The Top 15 Ski Resorts in Switzerland

Skiing in Switzerland may not be cheap, but you can be sure of a top-quality holiday. Peter Hardy offers a guide to finding the best possible value in the country's most snow-sure resorts.

1. Engelberg
Engelberg is little known and under-rated even by its home-nation; this quiet resort has huge skiing among striking mountains and one of the biggest vertical drops - 2,000m - from the top of the lift system to town. Arriving among the impressive Belle Epoque hotels of this sleepy town you can still see why Engelberg's founding father, a wandering monk, stopped in his tracks, had a vision and set up a monastery. It's not just the dramatic Hahnen peak spreading wing-like snowfields to the south, but a huge sweep of crags that almost surrounds the town. Beneath the highest summit to the west is the Titlis glacier, a vast north facing deep freeze so well stocked with powder that Engelberg is fast becoming the ski-bum's resort of choice for consistent and easy to find deep-snow thrills.
Engelberg - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

2. Laax
Laax is one of Switzerland's largest and most snowsure ski areas with a big vertical drop, and a good choice of hotels and mountain restaurants. For years it languished on the B-list, but lately has become a powerhouse of the international freestyle scene. Now every young gun worth his or her bullets wants to be seen here. Suits all standards and families.
Laax - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

3. Saas Fee
Saas Fee is a well known all-year round destination. However, it is actually quite small and the weather often causes the lifts to close just as the snow conditions look good. In addition the terrain,at Saas Fee, is not the most challenging, at least not on-piste. Experts will have to head off-piste to get their kicks. There is also good freestyle skiing at Saas Fee and beginners will not feel hard done by either. Off the slopes, Saas Fee is traditional in look with a modern feel. It is also car-free which makes it much more relaxing. No 4x4 Fiat Pandas being driven by rally-wannabees here! Food is good but not Haute-cuisine and the nightlife is up to date thanks to the year round nature of the snowboard crew.
Saas Fee - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

4. Samnaun
World-class centre on Austro-Swiss circuit linked to Ischgl since the early 1980s- together creating the largest, as well as the livliest ski area in the Eastern Alps. The high altitude ski area and extensive snowmaking also make for one of the continent's more snow sure destinations. Samnaun made the news in 1995/96 when it opened the world's first double-decker cable car (also the biggest ever at the time, carrying 180 skiers). It is the host of the annual World Santa Claus Championships at the start of the season each winter.
Samnaun - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

5. Zermatt
Zermatt is known throughout the world for its skiing, especially Triftji for its moguls. The high altitude results in consistent skiing continuously throughout the summer. Skiing in Zermatt is split up into four areas: Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. There is also a connection to Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy through the Plateau Rosa glacier. In 2008, Zermatt hosted an "Infinity Downhill Race". The race took place on 13 and 14 December and comprised a course descending from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (3,800 m (12,500 ft)) and finished in Zermatt itself (1,600 m (5,200 ft)). The course was 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and featured a 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) descent.
Zermatt - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

6. Flumserberg
Flumserberg - Ski Resort in Swiss Alps (1000m to 2220m). The largest winter sports area between Zurich and Chur, with good snow conditions the normality between December and April thanks to externsive snow making and its location in a snow trap area. Flumserberg's ski area can be easily reached from a number of villages below, including lakeside Unterterzen (426 M) which is linked by cable car. There's skiing for all standards with a modern lift network including four quad chairs.
Flumserberg - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

7. Davos Parsenn
Parsenn, which links Davos and Klosters, is the cradle of skiing in Switzerland. In 1895, four English tourists lost their way on the Weissfluhjoch and ultimately landed in Küblis, thereby discovering the 12 km-long Parsenn descent - an Alpine myth was born. Since the opening of the funicular railway over 80 years ago, Parsenn has become the classic skiing mountain with endless descents on wide slopes and stylish and traditional mountain lodges - as shown by the Parsenn Derby, the oldest ski race in Switzerland. The Parsenn ski arena can be reached from Davos using the Parsenn funicular railway and from Klosters by the Gotschna cable car.
Davos Parsenn - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

8. Toggenburg
Toggenburg is the name given to the upper valley of the Thur River, in the Swiss Canton of St. Gallen. Currently, it is one of the eight constituencies into which the canton is divided. The valley descends in a northwestern direction from the watershed between the Rhine and the Thur, and is enclosed on the northeast by the chain of the Säntis (8216 ft) and on the southwest by that of the Churfirsten (7566 ft) and of the Speer (6411 ft). It is a fertile valley of about 45 kilometres in length from the source of the river to Wil on the railway line between Winterthur and St. Gallen. The upper half is traversed by an excellent road, while from Nesslau there is a railway to Wil (155 m). At Wildhaus, the highest village (3632 ft), the house wherein Huldrych Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, was born in 1484, is still shown. Other villages are Lichtensteig, Kirchberg and Wattwil.
Toggenburg - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

