The surprising summer destination that has (almost) everything

Sleep in the company of cows

If you’ve got budding shepherds or dairy lovers among you, head to Pays-d’Enhaut in the French-speaking canton of Vaud to test your taste and blending skills as you learn how to make one of the tastiest alpine cheeses. Etivaz – the rarer cousin of the classic Gruyere – with its bold, fruity and nutty flavor is made the traditional way: over an open fire on one of the more than 130 Alpine peaks between the glaciers of Les Diablerets and the vineyards of Lake Geneva. Visitors can hike to the chalets where the farmers stay with their herds throughout the summer and allow them to graze in the meadows dotted with wildflowers.

As a special treat, you can sleep over the cows in the hay overnight, learn how to milk them in the morning and help prepare the daily portion of Etivaz. Prices for adults/children from £42/£26 including accommodation, dinner, breakfast and cheese making (

get physical

skiing in summer

The summer months are the perfect time to conquer Europe’s largest and highest summer slopes. Keen skiers can head to the 3,883m Klein Matterhorn and join national ski teams from around the world to explore the 21km of pistes that are open every morning (don’t worry: there are ski schools for advanced skiers).

At the top of the ski area, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car station offers expansive views of the summit, as well as activities like snow tubing and the Glacier Palace, where visitors can descend 15m (50ft) into the glacier to explore a frozen world of ice sculptures and slides. Purchasing a ski pass for more than three days on the Zermatt site ( grants access to the local bike lifts as well as the ski area. Stay at the Unique Hotel Post ( which offers double rooms from £182 per night.

Follow Route 1291

This summer, the Lake Lucerne region is launching Route 1291, a challenging 186-mile bike trail that begins and ends in Lucerne, one of Switzerland’s best-preserved medieval towns. Named after the year in which Switzerland’s first federal deed was signed, this seven-stage route shows some of the country’s most beautiful castles, historic towns and mountain landscapes.

The route is designed for one week and leads in a loop via Altdorf down to Andermatt and then up again through the UNESCO-protected Entlebuch biosphere reserve. Stay at the Art Deco Hotel Montana ( which offers double rooms from £184 per night. The surprising summer destination that has (almost) everything

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