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News / Winter done right: why Switzerland has it all

There's a whole world of adventure in the Swiss Alps aside from hurtling down whiter than white pistes and ploughing through powder-filled forests. What's more, besides boasting some of the most stunning scenery and best spots for snow sports in the world, Switzerland's exceptional shopping, internationally renowned wellness opportunities and romantic boltholes are enough to guarantee a wonderful winter whatever you're into.

where to go / Best for...

Beginners

Try Villars. There’s an excellent nursery area at Bretaye, where you’ll learn right on the mountain and easily meet up with other ability skiers for lunch.

Intermediates

Zermatt guarantees high altitude skiing, in more ways than one. At up to 3820m, 60% of the piste skiing is made up of red runs – great for strong intermediates.

Seasoned skiers

Challenging black runs and exhilarating off-piste terrain are in abundance at Verbier for those in search of steep, adrenaline packed descents. 

Couples

Head to the romantic chocolate-box style village of Saas-Fee. It is among the most beautiful ski resorts in the alps, and incidentally, the filming location for Wham’s Last Christmas.

Families

Try the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa. It’s one of the most family-friendly resorts in the region with great beginner slopes, and extra activities include tobogganing, horse sleigh rides and open air ice skating.

Groups

Take your skiing to new heights in Verbier; explore The Plateau Trient, the Petit Combin, Rosablanche and Pigne d'Arolla before descending on the resorts restaurants and bars.

Weekend escapers

The completion of a long awaited lift link significantly increasing the accessible ski terrain in the area puts Andermatt back on our radar for either a shorter sojourn or a ski weekend.

Non-skiers

Glitzy St. Moritz has ample opportunity to shop, sledge, sleigh ride, ice-climb, take winter walks and even attend a festival – if the Blues or gourmet food variety take your fancy.

End of season skiers

Zermatt is one of the most reliable resorts with snow cover from early November to early May. Board the new gondola lift to reach altitudes of 3820m in nine minutes.

Chocaholics

The best chocolate makers in Switzerland descend on Crans-Montana next March for the third edition of Choc Altitude for tastings, chocolate sculptures, stories and workshops.

Eco travellers

Piloting the ‘Alliance in the Alps’ sustainable development project since 1996, Saas-Fee is proudly car-free, and obtains 100% of its electricity from renewable Valaisian hydroelectric power.

First class transfers

Swap road for rail on the renowned Swiss Travel System. First class relaxation means service at your seat available on many connections and dining from a menu of Swiss products accompanied by select wines.

Experiences / Off piste...

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Deep snow experience

Travel to the remote Gotthard pass by Porsche and board a ‘Pistenbully’ snowgroomer to experience a snowshoe hike and avalanche training... before settling down to enjoy the winter scenery with mulled wine and a four-course lunch.

Heli picnic

Take a private helicopter ride over the snow-covered mountain terrain, landing on top of your own private glacier. Upon arrival, you’ll sit down to a waiter-served meal served on a hand carved snow table covered with furs.

St. Moritz ice cricket

See star cricketers compete for runs and wickets in the snow and ice on the frozen Lake of St. Moritz. Included are two twenty20 matches, a bar and restaurant on the lake and a gala dinner at Badrutt's Palace Hotel.

Glacier Express

Hop aboard ‘the world’s slowest express train’ and enjoy the eight hour journey across the Alps from the foot of the Matterhorn to the Engadine valley. The railway connects Zermatt and St Moritz, passing through the off-piste playground of Andermatt en route, and takes in dramatic views along the way – the Rhine Gorge is a stunning highlight.

Where to stay / Hotel spotlight

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For groups

Where? Chalet Shalimar, Zermatt
Why? One of our biggest chalets, it sleeps up to 20 in 10 bedrooms, with wide living spaces, top floor living and dining rooms with floor-to-ceiling sliding for as much privacy as you need.

For ski-in/ski-out

Where? Chalet RoyAlp Hôtel, Villars
Why? Sumptuous salons, impeccable service and ski-in ski-out slope access make it hard to beat for a seamless skiing experience. Adventurous activities and an expansive spa are the cherry on top.

For families

Where? Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa
Why? This relaxed mountain retreat boasts generous family suites and a complimentary kids club for 3-11 year olds, as well as private lift access to good nursery slopes for beginners.

For alpine elegance

Where? Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt
Why? Something of a Swiss landmark, this palatial hotel is the epitome of traditional grandeur, adorned in rich fabrics and wood panelling. Most balconies boast Matterhorn views.

For wellness

Where? The Capra, Saas-Fee
Why? Bespoke holistic wellness retreats with acclaimed medical and wellness experts take place year round, focusing on physical fitness, nutrition, sleep quality and mental wellness.

For yoga

Where? W Verbier, Verbier
Why? The ethos here encourages skiers to slip into deep stretches and relaxation through its Warm Up Yoga and After Ski Yoga classes in the double heighted, glass-fronted studio overlooking the snow-covered village.

Explore more / Our favourite resorts

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