Cowbells and Waterfalls
If you opted for sun, glamour and glitz for your summer break and came back sunburnt and stressed with a maxed out credit card and alcohol belly – then it might be time to consider turning your notion of a holiday upside down. How about next year you plan on coming back refreshed, fit and match ready for the final crescendo? Those important last four months of the year can be game changing.
Grab a bunch of friends or family and come to Switzerland for a ‘wellness’ experience. And yes, they really really do use that word, in that context, and mean it. Wellness, as in a measurement of one’s optimal health.
Wake up with a mountain run, hike to a picnic spot, come back and play tennis or swim laps – finally do that photo book of the last year you have been planning, or start that novel, draw or paint. But most importantly, breathe. Sleep well, stretch, and do it again.
Perfect, beautiful Murren, where time stands still, is the ideal place to regroup and fine one’s best self. The fresh air and stunning mountain vistas resonate with an overwhelming pull to explore the outdoors, by foot, bike, parachute, climbing rope or for the base jumpers, a wing suit.
Walk past an ‘honesty shop’ with artisan cheese made from tourism cows into a restaurant straight out of Heidi and take stock of what is important to you. You literally breathe in clarity of mind. You want to be a great parent? It’s easy in Murren without the distractions. Let your children show you how to enjoy life through their eyes. Play becomes your whole day without you noticing.
Murren itself is on a ledge on a cliff-top, accessible only by cable car and train. Its elevated position in one of the world’s most stunning valleys, beneath the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains creates the most extraordinary atmosphere. The tiny settlement is originally a farming village and many of the original chalet style agricultural buildings still stand. It is part of the Jungfrau region which has over 500km of footpaths and 160km of mountain biking trails, linked by trains and cable cars.
The sunburnt oak chalets lining mountain pastures, grazed by bell-adorned dairy cows and the cascading waterfalls and clear running brooks constitute almost make believe scenery on route to some of most charming lunch spots.
It’s a brilliant place for trail running, hiking and mountain biking and Murren is also home to the highest tennis courts in Europe, a pair of clay courts nestled on the edge of a cliff. The leisure centre is home to a 25m indoor pool, hot tub and a spa with various ‘Wellnesss Treatments’. You can take in a yoga class twice a week, hire mountain bikes, play mini golf and throw yourself off a ledge with a parachute.
The Grand Chalet is equally suitable for 10 adults as it is two families with children. The spacious two-story apartment has all the chalet touches that tick the boxes, including an open fire, antler chandeliers, furs, whisky decanters and a smattering of Ralph Lauren and enough board games to have a proper family argument over. However, it also has unusual light and lateral space coupled with a monochromatic interior in communal areas that gives it a wonderful feel in summer as well as winter.
Sleeps 10, £3,500 per week during summer (Two super king rooms, two further rooms that can be either super king or single and a bunk room.)