If you are looking to have some mountain adventures while visiting Switzerland, in both summer and winter, then you may want to consider spending some time in Les Diablerets.
Les Diablerets comes from the French “le Diable,” the devil, and the place got its name in the Middle Ages. It was thought that the devil lived on a nearby rock face and it was at the time a place of fear.
Today, Les Diablerets is one of the adventure sports capitals of Switzerland. It sits at 1,200 meters above sea level surrounded by the snow-capped peaks between Gstaad and Lake Geneva in the Vaud Alps.
Les Diablerets is home to great skiing and hiking, has glaciers to explore, and has a load of other adventurous activities on offer too.
Join me as I run through everything you need to know about visiting Les Diablerets from how to get there, what to do, and where to stay, it is covered in this article.
How to Get to Les Diablerets
Les Diablerets lies outside of Lake Geneva in the alps and is on the road that connects Gstaad and Aigle.
There are quite a few different ways to get to Les Diablerets depending on where you are coming from.
With such easy public transport options, the use of trains and buses is encouraged to reduce the carbon emissions associated with visiting Les Diablerets.
The closest international airport to Les Diablerets is Geneva and flights are also more affordable into Geneva than Bern, the next closest airport.
You also have the option of flying into Zurich airport but your train connection will take quite a lot longer than from Geneva.
Once you have landed in Switzerland, you can either use the train or drive to Les Diablerets.
No matter what airport you fly into, getting to Les Diablerets requires some changes along the way. But, since Swiss public transport is so efficient, it is actually a pleasure, especially with the stunning views.
From Geneva, the journey to Les Diablerets takes about 2.25 hours by train, changing once at Aigle.
From Bern, take the train to Visp, change on to the train to Aigle, and then change again to Les Diablerets. The journey is 3.25 hours.
The train from Zurich to Les Diablerets is about 4 hours changing at Lausanne and Aigle.
Hiring a car and driving to Les Diablerets is also an option. It is quite handy to have a car in Les Diablerets in summer as it will allow you to access more remote areas close by that public transport can’t quite get to or gets to very slowly.
In winter, you will need to be careful driving on mountain roads and there is a chance of road closures due to ice and snow, which is worth taking into account. There is a lot less risk in taking the train to Les Diablerets in winter compared to driving.
From Geneva, the drive to Les Diablerets is just under 2 hours and is very easy.
The drive from Bern to Les Diablerets takes less than 2 hours and is also very simple.
From Zurich, drive via Bern and Vevey to get to Les Diablerets. It takes about 3.5 hours.
The Best Way To Get To Les Diablerets
In my eyes, your best option for getting to Les Diablerets is by flying into Geneva and getting a train to Les Diablerets.
Best Things to Do in Winter
Les Diablerets is famous for its skiing and is home to three ski areas that combined have over 250 km of pistes to suit all levels and 30 km of cross-country ski trails too.
The three ski areas include Isenau, Meilleret, and Glacier 3000 all of which are very well linked via cable cars and ski lifts.
The Meilleret ski area is a great place for pros and experienced skiers to spend their time while in Les Diablerets. There are lots of blue and red runs in this ski area and you also get access to the popular ski area of Villars with the ski pass and thus will have even more to explore.
The Meilleret ski area is often used for ski events, that is how great the pistes are, plus you can even enjoy some night skiing on the floodlit section.
The Isenau ski area is an awesome place for beginners to find their skis. The slopes are wide and not too steep which makes it a great place for families to enjoy.
You can ski on the upper slopes, down to the village, and to Col du Pillon where the Isenau ski area links to the cable car which services the Glacier 3000 ski area.
Glacier 3000 ski area is huge with over 125 km of pistes for you to choose from. Sitting at 3,000 meters above sea level and on a glacier, you can ski or snowboard here pretty much all year round.
As well as skiing, snowboarders can also enjoy the excellent snow park at Glacier 3000 which is home to multiple half-pipes.
Les Diablerets is a great place to learn to ski or snowboard. There are some great schools that you can book private, group, and kids lessons with.
ESS Les Diablerets – Ski and Snowboard School comes highly recommended and Les Diablerets is one stunning place to learn, especially on the mellow slopes of the Isenau ski area.
If you want a break from the slopes or simply aren’t that into skiing, don’t worry, Les Diablerets has got you covered.
There is a 7.2 km toboggan run that starts from one of the mountain restaurants and is one of the longest toboggan runs in Switzerland.
Rushing down this run is pretty epic and it is great for the whole family too. An added bonus is that the toboggan run is completely separated from the ski slopes so you won’t have to worry about safety as all the skiers will be elsewhere.
The toboggan run costs between CHF 12 and CHF 20 depending on the type of sled you hire and how long you hire it for.
Ice Wall Climbing
If you have ever wanted to learn how to ice climb, then Les Diablerets is the place to do it. Ice wall climbing is readily available at Glacier 3000 but you will have to hire a local guide and equipment from the Alpine Centre headquarters.
