Switzerland is a haven for winter enthusiasts, and if you're looking for the best sledding experiences, you're in for a treat. The country boasts a plethora of spectacular sled runs, each with its own unique charm, terrain, and stunning scenery.
Unlike other snowsports, sledging doesn't require much skill, and anyone can do it. Beyond being a thrilling experience, sledding in Switzerland is also an awesome way to explore the beautiful snowy landscapes of the country.
Here’s everything you need to know about sledding in Switzerland, including where to go sledding in Switzerland.
How to Go Sledding in Switzerland
Sledding in Switzerland can be an exhilarating and memorable experience. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned sledder, it's essential to be well-prepared to ensure your safety and have a fantastic time.
Here are some valuable tips from us at Skyhook Adventure for enjoying sledding in Switzerland.
Find the Best Sled Runs
Swiss ski resorts often feature designated sled runs. These runs are marked sledging routes down the mountains with groomed snow, making for a safe and enjoyable experience. Check with the local ski resort for information on sled runs in the area.
Using a sled run is typically free of charge, but you'll need to pay for transportation to get there. Ski resorts offer various options, such as single-ride tickets or day passes.
A day pass for adults usually costs between 30-40 CHF, and discounts are often available for children and teens. Single-ride tickets typically cost 10-15 CHF per adult.
You can rent Swiss sleds at or near the sled run's kiosk, lift station, or ticket office. There are different types of sleds to choose from, depending on your preferences.
Racing-style toboggans are easy to use and comfortable, Davos-style wood sledges provide a smooth ride and decent control, bob-style plastic sledges are preferred by children, and shovel-style sledges are lightweight and easy to carry.
Consider your needs and preferences when selecting a sled.
If you plan to sled with small children, it's advisable to choose a larger, roomy sled since children may not be able to steer these on their own. Safety should always be a priority when sledging with kids.
Safety for Toddlers and Babies
If you're sledding with a toddler or baby, consider attaching sledge sacks or baby sledge seats for their safety and comfort. These accessories can provide added security during the ride.
Dress warmly for your sledding adventure. Wear suitable warm base layers and waterproof outer layers to stay dry and comfortable.
While sledding in Switzerland, be aware of your surroundings and other sledders. Follow the safety guidelines and rules provided by the ski resort.
Sled at a pace that is comfortable for you and your group, especially if you are new to the sport.
The Basics of Switzerland Sledding
Mastering the basics of sledding in Switzerland is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Here are the key steps to sitting on, riding, steering, and braking your sledge in style.
1. Sitting on the Sledge
Find a comfortable spot on the sledge's seat. Lean back and relax on the seat.
Hold onto the leash, which is typically attached to the front of the sledge. On flat areas, rest your feet on the front corners of your sledge to maintain balance and stability.
2. Riding Your Sledge
If you're on a sloped surface, you will naturally start descending once you're seated as per the instructions.
On flatter terrain, you might require a little push from a friend or yourself to get started.
3. Steering the Sledge
Steering the sledge is quite straightforward. To turn, lean in the direction you want to go, and simultaneously pull the leash in that same direction.
For a more dramatic and sharper turn, you can also drag one of your feet on the snow to assist in changing your course. This can add excitement to your ride.
4. Braking the Sledge
Eventually, you'll want to slow down or come to a stop. To brake effectively, lean back on the sledge to shift your weight towards the rear.
Drag both of your feet on the snow, creating friction that slows down the sledge. Be prepared to have some snow on your clothes and face, especially if you are going at a decent speed.
For very steep slopes, consider this advanced braking technique:
Sit back further on the sledge.
Hold onto the top front rails of the sledge.
Pull backwards, making the front of the sledge tilt upward. This added resistance will help bring your sledge to a screeching halt on steep descents.
To make braking more convenient, especially when you anticipate sledding multiple times, consider using braking soles with low-profile traction cleats. These cleats create additional resistance when you drag your feet on the snow, making it easier to control your speed and stop, particularly on icy or slippery surfaces.
With these basic techniques and a bit of practice, you can enjoy a thrilling and safe sledding experience in Switzerland. Remember to always be cautious and considerate of fellow sledders, follow local safety guidelines, and have a fantastic time on the snowy slopes.
Best Sledding in Switzerland: 12 Destinations
Switzerland offers a multitude of incredible sledding runs, each with its own unique charm and breathtaking scenery.
To help you find the right spot for your sledding adventure, here are some of the best sledge runs in Switzerland. These destinations also happen to offer some of the best winter hikes in Switzerland.
Pizol - Bad Ragaz Sled Run (Heidi's Run)
Located in the Eastern Swiss Alps, the Pizol sled run, affectionately known as Heidi's Run, offers an unforgettable sledding experience.
It stretches over 7.5 kilometres and treats sledders to a mesmerizing descent with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
The run is aptly named after the famous literary character Heidi, and it promises a magical journey through a winter wonderland, surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
Gurten Sled Run - Bern
If you find yourself in Bern, the Gurten sled run is a must-visit. Accessible via a short funicular ride from the city, this 2.5-kilometre sled run offers a thrilling experience with the backdrop of Bern's iconic skyline.
You'll be greeted with sweeping views of the Swiss capital as you make your way down this exciting run, making it a perfect option for a day trip from the city.
