Monday, March 9, 2015

Snowy weekend in Les Diablerets (Glacier 3000), Switzerland

We visited Les Diablerets, a charming ski resort close to Gstaad, in February 2015.

Scenic Swiss villages
Picturesque chalets in Les Diablerets
Sunrise over Les Diablerets


Les Diablerets

Winter in Switzerland is ski-time - with almost everyone heading to a ski resort during weekends or whatever holidays they can manage. There is no shortage of ski resorts in Switzerland, both small and big (less or more expensive in that order). Gstaad clearly counts as one of the bigger and more well known ski resorts in Switzerland.

However, if you are more interested in the snow and scenery, and not so much in shopping and nightlife; it might be better to stay in Les Diablerets. It is connected by a 45 min bus ride to Gstaad, but is actually closer to the main skiing region / peaks - Glacier 3000. There are also many small peaks to ski or toboggan in Les Diablerets - so it ideal for (ski) beginners as well.

Les Diablerets is well connected by buses / trains. The Swiss Railways website SBB is very user friendly - just search by the station name 'Les Diablerets' (train station pic below). Just to give an idea, Les Diablerets is part of a state called Vaud - which lies in the French speaking part of Switzerland - so it would e.g. be easier to reach from Geneva than Zurich.  

Panoramic Les Diablerets train station 

The city itself is very small, with only a few hotels and restaurants. We stayed in the Eurotel Victoria hotel - which we can definitely recommend - esp. because of the all encompassing natural beauty surrounding it (see pic below).

Snowy setting around Eurotel Victoria Hotel, Les Diablerets

The city center - as can be seen below - is basically a few restaurants, souvenir and grocery shops. 
 (If you have difficulty finding something suitable to eat - due to the limited choice in restaurants - traveling to Gstaad might be an option as well.)

Glacier 3000

Ice express - Glacier 3000

The 3000 in Glacier 3000 refers to the fact that the skiing region consists of many peaks, e.g. the Scex Rouge, at approx. 3000m. Even if you do not ski (like us), the trip to the top is still very much worth it. And, the best thing about Switzerland is that the infrastructure exists to take you up there - without much of an adventure, so to say.

You basically need to take a cable car from Col du Pillon - to reach Scex Rouge. (Pics of the cable car and the station below).

Col du Pillon is like a 10 min (free) bus ride from Les Diablerets - via an equally scenic road (see pic below).

Snowy paths on the way to Glacier 3000

Once you reach Scex Rouge, it is like you are in winter wonderland - with snow, and more snow, wherever you look.

The last pic e.g. shows the Alpine (roller) coaster - which Ranbir Kapoor and Minissha Lamba were sliding on in the song 'Ahista Ahista' from the movie 'Bachna Ae Haseeno'. Unfortunately, it is closed during winter; but you can easily imagine to adrenaline rush of sliding down a roller coaster at this height.

Tissot sky walk

The one thing which you absolutely should not miss here is the Tissot sky walk. The sky walk - unveiled in 2014 - is an architectural marvel connecting two peaks. So enjoys the pics below, while planning your trip to experience it first hand !! :)  

Amazing peak walk by Tissot - Glacier 3000  Tissot sky walk among the clouds