When it comes to ski holidays, Switzerland has a lot to shout about. It’s home to chocolate-box alpine villages, famous mountains and some of the most snowsure slopes in Europe. Add in the top-notch service and food, and you’ll see why a trip here should definitely be on your skiing wish list. Take a look at our round-up of the best Swiss resorts to find your favourite.
Best for mixed-ability groups: Grindelwald
The 210km Jungfrau ski area has plenty for both experienced skiers and those just starting out, so it’s a good pick for mixed groups. There are two nursery areas for beginners, plus a slow-skiing zone on the Oberjoch peak where you can build some confidence. Intermediates can rack up the miles on the long blues and reds around Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen – and don’t miss the 8km descent from Oberjoch down to Grindelwald. To really test your legs, tackle the Lauberhorn black piste over towards Wengen – it’s the longest downhill course in the world. And whatever your level, you can enjoy some pretty impressive views as you ski, including the famous north face of the Eiger.
When you’re not on the slopes, get together to zoom through the air on a zipline, huddle up for a horse-drawn sleigh ride or explore winter walking trails. If you’re there in January, join in the fun at the annual snow-carving festival.
Best for intermediates & nightlife: Zermatt
Zermatt’s 306km ski area is an intermediate’s playground. Spend your time racing down linked red runs from the top of the Rothorn and Hohtälli cable cars back down to Zermatt, vertical drops of around 1,500m. For the best snow and views, head up to the Theodul glacier to cruise the Mittelpiste and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise reds. Or make the most of your area lift pass and cross the border to explore the intermediate slopes around Cervinia, one of Italy’s top ski resorts – we especially love Ventina, which leads down from the glacier itself.
At the end of the day, celebrate at one of the resort’s best après-ski spots. Pick The Pink Music Bar if you’re in the mood for live music, or sip cocktails at the yacht-themed rooftop bar, Snowboat. And no trip to Zermatt would be complete without visiting Hennu Stall, with its sun terrace, table-top dancing and party atmosphere.
Best for families: Wengen
As well as being a famous stop on the World Cup ski circuit, Wengen’s also one of our best resorts for families – thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, gentle slopes and kid-friendly activities. Little ones will get the best start on skis in the Snowgarden, where each day kicks off with a warm-up dance hosted by the rabbit mascot, Snowli. And once they’ve mastered the magic carpet, you can head off as a family to ski easy blues, like the ones around the Schiltgrat chairlift or Kleine Scheidegg mountain station.
Wengen was a traditional farming village before the ski lifts arrived, and it’s still a quiet place with no cars and lots of pretty, chalet-style buildings. Off the slopes, families can go for a spin around the outdoor ice rink, try your hand at curling, or pop into the Playhouse for games and crafts. And definitely take a ride on the Jungfraujoch railway to visit the Top of Europe at 3,454m, and explore the tunnels and sculptures in the ice palace.
Best for high-altitude skiing: Saas Fee
Nicknamed the Pearl of the Alps, Saas Fee is one of the best resorts for high-altitude skiing in Europe. Most of its 100km of runs are between 2,500m and 3,500m, so there’s usually great snow all winter – especially ideal if you’re going for an early or late-season trip. Even the big nursery area next to the village is at 1,800m, so beginners will have good snow cover while they learn. For intermediates eager to stretch their legs, the wide-open slopes up on the Allalin glacier are perfect.
Saas Fee’s an authentic village with pretty wooden buildings and panoramic views. If you fancy taking in the scenery while tucking into some local cuisine, ride the Metro Alpin funicular up to Drehrestaurant Allalin, Europe’s highest revolving restaurant at 3,500m.
Best for advanced skiers: Engelberg
Engelberg’s a small resort with just 82km of piste, but the long runs and challenging terrain are great for experts. The icy moguls on the Rotegg ski route will test the strongest legs, and the linked reds and blacks in the Jochpass area are perfect for high-speed cruising. You can also ride the rotating gondola to Klein Titlis, then carve down 2,000 vertical metres back to the base station.
But the real draw here is the off-piste, which is easy to access using the lifts. Team up with a local guide to take on classic descents like the Laub, a wide-open snowfield on the north face of the Titlis mountain.
As for the resort itself, it’s a laid-back place with a few bars, like Chalet, where you can swap ski stories over a drink in the evening. Or take a break from the slopes to sample local produce at the cheese factory or enjoy the views from Europe’s highest suspension bridge, the Titlis Cliff Walk.
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