CUTE TOWN ALERT! GRÄCHEN SWITZERLAND
Grächen is THE perfect Swiss destination for families and not without reason. But also couples and hiking enthusiasts can’t get enough of this cute town.
Grächen, located in a valley in Southern Switzerland, isn’t your typical town in Switzerland though. With 299,5 sunny days per year, it’s a great destination all year round. Yes, this place has something magical and this is why.
Walking around in this street will probably be your favourite thing to do here. With flags hanging throughout the street and flowers blooming during Spring/Summer, it’s a stunning sight. Also, the backdrop of the snowy mountain in Zermatt probably has something to do with it. Thirsty? No worries, at every corner you’ll find water fountains where you can drink fresh water coming directly from the mountains.
Where to stay in Grächen
You have many options from chalets to apartments but I stayed at a wonderful hotel named Lifestyle & Spa Grächenhof. Location location location because this hotel is right in the Flanierstrasse and in walking distance from shops and cafes. Hence the name, there is also a spa that includes a sauna, steam bath and several showers (try the Gletsjer shower). Every Sunday they host a BBQ during summer, suitable for vegetarians also. The food in the restaurant is pretty good and there is a buffet style breakfast.
Grächen for kids
Where do we start, Grächen won’t disappoint your little ones. 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. From Grächen’s village, it takes 5 minutes to walk up and is stroller friendly. Also worth mentioning are the Fairytale Themed Lifts who play a fairytale story once you enter. There are about 10 of these lifts, so just wait till one comes along.
Furthermore, there is an indoor playground in the basement of the restaurant next to the gondola on top of Hannigalp. When you buy a ski-pass kids can play here for two hours plus it includes a babysitter, for free! During summer you can borrow small bikes and helmets
Hiking in Grächen
There is one hike you don’t want to miss out on. Walk from Grächen (you can start in the Flanierstrasse) to Gasenried. It will take you about 1 hour and it’s possible to stop for a toilet break if needed. Bring your stroller as the road is perfect with possibilities to go off the path if you like walking through the forest. When you arrive in Gasenried, drink an ice-cold frappé and eat some cake at restaurant Riederstübli overlooking the glacier. If you want, you can continue your walk to Grat but it will take you another 2 hours.
It’s like walking in a postcard!
New in Grächen is the mountain bike trail. We tried it and let me tell you, it is so so cool! The trail starts at the gondola on top on Hannigalp and continues downhill and underneath the gondola. A little warning; it’s not for the fain hearted! You may be left with a few bruises and your heart will be racing, but this is what adventure is all about. You can rent your bike down in the village and take it in the lift with you.
Where to eat/drink in Grächen
Anywhere will be good, but we have a few suggestions. For the best view you should visit Panorama Restaurant Hohtschuggen. You can drive up to the car park in Bärgji and walk for about 20 minutes. This restaurant is a true gem and the chef makes homemade cakes and daily specials but it’s even worth it for a drink. Before you reach this restaurant, you’ll come across Restaurant Bärgji-Alp which has a small playground and therefore a family favourite.
Don’t expect a barista coffee in Switzerland but 13 Etoiles offers take out coffee that is pretty decent. In the morning the sun shines in front of the café and in the afternoon you can relax on the balcony overlooking the main square. Chalet Efeu (where you can rent an apartment) has a small bakery, and also serves pizza, soup and traditional fondue. It’s a nice place to sit outside! Both of these places are located in Flanierstrasse.
Good to know
In the Netherlands (and large Swiss cities for that matter) we are used to paying everything by card. In Grächen they do it the old fashioned way and pay cash, almost everywhere. Except in the hotels, supermarket and bigger restaurants they accept cards. Be advised to take some cash with you, they also accept euros!
Bring some good walking shoes, but this applies to all Swiss destinations. You will walk some miles, whether you’ve planned to or not.
You can easily combine Grächen with a trip to Nendaz. Or if you have more than 2 weeks, check out our Switzerland Guide!