The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

8 best ski resorts in Switzerland for your next Swiss skiing holiday

Where to head for some of the best Swiss slopes

Chris Wilson
Friday 13 October 2023 16:42 BST
Comments
<p>Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts </p>

Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts

While France might steal the snow-sports show thanks to its sprawling mega-resorts, Switzerland has carved a name for itself as one of Europe’s premier skiing destinations.

Sharing the famed Alps with France, Italy and Austria, among others, Switzerland boasts some of the highest peaks in the range, including the Matterhorn (which straddles the Swiss-Italian border) and Dufourspitze.

These mountains and valleys are home to some of the most highly acclaimed ski resorts on the continent. From Zermatt to St Moritz, Switzerland has resorts and slopes catering to all ability levels, from complete beginners to the most experienced of off-piste skiers.

Towering peaks, well-groomed runs, abundant snowfall and charming Alpine towns: Switzerland has it all. However, with over 300 ski resorts to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one’s right for you. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best to help narrow it down ahead of the 2023/24 winter season.

St Moritz

A view of St Moritz from the lake

St Moritz sits in the Engadin Valley around the lake of the same name, and is known as the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism. It played host to the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. There are four main ski areas covered by the lift pass: Corviglia/Piz Nair, Corvatsch/Furtschellas, Diavolezza and Lagalb.

Some of the slopes here are higher than 3,000m, with over 300km of pistes served by 42 lifts and plenty of off-piste opportunities, plus gentle beginner areas.

Away from the slopes, St Moritz is known for being the glitziest Swiss resort (with prices to match), with elegant hotels and spendy restaurants set in a glamorous, chocolate-box village.

Book it

Opt for a stay at the Hotel Monopol courtesy of Inghams. This modern, high-rise building has a large terrace, elegant bar and spa with views of the mountains, while rooms are tastefully decorated in low-key Alpine style. It’s a short walk from the Corviglia furnicular and the ski bus to the Corvastsch area.

From £1,639pp including seven nights’ accommodation, half board, return flights from London Stansted and transfers. Departing 27 January.

Verbier

A view of the mountains over Verbier

A resort famed for its challenging terrain, Verbier is one of the best resorts for expert skiers and snowboarders. Named as the country’s best resort in 2021 and 2022 by the World Ski Awards, Verbier boasts over 410km of slopes spread across the ‘4 Vallees’ area, with Mont Fort at the heart of the region, standing at 3,330m.

There’s also a respected ski school for beginners, but the real draw is Verbier’s red and black runs plus off piste for more experienced snowsports enthusiasts to test their mettle on. The resort’s most famous routes include the 900-metre vertical from Col des Gentianes to Tortin, as well as off-piste runs such as Bec des Etagnes, Col des Mines and Marlenaz.

The resort itself is another pricey destination – this is Switzerland after all – but is a picturesque blend of wooden Alpine buildings housing pubs, restaurants and opulent chalets.

Book it

British Airways Holidays provides a package to Verbier staying at Experimental Chalet. The facade is traditional but interiors are high-spec and modern, with chic, Parisian-style decor and sunny terraces and balconies. The bar is a focal point, while the hotel is 600 metres from the slopes, with free shuttles running throughout the day.

From £2,318pp including seven nights’ accommodation, B&B, return flights from London Heathrow, one piece of checked luggage per passenger and transfers. Departing 31 January.

Read more on Europe travel:

Andermatt

Andermatt is a good destination for beginner skiers

Split over two main sections, Andermatt’s ski area is a game of two halves. Gemsstock’s all red and black runs largely set above 2,000m are ideal for intermediates and experts, while in recent years the Nätschen-Gütsch-Sedrun area has offered a welcome range of gentler green and blue slopes for less experienced skiers following a 1.8bn franc (£1.5m) investment. Further investment in the ski area is also on its way after Vail Resorts, which now owns the ski infrastructure, pledged to plough in £130m.

Andermatt is also known for the quality of its snow, while the resort itself combines the original Alpine village and a shiny new development comprising high-end hotels, restaurants and shops housed in sympathetic buildings that mimic the traditional style.

Book it

For a modern, cosy stay that’ll help beat the post-Christmas blues, choose a Ski Solutions package to the Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen. You’ll be near the centre of Andermatt with easy access to the slopes, staying in a contemporary hotel with stylish interiors, a traditional Swiss restaurant and extensive pool and spa facilities.

From £1,745pp including seven nights’ accommodation, B&B, return flights from a London airport and airport transfers. Departing 20 January.

Davos-Klosters

Davos is located in the Graubunden region

Situated in the Graubunden area, the twin resorts of Klosters and Davos are home to over 300km of slopes that are split between six areas. Linked by trains and both covered by a single lift pass, the two share a large skiing area called Parsenn. Davos has mainly intermediate to advanced pistes, while Klosters is a smaller resort with runs for all levels (the Madrisa area is particularly suited to beginners).

Your choice for where to stay depends on what type of holiday you want; choose Klosters for rustic, alpine charm and Davos for a livelier, slightly more upmarket stay (with more options for nightlife and shopping).

