Ok so I know it was actually filmed in Austria but when I look at today's feature, I can't help but think of the Sound of Music when Maria is running in the meadow with the alps in the background!! Today's wanderlust trip is actually to Anzère, Switzerland, a beautiful small village with a traditional Swiss architectural style and breathtaking panoramic views. Photographer, Inna from And Your Story Photography visited this picturesque resort and is sharing her experience with us.
From Inna: The desires that brought me to Switzerland were for the simple things. Sipping a hot cup of tea on a terrace while gazing at the magnificent Alps and breathing in all the air, enjoying al fresco dinners after long scenic hikes, generally slowing down. My trip to Switzerland delivered all of this and much more in a democratic and inexpensive (a concept rarely associated with Switzerland, right?) ways. The sound of cowbells in the otherwise quiet valleys, delicious local wine, yoga with a view, healthy local cafes and a relaxing massage to pamper myself.
My discovery of Switzerland happened in the tiny ‘Wes-Anderson-esque’ style village of Anzère. Just a two hour drive from Geneva, Anzère was developed in the 1970s as a purpose-built family ski resort. All year it exudes charm, thanks to the instagram-worthy seventies’ shop signage, pine-bedecked furnishings, traditional alpine-sloped roofs, delicious creperies and the hospitality of its local people.
The base for my week-long stay in Anzère, was a spacious and cosy AirBnB in a chalet complex beside the Spa & Wellness Centre. The apartment is a mid-century architecture fan’s dream. It is brilliantly designed to house 6 people comfortably and features two large balconies with magnificent views of the Alps. A perfect spot for quality time with a good book, a glass of wine and admiring the endless green and blue hues of the valleys and lakes below. One evening, after a storm, I was treated to the spectacular sight of a double rainbow.
As someone who relies on human encounters to bring places to life, I enjoyed discovering Anzère’s lively social scene. I connected with Mathieu Blanc, mountain biking guru and owner of a local sports shop, Crazy Corner, for advice on the best scenic trails. Liz Schick, another charming local who organises charity adventure camps (TACKERS), told me about the history of the village. Liz works with children who’ve had organ transplants and makes such a difference to kids from all corners of the globe by enabling them to meet and enjoy a week of camp fun in Anzère each year.
On my first day in Anzère, I took the télécabine up to the Pas De Maimbre (altitude 2362). Increasingly wide views of the Alps, as we rode higher and higher, passing young deer and pine forests below, gave me a rush of pleasure. The clouds swallowed us up, then evaporated, leaving me with blinding sunshine and a fierce appetite.
Food cravings were satisfied at the Pas de Maimbré Restaurant, lovingly managed by Doris and Christophe, a husband and wife team. After their hospitality, the best part of the restaurant is the large south-facing deck with a stunning panoramic view of the Rhone Valley below. It’s surely packed with tourists during the ski season but we had it to ourselves that day.
After soaking up the view, I joined my friends for some scenic hiking. Mountain paths led us to the beautiful valleys, and as one breathtaking view changed into another, my excitement peaked. Jumping from boulder to boulder or clinging to the cliffs as not to fall, I felt exhilarated, a feeling I did not remember experiencing since childhood. We encountered friendly cows, mountain goats and herds of black-faced sheep, strangely kitten-mannered, as they enjoyed coming very close to us and were so friendly!
My favourite part of the Switzerland experience was the larger than life snow peaks silhouetted against huge, clear sky. The sense of vast, open earthy emptiness. It is here that you come to understand the value of ‘being’ rather than having.
With everything Anzère has to offer - hiking, walking, mountain biking, yoga, swimming pools and massages and of course skiing in the winter - there is simply no need to leave the village. Or no time.
However, if you do seek a change of scenery, there is always the city of Sion, home to two picturesque medieval castles, charming squares, delicious waffles and streets with a more cosmopolitan vibe. Don't miss the colourful weekly market in the old town!
Best of Anzère:
The jewel in the crown of Anzère is a modern Spa & Wellness Centre situated in the middle of town and a minute's walk from the Airbnb apartment. It houses indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, a hot tub and a spa with bookable treatments. The outdoor pool was warm, full of massage jets and friendly people admiring the breathtaking views of the Alps and the Rhone valley below.
This is the place where locals come for the best coffee and the myriad of crepes on offer. As one of the friendliest place in Anzère to eat, we crowded in and ordered savoury and sweet crepes from Camille, who runs the place with her husband.
The place we stayed, simply can’t recommend it enough!
Follow ‘les bisses’, historical irrigation channels dating from the 15th century that run alongside the walking paths
Take the télcabine up to the Pas de Maimbré restaurant and hike down to Anzère village
Photographer: And Your Story Photography
My background is as a wedding & lifestyle photographer, shooting both digital and film to create authentic, soft and natural fine art photographs. Working primarily with natural light to give my work a beautiful, light and airy touch infused with soft tones.
I have always appreciated and valued the simple things in life and finding the interesting in the ordinary. Coco Lane was founded as I wanted to create something that is about an experience, the slower pace of life, cosiness and candlelight, cuddling up on the sofa with loved ones, being with the people you love, sharing food with close friends, a feeling of home, nurturing a chosen career, wanderlust travels, savouring the small moments in everyday life and just being you and enjoying a cup of tea.
I'm excited to bring you stories that promote all those moments in life that give us value and meaning; inspiring us to live beautifully.
"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is. Go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good" - Roald Dahl