A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate

It's a well-kept secret that there is a rivalry between Bern (the capital of Switzerland) and Zurich (the largest city in Switzerland). As a result of growing up near Bern, I was always biased towards the city named after bears.

 

A Day in Zurich

 

When growing up in Switzerland, I never really spent much time exploring Zurich. However, after spending a day in Zurich exploring the city with family, I might have to give it more credit.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Located right on the river Limmat and Lake Zurich, the city is surrounded by water and offers beautiful views of the Swiss Alps in the distance. The city is relatively small, but packs in everything you need in a walkable and picturesque area.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

We spent our day in Zurich wandering through the old town, admiring old fountains,...

 

Water Fountain, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Shop My Look

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate 7

 

 

... explaining old buildings to my niece (although I think she might be more fascinated by the birds than listening to me) ...

 

A Day in Switzerland

 

A Day in Switzerland

 

... walking past one of the oldest hotels in Switzerland, Hotel Storchen (established in 1357), which even has its very own ferry terminal ...

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Storchen

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

... and found ourselves in front of the Oro De Cacao store.  We couldn't resist the idea of some hot chocolate on this cold winter day and stepped right in.

 

Exploring Oro De Cacao, Zurich

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Oro De Cacao is a brand new Swiss chocolate producer. I am a firm believer that Swiss chocolate is the best chocolate in the world (No offense to Belgium, but i'm also slightly biased, being Swiss and all). However, this store takes the chocolate experience to an entirely new level.

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Dieter Meier revolutionized the chocolate production process by using cold extraction to break cocoa beans into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and the parts that give chocolate its bitter taste. As a result, you're left with a very intense and flavorful piece of chocolate. By removing the bitterness of the chocolate, but preserving the intense natural flavors, Oro de Cacao does not need to add as much sugar to mask the bitterness. The result is absolutely delicious tasting chocolate, without being overtly sweet.

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Completely in awe with this new technology, I sampled a piece of every variation they offered! The new technology process of making the chocolate preserves the intense aroma of the various cocoa beans. As I sampled the various chocolates, I could taste as distinct difference between the various pieces of Oro de Caco chocolate, with the only difference being the country of the source beans.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

And of course, we couldn't leave Oro de Cacao without trying their home-made hot chocolate which was beautifully rich. I also took some chocolate bars home and love to treat myself after a long day at work. Given the intensity of the chocolate flavor, you only really need a small piece to satisfy your cravings. We will definitely be back to Oro de Cacao the next time we spend a day in Zurich!

 

Hot Chocolate Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Hot Chocolate Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Thank you Oro De Cacao, Zurich for having us and providing us with a delicious and wonderful chocolate experience!

 

Zurich at Dusk

 

We spent the rest of our day in Zurich raving about the chocolate we just tried, and enjoying the beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. I just love wandering the streets of European cities leading up to Christmas. The cities are nicely decorated and always feature a Christmas market where you can enjoy gluhwein, or mulled wine, and tasty treats! Zurich has multiple Christmas markets, including near the main train station and in front of the Zurich Opera House.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Although we only spent a day in Zurich, the city impressed me with its old-town flair and international spirit. It is a city that I grew up relatively close to, and as a result never truly took the time to explore as a tourist. Have you been to Zurich? What did you like best about the city? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate 8

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Skiing in Switzerland – The Best Day at Crans Montana Ski Resort

Growing up in Switzerland, and learning to ski at Crans Montana Ski Resort, I didn't understand what everyone's fascination with the Alps was. Being surrounded by mountains was normal. I wanted to experience the big city life instead! Things changed very quickly though, once I moved to Illinois - the flattest state in the U.S.  I realized that once I was so far away from mountains, that I actually miss mountains a lot! Every time Kyle and I go back to Switzerland, we like to spend some time in the Alps and go skiing if there is snow and the weather conditions are reasonable.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort

 

I have been to a few ski resorts in Switzerland, but grew up exploring the hills of Crans-Montana, a ski resort in the French part of Switzerland, in the canton Valais. It's a two hour drive to get there from Bern and you can either drive via Lake Geneva and stop in gorgeous Montreux and visit Chillon Castle on the way, or you can drive through the Bernese Alps and take the Lötschberg car train which is a fun experience by itself. If you have never heard of the car train before, check out this video.

The first time I took Kyle to the car train, he was stunned as he had never driven onto a train with his car before! If you are driving from Zurich, it is a bit further, but Zurich is also worth exploring, see our post on Zurich and exploring Oro De Cacao from the same trip!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort is 1,500m or 4,920ft above sea level and from there you can access the glacier Plaine Morte which is even higher at 2,927m or 9,600ft above sea level. Because the Crans Montana Ski Resort faces south, you often get the sunniest skiing conditions and best views of the Swiss Alps and the beautiful valley below. In addition, you may have heard of Crans Montana Ski Resort as it is a famous location in alpine ski racing.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Hitting the Slopes

 

Once you take the gondola up to the top of Crans Montana Ski Resort, you can even see the famous Matterhorn. Although you'll only see the backside of it which makes it difficult to recognize its famous shaped peak. It doesn't matter which way you look, the views from the top of Crans Montana Ski Resort are incredible!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

After a bumpy ride up in the cable car, Kyle and I couldn't wait to finally hit the slopes and go skiing in Switzerland at Crans Montana Ski Resort for the first time in 4(!) years.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Shop My Skiing Outfit

 

Many of the items I'm wearing, I've had for years. My jacket is from H&M and I linked similar ones below. My goggles are by Arnette and you can get them on Amazon still.

Skiing in Switzerland - The Best Day at Crans Montana Ski Resort 15

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

The morning was a bit foggy but it cleared up soon. The afternoon sun brought the most beautiful views and blue skies!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Luckily, skiing is just like riding a bike if you haven't done it in awhile; although our legs were starting to get sore rather quickly. After a few runs, we had enough confidence to go down a double black diamond run, but regretted our choice as soon as we looked down the hill. Check out my Instagram stories if you're curious to see the run! We certainly weren't graceful, but we made it down without any issues.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Arguably, the best part about skiing is getting away from the busy city life to enjoy a day in the snow and sun. The fact that you get a little bit of exercise along the way is even better.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Après Ski - Essential When Skiing in Switzerland

 

While you're out there enjoying your day at Crans Montana Ski Resort, make sure you stop by one of the many slope bars and restaurants and enjoy a drink and snack. Some people would even argue that the après ski is just as important, if not more important, than the actual skiing! There are eleven restaurants and bars scattered all across the Crans Montana Ski Resort. Every single one has a fantastic view.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

We enjoyed glasses of hot glühwein and a charcuterie board with local Swiss cheese and meats. It was just what we needed to continue skiing well into the afternoon!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort Village

 

For all the non-skiers among us, I can still highly recommend a visit to the village of Crans Montana, just down the hill from the Crans Montana Ski Resort. You can take the cable car to the slopes to enjoy the views or stay in the resort town. There are options to go ice skating ...

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

... go on a walk around the frozen lakes ...

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

... and enjoy the holiday decorations. The village of Crans Montana is pretty typical for a Swiss resort town. It has a number of high-end restaurants and hotels, plus a few grocery stores and shops down every lane. Crans Montana is one of my favorite Swiss ski resort towns.

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Have you ever been to Crans Montana Ski Resort or skiing in Switzerland? Where is your favourite place to go? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - My favorite resort and views of the Alps
Skiing in Switzerland - My favorite resort and views of the Alps

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.