- First winter season: The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing.
An 80-year-old vision has finally become reality with the completion of the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride II, opened in July this year, forms the last section of the crossing connecting Zermatt and the Italian resort of Breuil-Cervinia, and is operational all year round. The highest continuous Alpine cable car crossing’s total journey time is 90 minutes, and the final section descends from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to Testa Grigia in Italy in four minutes (7.5m/s). matterhornparadise.ch/alpine-crossing
- Switzerland’s newest black run: Black Wall at Glacier 3000.
Following last year’s unfortunate snow situation delaying its opening, this winter Glacier 3000 will relaunch its long-anticipated, super steep new 3km black run, the Black Wall. Running from Cabane to Pillon in the Pierres Pointes sector, with a steepest incline of 46° and an altitude difference of almost 1,000m, the Black Wall begins with a 265m tunnel built through the Rocher Jaune mountain. It is hoped that the black run will be able to open as early as December, pending suitable snow conditions. glacier3000.ch
- Opening in October: CERN Science Gateway.
The hotly anticipated visitor centre at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva will soon be open to the public. Designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, the CERN Science Gateway will be an emblematic education and outreach facility, housing immersive exhibitions and hands-on educational activities. By enabling people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in its discoveries, it is hoped that this new attraction will encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology. With more than 2,000m2 of solar panels, the CERN Science Gateway will have a net zero carbon footprint. sciencegateway.cern
- Opening this winter: Cotton Club Andermatt.
At 1,437m above sea level with the largest amount of snow in Switzerland, the charming, historic village of Andermatt has seen much development of late. The latest addition is the Cotton Club which opens in December at the Swiss House, formerly operated by five-star hotel The Chedi. A ‘new hospitality’ concept that originated on the White Isle, the idea is for the Cotton Club to spend its summers in Ibiza before heading to Andermatt for the winter. This hip new venue will combine casual daytime food, fine dining and upmarket après, with a focus on service, design and sustainability. cottonlifestyle.com
- Sunrise skiing in Saas-Fee.
Experience sunrise at 3,500m above sea level! Travel by cable car at sunrise to the highest point you can reach in Saas-Fee for a spot of skiing and enjoy having the slopes all to yourself. Absolute tranquillity, panoramic mountain views, unbeatable golden light and perfectly prepared slopes await early risers who want to carve their tracks through the fresh snow. Before heading off, skiers can stock up on breakfast at the Allalin, the world’s highest revolving restaurant. Sunrise skiing plus breakfast costs £60 (€70) per person, not including ski pass. saas-fee.ch/en
- All aboard the sauna boat on Lake Zurich.
Perhaps the hottest tip around for those fancy seeing Zurich from a different angle; the sauna boat! Launched last winter season, this excursion enables passengers to work up a sweat in peace and quiet and relax outside or in the relaxation room while enjoying breathtaking views of the city of Zurich and the surrounding mountains from the panoramic window. Available to book all year round, the excursion is particularly magical in the winter, includes four hours’ use of the sauna for between two and six people, and costs £400 (€468). Bathrobe and slippers, as well as drinks, can be booked in addition or brought along, skipper’s licence not required. zuerich.com/en
- Fun for non-skiers with Gornergrat Railway’s SnowFunPass.
Zermatt is a paradise for skiers, but the Gornergrat Railway’s SnowFunPass lets visitors catch a train up to the Gornergrat and enjoy a full day of winter fun without skis. Take a snowshoe tour or winter hike before lunch at either of the Gornergrat’s two restaurants, enjoy the interactive exhibition at ZOOOM The Matterhorn, and take in the 360° views of the surrounding 29 4,000m peaks on the viewing platform. In the afternoon, go sledging or try out a snooc on the highest sledge run in the Alps. The SnowFunPass costs £87 (€102) for a day and includes a return train ticket, unlimited rides between Riffelberg and Rotenboden (the sledge run), and snowshoe, sledge and snooc rental. gornergrat.ch/en
- Winter sun and watersports at Ticino’s Wake Inn Beach Bar.
Situated in the pretty town of Tenero on Lake Maggiore, the Wake Inn Beach Bar is a hotspot for water sports lovers throughout the summer, but it’s a little-known fact that aficionado kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders can rent out equipment throughout the winter too. As Switzerland’s sunniest region, Ticino enjoys milder temperatures than anywhere else in the country. In addition to watersports, the beach bar welcomes walkers passing by on the Sentiero delle Rive trail from Locarno the chance to stop and recharge their batteries with a delicious cheese fondue, enjoy the winter sun and soak in the relaxed winter vibes. ticino.ch/wakeinn-winteredition
- Just launched: ‘Lucerne, City of Music’ audio tour.
Visitors to Lucerne can now enjoy their own personal music-themed city tour, simply by downloading the free ‘Lucerne Official Audio Tour’ mobile app and popping in their earphones. Developed in partnership with IG Musikstadt and the Lucerne School of Music, the new ‘Lucerne, City of Music’ audio tour explores Lucerne’s rich musical heritage, taking tourists down picturesque streets, across the Chapel Bridge and along the lake to where legendary musicians performed and famous composers found their inspiration, and uncovering all the places where listeners can then go and enjoy music around the city. luzern.com/en