Switzerland's best ski resorts for every budget and ability

Skiing in Switzerland doesn't have to be expensive – you just need to know where to find good-value where it counts

Snowboard, Snow

1/24/2022 1:44:00 AM

⛷️ Ski ing in Switzerland doesn't have to be expensive – you just need to know where to find good-value where it counts

Ski ing in Switzerland doesn't have to be expensive – you just need to know where to find good-value where it counts

Stay: It’s cheaper to base yourself down the valley in Le Châble and commute up by gondola. The good news is that this is now open daily from 5.30am to 11.50pm. Mont-Fort Swiss Lodge (00 41 79 853 40 87; montfortswisslodge.ch) is in the gondola building and offers B&B from CHF140 (£112).

Stay: You can hide away in grandiose style at the fabulous five-star Chedi – or base yourself across the road in the recently revamped La Vache (00 41 78 2214156; lavacheandermatt.net) from CHF140 (£112).Insider tip: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle crossed the Maienfeld Furka Pass from here to Arosa in the 1890s, and you can follow in his exact tracks – no lift pass involved – provided you are up for a four-hour climb and a three-hour train journey back. Alternatively, do it in a morning by taking the lift up and taxi home.

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'We did it, finally' - Ryding wins gold in alpine skiingDave Ryding wins Britain's first alpine skiing World Cup gold medal with victory in the Kitzbuhel Slalom. BBCSport Personality of the Year 2022?

The Best Clothes For Skiing, Snowboarding And Generally Looking Good On The SlopesOur present to you, Grazia's ULTIMATE snow sports must-haves, ahead of your upcoming ski trip. Read more on Grazia.

Skier Dave Ryding makes history to win Britain's first gold in alpine skiing World CupRyding, 35, has previously finished on the podium twice before. His previous best at the event was second place in 2017. Jesus diz, meu sangue é para perdoar 1° Jo 1:7 Salvação é o amor de servir o faminto o nu o doente em Mt 25:34 com o dízimo de cada 3 anos de Dt 26:12 E ceiar nos 7 dias da páscoa de Êx 12:15 e At 20:7 a 11 O ímpio no inferno em Mt 25:41 e Ez 16:49 sem amor pede bens Gold, maybe win?

The Best Clothes For Skiing, Snowboarding And Generally Looking Good On The SlopesOur present to you, Grazia's ULTIMATE snow sports must-haves, ahead of your upcoming ski trip. Read more on Grazia.

Skier Dave Ryding makes history to win Britain's first gold in alpine skiing World CupRyding, 35, has previously finished on the podium twice before. His previous best at the event was second place in 2017. Jesus diz, meu sangue é para perdoar 1° Jo 1:7 Salvação é o amor de servir o faminto o nu o doente em Mt 25:34 com o dízimo de cada 3 anos de Dt 26:12 E ceiar nos 7 dias da páscoa de Êx 12:15 e At 20:7 a 11 O ímpio no inferno em Mt 25:41 e Ez 16:49 sem amor pede bens Gold, maybe win?

'We did it, finally' - Ryding wins gold in alpine skiingDave Ryding wins Britain's first alpine skiing World Cup gold medal with victory in the Kitzbuhel Slalom. BBCSport Personality of the Year 2022?

