Best Winter Camp Switzerland and the Must-Try Activities

Finding fun and interesting things for your children to engage in during winter can be an arduous task. What with the dark, long, and boring winter months? As a result, many people will spend most of their time curled up on the couch.

Some will be sipping hot chocolate while others will want to keep up with the latest movies. Such sedentary practices can thwart your effort to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s find out some tips to help you survive the winter season. We shall also discuss some of the activities available at the best winter camp Switzerland. 

How to Survive the Winter Season

These tips will help you make it through winter with minimal struggle. 

Accept the Season

The sooner you accept winter regardless of the discomfort, the better it will be to cope. 

Change Your Priorities

The winter weather will leave you feeling sluggish. Counter the feeling by engaging in serene activities. You could also engage in activities you are passionate about. 

Dress Accordingly

Wear appropriate clothes to keep you warm. The best way to do so is by dressing up in layers. Ensure the clothes you wear are of good quality materials to help you survive the extreme cold temperatures. 

Exercise

Exercising is an ideal way of igniting body warmth to keep the cold weather at bay. Try dancing, jogging, or engage in yoga practice. 

 Refurbish Your Surroundings

For the time you will be spending indoors, you want to make it pleasant and comfortable. Embrace fresh plants and flowers, scented candles, and attractive colors. Redecorating your home could go a long way to make it habitable.

Eat well and Drink Enough Water

Spiced, warming, and filling meals are ideal for extreme cold weather. Include complex carbs and root vegetables in your diet and drink lots of rejuvenating teas such as ginger, honey, and lemon tea. Include cinnamon in your coffee to make it tasty and help prevent blood sugar spikes. 

Best Winter Camp Activities in Switzerland

While winter can be extremely cold, there are numerous activities you can engage in to remain active. Spending time outdoors during winter comes with many health benefits.

Here are some outdoor activities for your child to try during a visit to the best winter camp in Switzerland. 

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a winter activity that has been in existence since the 1920s. It involves going down a snow-covered slope with a board fastened to your feet. The evolution of snowboarding was inspired by surfing, skateboarding, sledding, skiing, and surfing.

If you are a skateboarding enthusiast, then you will enjoy snowboarding too. Your child can participate in snowboarding whether they are beginners or advanced level.

Novice snowboarders should descend a moderately inclined slope. Seasoned snowboarders, however, can descend from more challenging peaks.    

Skiing

Skiing is the most popular activity during winter. Skiing down the slopes on snow is a thrilling experience that both adults and children enjoy. You will find that many of the skiing areas are located inside the best winter camp in Switzerland. This means that there will be other interesting activities for your child to engage in. 

Sledding 

Sledding is a less complex winter activity that participants can execute in a seated position. This is an ideal activity to engage in on a sunny albeit winter afternoon in one of Switzerland’s best winter camps.

Sleds come in varying sizes and shapes making it ideal for both adults and children. To enjoy this activity, you will need a sled and a snow-filled hill before you can slide down.

Sledding involves sliding down and carrying the sled up the hill again before repeating the activity. This can be tedious but quite interesting. 

Camping

Camping during winter can seem impossible but it is achievable. Many schools in Switzerland organize the best winter camps which the children find interesting. Children get a chance to engage in skiing and other winter-based activities regardless of their level of experience. What’s more, going camping is a good way of exploring and marveling at the beauty that is Switzerland. 

Snowshoeing

Do you enjoy hiking but dislike the idea of wading through heavy snow? If you do, then snowshoeing is what you should try. This activity allows you to marvel at Switzerland’s natural and beautiful winter scenes.

You don’t need previous experience to engage in snowshoeing. Snowshoes available today are way larger compared to ordinary snow boots.

They are specially designed to cover up a larger surface area and reposition the participant’s weight. This enables them to walk rather than sink in the snow. Snowshoeing is a great way of hiking and convenient for all ages. 

Ice Skating

Ice skating involves gliding through an ice surface with blades attached at the bottom part of the shoes. These are also known as skates. If you are a beginner, watching experienced skaters can be quite interesting. While you may be convinced that it’s easy to execute, it may take months before you can finally master the tricks.

