Few countries can lay claim to such stunning winter landscapes as Switzerland, and the country’s traditional mountain villages have long been the destination of choice for those with a yearning for snow. Europe’s highest concentration of 13,123-feet (4,000-meter) peaks are crammed into the Swiss mountain ranges, with an ample menu of ski runs to choose from – everything from gentle beginner slopes to hair-raisingly steep glacial passes.
The Eastern Graubűnden region is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations with glitzy resorts like Davos and St Moritz flying the flag for the area’s elite. The former might be the larger resort in the area, but it’s St Moritz that earns the title of Switzerland’s premier resort – exorbitantly priced chalets host Europe’s rich and famous, and although there are some cheaper options in town, this is not the place for those on a budget. More experienced skiers might be drawn to the region’s more isolated resort of Arosa, home to some dramatic piste and a burgeoning popularity with younger travelers.
Heading West, the Bernese Alps, running through central Switzerland, make another popular destination for skiers with famous peaks like Jungfrau and the Eiger offering huge verticals as well as plenty of beginner and intermediate runs. Resorts include Wengen, Murren, a popular base for the challenging slopes of Schilthorn and the bustling, yet down-to-earth Grindelwald. The nearby resort of Interlaken is a hotbed of adventure activities for those tiring of the slopes.
More popular haunts run along the Rhone Valley in the Southwest, where there’s endless choice of slopes for all abilities. The car-free Zermatt is one of the most popular resorts, with year round snow and access to the impressive Matterhorn Mountain via one of the country’s highest cable cars. Local-favorite Verbier is a French-speaking resort harboring some challenging terrain among its more beginner-friendly slopes, or the less-crowded Saas-Fee makes a good option for those seeking peace and quiet.