Gstaad, Switzerland - where superstars and celebrities retreat to
You will almost never hear this particular town in Switzerland brought up in interviews or mentioned by celebrities. Gstaad (pronounced Shtad or, more accurately, Kshtaat) has been a unofficial hidden kept secret in the star-studded world for a long time. And why not? With its European resort town design, sceneries right out of a fairytale, scrumptious food offering and luxury boutique chalets and hotels, it offers an escape amidst its four gently sloping valleys.
One of its draws is that Gstaad is a friendly car-free village. In terms of size, it is just your average Swiss village, lying in the south west of the country, about two hours' drive from Geneva or Zurich on the boundary between the Bernese Oberland and the Vaud Alpes.
For the better part of the year, Gstaad plays host to numerous world-class festivals and tournaments including the Menuhin Classic Music Festival, the ATP Tennis Championships and the Polo Silver Cup. In January, don't miss the hot-air balloon festival in Chateau-d'Oex.
The summer will see tongs of local and international tourists visiting this sleepy little town for its endless hiking paths. The Swiss Maestro himself, Roger Federer is a fan of its hiking trails as "It’s not so brutally up and down, it’s more of an even slope, which is great for hiking."
200km of slopes situated between 1,000m and 3,000m above sea level await skiers and snowboarders in winter. Guests can choose from several snowparks, numerous tobogganing runs and 42 kilometres of perfectly groomed cross-country ski trails – half of which are classic trails and half of which are designed for skating. There are around 185 kilometres of winter hiking trails. The more unusual activities include Bavarian curling in the centre of Gstaad or glacier and helicopter skiing.
Cable cars ferry you into the mountains – and the local tourist travel pass, the Gstaad Easyaccess Card will save you money on these as well as giving you a range of other benefits. Be sure to get one of those when you arrive in Gstaad.
There are heaps of accommodation options in Gstaad and who knows - you might just run into A-list celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Bernie Ecclestone, Johnny Hallyday and Julie Andrews, who was made an honorary citizen of Gstaad-Saanen in 2014.
So if you have your eyes step on Gstaad as part of your travel plans to the Swiss, get in touch with Sedunia Travel to make your travel dreams come true.