Les Diablerets, charming village of the swiss mountains
We are (finally) closing up our series of articles about our way too short trip to Switzerland, in the Lake Geneva Region to be more specific, which is roughly located between the Lake Geneva and the Lake Neuchâtel. After a relaxing stay in the Vallée de Joux and one day
binging tasting delicious Swiss cheese, we had the desire to finish in style by taking a little height. We decided to visit Les Diablerets, a small village perched in the heart of Swiss mountains at the foot of the Glacier 3000 ski area. Walks with our feet in the snow, delicious food and charming hotel, we will tell you how we managed to stay busy in a ski area … without skiing!
The day started with a beautiful blue sky in Les Diablerets. After a delicious and copious breakfast at the Hotel des Lilas, our hotel which we’ll tell you about later, we took our backpack and camera and headed towards the village’s post office. That’s where we took the free shuttle that took us to the Col du Pillon at the Glacier 3000. The trip takes only ten minutes and we were surrounded by a beautiful string of skiers that were very well equipped! Enough to feel a bit like we didn’t belong in the middle of this very sporty crowd with our backpack and sheepskinned shoes ! Next the ski resort’s ticket salesman gave us our passes for the day and we still had to take 2 cable cars to get to the Glacier at over 3000 meters (9842 feet) above sea level (hence the name!). Snowy mountains offered us a great show from the cable car along the 15-minute trip. Once there, we hastened to get to the terrace of the Scex Rouge, an imposing four-floor building, to enjoy a breathtaking view over the ski resort. This spot is really nice. It’s a nice terrace bathed with sunlight where are arranged several wooden chairs decorated with fake-fur blankets to enjoy the place. There are also quite high-tech binoculars. You just have to point them towards a nearby mountain peak to see on the screen its name and height! This is also where the entrance to the Peak Walk is. It’s the first and only huge metal suspended bridge that links two mountain peaks, quite spectacular! When we were there, the access was unfortunately closed due to high winds but it really must be an amazing experience! We just bitterly regretted not having planned to stay longerat les Diablerets, we are now forced to come back!
Then, we went down to get closer to the ski slopes, via the free Ice Express chairlifts, to get to the starting point of the Glacier Walk. It is a small pleasant walk of about 45 minutes on the glacier which we really appreciated, despite the very cold wind! It was a pretty good way to make sure that all our cold weather equipment we had bought specifically for the trip was indeed effective! The path is well marked and even though there is a little bit of height difference during the walk, it was quite accessible for non-athletes like us! We ended up having a pretty nice reward after 45 minutes of small effort: the Refuge de l’Espace. It’s an authentic wooden mountain hut transformed into a charming little restaurant in the heart of the mountain. The traditional and generous cuisine is served with friendliness and simplicity by Inge and Rolland, the owners. We tried out and loved the tomme fleurette, the Schüblig mit Bratkartoffeln and ended on a sweet note with a delicious tarte tatin, a pure delight. This type of meal approximately costs CHF 50 (about $52) without the drinks.
Since the Peak Walk was closed for business, we found ourselves with time to kill before the end of the day and we certainly didn’t want to just sit down and wait! It was too late to go have fun on the huge 7km toboggan run (check out this video from our friends the Bestjobers in the sidebar, this track looks insane! ), so we decided to go at the Les Diablerets Tourist Office in search of a nice little walk to do in the area. Their brochure on winter hikes to do in the area is very complete and following the advice of the employee we talked to, we opted for the one-hour that leads to Droutsay. It’s a very easy walk that takes you along the river, passes through the forest and ends in a residential area populated by very pretty Swiss wood chalets that are generously decorated, really nice! Of course we couldn’t resist the urge of having a fun snowball fight when we passed by this pristine spot made of fresh and perfect white snow!
After all that, there’s nothing like ending up in a small cozy hotel and for that, we highly recommend the Hotel des Lilas which is just perfect! The cozy warm decor instantly makes you feel right at home in this small family-owned hotel of only 10 rooms. The owners, Yolande and René bought this old hotel about 10 years ago and completely renovated it and brought it up to date. Our top-floor room was lovely, spacious, welcoming and comfortable as well as the small cozy lounge located on the ground floor, an ideal place to work in peace and enjoy the wifi! The Hotel des Lilas also has its own restaurant that we testes in the evening. A simple but really delicious food made of excellent local products is served there. We had the very tasty orange duck breast and we highly recommend it to you! We would have loved to try out their Thursday cheese evening! Another good reason to come back to Les Diablerets!
This article was written as part of a partnership with the Lake Geneva Region and Les Diablerets Tourist Offices. Nevertheless, any opinion expressed here is our own and has not been subjected to any influence. A big thank you to Lionel who helped us set up this beautiful day and to Francesca for greeting us there!