20 ski-free mountain activities
Get set to get high (legally!) with these ideas for mountain activities you and yours can try year round
As the Winter Olympics showed, there’s no end of ways to throw yourself about at altitude. But not all mountain activities involve being super-sporty and many don’t even need snow.
We asked mountain experts Switzerland Travel Centre for their tips on fun things to do year-round that don’t involve skis or lycra jumpsuits, including some family-friendly options.
Here are our 20 ways to get active in that fabulous scenery:
1. Take a cable car to paddle in a mountain lake, then hike back down, stopping for a picnic lunch.
2. Soak in a natural thermal spa in wintery surrounds. Leukerbad, Scuol and Ovronnaz are among famous spots.
3. Take a leisurely day or half day cycle around a lake, or spend all a week throwing yourself down mountain bike slopes, your luggage taken to meet you at your next hotel.
4. Follow a snow shoeing trail. If you’re a non skier and your other half is hitting the back runs you can still meet for lunch.
5. Whizz around a lake on a jet boat at Interlaken
6. Get a taste of winter Olympic sports like tobogganing, ice skating and curling, available at certain resorts.
7. Take a guided night hike on snowshoes to a mountain hut for a fondue.
8. Race your partner or kids on a dry toboggan run in summer.
9. Learn to ski on a half-day try out as part of a wider mountain holiday.
10. Hang out with the kids in an adventure rope park
11. Learn basic climbing using a Via Ferrata system which adds extra holds to a regular rock face.
12. Take a kayaking trip through beautiful scenery.
13. Feed the cows and taste fresh milk and cheese at a mountain farm.
14. Meet St Bernard rescue dogs on St Bernard Pass.
15. Take the First Flyer harnessed zip wire at Grindelwald.
16. Visit Bond World, the revolving restaurant that featured in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the glass-floored viewing platform at Schilthorn.
17. Make edible treats with Switzerland’s finest product at the Funky Chocolate Club at Interlaken.
18. Turn Heidi and dine with a local family in their chalet.
19. Sleep in a hay barn then tuck into a hearty breakfast on a mountain farm stay.
20. Board a huge inflatable float raft with a built in barbecue (yes, really) for a scenic voyage down a river
Interlaken, Switzerland is a particularly handy gateway to the resorts of Wengen, Grindenwald and Murren where you can enjoy many of these activities.