Top 5 ski resorts in Switzerland
The Swiss National Banks decision to abandon the currency cap with the Euro in early 2015 made those much coveted ski holidays in the Swiss Alps even pricier. For those who can afford the unfavorable exchange rates though, Switzerland is hard to beat when it comes to ski resorts! The dramatic, unsurpassed beauty of its famous mountain scenery. To the stunning, timeless mountain villages with their ubiquitous charm, world class restaurants and opulent settings. Combine this with the incredible skiing Switzerland has to offer, and you quickly realize Switzerland really does have it all.
With around 90 ski resorts, Switzerland doesn't just offer great quality, but also choice. With this in mind we thought we would give you a list of what are routinely cited as the top 5 ski resorts in Switzerland.
Zermatt is the most southwesterly of the great Swiss ski resorts and is arguably Switzerland’s most iconic resort. Boasting spectacular views of the stunning Matterhorn Mountain, and surrounded by 38 summits above 4000 meters, the location alone is worth a visit. On top of this, Zermatt really does have something for everybody. Zermatt has become renowned for its mountain restaurants, widely considered to be significantly superior to its peers in other resorts. The skiing at Zermatt, is as good you’ll find anywhere. It is often said that Zermatt is more for the intermediate to advanced level skiers out there, though if the numerous reviews posted on the online forums are anything to go by, there is plenty of runs for beginners to get stuck into.
No list of Swiss ski resorts would be complete without a mention of Davos. Davos boasts up to six different ski areas, and is one of Switzerland's largest ski resorts, with a total of 200 miles of slopes. Whether you’re a skier or a boarder, novice or seasoned expert, seeking thrills or a more laid back week on the snow, Davos has something for everyone. For the rush-seekers and boarders, Jakobshorn offers an illuminated super pipe, as well as a number of highly challenging black runs. For anyone looking for a more leisurely vacation in the Alps, Pischa, Madrisa and Rinerhorn, offers long carefree runs for all abilities. The majority of accommodation in the resort is comprised of both 4 and five star hotels, and it should be noted that while you may well fall in love with Davos, your bank balance will not.
Due to its exceptionally high altitude, Saas-Fee more or less guarantees good snow cover. While the ski area itself is not particularly large compared with other Swiss resorts, it does provide decent variety for all levels, if somewhat limited. For families with young kids, Saas Fee has a highly rated ski school with a good number of British instructors to help the kids get started. The scenery at Saas-Fee is something to behold, with its high peaks and deep blue glaciers. Great mountain food (including a revolving restaurant) and bountiful bars and cafe’s on the mountain, offers the chance to take in the stunning views in style. Given the relatively small ski area, it is recommended that for an additional fee, you get the whole area lift pass which will give you access to Saas-Grund and Saas-Almagel. One of the big draws of Saas-Fee is the authentic, charming alpine village atmosphere it offers, particularly when compared to the more crowded hustle and bustle of an increasing number of Swiss resorts.
4. St Moritz
St Moritz is as famous for it’s off the slope activities and facilities as much as it is for its skiing. The resort has long been a popular hangout for rich, with its abundance of fine-dining venues, luxury bars, spas and accommodation, oh and just about everything else you can an award a star rating too. There is however, a lot more to St Moritz than its opulence and eye watering price tags. One of the big attractions of the resort is its geographical positioning in the Engadin Valley in the south of Switzerland. This close proximity to the frontier of Italy gives it that rare, but much sought after combination of consistent levels of snow, and around 300 days of sunshine. The skiing is perfect for beginners and Intermediates, though there are a sufficient number of challenging runs to satisfy the experts out there. With over 350km of runs there really is plenty of skiing to be done. The scenery in St Moritz is truly spectacular. Its stunning blue lakes, pristine forests and traditional Engadin architecture, are all sights to behold.
Grindelwald is all about the skiing, Well, there is a bit more to its appeal than that, (quite a bit actually) but either way, the skiing is incredible. If you like lots of long intermediate runs, then Grindelwald is the place for you. Set directly beneath the towering north face of the Eiger, the scenery is as dramatic as it is magnificent. Grindelwald is also home to the world snow festival each year, where thousands of sculptors present their works of sculpted snow art, and if you get the chance, watching these guys work their magic is well worth doing! The traditional alpine village is steeped in history, and for those looking for a more lively, vibrant atmosphere after a hard days skiing, Grindelwald won’t disappoint! There are plenty of long, highly enjoyable pistes to try out, including some with link to Wengen!
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