Our next stop after Zermatt was to Val d’Herens, more specifically to the village of Nax, a spot up in the mountains with an incredible view of the surrounding valleys!
Easy as it was to get on the train here – after our day of skiing, I was surprisingly quite knackered! We checked into the Maya Boutique Hotel in Nax (a hotel built using straw – yes straw! More on that later…), before popping downstairs to the restaurant for an amazing meal.
The next morning, we woke up to the stunning views over the valley Swiss Alps that make a stay in Nax absolutely special. And you don’t have to go too far for that view too – you can see it right from your room or even down in the restaurant!
Oh yeah, the whole straw-hotel thing. Well, the couple who own it (you’ll get to meet them when you visit) have won so many awards for their hotel design. Suffice to say, building homes made of straw isn’t something you’d find in the Swiss Mountains but is one that has meant having a seriously energy efficient home and a ridiculously cosy stay in the mountains.
When you’re here, the owners are also part of a *technically free electric car scheme to get you around. Although it’s free, you are recommended to give a donation to help with the running of it (which makes sense) but this just means that when you visit, you get to whizz around the Swiss countryside easily and see so many of the cute villages and towns dotted around.
Speaking of which, after breakfast, we started our day with one of said cute Swiss villages – the village of Saint Martin!
In true Swiss style, the best way to enjoy the countryside in Switzerland is to take a little hike – albeit, with snowshoes – seeing as it’s winter and all.
And so off we went into the mountain, stopping to take in view every so often and even spotting a glacier in the distance – a remnant of the ice age!
When you spend some time here, you soon understand why the Swiss manage to stay so fit despite eating (or at least, having access to) so much cheese (*read: fondue) and delicious chocolates – it’s all the exercise. Hiking here is just like going to the pub in the UK, something that’s done regularly and for fun!
Oh and everyone here doesn’t matter if they’re zipping past on a ski, show-shoeing or just hanging around their homes says hello here. Like, everyone! A bit of a pleasant surprise coming from London where sometimes you don’t even know who your neighbour is.
We stopped off part way in the woods for a snack break of local Swiss cheeses and meats – brilliantly paired with some tea to warm us up (though you’d be fairly warm anyway seeing as you’re snowshoeing).
Eventually, we made our way back down from the woods to the village with its pretty little (and large) Swiss cottages…
…before diving right into a fondue for lunch! (I ate so much cheese in Switzerland!).
Lunch over, it was finally time to say farewell to Switzerland!
Our previous visits to this absolutely gorgeous country had been in summer time and so it was pretty fantastic (and eye-opening in parts to finally get to visit in winter and see its beauty in a totally different way!