- Eye of the Eiger
Feel a thrill when you view the epic and imposing north face of the Eiger from Grindelwald.
- The Top of Europe
Put down the skis and take a train from Wengen to the Jungfraujoch for spectacular panoramic views.
- Conquering the Matterhorn
Ski, board, hike or just admire Europe's most recognisable mountain, proudly watching over Zermatt.
You don’t have to worry about crossing roads in Wengen and Saas Fee as their villages are traffic-free.
- Igloo village
Make a night to remember on this chilly kaleidoscopic excursion in Engelberg.
So what's it like?
Swiss ski resorts have it all – majestic mountains, superb ski schools and plenty of great slopeside restaurants. Many of them are also easily reached by the famously efficient rail network, making it the ultimate destination for fast and flexible ski travel.
Linked ski areas
The Jungfrau area is made up of 213km of varying pistes – from challenging steeps to gentle beginner slopes and even an epic freeride zone – there’s enough variety to keep all ages and abilities entertained.
The main hub is in the Kleine Scheidegg/Mannlichen area, located directly between Grindelwald and Wengen. On one side there’s Grindelwald/First and on the opposite side of the region there’s the Murren ski area. Kleine Scheidegg and Mannlichen are available on the local lift pass, while First and Murren are covered on the full area pass, with a 50% reduction on the Jungfraujoch.
Getting around is also quite unique, with a combination of the traditional lifts and classic cog wheel railways. The Jungfrau region has invested heavily in upgrading a number of chairs, with the Wixi and Salzegg lifts being completely rebuilt over the past couple of years, meaning queues are minimal across the area.
Elsewhere, Zermatt consists of three inter-linked ski areas: the Sunnegga-Rothorn, accessed via an underground funicular railway directly from the centre of the village; the neighbouring Riffel-Gornergrat-Hohtalli, linked by cable car and chairlift or reached directly from the village by rack railway; and the experts-only summit sector, with its off-piste ‘itineraire’ routes off the 3,532m Stockhorn.
Perhaps most interestingly, Zermatt’s principal Klein Matterhorn area also has a sequence of gondolas that climb from its southern end up to the highest slopes in Europe, linking with the ski area of Cervinia in Italy, so you can pop over the border for pizza and pasta at lunch.
Best for families – Wengen’s completely pedestrianised town centre makes everything safe and easy, while Saas Fee has plenty of beginner slopes and fun activities to keep kids happy.
Best for après – Zermatt’s lower slopes have lots of mountain huts which challenge the Austrians for après. The town of Engelberg, by contrast, comes alive at the weekend, filled with revellers from nearby cities.
Best for beginners – Saas Fee has long, gentle and quiet nursery slopes close to the main street, while Wengen also boasts plenty of leisurely runs that are ideal for building confidence.
Best for intermediates – Grindelwald’s varied slopes are best suited to those progressing through parallel, as does neighbouring Wengen, both with superb views of the Eiger and Jungfrau range.
Best for experts – Zermatt has loads of advanced options, with heli-skiing for those who can afford it, while those in Zurich needing a powder fix will often nip to Engelberg in their time off.
Traditionally synonymous pretty chocolate box chalets and high-end hotels, Crystal’s selection of resorts aims to maintain the quality, but open up these beautiful mountains to a larger quantity of holidaymakers.
It was of course travellers from the United Kingdom who, craving the same skiing they were able to access in neighbouring France, first persuaded local Swiss authorities to run their reliable mountain railway services as early ski lifts. This opened up some truly incredible descents and Switzerland never looked back as a ski destination.
So we’ve got everything from modern apartments and sleek hotels in Engelberg and Saas Fee, to Our Finest properties in Zermatt and traditional wooden lodgings in Wengen.
Of course, Switzerland offers some of the most iconic mountains in the world. Zermatt is home to the picturesquely-pointy Matterhorn – a setting for thrill seekers for over 150 years – while the imposing Eiger towers over Grindelwald and Wengen.
Just as popular in the summer months, Swiss ski resorts are year round towns and villages, which makes for a great atmosphere in these bustling communities for both guests and locals alike. Talking of locals, there’s a mix of French and Germanic language and influences across the country, manifesting itself in the range of architecture, infrastructure, food and drink on offer.
Food and drink
It should not go without saying that Switzerland may be more expensive than other European countries for a ski break, but an area your money will be well spent is on mountain food.
The cuisine is some of the best on offer in the Alps, with basic burger and chips replaced by delicious traditional dishes like a plate of rösti, käseschnitte (a Swiss version of cheese on toast) and the world-famous raclette. Wash them down with wonderful wines from France to the west and Italy to the south, or a clean crisp beer from Germany to the north
For bargain ski holidays and last-minute offers, take a look at our Switzerland ski deals.
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