If there's no room at the inn?

At least you don't have to carry your own tent.

Stay in an igloo. The back-to-basics arctic accommodation has become an environmentally friendly way of spending a night in the Swiss Alps.

This content was published on January 20, 2002 minutes

Snow and expertise are the main ingredients for successful igloo building, and alpine resorts have caught on to the icy craze.

It's now possible in many parts of the Swiss Alps to enjoy a mulled wine in your very own igloo after an invigorating day hiking in the snow. That is of course, once you've put up the structure.

The resort of Engelberg near Lucerne offers a weekend igloo building course, as do tour operators in Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland and in Rothenthurm in central Switzerland.

Experienced guides lead the tours, some by snowshoe, into hidden valleys and instruct the participants in the fine art of igloo building. Once complete, a fondue meal and mulled wine inside the snow walls await the weekend Eskimos and help keep out the chill.

Scuol in the Lower Engadine valley offers overnight stays in pre-made igloos, which are easily reached on foot from the resort. Cheese fondue and tee is served inside and sleeping bags are provided.

The "romantic igloo" is decorated with flowers and its two sleeping bags have been zipped together to enhance the romance.

Prices for the various tours start at about SFr90 ($54) and go up to about SFr150 ($90).


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