Construct Something

The best winter camp Switzerland can never be complete without constructing something on the snow. Snowman is one of the most popular sculptures during winter. Children can also exercise their creativity by making other snow sculptures depending on their preferences. For instance, children can build a slide of a snow fort. 

Try Ice Fishing

If you are passionate about fishing, you may want to try ice fishing. In this activity, participants drop a fishing line in a water body to catch fish. You may manage to go ice fishing in a heated cabin developed above the fishing hole depending on the winter camp you’re visiting. This activity is not different from traditional fishing. The only difference here is that it’s colder. 

Snow Tubing

Snow tubing is an advanced form of sledding, and the snow tube is usually unstable. While it can fit several people, determining whether it will go faster or slower can be difficult. You should exercise caution while snow tubing to avoid hitting uneven surfaces. Doing so can scatter everybody inside the tube into different directions. 

Enjoy a Bonfire

Few things can beat sitting around a bonfire and enjoying the warmth while sharing interesting stories. Many children from different countries and cultures visit the best winter camps in Switzerland each winter. Children will have a chance to bond with one another and learn from each other. The best way to enjoy a bonfire is to have some biting at hand. 

Toboggan Rides

Toboggan rides are an exciting way of enjoying the outdoors during the winter in Switzerland. The conventional toboggan is made using restrained parallel wood slats. These are bent backward and up at the front to form a flat J shape.

A thin rope is then driven through the edge of the curved area to offer simple steering. Modern toboggans are made using plastic, wood, or aluminum. Toboggan riding involves sliding down snow-coated slopes.

Several people can ride the toboggan at once in a sitting or lying prone position. The equipment can be controlled by lifting and spinning the front. This can also be executed by moving a foot slowly along the snow. The toboggan can also be used to drag loads through wilderness trails. 

Dog Sledding 

Dog sledding is a popular winter activity in Switzerland with various designated regions for the same. This activity also allows you to marvel at some of the sensational views in Switzerland. 

About Les Elfes

Les Elfes is a popular resort located in Verbier which has been in existence for thirty years. The resort has evolved over the years and today boasts several campuses in Verbier. Les Elfes has a 250 bed capacity for students attending camp in different seasons.

The camp hosted 500 students in the first year of its inauguration and today hosts up to 5,000 campers from different countries annually. Up to 200 international schools participate in one of the many programs that are on offer at Les Elfes. More than 100 staff members work at Les Elfes. 

What’s Unique about Les Elfes?

Les Elfes remains open throughout the year. There are numerous mountain sports and festivals that attract visitors from various parts of the world. During winter, campers will enjoy snow-coated streets complete with alluring wooden chalets.

There is a large ski area with approximately 100 lifts providing access to more than 400km of pistes. Beginners will enjoy a ski area located in the village which guarantees convenience and safety. Les Elfes offers ski lessons during spring. This is the ideal time for beginners to learn how to ski. 

Summer Activities

Summer activities in Les Elfes include:

  • Mountain biking
  • Ropes course
  • Rock climbing session
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Hiking

Winter Activities

Les Elfes is popularly known for offering exciting winter activities. These include:

  • Ice skating
  • Skiing
  • Game competitions
  • Campfires and 
  • Snowboarding

School Trips

Les Elfes offers both ski and field trips where students engage in various activities and educational programs. Over the years, this resort has evolved to become one of the safest and highly supervised regions. 

Finally

Are you considering going camping at the best winter camp Switzerland? There are numerous outdoor activities you can engage in during the cold season. Being active is beneficial for your health. It will also help you counter winter blues. 

Tuesday 31st December

Happy New Year’s eve! Lots of skiing today! tonight we celebrate with our very own carnival night and fireworks display in verbier!

Monday 23rd December

Today our students progressed in skiing like never before! In the afternoon we offered many activities such as baking, shopping, games and wii dance. This evening we played the escape rooms and took some students to the sports center

Ski Safety Tips that Beginners Should Know

Skiing is a fun and exciting activity for people of varying ages. However, it can be dangerous for both beginners and experts. If you are interested in learning how to ski, there are various things you may want to know. In this post, we’ll discuss the amount of time you will need to learn skiing, the dangers involved, and skiing safety tips for beginners. 

How Long Does it Take to Learn Skiing? 

