Imagine walking on the mountains covered in snow. You are wrapped up in warm winter clothes and a thick jacket. Fresh light snow falls on your head as you walk down the path in thick snow. The mountain is filled with Christmas trees with a layer of snow over it. Everything is pure white and peaceful. The chilly winter breeze lightly blow across your face, leaving light kisses on your cheeks. That was how I started first moment in Avers-Juf!
Avers-Juf is a traditional village in the mountaintop near the borders of Switzerland. The place is just, beautiful. I was so overwhelmed by its beauty in the morning that I stood on the roads, just living in the moment. The last time I was so overwhelmed was in Rome, when I entered the Colosseum area.
Just imagine living in a cottage made of wood with the traditional wood fireplace to keep you warm. Everything is authentic and traditional, even the food. And in the morning, you open the wooden windows to find fresh snow falling and the roads covered in thick white snow. I don’t think I can ever experience a better winter moment than this.
A Village on the Mountain
I lived there with my family and host, Bruno and Alistair, his partner. You must have heard about Bruno in the last article: Most Interesting Italian in Switzerland.
We had a tough time at first. This place was very deserted in the top of the mountains. You have to take the Glacier Express to Thusis, take a bus to Andeer and another bus to get up the mountain to Avers-Juf. However, everything was worth it! We went past bridges hanging over mountains, frozen lakes and the best part, we were at the borders of Switzerland and Italy. This means everytime we took the bus, the left side was Switzerland and the right was Italy. The snow-top Christmas tree made everything even more beautiful. It was the best memory of Switzerland.
We stayed with Bruno and Alistair via Airbnb. (I can create a master list of homes I stayed in with Airbnb) Psst: Quote “ltan1009” to get instant discounts off your first booking. You can create a new account too. Alternatively, if there is a group that is interested to visit what a true Switzerland experience is like, my mum volunteers to be a tour guide.
Things to Do
Did you know that the highest village in Europe is just a short drive walk away? You can ask the host to bring you and spend an afternoon there, enjoying the mountains. It is also a place for skiing, so there are ski lifts everywhere. Also, it’s a great place to play in the snow. I made so many snow angels, sat on the wooden sleigh and played the whole day. In summer, the valley is blooming with wild flowers and thriving in the lush greenness.
You can do so many things nearby. We took a day trip to Lugano (again) and spend an entire day shopping. As the buses run with a low frequency, yes we missed the bus back! Thus, we went to the tip of Switzerland/Italy and had a hearty Italian dinner before calling the host to pick us up with a small fee. Thankfully that little French I had was useful to communicate with the French/Italian/German speaking staff there.
This place is definitely great for travellers who want to experience the authentic true life of a Swiss. It is also perfect for families as there is something for everyone. We had so much fun playing snowball fight. Perhaps the best part is that the area is very quiet with only locals around. We were probably the only Asians there and it felt really nice to be away from everything once in a while.
Things to note
Bruno is born deaf, so he does not speak well. However, through hand gestures and body language, it’s really easy to communicate. Also, Alistair speaks perfect English and German/Italian, so it’s really easy. As it is on the mountaintop, you have to check the train and bus timings to make sure you don’t miss them like me! If you need more information, just leave a comment and I’d be glad to provide you with them! For example, bus timings, bus number, etc.