Best things to do for non skiers in and around Geneva

You are going skiing with family and friends, but not everyone in the party likes to ski! Don’t worry, Geneva offers plenty of fun activities if skiing is not your thing.

Whether you’re looking for pampering, sporty activities or learning something new, you won’t be bored.  

PAMPERING
Everybody loves a good massage and Geneva is well known for its luxurious hotels nestled around the lake, which all offer outstanding spa services. We recommend Spa La Mer at Hotel President Wilson and Nescens Spa at La Réserve.
spa la mer

Hotel President Wilson and Spa La Mer

Indulge yourself with La Mer luxurious products at the exclusive Spa La Mer in the iconic Hotel President Wilson.

Where: 47 Quai Wilson
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Nescens Spa

La Réserve and Nescens Spa

La Réserve is located in a beautifully landscaped park of 10 acres on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is a luxury hotel far from prying eyes, which offers a spa and 5 restaurants. It has a warm and relaxed atmosphere with magical views over the lake. Spend some cocooning time in front of their monumental fireplace.

The Nescens Spa offers a unique range of services including health and anti-aging techniques, in an elegant and lush environment. They even have a private ice-skating rink during the winter in the Winter Lodge restaurant and a Christmas village displaying high-end brands and other exclusive products, perfect for Christmas shopping.

You can also have dinner in their Tsé Fung, Chinese restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star and which, elevated Cantonese cuisine to the status of haute gastronomy.

Where: 301, Route de Lausanne
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fondue in the sky, verbier
FONDUE IN THE SKY

For something different – we recommend enjoying a fondue in the sky in the Roc d’Orsay Villars cable car, 2000 meters above sea level.

Enjoy a traditional fondue while taking in breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc and the Rhône Valley below.

The meal consists of a three-course dinner of local Swiss delights and lasts about 2 hours. It includes Swiss cured ham, fondue, dessert, wine and soft drinks. There are 40 cabins on the cable car, which accommodate up to 6 people each.

The company has just been awarded the “Unique Restaurant of the Year 2018” award for the fourth time by the Swiss Travel and Hospitality Awards.

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hot air baloon
FONDUE IN A HOT AIR BALOON

Another great way to discover our beautiful region, even if you don’t enjoy skiing, is to embark on a romantic journey in a hot air balloon. Ballons du Leman is a Swiss company specialized in hot air balloon flights around Lake Geneva. It is a great way to admire the Alps and the Geneva Lake region from a different angle.

During winter, they fly from Gstaad to Gruyère. You will rise up to 3000 meters to get a view of the highest peaks. Even better, you can eat a fondue while being seated in the basket of the hot air balloon.

It is a unique experience for up to 9 people, which includes a champagne aperitif before the flight, the cheese fondue dinner in the air and after landing, a very Swiss dessert will await you: a meringue with traditional gruyere double cream served with a glass of champagne. 

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initium workshop
WATCH TOUR AND WORKSHOPS

For a very unique way of discovering the city that does not involve skiing, we recommend one of Geneva Tourism’s private tours, which will immerse you in 500 years history of luxury watchmaking. 

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You can also register for a watch workshop and learn to assemble a complete Swiss watch that will be yours to keep as a special souvenir.

Where: Initium, 17 Grand-Rue.
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CHOCOLATE WORKSHOPS

An interesting way to spend an afternoon is to indulge in a chocolate workshop, where you will learn the secrets of chocolate manufacturing and get to taste some delicious Swiss chocolate!
We like Du Rhône Chocolatier on 3, Rue de la Confédération.

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You could also visit the Chocolaterie Stettler and observe the making of chocolate bars and many other delicacies that you will, of course be able to taste afterwards. They also organize chocolate workshops for all ages. 

Where: Rue de Berne 10 and Avenue Blanc 49
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Another option is the Favarger factory, founded in 1826. It is one of the oldest chocolate factories in Geneva and is definitely one of the best local chocolate brands. It is very unique tour since most of their machines date back to the days when they first opened. Note: The tour has to be booked in advance. The factory is in Versoix, a 20-minute train ride from Geneva. 

Where: 2 Chemin de la Chocolaterie
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Du Rhone chocolate
favarger chocolate
dog sledding
DOGSLEDGING

For some sporty activities that don’t require skiing or snowboarding, try dogsledging to still experience the magic of winter in the mountains.

You will be able to enjoy the snow gliding through the winter landscape behind a team of beautiful huskies.

A special winter adventure for the whole family. 

Dogsledging is offered in nearby ski resorts Verbier and Chamonix.

SNOW TUBING IN THE VAUDOIS ALPS
Ready to experience something a bit crazy this winter that does not involve skiing? Try the tobogganing park in Leysin.
This activity is perfect for winter sports enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, who’ll enjoy racing down the steep slopes. 

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snowtubing
Leysin
SNOWSHOE TREKKING IN LES DIABLERETS

The great thing about snowshoe trekking is that it does not require any training and therefore every-one can participate and have fun. You can also combine pleasure with a workout and join the Gourmet snowshoes tour where you will be able to taste local delicacies while snowshoeing. 

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For more of a challenge, check out the biathlon at the Villars Swiss Ski School of Biathlon. It is a fun activity, which combines sport and precision, as you will learn to shoot a10-meters target with the help of an instructor. You an either take part in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or running and rifle shooting. 

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Biathlon les Diablerets
racket

WRITTEN BY

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Article by Thingstodoingeneva

Things to do in Geneva  - the grapevine guide to the city.

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