Hitting two birds with one stone makes the effort doubly worth it (as if you needed to be reminded of it). However, in case it hasn’t occurred to you, timing your hikes to special events makes the trek 200% exciting. So, why don’t you do that and set your Swiss Alps-bound hikes in time for the following festivals?
Interlaken Classic Music Festival
If you’re into classical music, you should make a beeline for the Interlaken Music Festival, which is said to be “one of the most important events on the classical Swiss music festival calendar” and is one of the oldest classical music festivals in the country. Swiss musicians aren’t the only ones taking the stage in this event – premier soloists and orchestras also perform at this festival.
This year will be the 56th year of the said event and will begin on March 24 and closes on April 17, 2017. That being said, you still have a month to prepare for a trek through the mesmerizing Interlaken.
Groppen Carnival (Ermatingen)
About three weeks before Easter arrives, Ermatingen holds an event that celebrates the fish, the Gropp, which can only be found in this Swiss village in the Canton of Thurgau. The carnival itself is fittingly called the Groppenfasnacht, which includes a procession and various activities, many of them held in the streets. It’s a family-friendly affair, making it perfect for family treks.
Cow Fights (Valais)
The Canton of Valais is not only known for its ski spots. It’s also where the “cow fighting fever” is at its hottest. Its cow fighting events is such that they reportedly draw national and international media attention, with some camera crews going to the place to capture the action live.
Among the “naturally territorial” Swiss cows, the Hérens are quite more temperamental than the rest. This bovine variety is named after Val d’Hérens, which is one of the areas in the Canton of Valais. That somehow explains the prime status of Valais in the Swiss cow fighting world. The battle, tellingly called “Combat des Reines” (fight of the queens), aims to herald the “Queen of Queens” among the cows.
By the way, these cows aren’t trained or raised for the sole purpose of battling other cows. They’re just taken into a ring, where other cows of similar weights at ages are, and let them pick their own opponents. Human handlers only interfere to ensure the fight won’t be bloody.
Cow fights typically begin in March and goes on through May and August to October annually. Various Valais villages hold such events. As such, you can check schedules in the area you’ll be trekking through in advance.
Rock the Pistes (Morgins)
This is one unique festival as it happens at high altitude, as indicated by its name. Taking place at Morgins in the Monthey district of the Canton of Valais, the festival is ensconced in a ski resort, the Portes du Soleil. Already on its seventh year, the festival runs from March 19-25, featuring leading international artists and French-pop performers. This is a mountaintop Woodstock/Glastonbury, so to speak.
A festival of sound happens three times a year in Lucerne, the first one spanning from April 1-9 this year (Easter Festival). Attendees of this festival can reach 5-6 figures, which is a testament to its stellar reputation. Peak attendance happens in the summer (August), which is not surprising. The Easter Festival is centered on sacred music as it happens during the lenten season. If you’re up to inserting a posh event into your trekking adventure, this is it.
There will be even more festivals as the seasons get warmer. Check back with us to learn of upcoming festivals that you can squeeze into your hikes in the coming months. Or you can tell us about a Swiss Alps festival experience you’ve had (or will be going to) in the comments!