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Switzerland is world-renowned for its skiing and ski culture. There are so many reasons why the Swiss have managed to gain such a reputation. But what sets them apart from other awesome skiing countries?
Switzerland has several factors that set it apart from other skiing countries. The skiing itself is phenomenal and often considered the best in the world. Superb infrastructure and facilities mean these resorts are great on and off the slopes.
Let’s go over some of the reasons why you should consider skiing in Switzerland.
Top Reasons to Ski in Switzerland
Switzerland is one of the most popular places in the entire world when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. This is no surprise when you realize how much the Swiss love the slopes. Let’s explore some of the best reasons to consider Switzerland for your next ski trip.
7. Swiss Alp Scenery
Switzerland is an absolutely beautiful country. The Swiss Alps are known across the world for being some of the most iconic mountain ranges out there. There’s a reason almost everyone recognizes the Matterhorn, even if they don’t know its name.
Skiing in Switzerland lets you experience this better than anywhere else. You’ll be carving up the slopes taking in some of the prettiest views imaginable.
Most ski resorts in Switzerland are nestled amongst gorgeous mountains like Eiger, Jungfrau, and of course, the Matterhorn.
The Swiss towns and villages are also beautiful enough to visit on their own! The feel of these villages offers tourists a unique insight into all the best parts that the unique Swiss culture has to offer.
There are also other must-see locations like Jungfraujoch, which is known as “The Top of Europe.”
6. Amazing Skiing
Quite an important point for any ski holiday – the skiing in Switzerland is phenomenal. It’s so good it’s become intertwined with Swiss culture over the past decades. It’s hard to think of Switzerland without thinking of skiing almost immediately.
The high altitudes make for great snowfall throughout the Alps. This makes Switzerland home to some of the most popular ski resorts across the globe.
It’s not surprising given the quality of the slopes that Switzerland hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1928 and 1948. The terrain truly is perfect for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
It also helps that a lot of the ski resorts in Switzerland are amongst the best in the world. The global fame of places like Zermatt, St. Moritz, and Verbier is a testament to the quality of the resorts and the skiing done there.
5. It’s A Winter Wonderland
Skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only things to do during a ski trip in Switzerland. Almost every town and village in Switzerland has the potential to be its own authentic winter wonderland on its own.
Winter activities like bobsleighing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and even paragliding are great options for those seeking to explore and experience the beautiful countryside.
For those wanting to keep things a little more relaxed when off the slopes, touring through the alpine villages is a great way to pass the time and soak up the unique culture.
Panoramic train rides are also a must if possible. They’re definitely one of the best ways to see a lot of Switzerland’s beauty in a short space of time. There are a number of different trains and routes to choose from, but you can’t really go wrong.
4. The Apres-Ski
Apres-ski is an important part of any ski trip, and luckily Switzerland won’t disappoint, no matter what you’re after.
Like most of the best ski destinations in the world, Switzerland has excellent apres-ski options on offer and these options vary hugely. You’ll find everything from casual, cozy nights by the fire to raging parties on the slopes.
Verbier is one of the best resorts in all of Switzerland for anyone that wants to mix some serious bits of partying into their ski trip. The resort almost always has lively events featuring cold drinks, pumping music, and great DJs.
For the more relaxed crowds looking for a quiet evening, there are still great choices to be had. Plenty of bars and restaurants offer relaxed atmospheres that are perfect to help you unwind once the lifts have stopped for the evening.
Grindelwald and St. Moritz are also great choices for those wanting good apres-ski as much as good skiing.
3. Cheese & Chocolate
Now, there’s obviously more than cheese and chocolate obviously, but really who doesn’t love these?
The ski resorts in Switzerland have amazing food and wine options. They aren’t necessarily as good as somewhere like Italy (depending on your food palette), but they shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.
In fact, you’ll find some amazing Italian cuisine sprinkled into a lot of the food and wine near the border with Italy.
That’s another benefit of the dining experiences available at the Swiss ski resorts – they do almost every type of cuisine and they do it exceptionally well.
The more prestigious resorts like St. Moritz and Zermatt also have several fine dining experiences to choose from. There are so many of these exceptional restaurants found in these towns that it would be hard to list them all. It’s hard to even list just the Michelin-starred restaurants!