You can ice wall climb between November and March and there are some very cool sites such as the Col du Pillon at the waterfall in Les Diablerets.
Guides cost CHF 645 per day and can be shared with a group of 6.
For those of you who aren’t so into adrenaline but want to experience the peacefulness of snow-covered mountains and forests in the winter, Les Diablerets has got you covered.
There are over 35 km of snowshoe trails that are marked purely for winter hiking. You can quickly remove yourself from the busy slopes and find rejuvenation in the peace of nature.
Snow biking is yet another adventure activity on offer in Les Diablerets. You can rent a snow bike and take to the many kilometers of snow biking trails in the area.
Best Things to Do in Summer
In the summertime, the mountains of Les Diablerets open up and provide you with access to over 250 km of stunning hiking trails. There truly are so many hikes to choose from, you might find yourself stuck when picking them.
Here are some of the best ones for you to choose from.
Cascade du Dar Waterfall Hike
The easiest and one of the most beautiful hikes is accessible from the village of Les Diablerets. There are multiple options when it comes to route choices, but generally, if you hike down from the village via the Pillon Pass, then you will arrive at the stunning Cascade du Dar Waterfall.
If you are there in spring and summer you should definitely do this hike as the path is full of wildflowers in bloom. It is also worth bringing your swimming costume for a dip in the waterfall if the current isn’t too strong and the weather is warm.
Other great hikes include getting above the Ormont Valley and hiking at altitude to catch a glimpse of the amazing views which include Culan, Tours d’Ai, and the stunning Diablerets massif.
If you are looking for a challenge, then the via ferrata is a hike you might enjoy as it involves some climbing as well as hiking. But, you do get stunning panoramic views from above.
For those of you looking to get the most amazing views possible of the Vaud Alps, paragliding is also on offer. If you have never been paragliding, I highly recommend it as there is nothing quite like it.
Soaring above the alps and looking down over the peaks, valleys, rivers, lakes, and forests is pretty magical.
If you are worried about safety, don’t be. You’ll be paragliding in tandem with a pro instructor, and if there is a safe place to do adventurous things like this, it is Switzerland.
You can book paragliding lessons or a tandem flight with Centre ParAdventure for around CHF 200.
A great thing to do in Les Diablerets is to book a dirt biking tour. You first hike up the mountain and then instead of hiking back down, go down on a dirt bike.
The dirt bikes are like a hybrid between a motorbike and a mountain bike. They have serious suspension, great tires, maneuver well, and are super stable.
Rushing down the mountain on one of these bikes is a great adrenaline rush and it costs around CHF 40 per person. You can book a tour here.
The Glacier 3000 ski area is also open in the summer and you can ski or snowboard on the glacier in summer too.
One of the main attractions at Glacier 3000 is the Peak Walk by Tissot. It is a 108-meter suspension bridge that sits 3,000 meters high and connects two mountain peaks.
Walking across this bridge is quite an experience and if you are scared of heights, it might not be for you.
The bridge connects the lower peak with Scex Rouge and once you reach Scex Rouge, you will see some insane views, that might be the best you have ever encountered. You can see 24 peaks from Scex Rouge and these include the most iconic peaks in the Alps such as Mont Blanc, Eiger, Jungfrau, Mönch, and the Matterhorn.
Another great thing to do at Glacier 3000 in the summer is to go for a ride on the Alpine Coaster. The Alpine Coaster is the highest summer toboggan run on the planet at 3000 meters above sea level.
The course takes you down through multiple jumps, curves, and waves at a speed of 40 km/h, which is fast! There is no better way to get your adrenaline going when coming off the mountains than ending your day with the Alpine Coaster.
It is free to ride the toboggan but one has to be 130 cm tall or above and children under 9 years of age must go down with an adult.
Aigle Viticultural Museum
For those of you who would like to add a dash of culture to your visit to Les Diablerets, a trip to the Aigle Viticultural Museum is a must.
The Aigle Viticultural Museum is a wine museum and a visit there is all about discovering the history of the wines grown in the region and tasting some too.
You will find the museum about 20 km outside of Les Diablerets and it takes about 25 mins to get there via car or train.
Where to Stay in Les Diablerets
There are a lot of different accommodation options available in Les Diablerets and dare I say that there is something to suit everyone.
You can pick from traditional mountain chalets, guesthouses, hotels, alpine retreats, and more.
If you are traveling as a family, Hotel Le Chamois is a great choice as kids under 9 stay for free, the rooms are spacious, and you are within walking distance from most things being in the heart of Les Diablerets.
Les Diablerets: Is It Worth Visiting?
If you are looking for adventure as a family, a group of friends, or a couple, Les Diablerets is the place for you, in both summer and winter.
The village is full of charm, it never seems too busy with tourists, the surrounding scenery is out of this world, and you have access to all kinds of adventures. What is not to love?