Faulhorn - Grindelwald Sled Run
The Faulhorn sled run is renowned for being one of the longest sled runs globally, extending from the Faulhorn mountain to the charming village of Grindelwald.
This epic run covers a distance of approximately 15 kilometres, and sledders are treated to breathtaking vistas of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, making it an absolute must for avid sledding enthusiasts.
Preda-Bergün Sled Run - Engadin
The Engadin Valley is home to the Preda-Bergün sled run, a 6.5-kilometre downhill adventure that meanders through Alpine villages and stunning Alpine landscapes.
With its postcard-worthy scenery and the thrill of a long, winding descent, this sled run is perfect for those seeking both natural beauty and exhilaration.
Rigi - Queen of the Mountains Sled Run
For a unique sled run experience, head to Mount Rigi, located near Lucerne. The adventure begins with a cogwheel train ride to the summit, followed by an exciting descent featuring views of Lake Lucerne and the surrounding Swiss countryside.
The Rigi sled run offers a blend of pristine natural beauty and a touch of Swiss heritage, making it a top choice for a memorable sledding experience.
Saanenmöser - Schönried Sled Run - Gstaad
Nestled in the Bernese Oberland, this sled run covers 5.5 kilometres, delivering a delightful journey through snowy forests and open fields.
As you glide through this pristine landscape, you'll experience the true essence of winter in the Swiss Alps, making it a perfect location for a family adventure or a romantic sled ride.
Muottas Muragl Sled Run - Engadin
The Muottas Muragl sled run, situated in the Engadin Valley, promises a thrilling experience with stunning panoramic views.
Starting from the lofty heights of Muottas Muragl, this sled run provides an exhilarating descent with vistas of the Engadin Valley and the surrounding peaks, making it a must-visit for nature and adventure enthusiasts.
Rochers-de-Naye Sled Run - Montreux
If you're in the Lake Geneva region, the Rochers-de-Naye sled run is a delightful choice, offering a perfect combination of winter magic and mesmerizing lake views.
Particularly enchanting in the evening when the landscape is illuminated, this sled run is ideal for those seeking a unique, magical experience under the starry Swiss sky.
Tobogganing Park Innerwengen - Jungfrau Region
Located in the picturesque Lauterbrunnen Valley, the Tobogganing Park Innerwengen offers an exhilarating 4-kilometer sled run that provides an abundance of excitement.
Perfect for families and thrill-seekers alike, the well-groomed track ensures an enjoyable and safe sledding experience through this stunning Alpine region.
Flumserberg Sled Run
The Flumserberg region is home to a variety of sled runs, with the 3.5-kilometre run from Prodalp being a favourite among visitors.
Whether you're looking for thrills or a leisurely ride, this run offers a mix of adventure and scenic beauty, surrounded by the captivating Swiss Alps.
Schwarzsee Sled Run - Fribourg
Nestled near the Schwarzsee (Black Lake), this 3.5-kilometer sled run offers an idyllic winter setting and a wonderful experience for sledders.
With the pristine lake as a backdrop, sledding here is not just an adventure but an opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Swiss countryside.
Aletsch Arena Sled Run - Bettmeralp
The Aletsch Arena sled run in Bettmeralp is a true highlight for those seeking a unique adventure. The sled run offers panoramic views of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps.
This run provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Swiss Alps while enjoying an exciting sled ride.
If you're a beginner looking to have a fantastic snow sledding experience in Switzerland, you've chosen a thrilling winter activity.
Here are some essential tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time on the sled runs.
Choose the Right Location
Switzerland offers a variety of sled runs suitable for all levels. As a beginner, opt for well-marked and less challenging runs with gentle slopes. Check with local resorts for recommendations on beginner-friendly sled runs.
Rent or Purchase a Sled
It's a good idea to rent a sled if you're just starting. Most sled runs in Switzerland offer sled rental services near the starting point. Rental sleds are typically well-suited for the specific run.
However, if you plan to sled frequently, you can consider purchasing your own sled after gaining more experience.
A helmet is always a good idea, especially for beginners. It provides protection in case of falls or collisions. Additionally, consider wearing knee and elbow pads for extra safety.
Take a Lesson
If you're feeling uncertain, many ski resorts offer sledging lessons or guided tours for beginners. These lessons can help you build confidence and improve your skills under the guidance of experienced instructors.
Know the Rules
Understand and follow the rules of the sled run you're using. These rules often include guidelines for speed, yielding to others, and proper conduct. Following these rules ensures safety and an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Start with a slow and controlled pace. Avoid attempting steep or icy runs until you've gained more experience. Keep a safe distance from other sledders, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Choose the Right Time
Sled runs can be less crowded and more enjoyable during weekdays or earlier in the morning. If you're concerned about crowds, plan your sledding excursion accordingly.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Views
Lastly, remember to have fun and take in the stunning winter scenery. Sledding in Switzerland offers not only excitement but also breathtaking Alpine vistas. Take your time, enjoy the ride, and create unforgettable memories.
Sledding in Switzerland can be both thrilling and picturesque, offering breathtaking views of the snow-covered landscapes.
By following these tips and taking necessary safety precautions, you can make the most of your sledding adventure and create lasting memories. Sledding in Switzerland really is one of the best ways to experience this winter wonderland!