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Switzerland is nestled between five borders; France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein. It is made up of three topographical areas which include the Swiss Alps, Central Plateau and the Jura Mountains. The Swiss Alps run through the central south of Switzerland and comprise of approximately 60% of the total area. The Matterhorn is probably the most famous mountain peak standing at 4,478m in the Valais region and within the resort of Zermatt, although the Monte Rosa is the highest at 4,634m.
With the most popular sports in Switzerland being skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering it makes the nature of the country popular and suited for winter and summer activities. Due to its scenic beauty and sharp features it was even chosen as a background to one of the James Bond movies. With easy accessibility from main airports and by car or train the Swiss resorts make a popular destination for winter ski holidays. Switzerland comprises some of the most famous and favourite resorts in the Alps if not the world. With many being traffic free, areas of spectacular scenery and impressive and challenging runs it attracts certain types of mountain skiers. It is renowned for being expensive in resorts and although it is not cheap the quality you get for your money does not disappoint. Comprising of 19 resorts with the most famous being Verbier, Zermatt, Davos, St Moritz and Klosters to say but a few.
Verbier ticks so many boxes when it comes to resorts with the challenging slopes, panoramic settings and vibrant nightlife. It encompasses the 4 valley ski pass so there is plenty of terrain to find during a week stay.
Zermatt is not only popular in the winter but also the summer months with the village having grown extensively in recent years. It has a car-free zone with in resort traffic being electric buggies or local residents with everyone else parking in Tasch where you can catch the train up to resort level. It is a snow sure resort with amazing scenery and alpine charm. Zermatt could be described as a cosmopolitan resort with the diversity of clientele it attracts. The area is linked to Cervinia so you have the opportunity to hop over to the Italian slopes and stop for a pizza and you may as well make the most of this as Zermatt has one of the most expensive lift passes in the Alps!
St Moritz has to be the most exclusive resort in the Swiss Alps with the glitz and glam in abundance. The ski resort offers extravagant non skier entertainment from horse and grey hound racing on the frozen lake to golf and cricket! The clientele that holiday in this exclusive resort are seen as those of etiquette and finer tastes; however, it is a perfectly good destination for anyone.
On the contrary, although the Swiss Alps are well known for these high end resorts there are plenty of smaller linked resorts that are more affordable and ultimately more quaint and pretty without the hype. If you are looking for a holiday away from the glitz and glam Grimentz, Nendaz and Champery are well worth considering when deciding on a last minute ski holiday destination.
Altitude (m): 1050
Highest ski lift (m): 2277
Total piste (km): 100
Champéry is great for intermediate skiers looking for a quiet time in a lovely place, especially if they have a car. Access to the Portes du Soleil circuit is not bad: Avoriaz is fairly easy to get to - and there may be fresh powder there when Champéry is suffering. Champéry is ideal for...
Altitude (m): 1500
Highest ski lift (m): 3000
Total piste (km): 140
Set on a broad shelf facing south across the Rhone Valley, Crans Montana is actually 2 towns that have, over the years, merged into 1. There are over 50 restaurants, 80 shops (everything from Cavier & fine fashions to local cheese and wine shops), a cinema, bowling alley, casino, wellness / spa...
Altitude (m): 1560
Highest ski lift (m): 2844
Total piste (km): 370
Davos is a spa town that has a life beyond skiing. Each winter it receives worldwide exposure when global movers and shakers, along with a small army of protesters, gather for the World Economic Forum. While the world leaders are airing their predictions in the conference centre, skiers and riders...
Altitude (m): 1570
Highest ski lift (m): 3000
Total piste (km): 220
Grimentz is part of the Val d'Anniviers area. The ski pass covers 220km of piste across five different areas/resorts: Grimentz-St Jean, St Luc, Chandolin, Zinal and Vericon. It’s on the opposite side of the valley to Crans Montana and only a very short distance from Zermatt and Verbier. Grimentz...
Altitude (m): 1034
Highest ski lift (m): 2971
Total piste (km): 213
Set amidst the spectacular scenery of the Jungfrau mountain range, with the breathtaking Eiger as its backdrop, Grindelwald offer over 213 km of well marked pistes. This charming village remains totally unspoilt and boast a long tradition of hospitality and friendliness. Grindelwald is dotted...