|Gstaad : practicalities|
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Gstaad is on the MOB narrow-gauge train line between Montreux and Zweisimmen; approaching from Bern or Interlaken, you must change trains in Spiez and again in Zweisimmen. Arriving by car, a turning from SAANEN – the village on the main Simmental road some 45km west of Spiez – heads south for 3km to Gstaad. Cars are diverted away from Gstaad centre, although if you head straight on at the first roundabout – where you can see the main street stretching out ahead of you – just before the barrier is a covered parking garage; otherwise, turn right at that roundabout and head through the Gstaad Tunnel west of the centre for more parking.
The village’s tiny station is just off the main Promenade. Some 100m further south on Promonade, after the railway bridge, is the tourist office (July, August & Dec–March Mon–Fri 8am–6.30pm, Sat 9am–6pm, Sun 11am–3pm; rest of year Mon–Fri 8am–noon & 1.30–6pm, Sat 9am–noon; 033/748 81 81, www.gstaad.ch). Staff need no prompting to come up with ideas for excursions and are well tuned to the requirements of customer service, doing everything for you save leading you by the hand out to the trail. Swissraft (033/744 50 80, www.swissraft.ch) offers mountain-bike rental (Fr.39/day) and a host of adventure activities, including rafting (Fr.140) and canyoning (Fr.90). Alpinzentrum (033/744 60 01, www.gstaad.ch/alpinzentrum) do many of the same things, throwing in extreme winter sports as well.
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