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Winter fun and various recreational activitiesin the canton of Vaud

What is there to do in the winter before, after or instead of skiing in the canton of Vaud?

People just loooove to ski in the canton of Vaud, be it in the Alps or the Jura! But variety is the spice of life. And the Vaudois people are champions in that, too! That’s what our bloggers Yann and Aurélie - "Amoureux du Monde" discovered during their multifaceted winter vacation. Let’s see what they saw!

We were lucky enough to have masses of snow and to leave our first snowshoeing tracks in the snow. The path across unspoilt nature is very pleasant.

Winter hike during the day... or night!

The way we anticipate the February holidays is a bit like children waiting for Christmas. The morning is too late to enjoy the snowy atmosphere. That’s why many people already set off for the Vaudois resorts in the evening. The journey to the mountains is a holiday experience in itself thanks to the excellent public transport networks.  We settle comfortably and start dreaming about all the lovely surprises in store for us.

There are more and more night activities on offer. So, you can enjoy the snow as soon as you arrive after work or school. Some visitors choose to go on a guided cross-country tour or snowshoeing hike to experience the magic of a winter night.

Chiens de traineaux à Villars-Gryon

Unusual snow activities

Trying out an unusual activity is a good start to a weekend in the mountains. Such activities are fun and adapted to the whole family. There’s something to suit every taste in the canton of Vaud! Enjoy fun and original winter activities on the highly popular sled tracks, the frozen-over Lake Joux, Europe’s largest natural ice rink, specially designed snowtubing slopes offering a crazy descent on inflated rubber tubes instead of sleds.

The highest point of the canton of Vaud, Glacier 3000, has specialised in atypical activities. Marvel at the contemporary building by the famous Swiss architect Mario Botta at the top of Glacier 3000. See the ice from the snow bus directly on the Diablerets glacier. Experience the thrill of the Peak Walk by Tissot, a hanging bridge between two peaks, and admire the sublime panorama of Switzerland’s most beautiful Alpine peaks. One of its kind!

It was wonderful to meet the Arcomushing sled dogs and go on an outing with them! The snow that enveloped the fir trees on the plateau of Cergnement the night before turned the outing into a magical moment.

Nature lovers prefer recreational activities that put them into contact with animals and preserved landscapes. Try an inspiring flight in a hot-air balloon, an unforgettable dog-sled race or an introduction to ski jöring, a Nordic ski sport where you’re pulled by a horse.

The most sports-minded will test their stamina in new activities such as ice climbing or fatbiking, a mountain bike whose huge tires are ideal for snow-covered tracks.

Gryon Frience

Gastronomy and warm welcome in winter

After a breathtaking sled descent or a poetic ride in a hot-air balloon, you can't just quit your pals. Whatever your programme during the day, the end of the Saturday afternoon is ideal for an “après-ski” moment on a sunny terrace, a bar or village inn. This is where you can share your adventures around a cup of tea or a glass of mulled wine. These hot beverages and the friendly atmosphere soothe your soul and boost your energy for the evening ahead.

The snowmobile ascent to the refuge de Solalex was one of the most outstanding moments during our stay in the canton of Vaud. The night sky was entirely cloudless. We were able to admire the stars before enjoying a good raclette cooked over a log fire.

You’ll probably have worked up quite an appetite after all these thrills. The food offered in Swiss mountain restaurants is reputed to satisfy even the hungriest of visitors. Naturally, the typical Swiss cheese dishes fondue and raclette are the stars here. These cheese delights are best with a glass of Chasselas, the favourite wine in Vaud. Gourmets on the lookout for that special treat will be happy to see that the resorts offer a growing number of gastronomic restaurants. And those who still have enough energy left to continue snowshoeing or sledding into the night do best to book a package deal comprising one night activity and a typical meal.

Lavey-les-Bains thermal spa

Spas and wellness in the mountains

Sunday always comes too soon when you're having so much fun in the snow! The prospect of returning to the plain can be rather glum. So, a stimulating activity can contribute to a happy ending of your holidays. Relaxing in warm spa water is always a favourite. In the canton of Vaud, there are spas near the slopes in Vallée de Joux,Villars, Lavey and Yverdon-les-Bains. The latter has been reputed since Roman times, while Lavey-les-Bains offers the hottest thermal water of Switzerland.

Le Chasseron

Looking for inspiration?

At the end of January 2019, Aurélie and Yann spent a few days in the canton of Vaud. They took the opportunity to present their favourite winter activities on videos and share them on their Instagram account. Get inspiration from their getaway days to plan your next excursions to the Vaudois Alps and the Jura and share your photos with the hashtag #MyVaud!

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