Andermatt resort overview
Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt is a relative newbie in the world of ski resorts. Expanding upon what was once an army barracks, investors saw the potential Andermatt held for snowsports enthusiasts. Sat just one and a half hours from Zurich airport by car - or two and a half by train, for those looking for more eco-friendly transport options - Andermatt offers a typical Swiss ski village with access to 180km of linked piste.
Andermatt’s extreme reputation precedes it and has been christened by many as ‘the next Verbier’. That shouldn’t entirely put off beginners, however. The 5km gentle blue slope down from Nätschen provides an excellent route for those just finding their ski legs. The thrill of exploring the mountain on a pristine, bump-free run - that sits on what is actually a tarmacked road in the summertime - is just what every ski newbie needs to help build up their confidence.
Significant investment in Andermatt brought on a wave of construction back in 2013 that has amounted to a resort full of possibilities. Andermatt’s 5* Chedi hotel is world-renowned as a leading luxury ski hotel, while gourmet opportunities abound in-resort, with around 20 restaurants in Andermatt’s centre to choose from. Despite this, Andermatt still very much feels like a typical, quaint Swiss ski village - filled with traditional buildings and featuring an unusually (and very helpfully) flat village centre.
Andermatt also features a ski train, serving the breadth of the resort. So, if you’ve made your way east over to Sedrun and don’t feel like skiing back, you can simply hop on the train home. This train even features the first (and only) après ski train carriage in the world - decked out with a full bar to help you get the party started on your journey back.
Andermatt is undeniably much better suited to intermediate and expert skiers than it is to beginners. The Andermatt-Sedrun ski area covers 181km of piste and features 21 high-speed lifts, all newly built during Andermatt’s expansion.
Challenging runs and world-renowned off-piste skiing in the west side of the resort make Andermatt a bucket list destination for advanced skiers and boarders. Runs down from Gemsstock, at 2961m, are impressively varied with plenty of excellent off-piste opportunities. The slopes here are predominantly north-facing, so hold their snow well, and there’s no shortage of fresh powder.
Beginners can make a start on the nursery slopes in the Nätschen area, serviced by a covered magic carpet lift. Throughout Andermatt, beginner skiers are in good hands with the Alpine Sports ski school. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that the total percentage of beginner-friendly ski area in Andermatt is about 30%, and that does include blue runs, so those looking for plenty of long cruisy green runs should probably look elsewhere.
Andermatt après ski
Après ski in Andermatt is much more luxury than lairy. Here, you’ll be more likely to enjoy a glass of red by the fire than you would be to dance on the tables with a beer stein in hand.
That’s not to say that there isn’t an upbeat atmosphere to be found on and off the mountain between the hours of 2pm and 7pm. Most notably, Andermatt’s ski train - as previously mentioned - features the world’s first and only après ski train carriage, which certainly provides a whimsical start to your evening exploits.
After that, we’d recommend heading to Pinte Pub & Club for a burger and a pint or Cocktailbar La Curva, based in the Hotel Monopol, for a more upmarket drinking experience. Jodlerwirt at the bottom of the Talabfarht run and Himalaya Bar just down from Nätschen provide slopeside views if you’re in the mood to enjoy a cold beer on the mountains.
What we like:
- A stunning town surrounded by impressive scenery
- Après ski train carriage
- Short transfers and easy access from Zurich (under 2 hours)
- Challenging terrain and impressive off-piste perfect for advanced skiers
- Brand new lift system
- Limited terrain for beginners, but those with a little experience will enjoy the blue runs
- Slopes can get more crowded on the weekend with local skiers
- The lift linked Andermatt-Sedrun ski area is the largest ski area in central Switzerland
- Andermatt used to be home to an army barracks so you might spot a few slightly less picturesque buildings in the area