It’s no secret that winter holidays don’t come cheap in Switzerland. Nevertheless, with a little help, it is possible to find relatively inexpensive places to ski, stay and eat. A wide choice of airlines including British Airways, Swiss International and easyJet offer flights to Geneva and Zurich and the majority of resorts can be reached by train with a flexible Swiss pass from and to your chosen airport. The budget alternative for a family or a small group is to drive – much of the cheaper accommodation is down the valley and having a car makes it easier to get to and from the ski area. Below you'll find our guide to Switzerland on every budget, for every type of skier. You can also find the latest rules for skiing in Switzerland here. For experts Verbier The resort is essentially geared towards advanced skiers – especially those in search of off-piste. The opportunities here are some of the most challenging in Switzerland and you need professional help to enjoy them safely. Warren Smith (0774780954; warrensmith-skiacademy.com) is the top British ski guru and this is his backyard. Stay: It’s cheaper to base yourself down the valley in Le Châble and commute up by gondola. The good news is that this is now open daily from 5.30am to 11.50pm. Mont-Fort Swiss Lodge (00 41 79 853 40 87; montfortswisslodge.ch) is in the gondola building and offers B&B from CHF140 (£112). Insider tip: Head for seasonnaire drinks in the Brasserie du Châble (00 41 79 6969718; brasserieduchable.ch). Andermatt This former army garrison town and its now extensive ski area are undergoing a dramatic transformation into a year-round resort, thanks to 10-year investment plan from a billionaire resort developer. The 2,963m Gemsstock mountain provides outstanding expert terrain and the area winds along ridges and valleys to the village of Disentis. Enjoy low-cost afternoon entertainment by travelling back to Andermatt on the après-ski train. Stay: You can hide away in grandiose style at the fabulous five-star Chedi – or base yourself across the road in the recently revamped La Vache (00 41 78 2214156; lavacheandermatt.net) from CHF140 (£112). Insider tip: Dine on Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine at sensibly priced Toutoune (00 41 41 887 01 76; restaurant-toutoune.com). Davos Davos – along with the linked resort of Klosters – is famous for the Parsenn run, which has a 2,000m vertical drop. The best black run starts from the Weissfluhgipferl at the top, and descends through the valley to the hamlet of Wolfgang. More demanding itinerary routes on the other side of the Parsenn take you down to Klosters. Stay: Hotel Grischa is the centre of Davos Platz close to the Jakobshornbahn cable-car. From £1,389 with SNO (020 7770 6888; sno.co.uk). Insider tip: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle crossed the Maienfeld Furka Pass from here to Arosa in the 1890s, and you can follow in his exact tracks – no lift pass involved – provided you are up for a four-hour climb and a three-hour train journey back. Alternatively, do it in a morning by taking the lift up and taxi home. Grimentz This resort with ancient time-blackened chalets reminiscent of Zermatt is the hub of the Val d’Anniviers ski area above the valley town of Sierre. It has some challenging terrain both on and off-piste. It’s not as secret as people make out, but it still has lots of rustic charm. Grimentz links with Zinal to provide even more skiing. Stay: Mountain Heaven (0151 625 1921; mountainheaven.co.uk) is the specialist here. They have a choice of chalet apartments of varying sizes with availability in March and April. From £1,499 for a four-bedroom apartment, self catering. Insider tip: Restaurant Mélèze, in Hotel Mélèze, does an excellent fondue chinoise (meat with broth, not oil) and is open to non-residents (00 41 27 475 12 87; hotel-meleze.ch). For intermediates Laax Laax is one of the country’s most extensive ski areas, with a big vertical drop, plenty of long runs, and a snow-sure glacier. It’s a resort that also attracts a lot of snowboarders and freestylers thanks to its world-famous terrain parks. Stay: The Riders Hotel (00 41 81 927 99 99; ridershotel.com) costs from CHF180 (£144). It merges cutting-edge designer style with backpacker hostel and hosts live music, and film premières, as well as art exhibitions and free yoga. Insider tip: The hotel's in-house restaurant serves