Book it

British Airways Holidays has packages to the elegant Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere-Davos, located just 500 metres from the nearest ski lifts, in the centre of the town. It offers spacious rooms and charming interiors, a spa and pool, cosy bar, terrace and quality restaurant.

From £1,161pp including seven nights’ accommodation, B&B, return flights from London Heathrow, transfers and one piece of checked luggage per passenger. Departing 7 February.

Zermatt

Zermatt sits at the foot of the Matterhorn

Sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of Switzerland’s most iconic mountains, Zermatt enjoys an almost unbeatable scenic winter setting. The resort is best suited to intermediate and advanced level skiers and snowboarders, with three different sectors that are reached from different points in town, offering a total of 360km of slopes (the vast majority of which are graded red).

Kleine Matterhorn, a part of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, is the highest section, linking the town to Cervinia in Italy (which provides a fourth area; top tip, head over to the Italian side for lunch to enjoy cheaper prices). Sunnegga-Rothorn is best for family skiing and beginners, while Gornergrat is good for both beginners and intermediates.

A lively mountain town in both winter and summer, Zermatt is centred around the vibrant Bahnhoffstrasse.

Book it

Crystal Ski offers luxe stays at the Hotel Alpen Resort near the centre of Zermatt and five minutes away from the lifts. The grandiose wooden facade is complemented by modern yet homely interiors, with excellent pool and spa facilities. Guests can also enjoy buffet breakfasts and five-course dinners each night in the restaurant.

From £1,797pp including seven nights’ accommodation, half board, return flights from London Luton and rail transfers. Departing 7 January.

Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee is home to a turning restaurant with panoramic views

A good resort for beginners, Saas-Fee is surrounded by towering mountains of 4,000-plus metres (13 to be exact, including the Dom, the highest mountain that sits solely in Switzerland). Its height makes the resort’s 100km of runs very snowsure compared to many Swiss resorts. For experts on the hunt for more challenging terrain, there’s the off-piste Mittelallalin area or the nearby glaciers of the Dom and Allalinhorn.

For beginners, the nursery slopes and long and gentle green runs are located away from the more difficult slopes, meaning that you don’t need to watch out for the more experienced skiers behind you. The resort of Saas Fee itself is a charming, car-free village, and there are plenty of activities offered for families.

Book it

A Sunweb package stay at the Hotel Allalin bases you near the centre of town in a rustic, Alpine hotel. Rooms are comfortable and functional, with pleasant views of the town and the surrounding mountains. Other features include the spa and sauna, a characterful restaurant and free shuttle buses to the lifts.

From £853pp including seven nights’ accommodation, B&B, and lift passes. Departing 20 January.

Wengen

A view of Wengen from nearby Allmend

Nestled above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Wengen is a good choice for families due to its relaxed atmosphere, (mainly) car-free roads and a pleasant mix of slopes. Part of the Grindelwald-Wengen area, the sector sits at the foot of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains (the smallest of which still stands at 3,967m). Wengen is famous for the 4.4km Lauberhorn downhill run, the world’s longest that is part of the World Cup circuit.

With plenty of nursery slopes and beginners runs to add to 30km of toboggan runs, indoor and outdoor skating and playgrounds, Wengen can be a good choice for young families. There’s plenty for intermediate skiers too; the Jungfrau lift pass covers both areas and Murren, with over 206km of slopes.

Book it

Welcome in the New Year in style with a package from Crystal Ski staying at the centrally located Alpine Hotel Wengen. It boasts cosy, Alpine interiors, an indoor pool, sauna and steam room and a restaurant – where guests enjoy a gala dinner on the big night included in the price – plus an informal lounge bar complete with log fire.

From £1,803pp including seven nights’ accommodation, half board, a New Year’s Eve gala meal, return flights from London Luton and airport transfers.

Gstaad

A pedestrian street in Gstaad

Located in the canton of Bern in the southwest of the country, Gstaad has a variety of slopes that offers another good – if spendy – choice for families. This glitzy resort has over 200km of downhill slopes, while hardcore skiers can come both pre- and post-season for glacier skiing at the Glacier 3000 resort in Ormont-Dessus. Cross-country skiers can also explore 111km of trails and even an illuminated night trail between Schonried and Saanenmoser.

Gstaad has five different ski areas that mainly cater to intermediates. Rinderberg is the largest area (and is also home to some good beginner slopes), while the Eggli sector contains roughly 58km miles of mainly blue runs. Wasserngrat and Wispile are two smaller areas that will keep skiers busy for a few hours.

The resort town consists of a network of pedestrianised streets lined by picturesque wooden chalet buildings, with the turreted Palace adding an impressive landmark.

Book it

Stay somewhere with true Alpine style at the Hotel Landhaus – courtesy of Heidi – where some rooms have wooden, cabin-like interiors. It’s in the centre of town, and access to the slopes is via a six-minute walk.

From £1,306pp including seven nights’ accommodation, B&B, return flights from London Luton and airport transfers. Departing 3 February.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Europe

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in