Richard Branson's Swiss Hideaway in Off-Season

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Summer and Fall in a ski town? Yes. Summer. I know what all of you ski bums and bunnies are thinking. Just hear me out on this one.

The Lodge, Verbier : Richard Branson's Swiss Chalet
The Lodge, Verbier : Richard Branson's Swiss Chalet

High in the Swiss Alps only a few hours from Geneva, you’ll find Verbier, Switzerland. A hidden gem in the summer and fall ‘off-season’ and home to one of Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive hideaways, The Lodge. Perhaps it’s the fantastic weather or the amazingly un-snow-blinded views that make it so incredible this time of year. Or perhaps (and this is my vote) it is the long list of warm weather activities.

Snow capped mountains become lush green meadows.
Snow capped mountains become lush green meadows.

Hiking and paragliding in the scenic Swiss Alps. Mountain biking and downhill scooters. Rock climbing and canyoning. Golfing and yoga. And there’s never a bad time of year to relax at The Lodge’s spa.

I’m not much of a skier myself so exploring the Swiss Alps in the summer always sounded idyllic to me. Still a bit skeptical of a summer trip to the mountains of Verbier? Consider these benefits:

• WAY Fewer Crowds.

In fact, no crowds. You’ll brush shoulders with the friendly locals and the occasional group of mountain bikers. Outside of that, it’s just you and the other few travelers who know the secrets of a summer stay in this ski town.

• Cheaper.

Because Verbier is known as a ‘ski town’ the high season is obviously in the winter months when there is an abundance of snow which makes the summer and part of the fall low season. ‘Low’ as in lower room rates. Not to mention, one of the few times during the year you can snag a single room at Branson’s gorgeous luxury Chalet, The Lodge versus having to book the whole place during the high season.

• Amazing Weather.

Blue skies, sunshine, and mid-60s to low 70s. Summer weather in Verbier is pretty darn near perfection especially when you’re looking to escape a heatwave back home.

• Summer Activities.

You’ll be hard pressed to do any non-snow sports in the winter months. But during the summer, the weather in Verbier is ideal for a long list of outdoor activities (see above) and the best part is that you don’t have to freeze your tail off.

My personal favorite? Having the team at The Lodge pack you their version of a picnic lunch. Gourmet goodies tucked into a fully stocked backpack complete with everything you need for a hike in the mountains. If it weren’t for the dangerously cozy beds, I might well have spent the night in the mountains with the ‘kit’ they provided.

• Paragliding in the Swiss Alps.

Okay, technically yes, you can paraglide in the winter too. However, without the frigid temperatures and blinding snow, you are free to enjoy the scenery, take photos without freezing your fingers and enjoy the flight without the brain freeze.

Paragliding in the Swiss Alps has been on my bucket list for years. I finally made the leap and it was amazing. If you missed the epic adventure live on my Snapchat account (fromtheupside) you can watch the video below.

I almost hate to let this little secret summer spot out of the bag but it’s too good not to share. I didn’t get the chance to go rock climbing or canyoning. Any excuse to go back! And I certainly will.

I stayed two nights at The Lodge as a guest. All thoughts and opinions are my own.