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Dramatically set, surrounded by stunning scenery including the infamous Eiger. Views from the town and the slopes are spectacular, in fact, they're almost impossible to beat. The centre of town is made up of largely chalet style buildings and the cog railway stations add to the old-world charm, however, the resort is nowhere near as pretty as neighbouring Wengen and Murren.
The mountain trains are certainly a novelty here, you can travel by rail all the way to the ski summit and higher still up to the highest rail station in Europe at a lofty 3,454 metres. Home to the UNESCO heritage site Aletsch Glacier, at 23km it's the longest Alpine glacier there is. You'll travel through a 7km tunnel and see some pretty special views on your way up.
Skiing in the resort
Staying in Grindelwald puts 170km of skiing right on your doorstep. On one side of town, you have the First ski area with some gentle runs to get your ski legs going. The area is also home to the boardercross and snow parks if you're looking for that sort of thing. The run down from Oberjoch to town is one of the best in the area - we think, anyway.
Over on the other side of town (linked by train), you have a 110km area linked with the picturesque Wengen. This is an intermediates dream with countless long red runs and if you're looking to really test yourself then head over to the Wixi chair from where some of the more challenging runs start including the World Cup circuits Laberhorn piste that's sure to test your metal and get your legs burning.
New for 2019/20 ski season is the upgraded Mannlichen gondola which will increase the speed at which you get up the mountain from Grund (just below the village, where you ski down to at the end of the day). Also for the winter after they are introducing a new gondola from the main village up to Eigergletscher which will dramatically decrease the speed your upload speed from 35 minutes to 15 minutes.
There's plenty on offer in Grindelwald whether you're looking for beers and dancing or some extreme tobogganing and an ice hockey match.
Up on the mountain, there's plenty of ski huts that get the après going. Tipirama gets in DJs and live bands (not every day) and is popular until the last train back to town departs, or there's a long ski down the mountain. On the way down from here to Grund there are plenty of open roof bars to stop off at including the lively Rancher on run 22. Down in town the espresso bar and Gepsi tend to be the favourites or Challi often has live music later on.
One of the major après activities here is tobogganing, with 60km of trails including one of the longest in Europe. 15km down to town from Faulhorn, that's some fairly extreme tobogganing with some pretty spectacular views to boot. Or there's 80km of winter walking trails if you prefer a romantic stroll or brought your dog with you.
What we like:
- Dramatic scenery with the towering north faces of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau
- Extensive cruisy intermediate terrain
- An atmospheric old town with plenty of non-ski activities and decent après scene
- Extensive tobogganing, including a 15km run (one of the longest in Europe) and 150km of trails in total
- Kids ski free of Saturdays
- The lifts up from the village are slow and can have queues, once up on the mountain the lifts are fast - these are getting upgraded for 2019/20
- Great snow making facilities make up for the sometimes unreliable natural snow cover
- Experts face a trek to get to Murren with it's more challenging slopes
- No link to the dark wizard Grindelwald in Harry Potter
- Short breaks
- Short transfer
Accommodation in Grindelwald
- Resort height - 1034m
- Highest point - 2970m
- Grindelwald ski area (First and Kleine Scheidegg - Mannlichen - Wengen) - 170km of piste
- Jungfrau ski area - 220km
- Tobogganing and hiking trails - 150km
Grindelwald is best for intermediate skiers with plenty of cruisy runs and fast lifts up on the mountain. The First ski area has gentler slopes to explore.
There is a zip line and an eagle flyer that are included in the lift pass on the First area. As well as pedestrian viewpoints and walkways to enjoy.
- Blue runs 23%
- Red runs 62%
- Black runs 15%
- 45 in Jungfrau ski area
- Upgraded Mannlichen gondola for winter 2019/20
- New gondola from Grindelwald village up to Eigergletscher for winter 2020/21
Season lengthEarly December to mid-April
- Beginners - 3/5
- Intermediates - 4/5
- Experts - 2/5
- Snowboarders - 3/5
- Fast lifts - 4/5
- Après - 3/5
- Eating out - 3/5
- Charm - 4/5
- Scenery - 5/5
- Non-ski activities - 4/5
Cross-country skiing | snowshoeing | winter hiking | pedestrian lift pass | tobogganing | zip-wire | watch ice hockey | curling | indoor rope park | sports centre with pool | scenic flights from Mannlichen | train to the highest railway station in Europe | ice skating | local museum | tubing | tandem paragliding
Transfer times (by rail)
- Bern - 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours (very limited flights to this airport)
- Zurich - 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours 10 minutes
- Geneva - 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours 30 minutes
Grindelwald lift pass
- 3 day lift pass from £136
- 6 day lift pass from £233
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