Alpine Culture, Thermal Spas and Great Skiing!
Above: Chillion Castle on the edge of Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Enjoying some of the highest standards of living in the world with its fresh mountain air and clean living, it is the west of Switzerland that generally attracts most tourists. Here you’ll find an abundance of great Swiss stereotypes from yodeling mountain musicians and master chocolatiers to Gruyere cheese fondue and, of course, some great skiing. The alpine culture and beautiful capital city of Bern thwart the commercial, banker-centric hub of Zurich in the North.
Lake Geneva & Montreaux
A 2 hour train journey which hugs the coastline of Lake Geneva is all that separates Genevea airport from 3 great timeshare resorts lying in close proximity to one another, not far from the town of Montreaux.
As well as great skiing and outdoor activities the region has some beautiful landscapes complemented by some great historic buildings such as the Chillion Castle on the edge of Lake Geneva and Aigle Castle. Both are a great sight at any time of year.
The RCI Gold Crown Residence Diablerets Parc in Les Diablerets is a small set of apartments forming part of a large, traditionally-styled chalet. Visit the recently opened "Peak Walk" which uses a 107 meter suspension bridge to connect two of the highest mountain peaks in the area. The only bridge of its kind in the world, at just short of 10,000 feet above sea level it offers up some truly awe-inspiring views!
Another Gold Crown resort is the Residence Panorama Vilalrs in Villars-sur-ollon (or just Villars for short). A luxury resort with fantastic views its well equipped with sauna, steam room and swimming pool to soothe tired muscles after a day on the slopes. For those who still have some energy left, there’s an ice rink just outside too and the Apres Ski is top notch with a good range to restaurants and bars. Skiing and snowboarding here is varied to suit most abilities with over 120km of piste accessible by 45 lifts. For summer visitors there’s some great hiking and an 18 hole golf course whilst for the more adverntourous why not try your hand at paragliding?
Staying in the area, the resort of Residence Chamossaire in Leysin provides comfortable apartments all with small balcony to enjoy that fresh mountain air! Skiing here is good with 26 runs accessible via 14 lifts and a peak at 2200 which drops over 950m for lengthy runs. Snowboarders are well catered for too with a half-pipe and terrain park - Leysin has previously hosted the Snowboard World Cup. Staying on the slopes make sure to visit the Tobogganing Park…great fun!
When it comes to food then "La Fromagerie" is a must visit and serves up some of the finest cheese Fondue in Switzerland. For a dining experience with a difference, head for the revolving restaurant which during the 90 minutes it takes to turn 360 degrees will afford you with views of Lake Geneva and glimpses of the Matterhorn and Mont-Blanc.
Moving east, almost directly due south of Bern, is the village of Leukerbad and another RCI Gold Crown resort, Les Naturelles. Just 50m from the nearest cable car the chalets have a great location and enjoy some beautiful views. Skiing here is over 18 pistes although it is the thermal spas which for many are the main draw. Used since Roman times and the largest thermal spa resort in the Alps, Leukerbad sees almost 4 million litres of hot, mineral-rich water bubble up through the earth each day.