Top 10 Places to Ski in Switzerland9/2/2009
Switzerland is an amazing ski country defined by the majestic Swiss Alps. The winter months offer the opportunity for novice and experts skiers alike to carve up some of the finest white powder on Earth!
Listed below is a breakdown of Switzerlands top 10 resorts and places to ski. These 10 locations not only represent Switzerland’s best, but are also some of the most sought after locations in the world!
10. Arosa – Located in the Eastern section of Switzerland, Arosa is a summer and winter resort. Full of tradition and history, Arosa creates an experience that cannot be fully digested without an extend stay. So how are the slopes? Arosa has over 50 miles of pristine terrain for you to fully immerse in. The air is especially pure and the slope drop offs will challenge even the most experienced skiers. Nature lovers will also enjoy the relative isolation of Arosa as compared to some of the other resorts on this list
9. Gstaad/Saanenland - Looking for a ski resort where you can gain some experience without be subjected to extremely difficult courses? If so, then Gstadd might be the place for you. Their courses attract mostly beginners and intermediate skiers because the slopes aren’t as insane as some of the other locations in Switzerland. The only drawback for me is Gstaad is a bit on the pricey side. Swank hotels, trendy shops, and upscale restaurants are a common sight throughout. However, if money is not an obstacle, you will be pleased to know that the Gstadd/Saanenland area is one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps.
8. Murren – Murren is truly a picturesque sight to see. Located on a high cliff in Lauterbrunnen Valley over 5,400 ft. in the air, this mountain village can only be reached by cable car. With some of the best hiking and sledding trails in all of Switzerland, you will not have a problem finding things to do when the snow isn’t at it’s best (Summer Months). However, during peak snow season you will find that Murren offers some of the best snow and slopes around, attracting more advanced skiers.
7. Davos/Klosters – Davos is located in East Switzerland on the Landwasser River. The popularity of Davos has tailed off a bit from its heyday and the village is a bit rundown. Klosters offers a better alternative and brings in many skiers from The Netherlands and UK. This region offers ample slopes for the less experienced skier. There are many things to do, incudling superb hiking trails and mesmerizing restaurants located high in the sky.
6. Laax/Films/Falera – This area offers a wide range of summer sports. Skiing and snowboarding competitions are held through the winter months. Combinded, the Laax/Films/Falera area occupies over 130 sq. miles of prime skiing opportunities. The Vorab Glacier and Crap Sogn Gion attract much of the cross country skiing crowd while Foppa and Nagens represent an awesome downhill alternative for beginner and intermediate skiers. The lodging accommodations are reasonable and isn’t as pretentious as say Gstaad. If crowds aren’t your thing be sure to book your trip during the weekdays, the locals take advantage of the prime snow conditions during the weekends.
5. Saas-Fee – Saas-Fee is located in southwest Switzerland, next to Zermatt, and is home to the highest mountain in all of Switzerland, The Dom. What attracts many visitors to Saas-Fee is the amount of glacial activity. Glaciers of the Dom and the Allalinhorn allow for year-round sports activities, including summer skiing in some locations. With a wide range of blue rating slopes, Saas-Fee brings in much of the intermediate and advanced enthusiast. Don’t be intimidated,however. There are also many slopes and schools of training for beginners.
4. Grindelwald - Next on my list is Grindelwald, which lies in the valley of Bernese Oberland, located very close to the middle of Swizterland. With over 120 miles of prime ski slopes, Grindelwald skiers have many different areas to choose from, most choose the Kleine Scheidegg for a fine sking experience. What sets this location apart from the others are the slopes accesabile only by helicopter. Griendwald has some of the best helicopter skiing in the world! In addition, you will be amazed to find that Grindelwald is a hub for activity. If you ever get tired of the slopes, (highley unlikely) Grindelwald is filled with museums, top notch golf courses, and a wide array of other adventure sports.
3. St. Moritz - Want to experience a resort full of rich history, world class lodging, and 300+ days of sunshine? If so, then St. Moritz is the place for you! Located in the far south east corner of Switzerland, St. Moritz is one of the most famous destinations in Switzerland. Beginners will enjoy the area of Corviglia where you will experience relatively easy slopes while advanced skiers will soak up the mind-numbing bliss of Pontresina. The view is said to be majestic. However, as with many of the other higher end resorts in Switzerland, be prepared to spend a bit of money!
2. Verbier – The runner up on my list of top places to ski in Switzerland is Verbier. As one of the more popular Swiss resorts in the Alps, the slopes can get a bit crowded during peak season. The slopes stay in pristine condition during the Spring months and make for a wonderful alternative to the sometimes overcrowded winter. The wide assortments of unique and challeneging courses suits both beginners and advanced skiers. Tortin has consistently been rated as a top draw for experts while the numerous ski training locations in Verbier create a fun atmosphere for the beginner. In addition, superb hotels, dining, sporting activities, and night life make Verbier one of the world’s top ski destinations and tourist attractions.
1. Zermatt – Heard of Zermatt? If you haven’t heard about Switzerland’s greatest ski resort, you have now! Skiing is a year round event in Zermatt. Enjoy the Sunegga and Gornergrat regions during the winter months and make your way over to the Theodul Glacier for a fine intermediate adventure during the warmer summer months. With great snow, a wide array of obstacles and challenges, and some of the cleanest,freshest air in the world, Zermatt caters to just about everyone. In addition to incredible skiing, Zermatt features some of the most beautiful, natural ice skating rinks and many other adventure sporting activities such as climbing and paragliding. The world famous Matterhorn draws locals and tourists alike to scale this magnificent mountain. Nature lovers will appreciate the car-free resort with unbelieveable natural hiking trails. To visit Zermatt is said to have a Zen-like feel and this is why Zermatt is my top place to ski in Switzerland!