What better way to really appreciate the culture of Switzerland than to dedicate a day to visit some of the most iconic cities and some of the famous organisations.
Each of our cultural excursion days is a little different, with new options each year for those returning campers who are ready to see something new! Whether it is souvenir shopping that interests you or the science exhibitions of CERN the options are endless. Sample some of the finest swiss chocolates and cheeses at the factories in Gruyere, learn a little about global cooperation with a guided tour of the United Nations or Swiss Red Cross museum in Geneva, an interactive tour of the Olympic museum in Lausanne the home of the International Olympic Committee, walking inside a glacier at the nearby ice caves in Chamonix, visiting many of the beautiful castles in the area, experience the tranquility of the natural Bains de Lavey hot springs, take a stroll through the winding cobbled high streets of Zurich, see how some of the most exquisite and delicate watches in the world are built and many many more options.
Once a week the students will go on an excursion to visit famous Swiss cities such as:
A trip to the Olympic Museum with its wealth of memories will keep your passion for the Olympics burning, followed by a walking tour in the old town to one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe.
With its humanitarian tradition and cosmopolitan flair, the European seat of the UNO and headquarters of the Red Cross is known as the “capital of peace”. Visit the old town, the heart of Geneva with its shopping and business quarter.
The capital of Switzerland – the old town of Bern has been entered on the list of UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites. The Houses of Parliament (Bundeshaus) rise above the city just a stones throw away from the railway station. Bern and bears, the city’s heraldic beast, are inseparable. When visiting the city we will take a trip to the Bear Pits.
The Gruyère region, with its rolling green landscape and peaks of the Fribourg Pre-Alps, is home to the world-famous Gruyère cheese. In the famous cheese factory you will see how the tasty Gruyère cheese is made and the tour of culinary delights will be followed by a guided tour of the Cailler chocolate factory.
Visit the town of Montreux that nestles in the shelter of Lake Geneva, surrounded by vineyards, with the breathtaking backdrop of the snow-covered Alps, followed by a visit to Château de Chillon.
Get a taste of France with a visit to Evian and the famous water factory, with also a walk along the world famous Lake Geneva.
Discover the famous Italian city of Aosta, visit the old town and enjoy some Italian shopping.
Winter Special Events
At Les Elfes we have students from all over the world. Within this international community we feel it is beneficial to recognize the traditions of each other. It not only gives students the opportunity to celebrate their nation or beliefs, but allows them to bring a little piece of home into the camp. Also students from other parts of the world will learn and hopefully appreciate the cultures of others, to recognize that New Year is celebrated at a different date in china for example, or that Christmas is not always on the 25th of December for some. In this modern diverse age, the fabrics of society are made up of many different cultures, and here at Les Elfes we constantly strive to recognize them all, and if it means cooking some traditional dishes, or decorating the chalets accordingly, then we are more than happy to encourage students to do so and will help them along the way.
Here are a few dates that we celebrate in the Winter, and during other months of the year we celebrate many more. So don’t worry if you are away from home, we will fly the flag of wherever you are from and celebrate with you!
Happening every week
Christmas at Les Elfes is fantastic as it really is a white Christmas! Decorations are put up and our Christmas tree is put in place. The Instructors and staff make sure they celebrate in true Les Elfes fashion by putting on their best fancy dress, and we have a special visit on the slopes from our very own Santa Claus. In the evening our authentic Christmas Dinner consisting of a Smoked salmon starter, Turkey main course and pudding, is followed by presents and gifts given out to those children who have been good this year! Afterwards marshmallows on the bonfire and fireworks!
- New Year
New Years in Verbier is very special, we provide face painting and fancy dress for all of the students, and a special menu for the evening meal. We have a disco in the evening and afterwards the students are treated to a fantastic firework display in the town which can be seen clearly from Les Elfes. Our own firework display commences around 11h30 and we have a countdown to 2014.
- Russian Christmas
The Russian Christmas is celebrated on January the 7th and traditionally the celebration is carried out the night before. Students from the region are invited to help cook some traditional foods that would be eaten such as Kutya or pagach ( type of bread) or mushroom soup and parsley potatoes, to give an idea of the sort of cuisine that would normally be eaten. We even get dressed up in traditional Russian Clothing and have competitions on design a Snowmaiden ( Snyegurochka) costume.
- Chinese New Year
Les Elfes would not be the same if we did not celebrate the New Year of the Orient. And on January 31st we say goodbye to the Snake and say hello to the Year of the Horse. We decorate the chalet and make our very own China Town, and in the evening after traditional feasting and gift giving from our very own Jade Emperor, the students play games that are typical of the region and of course fireworks!
In Les Elfes we know how to celebrate, like in Brazil, we celebrate for almost a week! As we have many students from the region we celebrate with them, and we decorate the costumes and go skiing, just because we don’t have a beach doesn’t mean we cant, we just use the slopes instead! Samba at lunch on the sunny slopes is a far cry from Copacabana, but it’s a lot of fun!
- Freeride World Tour: Finale
As the last stop on the Freeride World Tour, the eyes of the freeride world will be firmly on Verbier this weekend to see who will be crowned king & queen of the freeride world. With the likes of local Verbier legend Xavier de le Rue and Chamonix’s Aurelien Ducroz hopefully taking part, the Xtreme Verbier is truly a one to watch event if you are in Verbier at the end of March.
As you can probably tell, we love getting dressed up at Les Elfes, and Easter is no exception, so we get started with fancy dress and face painting, as it is usually quite sunny towards the end of April we have an Easter BBQ on the slopes, and of course Easter would not be the same without the Easter Eggs, so decorating and of course eating chocolate eggs is a must!
- XSpeed Ski, Verbier
Final of the Speed Skiing World Championship, April
Come watch some of the world’s top speed skiers as they fly down Mont Fort’s steep slope in the World XSpeed Ski Open Race finals. The track starts at 3330m and finishes at 2900m, meaning that competitors hurtle down 880m of piste at speeds of more than 200km per hour!
- Season closing
End the season on a high at the Ultime Session closing party event! Some of the highlights will include big air displays, a waterslide contest, equipment tests and DJ’s.
- Ice Karting
At Karting Extreme Verbier we can teach the kids (and adults) to race/drive around our extreme ice track. Extreme Ice Karting is not just another kart track; it’s a full size Extreme snow track with Extreme ice banked (4 meter high) corners waiting for action.
Kids have to be 120cm tall and aged 7 years old (or older)
- Birthday Party