, to the east of Lake Geneva, on the other side of the ski resorts, the exclusive village of Gstaad is also within easy reach.
For a weekend getaway or a full family holiday, you’ll find loads of things to do in Vaudois Alps and enjoy a great selection of hotels to choose from.