Overview of Switzerland
Written by Greg and Heather Burke • Last updated Sep 21, 2017
Skiing in the Swiss Alps is magical. Dramatic peaks like the famed Jungfrau and Matterhorn provide magnificent scenery. Big mountain skiing is your playground from high elevation peaks for miles into valleys and ski villages as much as 7,000' vertical below. Delightful ski villages like Zermatt, Saas Fee, St. Moritz and Verbier provide fine hotels, lively après ski and fine dining of Swiss Fondue and Raclette, plus dancing and music into the night. Skiing in Switzerland is vast, you can ski miles from Zermatt to Cervinia Italy for example.
Travelling in Switzerland, flying into Geneva or Zurich, you can use the incredibly efficient train system. Purchase a Swiss Pass which provides you unlimited travel for 4, 8, 15 days or a month, excellent timely connections, clean safe trains, plus bus and boat shuttle privileges. Swiss trains really do run like Swiss watches - with reliability and precision. See our travel tips for skiing in Switzerland and our tips for packing and skiing in the Alps.
Zermatt, in Switzerland’s western Alps, borders Italy and provides tons of ski terrain - cross country - literally. Zermatt village and ski resort is best known for the towering Matterhorn at 14,693-feet looking down on skiers like the grand daddy of all Alps. The Matterhorn is the most photographed mountain in the world. Zermatt offers the highest skiing in the Alps at 12,739-feet, served by 60 ski lifts and over 350 kilometers of prepared slopes and even more off-piste. You can ski from Switzerland to Italy along the Plateau Rosa off the Klein Matterhorn to Cervinia Ski Resort in Italy. One of the treasures of skiing the Swiss Alps, especially Zermatt, is skiing to a mountainside chalet serving homemade lunch, just look for the Swiss flag along the trailside. Zermatt Village is a picture postcard of world-class hotels and loads of upscale Swiss restaurants and shopping.
The Super Ski Region of Gstaad is another one of the largest ski areas in Switzerland, a popular ski region of the well-heeled with some of the finest hotels in the Swiss Alps. There are actually seven separate Gstaad ski sectors, not interconnected, the highest and most scenic is the Gstaad Glacier 3000.
Saas Fee ski resort is home to the highest underground skiers railway, the Metro Alpin, which delivers skiers to superbly scenic skiing on a glacier and the highest revolving restaurant in the world - aptly called 360. Saas Fee doesn't get the big name recognition of other Swiss ski resorts, it doesn't get the big crowds either and the charming ski village, with no cars, is a relaxing retreat for families or romantics.
Davos Klosters in Graubunden, the eastern mountains of Switzerland, is renowned for its great village and terrain and extensive off-piste skiing. St. Moritz, in the spectacular Engadin Valley, is revered for skiing from the 10,836' summit, glacier skiing on Diavolezza glacier, 350 kilometers of trails - the longest is over 10 kilometers, and heli skiing. The luxury village of St Moritz has beautiful four and five star ski hotels.