The Swiss Alps are one big outdoor playground, full of a seemingly unfair amount of the most dramatic scenery - but it doesn't end at the Matterhorn or pretending your Clint Eastwood on the Eiger. The Swiss resorts have some of the most picturesque old mountain villages, many being traffic free and year-round towns making the resorts as much local hangouts as international destinations. Especially the smaller resorts such as Engelberg. Offering fantastic ski schools on impressive terrain and with immaculate pisted runs, it's not hard to understand the draw to Switzerland.
It's true recent exchange rates have made skiing in the top Swiss resorts expensive and you will need deep pockets to ski the likes of Zermatt and Verbier but this is with good reason. They offer some of the most varied terrain, best après ski and unrivalled fine dining scenes with exquisite mountain restaurants coupled with diverse accommodation options - they are the pick of the Alps. These resorts are also some of the most popular leaving plenty of alternative resorts that tick enough of the right boxes to make skiing in Switzerland a tantalising prospect.
Whilst trying to work out which resort is best for a weekend break, it helps to know where they are and what they offer. Are you a fledgeling skier looking for some gentle slopes and a great ski school? A family looking for quiet varied slopes for different ski levels and plenty of activities? Or a white knuckle enthusiast ready for the steepest chutes and untouched powder? Switzerland has plenty to offer aside from the headline-grabbing big guns.
Why we love Switzerland
- Arguably the best on-mountain dining in the Alps.
- High altitude resorts packed with glaciers and strong snow records.
- Fantastic resort variation - the lesser known resorts can be a bargain.
- Picturesque old mountain villages, complete with some very quirky ski lifts.
- The big resorts can be expensive on and off the mountain, but there's good reason for their popularity.
- Inventors of the Fondue and a very tasty lunch it makes too.
- A shuttle to the lifts is the norm in most Swiss resorts, don't worry they're very efficient.
Our favourite resorts
Best for lively après ski - Verbier's hub is at the foot of the slopes whilst Zermatt's choice is bewildering. Or for a more small town feel Engelberg gets particularly busy over the weekends.
Best for short transfers - Engelberg has the shortest transfer of our Swiss resorts being just an hour and a half, Verbier only takes 15 minutes longer.
Best for beginners - The Mardrisa area in Klosters offers some great terrain to learn and progress on or Engelberg's Brunni mountain also has some easy pistes.
Best for intermediates - All our Swiss resorts cater well for improver's, cruisers and happy how I am skiers but perhaps Verbier is the pick of the bunch.
Best for the adventurous - Engelberg offers some fantastic off-piste itineraries for the adventurous and Zermatt has thrilling mogul fields, miles of steep reds and a penchant for heli-skiing.
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