Above an undercurrent of glitz and glamour lies a traditional alpine village with a warm heart, a friendly welcome and an abundance of leisurely skiing. The name Gstaad has glamourous connotations; long a favourite with Royals and celebrities, the village retains a traditional chocolate box appearance with a relaxed ambience, genuine welcome and proud illustrations of alpine traditions. The picturesque pedestrianised main promenade is lit by strings of fairy lights funded by honorary local citizen Julie Andrews, and is crammed full of designer boutiques, jewellers and top restaurants alongside local retailers selling regional produce. Dining options range from Michelin-starred restaurants to relaxed fondues; alfresco bars pop up during peak winter weeks. Just 3km down the valley, the quiet and very authentic farming village of Saanen beckons with old traditional buildings, barns and interesting back streets where well reputed local restaurants lie alongside charming craft and gift shops. Day trips by Swiss train to Chateux D’Oex (famous for its Balloon Festival in January) or Montreux for lakeside shopping and sightseeing are easily accomplished.
An ideal destination for relaxed leisurely skiers, the ski area comprises 220km of largely long easy runs, spread over four areas including guaranteed snow on Glacier 3000 15km away. Wispile is one of Gstaad's local mountain – great for beginners, families and children and also offers tobogganing down to Gsteig. The smaller Wasserngrat offers steeper skiing including the "Tiger Run" and one of the best mountain restaurants around. Nearby Eggli, above Gstaad and Saanen, has more easy, wide slopes, and a four-kilometre long toboggan run. The Top Card area pass also includes skiing at nearby Chateau d’Oex only 30 minutes away by train.
|Altitude of resort||1050m|
|Highest skiing point||3000m|
|Number of lifts||53|
Beginners **** | Intermediates ***** | Advanced *** Families **** | Non-skiers ***** |
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