If You Want To Get Far, Far Away
Seated directly below the nearly 10,000-foot Daubenhorn rock face in the Valaisan Alps--and about an hour from European jewels Zermatt and Verbier--Leukerbad is the quintessential Swiss ski town. Everything in the old-fashioned but lively resort is accessible on foot via brick streets and a 40-kilometer network of walking trails. The nearby downhill skiing is as adventurous as you wish: Stay on the groomed trails, or cut loose and ski trees inbounds. Nordic skiers should head up the Gemmi pass to Lake Dauben for blow-your-mind vistas of the surrounding peaks.
Apres-ski Home of renowned thermal springs, the town pumps about four million gallons of mineral water through its baths each day. The Lindner Alpentherme facility ($14* for a three-hour pass) offers a variety of specialty soaks, some of which include steam, aromatherapy, massage, and scrubs ($45 to $175). Afterward, hike 30 minutes up to the Restaurant Weidstuebli for a classic all-you-can-eat Raclette (melted Swiss cheese) dinner ($35), followed by moonlit downhill sledging--riding on wooden-runner sleds that you steer with your feet.
Book it Swiss Air flies direct from New York to Geneva (an eight-hour flight). Leukerbad is two hours by car or three hours by train and bus. Rates for a room and full breakfast (for two) at the centrally located Da'La Hotel (dala.ch) from $140. A one-day ski pass is $33 ( leukerbad.ch). * prices based on currency exchange rates at press time.