An Overview of Skiing in Switzerland
The first thing to say about skiing in Switzerland is that it is a unique experience, not like anywhere else in the Alps. The reason for this lies in two factors; firstly that it has some of the highest peaks in Europe and secondly because the Swiss have carefully protected the old-world charm of many of their Alpine villages and rest-stops.
Switzerland, the Facts
Set at the heart of the Alps, this is a country of massive peaks with no less than 57 mountains reaching 4000m – that’s more than anywhere else in Europe. Some of its most famous peaks include iconic names such as the Matterhorn, Eiger and Monte Rosa (the country’s highest).
Almost Guaranteed Snow
Think of Switzerland and you’ll probably think of the images that often adorn some of the delicious Swiss chocolate boxes: soaring mountains caped in a blanket of white snow. You will be pleased to know, this is no exaggeration. At a time when the snow season is increasingly unpredictable, part of Switzerland’s appeal is the altitude of many of its resorts, and therefore the good level of snow they receive throughout the season.
Those looking to go skiing in Switzerland will also be reassured that the country has some of the largest glaciers in Europe, where guaranteed snow lasts throughout the season. In fact, it’s home to the largest glacier in the Alps, the World Heritage protected Aletsch, around which are scattered a number of quaint car-free resorts including Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp.
A Choice of Resorts
Whether you want the glitz and glamour of Switzerland’s famous villages like St Moritz, Zermatt and Verbier, or you’re looking for something more low key (and affordable), there is one thing all the resorts here have in common: authentic Alpine charm.
Historically, Switzerland had a large number of mountain villages – some dating back as far as 5,000 years – and when tourism began here back in the early 19th century (amongst British mountaineers rather than skiers), these communities were protected. The result is that, today, many of the Swiss resorts offer an authentic old world Swiss charm that is lacking in the modern, purpose-built offerings of other countries.
Skiing in Switzerland
There are several distinct ski areas in the Swiss Alps.
- South-west – this area is probably the easiest for British skiers to access and includes many of the big name resorts such as Zermatt, Verbier, Villars, Crans-Montana, Saas-Fee, Leukerbad and Nendaz
- North – The Jungrau region to the north of the Bernese Oberland has a number of villages popular with the Swiss including Grindelwald, Wengen, Murren and Adleboden
- East – The famous Graubünden area lies to the east with its resorts including Davos and St Moritz, as well as many other less well-known names.
How to Get to Switzerland
If this has whetted your appetite for skiing in Switzerland then you’ll be pleased to know that the resorts across the country are easily accessible by flying to either Geneva or Zurich.
Getting from the airport to your resort of choice couldn’t be simpler either with a Shuttle Direct transfer which will take you straight to your destination. Book a private car or group transfer online before you set off, and don’t forget to mention any ski equipment you and your group may be carrying – if we know about it in advance, we’ll happily transport it to your resort at no extra cost.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a winter break to go skiing in Switzerland, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport of your choice swiftly and safely.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.