Exploring Switzerland with kids: Verbier

Even if you’re staying in the foothills around Lake Leman and don’t have any desire to ever leave them, you can’t visit Switzerland without at least one jaunt into the Alps (or at least I couldn’t). So on our second full day we all piled into the car and headed for the hills, leaving the lake behind us somewhat reluctantly.

We weren’t sorry however, when after a hairpin turn or two we arrived in Verbier. For one thing, the wildflowers were in blossom.

Verbier, Switzerland wildflowers

Please click on photos for full-size versions.

For another, although I did not snap a photo of them (I guess I was distracted by the mountains and the flowers) there were brown cows with huge bells around their necks and even bigger horns on their heads. The bells clanged continually as we walked, like we were late for church.

Best of all, our stroll had a most satisfactory destination: Le Marlenaz restaurant, a place of numerous virtues. For starters, there is the cute factor. Inside and out, this chalet is utterly charming.

Le Marlenaz restaurant in Verbier, Switzerland

Then, there are the views from the deck. No, Matt and I aren’t posing in front of a painted backdrop – that’s what we looked at while we ate our lunch.

Look at those mountains! In Verbier

The boys were more interested in the rock face behind the restaurant, which was just challenging enough to be fun, but not so much that we had to worry overly about broken bones.

Rock climbing in Verbier, Switzerland

But above all, the best thing about Le Marlenaz was the food. To be virtuous, I started with a gorgeous green salad – which I did actually eat! But then there was the main event: Fondue. And not just any fondue – the special of the day, which contained chopped up chanterelle mushrooms, most likely foraged from the forest that surrounded us.

Le Marlenaz fondue comes in a well-used pot

It did not disappoint; neither did the desserts, which included a brownie sundae and a chocolate lava cake.

Desserts at Le Marlenaz in Verbier, Switzerland

After our meal, we continued our walk along a path that runs above and behind the restaurant. Generally I like to use my words, but in this instance I think that photos might actually be superior to anything I might say.

The path in Verbier is easy for kids

The mountains are all around you in Verbier, Switzerland

Hiking in Verbier, Switzerland is gorgeous

The Alps are all around you in Verbier Even the chalets in Verbier are picturesque

It was hard to decide what was prettier in Verbier: Flowers or mountains?

Stopping to admire the view is a must in Verbier, Switzerland

Yes. It was simply that beautiful.

Verbier is one of Switzerland’s more famous ski resorts, but if you ask me, it looks like it would make a nice place to wile away some time in the summer as well. The drive from Lake Leman takes about an hour and fifteen minutes and is mostly highway until just below the village when you should be prepared for some twists and turns (often without a guard rail) as you climb the side of the mountain.

Fondue and the Alps. I really can’t imagine a better family outing than this one.

Travel-with-kids tip

If you’re interested in visiting Verbier in the winter, check out Ciao Bambino! for information about skiing in Switzerland with kids; many areas are covered including the ski school experience in Verbier. The author had her son in ski school there over several seasons.

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