December vacation in Switzerland

Sep 25th, 2002, 12:14 AM
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December vacation in Switzerland

I am planning to go with my wife for a vacation to the Swiss Alp during the second half of December 2002.

I would like to:

1- Be able to practice skiing
2- Spending a nice Xmas and New Years eves

I would be grateful, if I can get some tips concerning this.

Sep 25th, 2002, 04:49 AM
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More information is needed for folks to give more specific advice.

Here's a start. Look into Luzern for holiday spirit and Engelberg for skiing.
Engelberg is about 50 minutes by train from Luzern.
Sep 25th, 2002, 05:01 AM
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I would fly to Geneva and head for the Swiss Riviera i.e. Lausanne (or Vevey or Montreaux) where there are some excellent hotels and good restaurants. You should contact a Swiss tourist office as I do not know what level of accommodation you can afford.

From your base on the Swiss Riviera you have access to some great resorts. Les Diablerets is a great resort that does not get crowded and will be very empty in December. There is a glacier there so if there is little snow you should be OK. There are other resorts nearby too that are good for a day or two like Leysin and Villars. If you want a big day skiing you could head for Gstaad, Verbier or Crans Montana and even Saas Fee or Zermatt.
Sep 25th, 2002, 08:27 AM
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Let's see:

1. To practice skiing, you'll want to be SURE to have snow. You won't have the luxury of waiting til the last minute and checking conditions, since you'll need to book in advance to be sure of getting something over the holidays. So - go to a high-altitude resort like Zermatt, Saas Fee, or usually in the eastern part of the country, places like Lenzerheide or Arosa, or even the Engadin area(for instance, Pontresina), though the Engadin will take about 4-5 hrs. from Zurich whereas Lenzerheide/Arosa are about 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. Zermatt and Saas Fee are best reached from Geneva, about a 3 hr. trip.

2. Hard to say where you'll get the best Christmas/New Year's celebrations/atmosphere. If you want something really quiet, for yourselves, then maybe a smaller place like Arosa or Lenzerheide. Zermatt and Saas Fee have more substantial infrastructures and nightlife opportunities.

If I had to choose, then I guess Zermatt (Hotel Julen is great; has a nice wellness center you can use if the weather ain't that great); or, Arosa - a very scenic, charming village; remember taking horse-drawn sled rides at night, under moonlit skies around countryside and chalets buried in 1 meter of snowfall. You couldn't ask for more...

Oct 6th, 2002, 06:27 AM
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any more ideas?
Oct 6th, 2002, 06:42 AM
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My only advice is to be aware that many things in the non-ski-resort areas may shut down from a few days before Christmas until January 3 or even 8.

My understanding is that the ski resort areas will be bustling, but Zurich and Geneva were closed down almost completely when we were there the Christmas before last.

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