experimental vegetarian cuisine; three-course set menu is CHF52 (£42). Saas Fee This attractive car-free resort doesn’t compete with bigger Swiss destinations for high-mileage skiing and nothing is particularly challenging here, but the village has considerable charm, the scenery is sensational, and it offers high-altitude, snow-sure slopes that provide skiing in summer as well as winter. Stay: The self-catering Allalin apartments sleep two to 10 people, ideal for groups on a budget. From £580 with Inghams (01483 319 623; inghams.co.uk) Insider tip: Pizzeria Boccalino (027 957 17 31; pizzeria-boccalino.ch) serves non-stop food from 11.30am to 9pm daily, with a small-sized pizza costing CHF15 (£12). Lauterbrunnen This attractive little village in the Bernese Oberland is the valley staging post for the Swiss trains that act as ski lifts. These take you up to the better-known resorts of Wengen, Mürren, and Grindelwald – which all offer excellent intermediate runs against the dramatic backdrop of the Eiger. Stay: Chalethotel Rosa dates from 1658 and has been entirely renovated to modern Swiss standards. From £647 with Ski Miquel (01457 821200; skimiquel.co.uk). Insider tip: The new Eiger Express gondola takes you from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier station in 15 minutes – pack a picnic and avoid high-priced mountain restaurants (jungfrau.ch). Engelberg Engelberg is located above Lake Luzern and easily reached from Zurich. It has a low profile in Britain, but offers some outstanding intermediate and expert skiing on the slopes of 3,238m Mt Titlis. Engelberg is all about long runs – you can ski through nearly 2,000m vertical back to the village. Stay: Three-star Hotel Bänklialp is great value and costs from £902, lift pass value up to £339 included, excluding travel, with Snowtrex (020 336 533 13; snowtrex.co.uk). Insider tip: Share a plate of traditional Rösti (hash browns with an egg on top – plenty for two), for CHF23.50 (£19) on the mountain at Fürenalp (00 41 41 637 39 49; fuerenalp.ch). For families Wengen Wengen is a car-free resort with a mainly easy ski area set against a gorgeous backdrop. The Swiss Snow Kids Village features Snowli, a cuddly mascot who comes to the Snowgarden area every morning to play with children. Stay: Family-run Hotel Falken has been catering for skiers of all generations since 1895. From £919 with Ski Solutions (020 7471 7761; skisolutions.com). Insider tip: The train is one of the main lifts here. At the end of the day carriages are packed with families heading up to Wengernalp for the 4km toboggan run back to the village – join them. Saas Fee This is a friendly and easy-going town. The fact that it is traffic-free is a major plus point for families, although look out for the silent electric taxis and trade vehicles. The nursery slopes are set apart from the main pistes with no off-putting through-traffic. Beginner children can progress from there to easy-going slopes two stages higher up the mountain. Stay: Four-star great-value Hotel Allalin from £993 with Crystal Ski (020 3451 2821; crystalski.co.uk). Insider tip: For older children, head for the highly rated terrain park on the glacier. It’s the coolest place on the mountain. Crans Montana The skiing is mainly easy on sunny slopes at a high altitude, which makes this a great choice for families with members of all ages. The resort’s Snow Island, set on the summer golf course, offers tubing, button-lifts and a magic carpet. Bibi’s House is located here, with a resident clown and lots of indoor activities, a kindergarten and a snack bar. The resort has plenty for teenagers with a skicross/boardercross course and a snowpark with rails and a half-pipe. Boy and girl racers can try the Nationale ski slope – home to the men’s downhill in the 1987 World Championships, and Chetseron World Cup run. Stay: Hotel Olympic is a comfortable three-star located in the centre of the resort. from £995 B&B with Momentum Ski (020 7371 9111; momentumski.com). Insider tip: Bella Lui (00 41 27 481 29 95; bella-lui.ch) is considered one of the best mountain restaurants here, with reasonable prices. A hearty Gulaschsuppe for CHF12 (£10) will fill you up. La Tzoumaz The often overlooked, but charming family resort is at 1,500m on a balcony over the Rhone valley. It is part of the 410km 4 Vallées ski area and directly linked to more famous Verbier on its Savoleyres