The highest town in Europe and regular host to the annual World Economic Forum, Davos is among Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts. There are high-end hotels and cosy, locally owned abodes, as well as plenty of restaurants that cater to all tastes. For a more traditional Alpine experience, head to Klosters along the valley. Across the five ski sectors shared between the resorts, you’ll find some of the best skiing the canton of Graubünden offers, and its pistes are a dream for intermediate skiers. You can enjoy 12km slopes that wind down the mountains through forest trails, ending in the valley floor.
Davos, Talstrasse 41, 7270 Davos Platz Davos, Switzerland, +41 81 415 21 21
Built to appeal to all levels and ages, LAAX is a fine spot for snowboarders and freeskiers. If you’re brave enough, you can tackle the Beast of LAAX, the world’s largest halfpipe at 6.9 metres high, 200 metres long and 20 metres wide. You’ll also find Europe’s first indoor freestyle academy, where you can fine tune your tricks before taking to the slopes. If freestyling isn’t your thing, LAAX and nearby Flims share one of the biggest ski areas in Switzerland.
LAAX, Gästeinformation, 7032 Laax, Switzerland, +41 81 927 70 00
The village of Gstaad is the place to go to rub shoulders with celebrities; the resort has played host to the likes of Julie Andrews, Kofi Annan, Madonna and George Clooney. But aside from its high-end fashion outlets and swanky restaurants, the slopes here are worth checking out. The destination Gstaad comprises 10 ski villages in the surrounding area and covers an impressive 220kms of pistes, mostly geared towards beginners and intermediates.
Gstaad Saanenland Tourism, Promenade 41, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland, +41 33 748 81 81
Only a two hour drive from Geneva, Verbier is one of the most popular resorts in Switzerland. Experience the more than 400kms of linked pistes and catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc mountains on a clear day. Run the same slopes as some of the world’s best freeriders who gather here for Xtreme Verbier, the Freeride World Tour finals.
Verbier, Medran, Route de Medran, 1936, Switzerland, +41 79 690 97 99
As one of the oldest ski resorts in the world, St. Moritz is among the best. Twice host to the Winter Olympics, in 1928 and in 1948, it’s also the site of many world ski events. It attracts the pros for good reason, with 24 ski lifts that deliver you to some of the finest slopes and equally fine views of the surrounding Alps. St. Mortiz is also known for its glitz and glamour, vibrant social life, and the hefty price tag that comes with such an experience.
St. Moritz, Via Maistra 12, 7500 St Moritz, Switzerland, +41 81 837 33 33
It doesn’t get much more spectacular than Zermatt, a resort nestled in the shadow of the Matterhorn. Here, guests are whisked up Europe’s highest ski point on a chair lift that climbs to 3,883 metres to the Klein Matterhorn. There are 360km of pistes that cater to everyone from novices to experts. It’s certainly not cheap, but the sights and accessible slopes, coupled with Zermatt’s relaxed, car-free atmosphere (cars can be parked 5km away) make for a wonderful winter trip. Zermatt is also well-known for its party atmosphere, so be sure to sample the lively nightlife.
Zermatt, Bahnhofpl. 5, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland, +41 27 966 81 00
If you’re looking for that perfectly imagined ski resort vacation, Mürren is likely a good fit. The car-free town is lined with typical alpine chalets that seem taken straight from a painting. From the town’s perch on the verge of a deep valley, there are unmatched views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau glaciers. Although the skiing is rather limited (there are around 54 km of runs), and the intermediate slopes at nearby Wengen and Grindelwald can take some time to get to, Mürren is definitely one of the most spectacular and relaxing Swiss resorts.