Gstaad (1050 m) is a popular, exclusive Swiss holiday village in the Bernese Oberland. Around Gstaad – in the so-called Saanenland – a holiday resort with numerous offers for each season waits for the tourists. In winter it is ideal for snowboarding and skiing, in summer for hiking. Not only nature but also sports and cultural events in Gstaad magically attract visitors of Switzerland. There is, for example, the Allianz Suisse Open (the International tennis tournament) or the Menuhin Festival with classical music.
Nowadays the Gstaad Mountain Rides represents an association of 60 cable railways near Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland. About 250 kilometres of pistes make every winter athlete’s heart swell. Slopes for each level, cross-country tracks, toboggan runs and winter hiking paths, special offers such as Husky sleigh-rides or paragliding – there is a matching sports programme for everybody’s taste. Mountain restaurants take care of the guests’ physical well-being, and in the hotels around Gstaad the holidaymakers recover from doing sports by means of relaxing wellness programmes.
During the warm season hiking paths lure visitors of Gstaad Hotels into nature. Children enjoy the animals in the zoo on the Wispile or romp in the tree theme park. On the Rellerli, the landmark mountain of Schönried, you can have yourself catapulted up on y Bungee trampoline. Or you can pull yourself up at the climbing wall. You can get rapidly back into the valley by dry luge run on the Rellerli.
From Gstaad into the Swiss mountains
Several cable railways take us high up in the Swiss mountains. Even since 1935 these means of transport have been travelling in the Saanenland. The first cable railway near Gstaad consists of two carriages which are combined by a wire cable. Previously the ski enthusiasts had to climb up the mountain by feed for rushing down the hill again. Another possibility was a ride with the horse-drawn carriage up the mountain.
Many hoteliers are aware of the importance of ski lifts and cable railways with regard to the region’s tourism. It goes without saying that it is favourable for the hotels in Gstaad if the athletes can be transported on the peaks quick and comfortable. Soon directors of Gstaad hotels contribute to finance the construction projects hoping for an increased tourism in this region. In the 1950s the first gondola lift was built near Gstaad. Hundreds of winter athletes can now be taken into the mountains within one hour.