BEST THINGS TO DO FOR NON-SKIERS IN GENEVA
by Gaëlle Forget
COPYRIGHT MAIN IMAGE: Leysin Tobogganing Park
Everyone is heading for the mountains, but the thought of throwing yourself down a slippery mountain pretending to have fun doesn’t appeal to you. We totally get it. Luckily, Geneva and surrounding areas offer plenty of winter fun if skiing is not your thing. Or maybe you’ve got friends coming over to ski – but not everyone is into skiing. Here are some cool options for non-skiing guests.
ROMANTIC MEAL IN A HOT AIR BALOON
Take a romantic journey in a hot air balloon. Ballons du Leman is a Swiss company specialised in hot air balloon flights around Lake Geneva. It is a great way to admire the Alps and the Geneva Lake region from a different angle. During winter, they fly from Gstaad to Gruyère. You will rise up to 3000 meters to get a view of the highest peaks. Even better, you can eat a fondue while being seated in the basket of the hot air balloon. It is a unique experience for up to 9 people, which includes a champagne aperitif before the flight, the cheese fondue dinner in the air and after landing, a very Swiss dessert: a meringue with traditional gruyère double cream served with a glass of champagne.
More information: https://www.ballons-du-leman.ch/en/products/gourmet-flight/
MAKE YOUR OWN WATCH
We know, we know. Been there, done that, but you’ll be surprised how many locals haven’t tried this and it’s well worth doing. Geneva Tourism’s private tours will immerse you in 500 years history of luxury watchmaking. If you live here and you haven’t done it yet, shame on you!
You can also register for a watch workshop and learn to assemble a complete Swiss watch that will be yours to keep as a special souvenir.
Where: Initium, 17 Grand-Rue.
More information: https://www.initium.ch/en/the-workshop/
Switzerland = chocolate, cheese and watches. So, if you haven’t yet done this, it’s an interesting way to spend an afternoon. Indulge in a chocolate workshop, where you will learn the secrets of chocolate manufacturing and get to taste some yummy Swiss chocolate!
We like Du Rhône Chocolatier on 3, Rue de la Confédération.
More information: https://www.du-rhone.ch/workshops/
You could also visit the Chocolaterie Stettler and observe the making of chocolate bars and many other delicacies that you will, of course be able to taste afterwards. They also organize chocolate workshops for all ages.
Where: Rue de Berne 10 and Avenue Blanc 49
More information: http://www.chocolaterie-stettler.ch/visitez-la-chocolaterie/
Another option is the Favarger factory, founded in 1826. It is one of the oldest chocolate factories in Geneva and is definitely one of the best local chocolate brands. It is very unique tour since most of their machines date back to the days when they first opened. Note: The tour has to be booked in advance. The factory is in Versoix, a 20-minute train ride from Geneva.
Where: 2 Chemin de la Chocolaterie, 1290 Versoix
More information: https://www.favarger.com/en/discover-the-manufacture/guided-tour/
If you want to experience the magic of winter in the mountains without skiing, dogsledging is a great option. Enjoy the snow gliding through the winter landscape behind a team of beautiful huskies. Great for the whole family.
Dogsledging is offered in nearby ski resorts Verbier and Chamonix.
More information: https://www.chamonix.com/booking-dogsledding-huskydalen,37-82727,en.html
SNOW TUBING IN THE VAUDOIS ALPS
Want to experience a thrill this winter that does not involve skiing? Try the tobogganing park in Leysin.
This activity is perfect for winter sports enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, who’ll enjoy racing down the steep slopes.
FONDUE IN THE SKY
Fondue with a difference. Try fondue in the sky in the Roc d’Orsay Villars cable car, 2000 meters above sea level. Enjoy a traditional fondue while admiring the Mont Blanc and the Rhône Valley below. The meal consists of a three-course dinner of local Swiss food and lasts about 2 hours. It includes Swiss cured ham, fondue, dessert, wine and soft drinks. There are 40 cabins on the cable car, which accommodate up to 6 people each. The company has been awarded the “Unique Restaurant of the Year 2018” award for the fourth time by the Swiss Travel and Hospitality Awards.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/fondueinthesky/