Sometimes you are offered an opportunity to go to places you may never dreamed of visiting. Recently some good friends invited us to their mountaintop wedding in Switzerland and we discovered how incredible the Swiss Alps in summer can be.
The Swiss Alps – Chablais Alps region
What do you think of when you imagine the countryside of Switzerland? Growing up, one of my favourite stories was Heidi. It is the tale of a little girl from the alps and her friendship with a sick child from the city.
Through Heidi I learnt about Switzerland’s lush green pastures, soaring mountains and picturesque villages and often dreamt of visiting.
Our destination was the Chablais Alps in the Valais region of Switzerland most famous for the ski resort of Zermatt and the Matterhorn peak. We headed a little off the beaten track to Portes du Soleil perched high above the pretty village of Champéry.
This region lies between Mont Blanc to the west and Lake Leman (Geneva) to the east. From our vantage point just below the peak of Croix de Culet we had panoramic views across the Val-d’Illiez to the Dents du Midi mountain range whose seven peaks rise to over 3,000m elevation.
Summertime activities in the Swiss Alps
We stayed at the cosy En Plein Ciel chalet style hotel where the wedding was held. Access to the hotel is by cable car or a steep, winding and narrow road 1,000 metres up the mountain.
As we made our ascent we passed chalets and mountain huts overlooking the valley. Herds of cows with typical bells around their necks munched on the greenest grass you ever saw. Groups of hikers and mountain bikers waved to us and I could not help but think we had stumbled upon a perfect picture of the Swiss countryside.
For some reason I expected the alps to be a destination just for very serious hikers and walkers. But that is not the case. For those of us who prefer a more leisurely stroll amongst spectacular scenery you can choose smaller day walks or even easier overnight hikes.
Other popular alpine summer activities include trout fishing, horseback riding and canyoning. The weather in Swiss Alps in summer is around 25-28°C during the day, perfect for enjoying outdoor pursuits.
We headed down the mountain by cable car for lunch one day and strolled around picture perfect Champéry. Pretty wooden chalet style buildings were adorned with bright red geraniums. The little church bell tower was flanked by Swiss flags and we felt like we had arrived in the ideal Swiss village.
We had to have fondue for lunch despite our waiter’s disapproval. Apparently it was really too hot for fondue! In any case, the fondue and local charcuterie was delicious. After lunch we strolled through the village some more and browsed the boutiques before heading back to the cable car for the brisk 10 minute ride up the mountain.
Staying in a chalet style hotel in the Swiss Alps
Back up at En Plein Ciel we enjoyed an aperitif watching the sun stream in through the panoramic windows and on the rooftop terrace. The view of the valley and Dents du Midi ranges is one I will never forget.
At the restaurant we were treated to some wonderful meals featuring local produce by the in-house chef. You can expect hearty Swiss French style cuisine such as coq au vin in the restaurant which also boasts a large central open fire, comfortable couches and a billiard table.
Rooms at En Plein Ciel are large, clean and cosy and are decorated in a simple chalet style. The staff at the family run hotel are extremely friendly and accommodating. Nothing was too much trouble and they made sure all the guests at the wedding had a comfortable stay. Check availability and prices at En Plein Ciel
Is it expensive to visit the Swiss Alps in summer?
But what about the cost? Switzerland is considered to be extremely expensive and many travellers avoid visiting for this reason. We drove from the UK in our own car stopping a couple of nights on the way and saved heavily on transport costs this way.
Accommodation costs in Switzerland are also considered to be out of reach of many however I found the prices at En Plein Ciel reasonable at around £140/€160 per night for our family of four. Doubles start at £72/€86.
Food costs can easily blow your travel budget. You can access two small supermarkets in Champéry where you can buy snacks and lunches to help reduce costs.
The Swiss Alps are a dream destination for many in winter but there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the alpine regions in summer. From hiking, sightseeing and enjoying the local cuisine and wine it is possible to completely unwind and relax in the fresh mountain air.
Having visited Switzerland in both winter and summer time I think there is definitely more value to be had during the summer.
A wedding to remember
You might like to know about the wedding. It was a wonderful celebration of two cultures – Australian and French – in the most beautiful alpine setting.
The bride and groom fittingly set off on the first part of their honeymoon hiking the Dents du Midi circuit before a more relaxing break in Italy.
Resources for planning a summer visit to Champéry in the Swiss alps
Have you visited Switzerland in summertime? What were your favourite places and activities?
Pin to save
This post contains affiliate links and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit our disclosures page
Subscribe to Untold Morsels
Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter full of inspirational ideas for memorable trips.
As a thank you we will send you a FREE checklist for booking the best holiday accommodation rental apartments and villas on Booking.com, AirBnB etc