Top 5 Ski Resorts to visit in Switzerland
If you enjoy skiing, Switzerland must be your number one winter dream destination. The great scenery of the Matterhorn, the luxury of St. Moritz or the vision of the white mountains above classic chalets in charming small towns makes every traveler dream of visiting the Swiss Alps in the snow season. Whether you are looking for James Bond adventures in fresh powder or stunning ski resorts with panoramic views, these are the top 5 resorts you must include in your next winter vacation to the majestic mountains in Switzerland.
1. Zermatt, home of the majestic Matterhorn
Offering skiing and snowboarding 365 days a year in a postcard setting, Zermatt is popular for its long ski runs, with the incredible pyramid of the Matterhorn behind the town connecting two countries and three resort towns. Europe’s most iconic mountain is visible from much of the mountain’s 360-kilometer trail system, being the highest winter sports area in the Alps, with ski terrain at altitudes between 2,500 and 3,900 meters. On the other side of the Matterhorn travelers can experience some greatest moments in a skier’s lifetime crossing countries to Theodul Pass in Italy.
Matterhorn Glacier Ride is the world’s highest 3S cableway, which carries 2,000 skiers an hour to the Matterhorn Glacier. In addition to skiing year-round, travelers can take the funicular to visit Gornergrat or Riffelberg, which offer restaurant, terrace, and superb views of the Matterhorn and Zermatt village.
Speaking about the village, Zermatt has a charming town where you find beautiful boutique stores with several options of hotels in a walking distance from the train station. There are free shuttles from the center to the ski area and it’s easy to visit the top attractions, find a good place to eat or rent equipment to spend enjoyable days on the mountain.
2. St. Moritz, the luxury of winter sports
Where do billionaires go to ski? St. Moritz! This luxury town is worldwide known for winter sports events. St. Moritz has twice hosted the Winter Olympics, in 1928 and 1948, and it’s popular for being one of the world’s oldest and most famous ski resorts. Switerzerlan’s luxury winter tourism was born in this area in 1864, and since then, this spa resort town has been home to all sorts of winter sports events. When in town, visitors can ride the Corviglia Funicular at 2,486 meters, for prime skiing and gorgeous Alpine views. Besides, the St. Moritz competition fame, the site is not just for experts, the resort welcomes skiers from all levels, and it’s known for some of Switzerland’s best intermediate terrain, with several very long intermediate runs.
Corviglia Snow Park, one of the finest in Europe, is great for less experienced riders offering three kilometers of easier rides. Freeriders can choose the magical terrain at Diavolezza and Lagalb, while intermediate ones can take the Signalbahn to the Signalkuppe ski area, at 2,150 meters from St. Moritz Bad, on the shores of the lake.
Speaking about the lake, St. Moritz is known for its rich and pricey social life with a charming town and great options of high-end restaurants and prés-ski events. For those who prefer to spend the day in the city, Ice-skating rinks, tobogganing, Nordic skiing, bobsledding, horsing, kite skiing are a few activities popular in the area. Budget-friendly visitors will find more affordable accommodations a few minutes away in the surrounding cities. However, note that it’s easy to visit the top attractions from the train station and hotels by bus. Most visitors go to the train station early in the morning to take the scenic train Glacier Express from St Moritz to Zermatt.
3. Davos, from the World Economic Forum to the adventures off-piste free rides
Davos isknown internationally for the World Economic Forum, which brings world political, economic, and civic leaders to the region each year, is also one of Europe’s largest winter sports areas in the country. The place has a series of ski resorts, which stretch for several miles along the valley of the Landwasser River in eastern Switzerland. When visiting Davos, you can choose between one of the two main centers: Davos and Klosters.
Those who prefer the Alpine village atmosphere will prefer Klosters as a base. The multiple ski areas are interconnected, and all together, there are more than 300 kilometers of groomed runs. The terrain off-piste in this region, attracts a loyal following of experts, but the main area is focusing on intermediate level.
Parsenn, is the major area offering some of the most challenging and longest runs in the Alps. The longest run is 13 kilometers with a vertical drop of 2,034 meters. Visitors can reach the Parsenn ski runs from Davos using the Parsenn funicular railway and from Klosters on the Gotschna cable car.
If you enjoy off-piste free rides, this is the place to go! Davos is also popular with Nordic skiers for its 140 kilometers of cross-country ski trails including some lighted for night skiing. Jakobshorn and the Pischa area are favorites for boarders.
4. Engelberg-Titlis, fun day of ski with cliff walk included
With easy access from Lucerne or Zürich, Mount Titlis is a great alternative for a day trip in the mountains. You are likely to meet a lot of skiers in the trains during the short 1 hour trip from both cities to Engelberg, the small village that became Central Switzerland’s largest family winter sports resort. As soon as you leave the train station, the free buses take you to the ski resort where you will find one of Switzerland’s most popular attractions: The Titlis Cliff Walk, a suspension bridge.
The access to the summit is in a rotating cable car offering 360-degree panoramas views over the mountains. Once there, you can visit a glacier cave, take great pictures from the viewing platform and feel your heart beating at Europe’s highest suspension bridge. From there, the Ice Flyer glacier chairlift station helps you to reach more than 80 kilometers of runs. There are about 27 kilometers of easy runs, 47 kilometers of intermediate ones, and only eight kilometers for top performers.
In this region, the heavier snowfall allows skiing from October until May. The aerial tramway supports 80-person and much of the off-piste terrain is readily accessible from the lifts. In case you are not staying around the ski area, make sure to reserve at least one hour to visit Engelberg before taking your train ride back to Zurique.
5. Andermatt-Sedrun, ski in a Alpine Fairy-Tale town
Are you a fan of Alpine fairy-tale towns? From Grindelwald, Wengen, Jungfrau, they are all photo-worthy Alpine villages with great ski areas, but the little town of Andermatt will certainly gain your heart. Andermatt was purchased by Vail Resorts, bringing the resort into the Epic Pass system with major infrastructure improvements in the ski lifts and snowmaking capabilities.
In the train journey from St Moritz to Zermatt, the beautiful little town of Andermatt will get your attention due to the inevitable crowds.The village is surrounded by mountains with the train passing by the stunning scenery. The view is gorgeous!
The ski area counts with the first main linking lift, a high-speed, six-seater chairlift, opened for the 2018 season, along with a two-stage gondola carrying eight skiers, from the train station to Gutsch, at the top of the Nätschen area.
The most recent project links the Andermatt-Sedrun with the SkiArena, and the new ski facilities to the slopes. Over there, visitors will find Andermatt’s first four-star hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, along with great stores and nice restaurants, which makes this place the largest and most modern ski resort in Central Switzerland.
Most of these new trails are intermediate and entirely covered by snowmaking, it’s some of the world’s most extensive terrain for powder skiing. Because most of the Gemsstock slopes are between 2,000 and 3,000 meters in altitude, this is the place skiers will likely to find good snow even when other Swiss areas don’t. The downside of this place is that heavy storms can shut down transportation and cut visibility.