If you’re after local flavors, you cannot go wrong with a cheese fondue after a long day on the slopes. Sharing a warm caquelon (the traditional pot fondue is served) of deliciously molten cheese with friends and family is a recipe for good times and fond memories.
Another food category the Swiss are masters of is chocolate. Chocolate lovers could visit Switzerland for this reason alone and they would leave happy.
2. Swiss Culture & History
Swiss culture is unique, to say the very least. Switzerland is home to some of the most interesting events found across the globe, and there’s basically always something worth attending going on throughout the winter season.
As mentioned earlier, exploring the beautifully authentic towns spread across the Swiss Alps is an excellent way to get to experience Swiss culture firsthand.
The customs usually change from town to town, so venturing between them and soaking up the sights and sounds is the perfect choice for anyone that enjoys a good bit of culture.
Events like the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Witches Downhill Race, and the Eidgenössisches Jodlerfest are all great examples of the type of unique experiences to be had in Switzerland.
1. Amazing Accommodation
Another amazing perk of skiing in Switzerland is the accommodation. There are amazing luxury hotels, as well as smaller boutiques found all over the ski resorts and towns.
That being said, Switzerland is notoriously expensive, so it’s not surprising the majority of these hotels can be quite pricey. However, they are definitely worth it for anyone who can afford to splurge on them. They offer the epitome of skiing in style.
5 Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland
Switzerland has some of the best ski resorts globally. The resorts included here have all been rated incredibly highly by the international skiing community, meaning they are all considered the most popular resorts found in Switzerland.
5. Davos-Klosters and Parsenn
For anyone looking for variety, the Davos-Klosters region has you covered. It’s actually a series of several different ski areas that are all linked by Parsenn. All told, Davos-Klosters is one of the largest resorts in Switzerland.
Although this area comprises smaller, unique villages with their own feelings, they are all relatively upper-class. Celebrities and royalty from all over tend to frequent the area during the ski season.
Of course, there is a huge variety of terrain difficulty because of the incredible size of the combined ski areas, but it does skew to the more advanced end of the spectrum. The runs are generally quite tough and very, very long – up to 13 km even!
Apres-ski is also typically Swiss. Davos is the place to be as it has a large number of options for both quiet apres-ski and raucous nightlife.
As mentioned Davos caters usually to the high societies of the world, so if that isn’t your preference, Klosters is the recommendation for accommodation. The town still has quite an authentic feel of a Swiss Alps town.
Verbier has achieved a reputation for being the party resort of choice for the rich and famous.
The ski terrain itself actually comprises four different areas under the 4 Vallees. This forms one absolutely massive area of skiing paradise, which is also the largest in all of Switzerland.
Like most of the best Swiss ski resorts, skiing at Verbier is great for all different skill levels. This makes sense when you think Verbier basically has four different ski areas worth of terrain.
Off-piste definitely is one of the best parts of skiing in the Verbier region. It’s also quite easy to access the backcountry, making it an even more attractive prospect for the more adventurous skiers and snowboarders.
From off-piste to off-slope entirely, Verbier does not disappoint. The nightlife and apres-ski scene are absolutely phenomenal. It does lack some of the more sophisticated apres-ski options that some Swiss resorts boast, but party-lovers probably won’t mind. In fact, they might not notice at all!
Grindelwald makes up one of the three villages found in the Jungfrau area. This means it features some of the most breathtaking scenery available in all of Switzerland.
Skiing at Grindelwald is great for the more relaxed and beginner skiers. There are plenty of very long runs that are groomed to perfection. For powder lovers, there are amazing off-piste sections that personify high alpine skiing.
The lifts are very well maintained and offer great access to the slopes without much queuing needed.
In fact, depending on which area you’re skiing in, you might almost have the slopes to yourself!
The activities off the slopes are also great. Grindelwald is a great family destination because there is just so much to do. They even have the world’s longest sledding trail that clocks in at a whopping 15 km!
Like most Swiss ski resorts, apres-ski features everything from relaxed piano bars to pumping nightclubs and bars.
