We’re having a Switzerland moment. The gift we’re all asking for is a romantic winter escape through the Swiss Alps. Absolute Travel’s Brooke Garnett is just back and our Europe expert, Martina Reznick, heads over in March. We want to cozy up in front of roaring chalet fireplaces, ride storybook trains through snow globe landscapes, take the gondola to the top of the mountain and stop mid-ski to linger over lunch, work the hard-earned knots out après ski at world-class spas, and sample every bubbling pot of fondue we can get our hands on. It’s scientifically proven there are few things that bring people closer than sharing new experiences. Valentine or not, these are the four unexpectedly romantic and decidedly Swiss experiences we’re dreaming of sharing with our favorite someone.
Crossing borders in your skis & en plein air mountainside lunches
Hit the slopes and stop midday for a ski-in, ski-out, rosy-cheeked lunch en plein air. Mountainside lunches are a leisurely affair and almost a requirement in Switzerland! Skiers take chalet breaks for savory röstis, a Swiss potato fritter served with a fried egg and cheese or salmon and sour cream, and Glüwein, mulled wine that will warm your core. Our favorite run is Zermatt’s famed 16km trail which crosses the Swiss-Italian border and takes skiers all the way down to Cervinia. (Insider tip: if you’re worried about getting your gear there, don’t. Skis fly free on Swiss Air!)
Snow-covered train rides through the Alps
The most romantic way to get around Switzerland? When not by foot, by train. You’ll climb through the Alps, over fairytale bridges, crossing glacial streams and passing through rock face tunnels. Take the Glacier Express to Zermatt. It has panoramic windows so you can see the Matterhorn shapeshift unobscured as you approach. If you’re lucky, snow will be falling for a true Swiss welcome. Or hop on the Golden Pass train to Gstaad. The colonial era interiors with inlaid wooden ceiling and ornate brass fixtures take you back to another time. Cozy up in one of the plush benches and watch the valleys pass by.
Fondue in a chalet you need a snow cat to reach
We know a dinner spot you can’t miss, La Marlenaz in Verbier. But you can’t get there by taxi. You’ll need a 4×4 to take you most of the way, then you’ll meet a ski cat to take you the rest. It’s in a little glowing chalet originally built for remote herders to get out of the cold, milk their cows, and spend the night as they made their way through the mountains. Order the chili fondue. A brew of heritage cheeses (hello with a zing from the chili!), it’s a treat so rich you should only eat it once a year!
Those alpine spas the Swiss are known for
After days of off-piste skiing, few things will be as indulgent as pampering tired muscles in one of Switzerland’s famed spas. Our top picks are the Six Senses Spa at the Alpina Gstaad and the spa at The Chedi in Andermatt. In Gstaad, get off the ski lift and spend an après ski evening as a couple at the Six Senses Spa with massage treatments, detoxing in the hammam and salt room, relaxing in heated water beds, or swimming in the heated outdoor pool. We recommend a full day (or even two!) while you’re in Andermatt at The Chedi’s 2,400 square-meter spa. The wood and natural stone interiors exude warmth and feel even cozier with blankets of snow outside. You can swim in the seamless indoor-outdoor pool, unwind in the bio sauna or with a sol steam bath, and wrap up in a robe in front of one of the many fireplaces.
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