In the depths of winter, when low cloud can sometimes hang over the lakeside town of Nyon and surrounding villages, locals can be found heading off up to the village of St-Cergue in search of some sunshine and to marvel at the view from above.
This village, situated at a height of over 1000m in the Jura mountains, not only offers far-reaching views over to the Alps and Mont Blanc, but Saint Cergue is also part of the St- Cergue / La Dôle / La Givrine winter sports area.
Hug a Husky dog
The area offers a wide range of winter activities for the visitor: downhill skiing (including at night!), cross-country skiing, snowshoe walking and more. There's even the opportunity to take a husky dog sled ride, or to watch the dog sled races held during the winter season. There are plenty of footpaths and trails in the deep snow for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. All winter equipment can be rented from various outlets in the area – see under "Gear Rental" on the St-Cergue website.
The downhill skiing at St-Cergue and La Givrine provides ideal runs for beginners and young children, and La Dôle has slopes for the intermediate and more experienced skier.
After a day hitting the slopes, a warming fondue or rösti is always welcome. There's a selection of restaurants in the village of St-Cergue, and for those snowshoeing or Nordic skiing there are buvettes in the forests to complete the winter experience. Especially popular on full moon nights are hikes from La Givrine to the buvette for a fondue. This is a popular place, so do book ahead.
Check out some of these special winter packages offered by St-Cergue Tourist Board:
The "Fondue Night Ski" package
CHF 99 for one person, CHF 169 for two
Includes three hours of night skiing, fondue, plus B&B at the Hotel Post.
The "Discover Husky Dogs" package
CHF 160 for one person, CHF 299 for two
Includes an overnight stay in a B&B/ guesthouse. Get to know all about huskies, go on a sleigh ride, go snowshoeing (pulled by dogs!) or learn how to hitch them up to ride.
Getting to St-Cergue
There are parking spots in St-Cergue and at La Givrine. However, these can be very busy at the weekend. If you want the train to take the strain, the village of St-Cergue is on the route of the NStCM train (nicknamed "the little red train"). This line leaves from Nyon railway station, and winds its way up past some pretty villages and through lovely scenery, passing by St-Cergue and La Givrine, finishing up over in La Cure in France.