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You’re packing up your skis, stowing away your waterproofs, polishing your googles and are about to buy your tickets. Here’s 11 reasons why you should make sure Switzerland is the place that you are heading to this winter.
It’s no secret that you’ll find some of the top slopes in the world. Thousands of people flock to the hundreds of resorts that are scattered across the country. Among them are some the best in the world for a great ski experience and the most spectacular, for their outstanding beauty, or overall experience. If you’re travelling on a budget you still have several options to ski in Switzerland.
Some of the world’s top snowboarders, freestylers and skiers frequently head to Switzerland to take part in international competitions. The Brits, which features Britain’s top snow pros, the Ski World Cup and the Freestyle Championships are just a few of the tournaments that have graced Swiss slopes over the years.
Many of Switzerland’s ski resorts boast guaranteed snow during the winter season. With temperatures creeping up and the weather becoming less predictable, those around the 1,000m mark are no longer so certain. But for now there still plenty of resorts that can guarantee you snow throughout the winter season.
Whether you are a complete newbie or a near-pro brushing up on their technique, there is a host of ski schools across the country that will cater to your needs. Kids can also get their first taste of the slopes with professional and accredited coaches. Most resorts have a good mix of slopes that are suited to all levels.
St Moritz has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, once in 1928 and again in 1948, and is the only Swiss resort to have done so. Granted this was several decades ago, but it’s testament to the standing which the glitzy resort has within the skiing world.
Sure, on your ski holiday you want to ski, but if you want to take a break from the slopes there’s so much more to do here. Almost anywhere you can strap on some snow shoes and go for a trek through the white powder. Or if you feel a little more need for speed then jump into a bobsleigh (a sport the Swiss helped to make famous way back in the 19th century). Simply put, there’s not just ski slopes to enjoy.
Away from the slopes you are guaranteed to have a great time in Switzerland during the winter. Some of the country’s best, and most bizarre, cultural events kick-off during the winter months. As a few tasters there’s the witches’ race in Valais in January, the international Balloon festival in Château-d’Oex, also in January, and the White Turf horse show in St. Moritz in February. If you’re into music there are several ski festivals that combine the best of both worlds.
After spending all day zooming down the slopes you’ll need something hearty and heavy to rebuild your energy. You’ll be glad to hear that Switzerland’s most famous cuisine will be able to do that. You’ll probably be familiar with cheese fondue, Switzerland’s national dish, which is a must-try, while chocolate is another rather obvious choice. You might not know that Switzerland is also a pretty good producer of wine and you can sample a glass or two, after you leave the slopes of course.
Things don’t get much better than flying down a crisp slope with the sight of the Alps way off in the distance. Take a look at some of the most impressive mountain views, most of them in reach of ski resorts.
Spread across Switzerland’s Alpine resorts there are the ubiquitous swanky hotels, but if you prefer things a little different or cultural, then you don’t have to look very hard. We’ve put together a list of the best boutique hotels in the Swiss Alps where you can find some fantastic options.
For many, Zermatt is the top ski destination in Switzerland. It brings together most of the above; top-class slopes, is snow sure (from around November to April) and offers everything you’d need for a comfortable holiday. All of this is rolled into a small town that sits in the shadow of the might Matterhorn, the iconic lonely mountain of Switzerland.