There are a number of ski-in/ski-out lodging options available throughout the town. Accommodation options range from five-star hotels to quaint hostels, making it a good choice for all walks of life.
2. St. Moritz
St. Moritz generally is accepted amongst the international skiing community as the second-best resort in Switzerland. That should say a lot when considering how revered Zermatt is.
In typical Swiss fashion, St. Moritz has world-class infrastructure like modern and efficient ski lifts.
St. Moritz is made up of three ski areas, making up three rather different sets of skiing terrain. Corviglia, Corvatsch, and Diavolezza Lagalb are all great areas in their own rights, each with its own unique flavor on the slopes.
There is something for any type of skier at St. Moritz.
Just like Zermatt, there is plenty to do off the slopes. There are multiple Michelin-starred restaurants for fine dining experiences. The apres-ski is often referred to as extravagant. If that’s not your speed, there are a lot of quainter options to choose from.
Zermatt is the undisputed king of ski resorts in Switzerland, and for good reason. People have been flocking to this town from across the globe for decades. Some even consider the resort to be the absolute best in the world.
There is about 210 km of groomed runs at Zermatt, but that’s only half the fun. There is a huge amount of off-piste and freeride terrain found around the resort. This really gives Zermatt a feeling of endless skiing.
All of this is accessed by some of the best lift systems in the world. This brings us to another point about Zermatt – it is incredibly modern and fitted with all the best bells and whistles.
Zermatt also remains an excellent option even when the lifts have stopped running. There’s something for everyone, even if they don’t ski or snowboard.
The apres-ski also boasts a huge variety. There are endless places to enjoy a truly great meal paired with an exquisite cocktail. For those looking for a livelier evening, the nightlife is formidable.
The biggest downside to Zermatt is, of course, the cost. They do have the most expensive lift tickets in Europe, but the lift tickets do give a lot of access.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Skiing Better in France or Switzerland?
There are always a number of considerations to take into account for these types of comparisons. It’s not easy to compare entire countries after all!
Both France and Switzerland offer immense skiing experiences, beautiful scenery, and rich cultures. This makes the choice even tougher.
The skiing is excellent in France and Switzerland, with both countries offering authentic high alpine terrain. France does have slightly bigger resorts, but places like Zermatt are often considered the best resorts in the world – let’s call it a tie here.
Small differentiators like food and apres-ski could also help make the right choice for you. If you have a particular love of French cuisine and wine, France will definitely be the better option. This is doubly true for anyone wanting to party as hard as they ski.
One of the biggest differences comes from the pricing of the two countries. Cost is a huge factor when comparing the two. Switzerland is infamous for being exceptionally expensive for lift passes, accommodation, and in particular dining out.
If cost is a factor, France is probably the better option, especially for anyone wanting to go on a family ski trip. Otherwise, you can’t really go wrong with either.
Is Skiing Better in Italy or Switzerland?
Similar to the previous comparison, there are several factors that can make deciding between Italy and Switzerland easier.
The first and most important thing for many is the cost. Switzerland is generally much more expensive than Italy in terms of both food and accommodation. This means going to Switzerland with a family can leave the wallet hurting, whereas Italy is famed for its good pricing.
On the topic of food, I would personally take authentic Italian food and wine over the Swiss offerings like fondue. If you value good food and drinks, Italy is most likely the right choice.
The skiing and apres-ski are where Switzerland takes the win. They truly have some of the best resorts in the entire world, along with some of the best ski areas. On top of all that, the vast majority of lift infrastructure and facilities at Swiss resorts are incredibly high-quality.
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect from both countries. That being said, there is so much more to discover about skiing in Italy.
If money is no object, and skiing and apres-ski are top priorities, you can’t go wrong with Switzerland. If you want a relatively affordable holiday with excellent food, while still skiing on some of the best slopes in the world, Italy is right for you.
To Wrap Up
Skiing in Switzerland is possibly the truest form of alpine skiing out there. Excellent ski terrain spread across the most beautiful views leaves the country to be considered one of, if not the best country to ski in across the globe.
The fun doesn’t stop off the slopes either, there are plenty of activities to do in every resort, along with the famed Swiss apres-ski.
Just be sure to save up for this one!