Winter Wonderland Mystery Markets Tour - Montreux, Leukerbad and Zermatt


Euan Landsborough

Winter Wonderland Mystery Markets Tour - Montreux, Leukerbad and Zermatt


Day 7: 10 December | Montreux

Overnight the snow had fallen and fallen and fallen. Thick, deep carpets of the white stuff. The trees were laden and little mountain huts sat in pristine white fields with steam coming from little chimneys. Utterly spectacular. Our next destination was the mountain spa town of Leukerbad. Our drive took us through the mountains and as the roads were covered in snow, snow-chains were fitted to the massive coach wheels, giving us superb grip. First stop was beside Lake Geneva where we enjoyed a guided tour through the remarkable Château de Chillon. Technically built on an island and connected to the shore by a bridge, it dates back 8 centuries. Inside we walked the ramparts, explored the vaulted prisons, the ornate halls and even saw the ‘poop shute’. 

Lunchtime was enjoyed in beautiful Montreux. Here the Christmas Markets lined the lake foreshore, and with over 170 cabins they stretched a kilometre. Down one end stood the large statue of Freddy Mercury (who made his farewell home here) in a classic pose punching the sky.



In the afternoon we continued down the famous Swiss Valais to a town called Leuk, where we then drove up the ever winding Alpine road up to the thermal spa town of Leukerbad. The ride was dramatic, to say the least. The ‘Bad’ in the word ‘Leukerbad’, means baths in German, and it is one of the biggest spa and wellness resorts in Switzerland. Why so? Because every day, 3.9 million litres of hot water gush from 65 thermal springs bubbling out of the mountain. Set in a perched valley at an altitude of 1,400 metres Leukerbad is surrounded by towering, jagged, sheer peaks. Over the next 2 days the sky was crystal clear and surely Leukerbad must be one of the most dramatically located towns in all of Europe. 



Thermally heated outdoor swimming pools are everywhere. Our hotel has a wonderful bath temperature outdoor pool, plus and indoor pool, steam room and sauna all connected to its own spa treatment centre. Imagine relaxing, and floating in a steaming thermal swimming pool, on an open terrace, with snow banked all around the edges, surrounded by massive, snow-covered Alpine peaks!  Wonderful!  We spent 3 nights here, right in the middle of town. Rooms are wonderful, beautifully decorated and very large! Little wonder it was voted ‘Best small hotel Switzerland 2019’! Dinner tonight was in our hotel.

Day 8: 11 December | Torrent Mountain and Leukerbad

This morning our fearless leader led the group to the Torrent cable car station where we caught a lift high up to the café and panoramic terraces on the Torrent mountain. With the huge blue skies and massive panoramic views, it is famous for its Alpine skiing. The sky was crystal clear and Gilberto could identify and point out Europe’s highest mountain Mont Blanc one way, way over in France, and the mighty Matterhorn the other way. Everyone was treated to hot drinks and snacks in the mountain restaurant. Later… the child in us came out of their shells, Snowballs were thrown, Gilberto was dumped in the snow by our driver Mikeilee and everyone had a brilliant time.  Coming down the mountain the rest of the day was free. Some chose to relax in the hotel, or wander through Leukerbad’s old village. Quite a few people donned swimsuits and immersed themselves in the steaming hotel outdoor pool. Chatting and bathing and sharing their incredible experience whilst snow clad peaks soared high above and all around.


Day 9: 12 December | Zermatt

Today we visited Zermatt. Driving back down to the Valais we then drove up into the mountains on the far side. Reaching Taesch, we caught a cog railway train up to world-famous Zermatt. At an altitude of 1,620 metres (5,315 ft), the village is surrounded by huge peaks and dominating them all is the mighty Matterhorn. Petrol-driven vehicles are banned from the village and as such the peace and quiet enhances the atmosphere amongst wooden chalets and small winding village streets.



For those who sought more thrills we included a ride on Europe’ highest open-air railway - the Gornergrat train ride. ‘Open Air’ because it does not climb through tunnels, just holds to a mountain ridge all the way up to the Gornergrat station and restaurant complex which sits at 3,100 metres. Surrounded by over 30 mountain peaks over 4,000 metres and looming high above all is the enormous, sheer faced Matterhorn. Wow! Another round of hot drinks, another round of wonderful photos, another layer of wonderful memories that will last a life time.



Descending, there was time at leisure to explore this beautiful town, and do as little or as much as you wanted.

Day 10: 13 December

Time to move on… but where? 
That is for our next Mystery Story… for a 4-night stay. Somewhere, you guessed it, spectacular!


Read more of about their previous days on the Mystery Tour here: Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 10-15
If you are interested in organising your own Festive holiday, click here to find out more about Albatorss Tours European Christmas, New Year and Northern Lights small group tours.

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