Winter Fun in Fribourg (FR)

The Swiss French-speaking region of Fribourg is a charming part of Switzerland at any time of the year. The actual birthplace of Basel’s own Jean Tinguely, the town of Fribourg offers an array of interesting indoor museums and institutions that are both fun and educational for the whole family (e.g., Papillorama). In winter time, the region of Fribourg offers a wide rangeof cool winter activities that guarantees fun for all age groups. In addition to the fabulous Murten Light festival that takes place for 12 days each January, there are many sporty activities to choose from, including snowshoeing, tobogganing, snow tubing, skijoring (being pulled across the snow by a horse), and even a fabulous ice palace. So why not check out their offers and start planning your visit to Fribourg this season.

Night-Time Snowshoeing

Ideal for groups of 10 people or more, you can snowshoe your way around the Corbetta, situated just above the ski resort Les Paccots, 1399 m above sea level. You can choose a smaller circular route, which will take about 1 hour, or a longer circuit that goes around the top of Corbetta and takes approximately 2 hours. Both of these circular trails (Nº9), start and end in Les Paccots, where you can then treat yourself to a nice fondue meal in one of the traditional restaurants. The trail is equipped with reflective signage, allowing you to easily find your way with the help of a head lamp and to enjoy the magic of the snowy countryside at night. The per- person rate (for minimum 10 people) is CHF 23 for snowshoe trail and fondue; you can also rent snowshoes for CHF 12 and a head torch for CHF 2. Contact the Office du Tourisme Châtel-Saint-Denis at 021-948-8456 or

Combination Snowshoeing and Tobogganing

Also starting in Les Paccots and following the snowshoe trail (Nº8), you can enjoy a 90-minute snowshoe hike up the mountain to the chalet called “Le Vuipay,” which is situated on at 1400 m in the snowy landscape with incredible views. There you can reward yourself with a nice meal of local specialties (be sure to reserve at 021-948-0432) before heading back down the hill to your starting point. Return on snowshoes or hire a toboggan from the chalet for CHF 5/person and race your way back downhill.

Skijöring and Sledging

For a completely different snow experience, why not discover skijöring, a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse. If this sounds too tricky, you can be seated on a sledge while being pulled by a horse. In Pringy (route de Saussivue 47), there is a special 1-km route prepared for skijoring; by appointment only. Spaces are limited to 5 skiers or 15 sledgers at a time. Price is CHF 45 per person for 45 minutes (on skis) or CHF 20 per person for 45 minutes on a sledge. Warm clothing and a helmet are a must, ski goggles are highly recommended. If you have younger family members and would prefer a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy landscape, this can also be arranged. To reserve call 079-515-1945 or

Snow Tubing

Snow tubing is coming to Charmey this winter! The mountain of Vounetz in the heart of the Fribourg alps will allow you to discover new sensations as you slide on a rubber tube through several tubing lanes lined with walls of snow—fun for children and adults alike. The use of the hill is free; you pay for a return ticket for the gondola ride and for the rental of the rubber tube (CHF 5 per day). And when you are too tired or cold to continue tubing, treat yourself to the luxury of the thermal baths in Charmey at the Bains de la Gruyère. At an altitude of 900 m and surrounded by an exceptional panorama, you will be pampered while enjoying a splendid view of the mountains at la Gruyère.

Dog Sledding

In the middle of La Gruyère in Charmey, you can share some unforgettable moments with sled dogs in the midst of nature. Led by the professionals at Mush Harmonie, you will ride the sled and feel like a real musher. For one hour, the musher will explain the driving of the sled, the character of the husky, and you will have the chance to drive your own team. Alternatively, you can hire the dogs for a day or half-day of “Cani-Racket” (canine snowshoeing). With a belt around your waist connected to your canine companion, you will head off on a beautiful snowshoe trail through the snowy landscape of Gruyère. This hike that unites walker and dog can be adapted for your fitness level or wishes. Contact Roland Dubelly at 078-600-5734 or to make a reservation.

Ice Palace at Schwarzsee

In the area of the Schwarzsee valley near Fribourg, Karl Neuhaus (also known as the “Tinguely of Ice”) every winter builds his frozen world, the “Eispaläste” (ice palaces). Here you can walk through the forest and visit numerous ice sculptures and buildings up to 15 meters tall that you can climb and walk through, including igloos and caves illustrating fairytale and winter themes and a giant pirate’s ship. The ice sculptures are all colorfully lit, making an evening visit especially magical. There is also a playground, a giant swing, and a snack bar where you can buy warm drinks or sausages to roast over an open fire.

The ice palaces are set up at an altitude of 1,000 m, and their accessibility is weather dependent. It is prudent to call (079-613-0997) or check their website before heading out. Open Wednesday to Friday from 15:00–21:00, and Saturday and Sunday from 14:00–21:00. Cost is CHF 10 for adults and CHF 5 for kids.

The ice palaces can be reached by car in about 1 hour and 45 minutes or by public transport by taking the train to Fribourg and then the TPF bus direction Schwarzsee/Lac Noir, getting off at the stop called “Lichtena.”