It’s no secret that some of the world’s best ski resorts are found within Switzerland’s outstanding mountains. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly slopes or deep powder freeriding, it’s all here!
Due to COVID-19, safety measures were put in place by Switzerland which impacted the 20/21 ski season. These included mandatory quarantine and/or proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival for travelers from high risk countries. Swiss ski resorts were among the few that were operational in Europe while complying with guidelines that varied by the cantons. In Zermatt, part of the Valais canton, mask wearing was mandatory on all ski lifts, gondolas and in queues. Restaurants and bars were closed, however some hotel restaurants and take-away options were available. Such restrictions are not anticipated to continue into the 21/22 winter season.
Zermatt is the jewel in the crown of Switzerland’s ski resorts. This is your resort if you’ll accept nothing but the best, and have the money to afford it! Fantastic restaurants are dotted all over the mountain, serving Swiss cheese fondue and other culinary masterpieces. Every type of skier is catered for here. Little ones will be learning to ski on the nursery slopes. Expert skiers will be presented with limitless possibilities. Down in the historic town, there’s luxurious shopping, along with legendary après ski fun at the Papperla Pub, so what are you waiting for!
Verbier’s home to some of the most technical freeriding terrain on the planet. Being part of Switzerland’s largest ski area, the 4 Vallées, means you’ll have more than 250 mi of runs to tire yourself out on. Advanced skiers will benefit most from the craggy chutes, cliff drops, and insanely steep pitches, but adventurous intermediates will get a kick out of this place too. On the flip side, there isn't a great deal of easy terrain for beginners and as Swiss ski towns go, there are much prettier ones than Verbier.
Whether you’re itching for some serious speed on World Cup-quality courses or just leisurely carving up some corduroy, it’s all here at St Moritz. The resort is also home to a wide range of weird and wonderful winter sports. Its frozen lake is an arena for everything from ice skating and curling to horse racing and cricket! Even when you put winter sports aside, you can pay a visit to the Segantini museum, casino or designer boutiques on Via Serlas. St Moritz is not to be missed if you want to experience a diverse winter sports destination and don’t mind the higher price.
Enjoying centre spot in the immense Davos Klosters linked ski area, Parsenn is the lynchpin that links these two regal ski towns together. Of the five mountains that contribute to the 167 mi of slopes here, it’s Parsenn that’s the biggest and offers the most varied ski terrain. However, Parsenn isn’t without its drawbacks, namely the crowds that build up around the Parsennhütte station where many runs end and lifts start. If you’re on a family ski vacation get yourselves over to Madrisa, a smaller mountain with gentler slopes and plenty of sun, it’s perfect for a relaxed ski day.
Saas Fee grew from humble farming roots and still retains much of its traditional feel. The resort serves up excellent high alpine skiing on gentle slopes, making it a firm favourite amongst beginners and intermediates as well as families. Advanced skiers might want to look elsewhere to get their kicks, but freestylers will find more than enough to test their skills at the Morenia snow park. There’s also an entire mountain dedicated to all things not skiing and snowboarding. Hannig, with its very own gondola, offers a 3 mi toboggan course along with a whole bunch of snowshoeing trails.
If you’re looking for a Swiss postcard ski experience, then Grindelwald is the place for you. The majestic North Face of the Eiger towers over this pretty mountain village, which is steeped in mountaineering and skiing history. Its main ski area shares slopes with Wengen and can be skied on the same lift ticket! There’s no better way to get up the mountain here than by train. Before the lifts close, make your way up to the Hohlenstein station and schuss down the red run. It’s a great slope to finish up the day and great opportunity to enjoy the amazing sunset views.
What pulls in skiers and snowboarders from all over the world to Flims Laax Falera are the world-class terrain parks. There’s no denying this ski resort is a big hit with freestylers, but there’s also plenty to attract skiers. If you’re looking for the most excitement off the slopes, there’s no question that you should stay in Laax, the party animal of the three villages. On one end of the scale is Falera, the quietest of the bunch and car-free too. Somewhere in the middle is Flims, which has the charming character of a traditional Swiss mountain village.
Lenzerheide and Arosa were both stand-alone ski resorts until the impressive Urdenbahn cable car was finally built. It has created a major league ski area much like the Peak 2 Peak gondola at Whistler Blackcomb. Now there are 140 mi of groomed runs across three distinct mountainsides to explore. Where this ski resort excels is in its blue groomers, which make up over half of all the runs and are fantastic for cruising and carving. Black trails are a serious minority so pick this resort if you’re a ski newbie, or a hardcore freerider on a ski vacation with your family of intermediates!
Engelberg is a rising star for a range of good reasons, but the highlight is the massive freeride potential. The secret is most definitely out as the town fills up every year with Scandinavians in search of their powder fix. What makes Engelberg a stand out for accomplished skiers is the excellent off-piste terrain that can be quickly accessed from the lifts. To share stories about your gnarly lines, just head to the Ski Lodge for après ski, you’ll be in good company! Don’t be surprised to see plenty of tourists without skis heading all the way up for the sensational views too.
Andermatt had long been the reserve of local powder junkies who are brave enough to take on the craggy steeps, spectacular couloirs, and wide open bowls emanating from every direction. Now, it’s developing into more rounded ski resort, thanks to its more sedate runs that link across multiple snowfields to Sedrun. A lift ticket for the SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun resort also includes use of the trains that wind through the mountains where there are cross-country skiing trails to enjoy. If you fancy a few days of top-notch powder freeriding within easy reach of Zurich, there’s no better place than Andermatt-Sedrun.