One of the most common questions among new skiers is: how long will it be before I can know how to ski? Different people master things at different paces. However, it should take you at least an hour to learn how to stand, gain balance, and advance for some meters before slowly stopping.

It will be several hours before you can learn how to ski down a shallow slope and turn fast. Learning how to start skiing slowly and turning either left or right takes approximately two days while mastering parallel turns can take up to a week or two. It’s worth mentioning that acquiring robust skills and confidence to engage in mogul skiing, or jumping off-piste terrain can take many years.  

Factors that Influence Ski Learning 

If you are a sports enthusiast and a fast learner, chances are that you will master skiing within a short time. However, if you have no sports experience, it could take you some weeks before you can finally master skiing skills. Some of the things that can have an impact on your learning curve include; 

·         Age

While you can learn skiing at any age, the older you get, the longer it takes to learn. Younger people will learn how to ski easier and faster.  

·         Strength and Fitness

The more fit you are, the better and faster you can learn and master how to ski. However, unfit people can still ski but mastering the skills will take much longer.  

·         Passion and confidence

Are you passionate about skiing? Fear is understandable at the beginning. However, you need to overcome the fear, be passionate, and avoid being over-confident. This will ease and accelerate your learning process. 

·         Balance

Learning how to control and balance your feet plays a huge role in boosting your learning curve. Practice and master balance skills by engaging in other activities such as squash, ice skating, and slack lining. 

Dangers Involved in Skiing 

There are various dangers you may come across while skiing. As a beginner, being conversant with skiing safety tips is the first step to protecting yourself from harm. Here are some of the skiing dangers you should beware of. 

·         Skiing Off a Cliff

Skiing off a cliff can be life-threatening. Beginners are more susceptible to this danger due to their lack of adequate training, knowledge, and experience. However, seasoned skiers sometimes make this mistake.

Some of the skiing accidents reported between the 1980s and 1990s were a result of skiers going over the cliff. Skiers can avoid these mistakes by mastering skiing safety tips on how to avoid obstacles, mastering their stopping skills, and understanding trail markings.  

·         Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS)

Snow immersion suffocation occurs when somebody is buried under the snow. SIS is rare albeit more common than avalanches. Skiers may experience SIS by falling into a tree well which is usually hidden from view.

Often, skiers will be buried by snow barring them from escaping. As a result of pressure and lack of oxygen, skiers can suffocate within minutes. Skiers can avoid SIS by being conversant with the surroundings and avoiding barriers such as trees. Skiing with a partner and watching over each other can help reduce the risk of SIS.  

·         Avalanches

Avalanches are natural tragedies that can be triggered by various things. For instance, skiers may interrupt snow-packed snow forcing ice layers to fall. No skiing safety tips can prepare skiers for an avalanche and this makes them even more dangerous. Avalanches have been a major cause of death in the US in the past decade. Beginners can avoid avalanches by skiing on safe regulated slopes and skiing in small groups to avoid interrupting the slopes. 

·         Hypothermia

Skiers can suffer from hypothermia if they lack proper protective gear. Hypothermia occurs as a result of insufficient coverage and overexposure to excess cold weather. It often occurs when the body temperature drops below 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia include; confusion and shaking.

Death may occur in severe circumstances. You need to be armed with the right skiing safety tips to avoid hypothermia. For instance, be fully prepared with the right gear which includes a thick jacket and sufficient accessories to cover every part of the body. If you are exposed to excess cold, you may want to take shelter and warm your body up.  

·         Acute Mountain Sickness (ACM)

Acute mountain sickness occurs when skiers access the highest points of the mountain. Oxygen levels decrease at high elevations and ACM can affect skiers when they are 2500m above sea level. Symptoms of ACM include; dizziness, vomiting, swelling of the body, and shortness of breath.

To avoid ACM, skiers should monitor their altitude and maintain healthy levels. Having a partner or staying in a group is recommended. That way, you can watch one another. If you notice that your partner has suffered ACM, the best thing is to descend as soon as possible.

·         Frostbite 

Frostbite also results from insufficient coverage. It often affects the toes and fingers. You can start feeling the effects of frostbite after 30 minutes of exposure to extreme cold. One of the skiing safety tips to avoid frostbite is to wear thick gloves. Always wear warm socks and avoid removing your ski boots. 

