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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Leisure section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • Steve Long

    Steve Long is CEO of InterSoccer, which offers football courses and holiday camps for two to 13-year-olds in Geneva, Vaud, Basel, Zug and Zurich. Steve first came to Switzerland in 2001 as an event and grassroots manager for UEFA, before co-founding InterSoccer in 2007. He loves all sports, especially football, snowboarding, tennis, golf and mountain biking. Originally from Nottingham, UK, he still supports The Mighty Reds - Nottingham Forest.

  • Oguzhan (Osan) Altun
    Oguzhan (Osan) Altun is a freelance photographer based in Geneva, and one of the founder members of the Geneva Photo Club. He specializes in landscapes, portraits and event photography. His teaching style combines 10 years of training experience in corporate life with contagious passion for photography and the best training materials available online on the net. He is crisp, to the point, and focused on getting the participant practice what she/he learned.

  • Yvette Evers
    As the founder of "fraiche air", a local club providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism in English, Yvette has hundreds of ideas for exploring the region including activities such as hiking, showshoeing, powerwalks, ski-touring and family days.

Mindfulness-deanblog

How easy do you find it to switch off when you leave work and make the most of your leisure time?

This is something that has always been a personal challenge.  Having spent my 20’s and early 30’s working in the world of finance and investment banking, my work became my life.  Of course, I had time off and fantastic holidays, but did I fully appreciate them?  To be honest, without the photographs I would barely remember them; my mind was usually elsewhere.

Today, thanks to my acting training, I have learnt to appreciate my leisure time a little more.  I was reminded of this earlier this week.

zermatt unplugged1

Zermatt Unplugged is one of my favourite music festivals – don’t miss it! It runs from 8-12 April in the beautiful town of Zermatt under the Matterhorn in Valais. The 2014 line up includes Aloe Blacc, Katie Melua, and Jamie Cullum ,to mention just a few of the big names. There are also great up and coming Swiss artists featured. Book your tickets online www.zermatt-unplugged.ch.

I’d say make a weekend of it – book a hotel, get in some spring skiing or hiking lower down in the valley, enjoy a soak in the spa, and then hit the festival in the evening. Here are some tips for the savvy festival-goer.

lacvert3

We’re so excited that winter is here! While waiting for the ski season to start in earnest, we are getting out into the mountains for some hikes and snowshoeing. From the picturesque village of Servoz in Arve Valley on the way to Chamonix, there are many well-marked snowshoeing trails to explore for all levels, from family to more experienced hikers.

We recently tried one to the protected Lac Vert, named after the bright green colour of the lake. It is said to be the classic walk of "Chirves" (Servoz inhabitants). It climbs from the river valley up into towards the high mountain pasture chalets of Ayères, under the wall of Fiz.  

lacblanc1

The Chamonix Valley offers a huge variety of hikes and walks. The Lac Blanc mountain hut (2,525m), situated on the south-eastern slopes beside a small lake, is a great destination for a September family hike. Take a cable car ride up, follow the contour-hugging trail along the Grand-Blacon Sud for stunning mountain scenery, and enjoy a delicious lunch at the hut. Here’s a tip on how to avoid the crowds of high season and take advantage of cable cars before they close on the 15th of September!

The steep, forested slopes of the Chamonix valley are challenging, but a good idea to help you on your way is gaining 1,500m with a cable car and chairlift. Once at the top, the hike to Lac Blanc is part of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc trail, along a beautiful ridge offering stunning views of the Mont Blanc, the Mer de Glace and the Argentiere and Le Tour glaciers.

lavauxblogbikes

Did you know monks planted the first vines in Lavaux in the 12th century? The area between Lausanne and Vevey is now a UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning views of the Alps and Lac Leman. We think one of the nicest ways to see the area is ‘slow tourism’ - get there by train or boat, then visit the charming villages on foot or bicycle along paths and quiet vineyard roads.

1. Hike

On our hike last week, we followed the tourisme pedestre trail (marked with yellow signs) from Lutry. We started on a pretty lakeside trail to Cully, then back on the scenic vineyard terraces through Grandvaux (about 3.5 hours, 350m elevation gain). Details can be found on the site: http://www.wanderland.ch/en/routes/route-0113.html. Stop off for lunch on the terrace of the many cafes and restaurants in Grandvaux, or at the picnic tables with unbeatable views just past the village of Aran.

We visited the Domaine du Daley (www.daley.ch). Founded in 1392, the estate produces 20 Grand Crus wines, including one that is very popular in Japan to accompany sushi! We sipped three different wines on Cyril Severin’s panoramic terrace, and visited the ancient and modern cellars before a short walk back down to the Lutry train station.