It’s one of the most popular ski resorts in the world, yet its village has as many (or more) cows as human inhabitants. Gstaad, the Swiss village is one of the paradoxes, remaining a privileged destination for lovers of winter sports and authentic nature in the summers, and those who wish to invest in the middle of the mountains.
Even at 1,050 meters above sea level, it seems to have everything of a normal Alpine village. 2 historic churches, a pedestrian town center, and stone houses surrounded by farmhouses and mountain chalets. Hence why it’s a little surprising to find luxury boutiques, restaurants decorated by Gault & Millau, and Michelin starred hotels just around the corner. It’s because we’re talking about Gstaad, refuge to billionaires and jet-setters for a few years now.
The village can be visited fairly quickly. The concentration of attractions is located on the promenade in the center, with a lovely Protestant chapel and large signs side by its side. Gstaad has been awarded the label "Destination Wellness" by the Swiss Tourism Federation; perhaps that has something to do with the impressive amount of spas in both the village and its surrounding area. The spa of the Gstaad Palace and Grand Bellevue are the most convincing examples.
Relax, your children are in good hands, too. They become citizens of the world at the Institut Le Rosey, an international school that moves every winter from the shores of Lake Geneva to Rolle to Gstaad. Lovers of nature and all things gourmet head towards the Cheese Grotto, this former chateau transformed into a temple of pastures, with more than 3,000 cheeses patiently awaiting maturation before they can be sold.
For you, it will be Gstaad all the year-long if …
- You like to be on a first name basis with all your neighbors
- You like cows, but love dairy
- You take of yourself and your body
Gstaad in the winter
Gstaad is situated on a 220-kilometer ski area connected by 53 ski lifts (free for children under 9 years old). Its highest bridge, Glacier 3000 - located at an altitude of ... 3,000 meters, is perfectly covered in a blanket of snow from October to May, and the superb, lengthy slopes of the Combe d'Audon delights skiers with endurance. Skiers, but also snowboarders, sledders, skaters, snowshoe enthusiasts, even dog-sledders find something to enjoy.
And all of this little world is lodged in comfortable chalets or in the luxury hotels of Gstaad (some of which are also free for children under 9). Children find themselves by the pool, on the winding slopes, or at the skating rink in the center. Parents, happy to have exhausted their offspring, quietly leave them in the arms of Morpheus before going to test the dance floor of Club 911 or Disco GreenGo.
Gstaad, it will be your destination this winter if …
- You want an investment that will cheerfully haunt you for a lifetime
- You threw your first dart at 4 years old
- You enjoy the warmth of a trendy bar after a chilly day on the slopes
Like many ski resorts, life doesn’t stop in Gstaad once the first flowers grow under the melted snow. The season starts again for the beautiful summer months, and certainly with less electricity. Families and tourists enjoy the sublime landscapes of the Bernese, the dozens of hikes and numerous rivers to soak their pretty toes - for those less chilly.
The sporty-types already know that there are many cycling paths in Gstaad, as well as golf and climbing courses, and also beautiful treetops from which paragliding is encouraged … and more, rivers for rafting or the biggest slopes for sledding ... summer-style! Similarly, the famous Festival Menuhin delights music lovers from July to September, and the Gstaad Tennis Open sees the best athletes clash on clay in July.
Direction Gstaad in the summer if …
- You’re comfortable with all sports
- You like green pastures
- You prefer to breathe fresh air
Voir cette page en Français