·         Broken Leg

Suffering broken legs during a skiing trip can occur when skiers lose control and fall while skiing. However, this is a rare accident and beginners can avoid it by exercising to strengthen their leg muscles. Maintaining a ski angle of approximately 45 degrees and reducing strain on the legs helps prevent broken legs.   

Skiing Safety Tips you should beware of 

Wearing a certified ski helmet is one of the skiing safety tips that you should beware of. Here are more tips. Having protective ski headgear can save you from severe head injuries should you fall while skiing.  

·         Exercise in Advance 

You need to be in good shape to have an effective skiing session. Beginners should start exercising in advance before they can start learning how to ski.  

·         Dress Accordingly 

Wear the right clothing including a helmet liner, a headband or a helmet liner. Wear layers of clothing as well. Don’t forget your mittens and gloves. Carrying an extra pair of clothing comes in handy if the first pair gets wet. 

·         Use the Right Ski Equipment 

Avoid borrowing ski equipment. Instead, opt to rent from a ski shop. Many ski resorts also have a wide range of ski equipment for you to choose from. Whether you opt to rent or buy your ski equipment, try your ski boots to ensure they fit properly.

Your bindings should also be well adjusted. You should conduct research and compare the available ski equipment brands before choosing one that meets your needs. 

·         Get Formal Instructions

As a beginner, you will need ski lessons before you can finally embark on live ski lessons. Remember, even seasoned skiers get refresher courses from time to time. 

·         Rest

If you feel tired, you may want to take a break to rest at the resort. Eat well and drink enough water before resuming your skiing session. Remember, skiing takes up lots of energy and you will need sufficient energy to ski effectively. 

·         Wear Goggles

Wear well-fitting ski goggles around your helmet. If you use eyeglasses, choose goggles that fit appropriately around your eyeglasses. You can also consider prescription goggles. 

·         Be Cautious

While skiing, you need to focus on the task at hand. Often, accidents happen when skiers get distracted and lack concentration. Both beginners and experienced skiers should avoid skiing on overly elevated ski levels. 

·         Know and Understand Your Limits

Never attempt to ski trails that exceed your skill level. Trails are well marked to help you stay within your limits. Further, maintain control of your skis and concentrate on your skiing trail. 

·         Partner with a Friend

Skiing with a friend is a good idea because both of you can watch over each other. Have a designated place where you can meet if you get separated. You may want to use walkie talkies too to connect. 

·         Stick to the Rules

Every ski resort will have skiing rules that you should abide by. Be on the lookout for the warning signs as well to be on the safe side. 

Finally

Practice these skiing safety tips to be safe on the ski trail. Remember, both beginners and experts need regular training to master and enhance their skiing skills. Novice skiers especially need ski lessons before they can participate in the activity. Identify a qualified, reliable, and experienced ski trainer. Many ski resorts have professional trainers who you can rely on to enhance your skills. Skiing is easy to learn but hard to master. However, you can advance your expertise with regular training.

Sunday 22nd December

Today our new students woke up to hot croissantes, eggs and toast. Then they headed off to the ski slopes for their first day of skiing. It snowed a lot last night and Verbier looks like a winter wonderland. This afternoon the students will start their language classes or play indoor games. This evening we will go for he sports center to play sports and we will host a game inside for our younger campers

16 Things to do in Switzerland during Christmas Holidays

Switzerland boasts exhilarating scenery during winter. There are numerous things to do in the country during the Christmas holiday both for residents and holidaymakers. 

1.     Christmas is here

Switzerland gets lively during the Christmas season. What with the splendid markets that pop up across the town centers, lighting them with brilliant fairy lights? Here are the things you can do during winter in Switzerland. 

2.     Visit a Christmas Market

There are numerous Christmas markets to choose from in Switzerland. Montreux Noël for instance, is not only a beautiful market, but it’s also one of the best markets across the country. Other markets include; Bern, Basel, Geneva, Zurich, St Gallen, and Chur which is the oldest market in Switzerland. During Christmas, these markets are decorated with sufficient festive firs and sparkling lights. You’ll also get a chance to sample a wide range of local delicacies. 