9. Adelboden
Tourism in Adelboden is especially suitable for families. Adelboden has 24 hotels with 1291 beds, 3800 vacation homes with 15,200 beds, 28 group accommodations with 1830 beds, 3 camp sites and 40 restaurants. In the summer there are 200 km (124 mi) of hiking trails, from sedate walks to alpine climbing-routes. Numerous mountain railways lead up to the mountains. Additional activities are: numerous mountain bike routes; and model aircraft construction on Hahnenmoospass with a workshop, and wind and landing opportunities. In the winter there are ski runs of all degrees of difficulty, including the world-cup giant slalom run on the Kuonisbärgli, and cross-country ski trails. There are 40 km (25 mi) of winter hiking trails. For snowboarders there are freeride and freestyle runs. The Adelboden slalom and giant slalom are considered classic events of the FIS Alpine World Cup.
Adelboden - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

10. Lenzerheide
Lenzerheide is a mountain resort in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It lies at the foot of the Parpaner Rothorn. The village belongs to the municipality Vaz/Obervaz in the district of Albula, sub-district Alvaschein. The village lies in a broadened section of the valley between the cantonal capital Chur to the north and Tiefencastel, beyond which are the Julier Pass and St Moritz. The high valley forms a pass of no official name, often referred to as Lenzerheide Pass, with a culmination point located 5 km north of the village. Lenzerheide is popular as skiing resort and for its lake (Heidsee), which is frozen in winter. The Lenzerheide Bergbahnen AG offers access to the skiing areas of Stätzerhorn, Danis, Scalottas, and Rothorn. There are slopes approved for all FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races for women and men. A two day hike connects Lenzerheide with two more resorts in Graubünden in different Valleys, which are Arosa (to be reached in one day) and Davos (a two days hike).
Lenzerheide - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

11. Arosa
Switzerland's smaller mountain villages work brilliantly for this type of holiday, and none more so than Arosa, a compact, neatly formed resort in the Graubünden mountains, a couple of hours south of Zurich. It's set in a natural bowl, well above the treeline and surrounded by a spectacular series of high ridges. There's a great mix of reds and blues (plus a few challenging blacks) from the top of several of the 13 lifts, so that it works well for parties of mixed abilities. (And if you don't want to ski, there are 30 miles of winter rambling routes for walkers.)

12. Obersaxen Mundaun
The holiday region of Obersaxen-Mundaun / Ilanz / Val Lumnezia stretches from Ilanz in the valley in Surselva in Grisons in one direction up to the holiday region of Obersaxen on a high plateau overlooking the upper reaches of the Anterior Rhine and, in the other, to the Val Lumnezia. Common to both areas is the long chain of the Mundaun mountains in between, a popular region for hiking and skiing.
Obersaxen Mundaun - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

13. Grimentz
A drought in a resort famous for its epic snowfall. A mountain with the best steep terrain anywhere... in a heatwave. Crud, slush, mud: the life of the off-piste skier with a day job can be as frustrating as it is ruinous. When the snow gods do deliver, plagues of skiers can strip mountains in minutes while you sniff armpits in a cable car.
Grimentz - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

14. Zinal
Zinal is a village located in the municipality of Anniviers in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It lies at an altitude of 1,675 metres in the Swiss Alps in the Val de Zinal, a valley running from the Zinal Glacier, north of Dent Blanche to the village of Ayer, part of the Val d'Anniviers. With the Dent Blanche four other 4000 metres peaks are located around the valley: Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn and Ober Gabelhorn. The village is a small ski resort with 70 kilometres (43 mi) of ski slopes and 19.5 kilometres (12.1 mi) of cross-country skiing. In summer the area has 300 kilometres (190 mi) of marked trails and some mountain huts such as the Grand Mountet Hut in the middle of glaciers.
Zinal - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

15. Lenk
Lenk, at an altitude of 1068 metres, is one the Swiss holiday resorts that has been awarded the «Families Welcome» quality mark and offers a wide and varied programme of children’s activities. In summer the «Strubeli» steam railway operates for the younger guests. Lenk has also established a reputation for itself with festivals and courses in the fields of culture and music.

The tourism beginnings of Lenk go back to its sulphurous springs, which are believed to provide relief to sufferers of rheumatism and respiratory diseases. Even today, guests in the thermal baths of the Lenkerhof Alpine Resort continue to enjoy the beneficial effects of the spa waters.
Lenk - The Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland

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The Top 15 Ski Resorts in Switzerland The Top 15 Ski Resorts in Switzerland Reviewed by Eli Snow on 7:56 AM Rating: 5

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