The birthplace of the modern winter sports holiday, Switzerland is full of picture perfect villages and spectacular mountain scenery. Expect amazing Swiss hospitality, first-class ski terrain and delicious mountain cuisine. Switzerland is one of the best countries in the world to go skiing and snowboarding.
Switzerland is a skier’s paradise. There is huge variety of terrain, from tree-skiing in the beautiful valleys around Arosa and Lenzerheide, to year-round, glacier skiing in Saas-Fee - an ideal resort for beginners with its excellent nursery slopes.
For experts, Swiss ski resorts have an excellent freeriding reputation. Verbier is highly regarded for its challenging off-piste and is home to the Freeride World Tour final. Zermatt is an excellent freeriding destination too. Ungroomed, marked terrain makes exploring the mountainside relatively easy and there is even heli-skiing for the ambitious.
Often seen as a very traditional skier’s country, Switzerland has done much to embrace other winter sports, especially snowboarding. Davos and Grindelwald in particular are excellent snowboarding destinations. Davos has some truly epic snowparks as well as plenty of red runs, ideal for boarding along. The First mountain in Grindelwald is perfect for beginner boarders, with two terrain parks and lots of wide open runs.
High altitude, picturesque skiing
Switzerland is home to the biggest mountains in the Alps. France may have Mont Blanc, but Switzerland has nine of the top ten highest peaks in Europe. Swiss mountains are iconic too – everyone recognises the familiar appearance of the Matterhorn in Zermatt. And the Eiger in Grindelwald is one of the most infamous climber’s mountains out there.
Dramatic mountains make for spectacular scenery, and Switzerland is an ideal destination for skiers who appreciate an amazing view. The Jungfrau region is famously beautiful - the Lauterbrunnen valley inspired JRR Tolkein’s Middle Earth. And the mountain scenery in St Moritz is full of outstanding panoramas.
High altitude also means plenty of glacier skiing. The pretty village of Saas-Fee is home to the Allalin glacier and year round skiing. The Mont Fort glacier in Verbier offers exceptional skiing, and we head back to Zermatt for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise where you can reputably access the highest piste in Europe!
Traditional Swiss charm
There is much to praise about the traditional Swiss holiday, which is full of charm. A classic Swiss experience is to head to resort by train. Many of the mountain villages are accessible only by train or funicular, including Wengen and Mürren, which are both traffic free.
Much of the mountain cuisine we traditionally associate with a ski holiday, such as raclette, and fondue, originates from Switzerland. And our image of the traditional mountain destination likely stems from here too. The country is replete with picture perfect mountain villages, such as Saas-Fee, so charming it’s also known as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’.
This pretty, little village looks like somewhere out of a children’s story. Yet don’t let appearances full you, Wengen is an iconic ski destination, home to the Lauberhorn ski race and epic ski runs all in the shadow of the stunning Jungfraujoch and Eiger mountains. Ski extensively in neighbouring Grindelwald and Mürren, all covered by the same area lift pass.
Davos connects with the neighbouring village of Klosters via the Parsenn arena. It is an intermediate skiers paradise with extensive red runs and cruising terrain. The town is also a mecca for snowboarders. There are extensive freestyle facilities, including snow parks, a boardercross and a massive super-pipe on the Jakobshorn side of the mountain.
Verbier is all about skiing hard and partying harder. The resort is renowned for its outstanding off-piste terrain, attracting extreme skiers looking for a bona fide challenge. The resort also has a lively après ski scene. Surprisingly diverse, aprés ranges from coffee bars and sports bars to live music and nightclubs.
A quintessential mountain town, Zermatt has excellent skiing, outstanding scenery (including the iconic Matterhorn) and great food. The resort has four Michelin starred restaurants as well as an eclectic range of mountain restaurants. You can also ski across the Swiss/Italian border into the neighbouring town of Cervinia.