3.     Go Skiing

Switzerland is popularly known for its vast skiing resorts. The Swiss Alps offer numerous options for ski enthusiasts to indulge in adventurous skiing activities. Les Elfes is one of the must-visit ski camps in Switzerland, located in Verbier. Due to its high altitude, it usually is covered with sufficient and good quality snow. The terrain is also friendly to both beginners and experienced skiers.

Skiers will enjoy good, fast, reliable and effective lifts, and great staff ready to do everything to make you comfortable. If you love adventure, you can engage in day-long skiing sessions. Further, there are restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals during lunch break, and hot chocolate to keep you warm.

There are other skiing and snowboarding locations in Switzerland. They include; Davos, where you will find a winter sports museum. St. Moritz is the place to be if you are an ice skating enthusiast.

4.     Visit Verbier

Verbier is a massive ski resort that is ideal for advanced skiers. Visit Verbier if you enjoy a quiet and relaxed nightlife as well. Verbier is often known as the resort for genuine skiers. It’s here that you will find some of the biggest ski areas along the Alps complete with great terrain.

Apart from the magnificent snow, Verbier offers an exclusive gondola system and lift to facilitate accessibility of the off-piste areas. If you’re skiing for the first time, it’s worth mentioning that the beginner areas aren’t linked to the primary pistes. Verbier offers a vast range of events for non-skiers to spectate. You’ll also find a vast range of hotels and restaurants where you’ll enjoy a lifetime experience. 

5.     Explore a New City

Many cities in Switzerland look attractive in winter. If you’re visiting Lucerne, for instance, sunny days will give you the ideal opportunity to arrange for day trips. Be sure to visit the magnificent peak of Mount Rigi. The Swiss Museum of Transport is one of the must-visit attractions in the city.

You could even book a 2-hour tour of the city. This will allow you to discover and learn more about the different cities in Switzerland. Lucerne is not the only beautiful city during winter in Switzerland. Other cities you may want to visit include Basel. The city lies close to Germany and France and is home to numerous art museums.

Visit Bern, which is also the capital city of Switzerland and have fun watching an ice hockey game. While here, you can support SC Bern, which is also the most supported ice hockey team across the globe out of the NHL.

Zurich is also a brilliant must-visit city situated beside a breathtaking lake and an incredible nightlife. Regardless of the city, you choose to visit; you will have a vast range of things to do during winter in Switzerland. 

6.     Visit a Splendid Small Town

Visiting some of the biggest cities in Switzerland can be fun and exciting. Do you prefer a serene environment away from the hustles and bustles of the city? If you do, you may want to check out some of the beautiful albeit remote villages in Switzerland. Each of these villages comes with unique features and you will have an exclusive experience that’s unavailable in the cities. 

7.     Gobble up Cheese Fondue

One of the things that both Swiss residents and visitors identify with has to be cheese. Fondue is a dish that the Swiss often consume during winter to keep warm. Winter in Switzerland is a fondue eating season.

Ensure you sample a good pot of molten cheese fondue when visiting Switzerland. If you have a scheduled skiing trip, however, you may want to avoid this dish because it’s quite heavy. If you’re looking for a way to stay warm and rebuild energy, cheese fondue is a must-have dish. 

8.     Stay in an Igloo

An Igloo is also known as a snow hut or a snow house. It’s a type of shelter made out of the snow during the onset of winter when the snow is easy to compress. Traditionally, igloos were carved out of ice every year for use by nomadic hunters as shelter. If you want to have a new experience, try visiting an igloo village. The villages are comfortable, come with a deluxe quilted bed, and a cozy sleeping bag. These reduce any chances of catching hypothermia. 

9.     Take to the Slopes

Are you a snowman builder, a snowboarder, or skier? You’ll have lots of fun playing around with the snow during winter in Switzerland. 

10.   Marvel at Switzerland’s Tallest Christmas Tree

Watching a 20 meter Christmas tree is a thrilling experience that you don’t want to miss. ST. Gallen is popularly known for having this mammoth Christmas tree that glows with more than 5,000 fairy lights. The tree is located in front of one of the most breathtaking buildings in Switzerland; the Abbey of St, Gallen. The city is pedestrian-friendly with streets that light up during the Christmas season. 

