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It’s no surprise that Switzerland is famous for its stunning alpine scenery, but it’s not just for extreme outdoor enthusiasts. Even in winter, they offer more leisurely activities suitable for beginners. One of these that should be on everyone’s bucket list is a moonlight snowshoe tourwith fondue dinner.
We were able to experience this firsthand on a guided moonlight snowshoeing trip to Schwarzsee, or Black Lake. It was absolutely perfect – a group trip on a night with a full moon and some of the best fondue we’ve ever had.
Our destination for this trip was Schwarzsee, or Black Lake.
Located in Fribourg, it’s about an hour’s drive from Bern or 2 hours 15 minutes from Geneva.
Did we need to bring our own snowshoeing equipment?
In the early evening, our group of 18 hikers and 3 guides met at the University of Fribourg, which is where we booked our trek. Travis and I paid our fees for two adults and then piled into three vans for the brief 30-minute drive to the trailhead.
After gearing up with snowshoes, poles, and headlamps, all provided by the guides, we hit the trail right as night fell.
It’s always best to ask the company you’re booking with, but if it’s a guided tour, they should be providing all your gear. You’ll just need to dress warm in waterproof layers and wear comfortable, warm hiking shoes or snow boots.
Photo Highlights of Our Moonlight Snowshoe Hike
It didn’t take long before Travis was face planting in the snow and trying to pack snowballs.
Luckily the snow was so cold and dry, his snow missiles just disintegrated into fluffy dust clouds.
Not very deadly, sucka!
For about two hours, we trudged steadily uphill, at times dragging our poles when they were unnecessary or when it seemed too much effort to lift them.
Some hikers opted to use the headlamps provided while we preferred to make our way with the dim natural light.
Unfortunately, the cloud cover never cleared to reveal the full moon.
It still cast enough diffuse light for us to see the heavily snow-clad trees running along adjacent ridges, the stark outline of icy creeks flowing under bridges buried by countless snow flurries, and the millions of snowflakes glittering the night sky.
With approval from our guides, we hiked off-piste (off trail), but gave complete respect to the utter blackness of sheer drop-offs intermittently bordering the trail.
We passed several chalets and small mountain posts before summiting.
After a short breather, we continued downhill in a large loop that linked up with the beginning of our trail near the trailhead.
And then came the best part…
We ended the night with fondue dinner in a rustic Swiss chalet!
At the end of our hike, a superb fondue dinner and gallons of sweet, hot tea awaited us at a tiny Swiss chalet.
Shedding our wet outerwear, we gratefully thawed in front of the wood stove, cupping generous mugs of tea and chatting with some of the other group members.
Dinner consisted of a traditional Swiss fondue with bread and potatoes for dipping in the communal cheese pot.
Unlike other fondue we’ve had, this cheese had a distinctly different flavor with a much sharper bite to it. Swiss fondue cheese is often referred to as moitié-moitié because it’s usually a mixture of two cheeses, often Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois.
Garlic and white wine are typical ingredients, but this fondue hinted at something else. Either the cheese was sharper, or perhaps it included a healthy dose of a stronger spirit such as kirsch, a type of brandy made from distilled cherries.
Either way, the warm, cheesy gooeyness was scrumptious.
Oriane and I share our fondue with folks from France, Germany, and Switzerland.
Once dinner was over, we were happy to clump back to our vans and pile in for the ride back to town.
How much did our entire moonlight snowshoeing adventure cost?
While Travis slept next to me on the ride back to town, I marveled that our 7-hour adventure only cost about 25 CHF per person. This price included snowshoe gear, transportation, and dinner.
That’s less than you’d spend just for a typical fondue dinner at a Swiss restaurant!
Big shout out to Pauline and Oriane for arranging this fantastic moonlight snowshoeing adventure.
Also a bit thanks to the University of Fribourg for sponsoring a great trip!
Wondering how to book a moonlight snowshoe with fondue dinner trip like this in Switzerland?
For combined snowshoe and dinner trips near you, MySwitzerland is a great place to start. Anticipate trip costs starting at 60 CHF, going up to well over 100 CHF per person.
Those enrolled at or affiliated with the University of Fribourg can participate in a bunch of cool sports and excursions, either ongoing or single trips. Visit the Sports Course to see their list of offerings, or contact the Fribourg University Sports Center directly with questions or to book a trip.
Travel Tip: If you’re affiliated with a university in any way (not just as a student) in Switzerland, inquire there first about outdoor excursions like this.
Check these out for more fun outdoor adventures in Switzerland.