5X FAMILY FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS IN SWITZERLAND
It’s no secret that we’ve often marked Switzerland as one of our favourite destinations in Europe. This time we returned with 2 kids including a newborn baby! How did we manage and is Switzerland suitable for kids?
We tested five of the best Family Friendly destinations in Switzerland for you; Here’s an insight about what to do, where to stay and more.
Travelling with children
First of all, we need to make one thing clear. We often get the question if it’s still possible to travel once you have kids. The simple answer is YES. Kids may change the way you travel, but you can certainly do it well. Switzerland is known to be a destination where you can ski or hike, but it has many more options, especially when you travel with your kids.
Known for its wintersport season, Nendaz also makes an excellent destination for summer and with kids! It overlooks the pretty Valais Valley which looks lush during summer. To emphasise, cafés and hotels are flaunting as many flowers on the porch.
Where to stay in Nendaz
We stayed at Hotel Les Etagnes. This hotel is owned by a Dutch couple who bought the place back in 2006. Located right next to the lift station, it’s a favourite for Après Ski in the winter and an Apèrol Spritz during the summer season. They also rent out apartments including a kitchen, so you can cook and save some cash.
Family friendly activities in Nendaz
Highly recommended is the 3km Panorama Path at the top of the Tracouet gondola that you can walk with your kids. This family friendly hike is adventurous but do-able for small kids also. Our son is 4 years old and loved it. On the way you can stop at several lookouts and activity stations with beautiful views. You have a few resting spots such as a large wooden “sofa” and a picnic stop. Good to know; this hike isn’t suitable for strollers so we brought a baby carrier, easy done it! At the start of the course there is a small playground with slides and swings, while parents can enjoy coffee or lunch.
Another trail worth taking is the one going up to Lake Cleuson. If you want to take some amazing pictures, this is your hike! Mind you, it takes up to 2 hours and is 11km long, so be sure not to take children that are too small. That being said, we saw active families going up there, so if they are up for it..
Don’t worry if you have small kids, Nendaz has you covered. For example Take the Cheesy Village. Named after its mascotte, this playground has an obstacle run, trampolines, climb-wall and during summer you can visit a small circus. Best of all, entrance to Cheesy Village is free of charge! Check the summer program before you arrive, there is lot’s to do in Nendaz, for young and old!
Good to know: All lifts are open until the 31st of October
Like Nendaz, Grächen also has the family friendly label and not without reason. This destination offers stroller proof trails, in and outdoor playgrounds and so much more. Walk around the Flanierstrasse, a fairytale like street with cafes, playgrounds and shops. Thirsty? No worries, at every corner you’ll find water fountains where you can drink fresh water coming directly from the mountains. In the middle of Flanierstrasse there’s even a sandbox for kids to play in.
Where to stay in Grächen
You have many options but we stayed at a wonderful hotel named Lifestyle & Spa Grächenhof. Hence the name, there is also a a spa for adults (yes, the parents also want that “me” time) that includes a sauna and steambath. Every Sunday they host a BBQ during summer with live music. We stayed in a family room where they have a cool upstairs bedroom for kids and sleeps two. Bonus: they have a bubble bath!
Grächen for kids
Oh boy, where do we start! A must visit is the Robi’s Forest Playground. Hidden between the treetops you’ll find a place where kids can get dirty and adventurous. If they like, you can teach them how to zip-line and walk different obstacles from the age of 4. It costs 8CHF for kids and 12CHF for adults. and Our 4 year old loved every bit of it and we spent pretty much all morning here. They sell simple lunch which is quite affordable. I ordered some grilled veggies and fries for just 6CHF (and believe me, that’s cheap for Swiss matters). From Grächen’s village, it takes 5 minutes to walk up and is stroller friendly.
Going up the Hannigalp with the gondola is fun for kids because there are fairytale themed lifts who play a fairytale story once you enter. Mind you, your child needs to understand the German/Swiss language. There are 10 of these gondolas so just wait until one is available. Once up, there is a lot to do for kids. What about the Sisu Family Park or rubber tubing off the hill? Meet Sisu the bird mascotte, create crafts or simply eat an ice-cream.
Grächen also has plenty of easy hikes you don’t want to miss out on. For example, walk from Grächen (you can start in the Flanierstrasse) to Gasenried. It takes about an hour and in Gasenried you can stop at a nice restaurant for cake and drinks. Read more about Grächen!
If you don’t believe in fairytales, you should visit this amazing town and you will. Lauterbrunnen isn’t Off Beaten due to its huge popularity on Instagram, but it’s definitely worth a visit and very family friendly! Walking paths around the village are suitable for small children and strollers. But another reason why it’s great for kids is the train going up, always exiting! You can read all about Lauterbrunnen in this article.
Who doesn’t know Bern right? This city is located in the perfect spot and is perfect for families. Unlike the other above destinations, Bern has something they don’t have. Festivals, markets and bears. yes, during summer you can find many festivals. You can also go “tubing” on the river with an inflatable, something older kids will love. Oh yes, you won’t be bored here. Read more about Bern here.
If your kids are up for a bit of adventure, this family friendly location in Switzerland is something you will love. No matter whether you come in winter or summer, the Aletsch Arena has many activities for kids such as goat trekking, mini golf tournaments, mountain cart, climbing and much more. Most hikes are themed so even kids that normally need some encouragement to walk, will take part! All children between the ages of 4 and 12 can take part in the weekly changing program free of charge on presentation of their guest card.
Where to Stay in Aletsch Arena
When you travel with more than two children, we advise you to book an apartment. This way everyone can have their own space and time to relax (including the parents!) Some apartments we like are Casa Andrea and Fir scent – Parterre.
So, is Switzerland a good destination to visit with kids? The answer is yes. As can be seen, there are many options and not just the above destinations I’ve mentioned. Switzerland has it all, and this is just a tip of the iceberg, literally.
Read more about Switzerland here!