Engelberg quite simply isn’t as well-known as it deserves to be. With the glacial mountain Titlis at 3,239m dwarfing the surrounding peaks and Hahnen’s 2,600m seemingly supported by snow fields the winter season spans from October to May with an absolute abundance of snow in this striking mountain range. It’s not hard to see why it’s quickly becoming the snow junkie’s resort of choice.
There’s a 2000m vertical drop from peak to town, linked by an incredible 12km run and served by a state-of-the-art lift system including a rotating cable car from which you can see 80% of Switzerland on a clear day. Snow sure slopes and a fantastic terrain variety to cater for the bandy legged beginners’ right up to the fully fledged powder hounds, you can’t fail to be entertained.
The biggest inconvenience to Engelberg is that the town simply is not built for skiing. Built around a Benedictine monastery, hurtling down the mountains on planks of wood was not at the forefront of thinking at the time. However a short bus ride or a 15 minute slog to the lifts is a small price to pay for the length and quality of the slopes on offer.
Only an hour and a half from Zurich international airport and easily linked by train, it’s one of the easiest to reach short break destinations we know of and the 82km of pistes are perfect for a long weekend on the snow.
Skiing in the resort
The Skiing is split between two mountains either side of town. The smaller Brunni mountain is home to sunny and gentle tree-lined runs whilst Mount Titlis boasts more challenging slopes, impressive off-piste and glacier skiing, not to mention the 12km long peak to town delight.
The slopes around Jochstock are a little milder and relatively few people seem to venture over here making it a great spot to test your technique. There are 82km to explore in total with a fairly even split between greens, blues, reds and blacks and with the non-pisted runs such as the Laub or Steinberg it keeps us coming again and again.
Engelberg, however, is not just about the skiing, with the highest suspension bridge in Europe giving you breath taking views at 10,000ft – not for the feint hearted, as well as the glacial caves and igloo village there’s plenty to have a look at for the non-skiers as well. There’s even 7km of sledding runs that are also open at night over the weekends between Christmas and early March.
Engelberg has more of a buzz than a town of its size deserves. Whilst not the après mecca of St Anton, there’s plenty to get excited about. Starting up at the Sternbar at Station Stand (2450m) before a 1000m decent to the many lively venues in town. Live music and happy hours punctuate the evenings and at the weekends it really gets going!
There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from and some lovely spots for a quiet drink as well – after all it is a monastery town.
The stunning Igloo village at Trubsee offers the opportunity for an overnight excursion with a delicious Moitie-Moitie cheese fondue and a nocturnal snow shoe tour before a night in a romantic Igloo for two or standard igloos for up to six, there’s even a ‘hot-Igloo’ with a Swedish wood stove – certainly an alternative form of après.
Flexiski thought – Pop into the Yucatan at the Bellevue-Terminus for some music and beer – allegedly they sell the more beer than any other bar in the whole of central Switzerland.