11.      Follow a Christmas Day Procession

Proceed to central Switzerland for Christmas day procession. People wear masks and huge cowbells during Christmas tree and head out to the streets banging on drums. These celebrations go on until New Year’s Eve. This is an age-old tradition that residents believe chases evil spirits. 

12.         Choose a Classic Swiss present

Switzerland is popularly known for being the hub of leisurely products. If you are short of gift ideas, you’ll have lots of inspiration during winter in Switzerland. Some gifts you can choose include; a creamy smooth bar of chocolate, a twinkling diamond, or a striking timepiece. You’re guaranteed to find a wide range of gifts to choose from. Do you want to gift someone special? Buy them an attractive, bulky cowbell.

13.      Take a winter walk

Switzerland is among offers some of the best hiking terrains in the world. You can enjoy taking a walk during winter in Switzerland during sunny days, with the snow biting under your feet. Some of the ideal places for winter walking include; the cantons of Graubünden and Valais. In these locations, you’ll get many kilometers of trail to discover. 

14.      Use Funiculars and Cable Cars to Access the Alps

If you need an easy way of accessing the Swiss Alps, funiculars and cable cars are the way to go. A big percentage of visitors prefer this route. You can enjoy the ride as you watch other skiers, snowboarders, and toboggan riders speed down the hill while ascending the mountain.

You don’t have to participate in winter sports to enjoy a gondola ride up the mountain. The view across the gorgeous Alps as you sip your favorite drink is enough reason to take a cable car ride. You won’t need to rent any equipment to go on a cable car ride. Further, you can just do it once. 

15.      Discover Switzerland by Train in Winter

One of the best scenic ways of discovering Switzerland during winter is by train. Swiss trains are punctual, clean, and come with comfortable seats. A majority of the trains will give you excellent views along the alpine regions. However, there are two must-try trains. These are; the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express. 

The Glacier Express

The Glacier Express allows you to experience the picturesque terrain of the Swiss Alps between Brig and Chur. You will traverse through the Grand Canyon of Switzerland, all the way to the Rhein Valley. Here, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the eye-catching views of the extraordinary Swiss Winter Wonderland. 

·         The Red Bernina Express

This train transports you in scenic carriages from Tirano to St. Moritz. The highest railway through the Alps ascends to 2256 meters above sea level. Here, you will be able to take many pictures of the excellent winter landscape.

The train traverses through bridges and tunnels to give you a maximum and unique Swiss experience. Enjoy the wonderful sights of snow-covered mountains, the gleaming Lake Lugano, and glaciers. All the different sights will give you unforgettable memories. 

16.   Relax in a Thermal Bath or a Spa

When you are exhausted and in need of relaxation, a thermal bath or a spa can come in handy. Imagine soaking up in a 40-degree Celsius hot, steamy outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the snow-filled mountains? That would give you an unforgettable experience.

Numerous resorts in Switzerland offer thermal baths for great relaxation. These include; Les Elfes, the Grand Hotel des Bains, the Cambrian in Adelboden, and the Riffelalp Resort in Zermatt. 

Finally

Switzerland is a beautiful country that offers excellent sights to behold during winter. Skiing is one of the most popular and must-do activities during winter in Switzerland. Whether you are a resident or not, there are many things you can do in the country. You’re guaranteed to have a maximum experience during this season. 

Sunday 15th First day skiing

Today our new students woke up to hot croissantes, eggs and toast. Then they headed off to the ski slopes for their first day of skiing. The weather is beautiful in Verbier, we have had lots of snow and the sun is shinning bright. This afternoon the students will start their language classes or head to the christmas markets in Le Chable. This evening we will teach the students how to become rock climbers in our Verbier sports centre.

Arrival day Les Elfes International!

Today our students have been arriving throughout the day, we have been greeting them with open arms and a warm meal. We always ski and clothes fit our student on the first day to ensure the students are ready for the first day skiing. Tonight we will do some team games to get to know the students, start unpacking and watch a movie together before bedtime.

Les Elfes Staff 2019_20

Allow me to introduce to you some of our new Les Elfes team for 2019_20! After two weeks of training our staff are ready and waiting your arrival, we have had plenty of snowfall over the past 24 hours and we can’t wait to share the slopes with you…