Adelboden, Switzerland

Crisp, clean air. Snowcapped mountain peaks. Traditional gingerbread-style chalets. Sounds like Switzerland. Many people think of the Swiss Alps as a cold-weather destination, where you bundle up, perfect the slalom, and then curl up by a toasty fireplace. But it’s just as gorgeous–and quieter–during the summer months.

Photo: The Cambrian
Photo: The Cambrian

Deep within the Bernese Oberland, you’ll find Adelboden, a traditional Swiss village surrounded by mountains. Gross Lohner. Steghorn. Wildstrubel. Fitzer. The list goes on and on. Cows dot wildflower-filled pastures. Pine tree forests climb the slopes. There’s one road into town. A church, built in 1433, is the centerpoint. And most people speak German. It’s the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate. After exhausting yourself first.

Check into The Cambrian, a modern yet homey hotel, with stunning views in every direction. Grab a backpack lunch, and head out early. There are more than 200 miles of hiking trails around Adelboden. The highlight is a trek to Engstligen, the country’s second highest waterfall. Or ride a cable car up TschentenAlp for views across the valley. Sit on the Panorama Restaurant’s terrace with a bottle of local Adelbodner mineral water. Eventually start making your way down the mountain and back into town. Stop at Haueter for a delicious sweet treat. Käsespezialitäten Schmid for Emmental cheese. Or return to The Cambrian’s year-round outdoor pool or Finnish spa to soothe your tired muscles.

Photo: The Cambrian
Photo: The Cambrian

Dinner begins early in the Alps, and after hiking all day, you’re ready for a post-trek feast. Eat cheese fondue and raclette with Riesling at Bären. Or bratwurst and listen to live music at Alte Taverna, the oldest restaurant in town. And check out the light installation and champagne cocktails at Scott’s Bar before you turn in at the hotel. In the morning, take a paragliding class. Learn how to make cheese. Ride a llama. And then treat yourself to a blackberry wrap or a honey scrub at the spa. All of those skiers don’t know what they’re missing.

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