side. The resort has only 13 pistes of its own, but stronger skiers in the family can head for Verbier and all the terrain that it has offer. Stay: The T-Resort (00 41 27 564 56 78; t-resort.ch) apartments are located beside the cable-car link to Verbier. From CHF882 (£706) for a three-room self-catering apartment sleeping up to six people for a week’s stay. Insider tip: Eat at well-priced Auberge La Tzoumaz (00 41 27 3062050; aubergelatzoumaz.com). For beginners Klosters Like its neighbour, Davos, the resort is divided into two parts: Klosters Platz is the village centre, and Klosters Dorf is the quieter outpost a couple of kilometres away. The dedicated beginner area served by the Madrisa gondola is reached from Dorf. Stay: A good choice of Airbnb (airbnb.co.uk) chalets and apartments in Klosters include a two-bedroom apartment in Dorf from £96 per room per night. Insider tip: The Sports Centre has a good value café-restaurant above the skating rink. It serves pizza and pasta, and you can watch ice hockey while you eat. Kandersteg If this is your first ski holiday, beautiful scenery and an unspoilt village with lots of atmosphere are far more important than a giant ski area that you will be unable to properly explore. Kandersteg has all of this, and two small ski areas. There’s tobogganing, ice skating, curling and snowshoeing, too. Stay: From £1,175 at Hotel Belle Epoque Victoria, offering utstanding hospitality to Britons for decades, with Inntravel (01653 617001; inntravel.co.uk). Insider tip: Visit during the annual Belle Epoque week at the end of January. The village turns back the clock with horse-drawn carriage rides, tea dances and balls, vintage shopping, nostalgic ice hockey. The event is the only one of its kind in Switzerland. Grindelwald People have been learning to ski in Grindelwald for over 100 years. These days it has 150km of local skiing and a choice of ski schools. Altitude (00 41 44 580 23 73; altitudeskischool.com) has a fine reputation for teaching both children and adults. Grindelwald has its own dedicated beginner area at Bodmi Arena. Stay: Four-star Hotel Derby from £997 with Crystal Ski (020 3451 2821; crystalski.co.uk). Insider tip: Away from the inter-resort traffic, the scenic Grindelwald First sector is ideal for practising turns on gentle runs. Villars Villars is one of the Swiss resorts most easily reached from Britain – it’s located just a 90-minute drive along the shore of Lac Léman from Geneva airport. It’s set on a sunny plateau and the mainly benign skiing is highly suitable for beginners and low intermediates. The easiest slopes are in the Bretaye area, best reached by train from Villars. Stay: Hotel Ecureuil is a comfortable three-star near the resort centre. From £895 B&B with Momentum Ski (020 7371 9111; momentumski.com). Insider tip: Snowpros (00 41 78 624 50 60; snow-pros.ski) has all English-speaking instructors and provides friendly expert tuition at a sensible price. For non-skiers St Moritz More than 150 years ago, winter Alpine holidays were invented in St Moritz, but skiing was not the main activity. Then as now, the resort offers a host of alternative sports both for taking part and for spectating, such as the Olympic bob run, golf, cricket, polo, horse racing and show-jumping on the frozen lake. Instead of basing yourself in the expensive centre, try one of the less commercial outlying villages like Champfèr, Zuos, Sils, Celerina, Surlej-Silvaplana, or Pontresina . Stay: Trade the resort’s five-stars for a two-bedroom self-catering apartment Chesa Seglias in Surlej from £1,062 with Interhome (0208 068 9950; interhome.co.uk) excluding travel. Insider tip: One of the cheapest sports here is ice skating. Try it on the Ludains ice arena, which offers open-air skating and curling on an artificial ice rink. Entrance fee CHF5.50 (£4) and skate rental CHF7 (£6) per day. Arosa Arosa is a classic Swiss resort that’s been welcoming guests since Victorian times. Until recently the ski area was limited, but it is now linked to neighbouring Lenzerheide. Non-skiers abound in this enchanting lakeside setting with 32km of cross-country trails, as well as skating and curling. Arosa is known for its spas and winter walking is a popular pursuit. Stay: The four-star Sunstar has a pool and a spa for non-skiers. From £899 B&B with Iglu Ski (020 3553 9940; igluski.com). Insider tip: Rent a toboggan from CHF14 (£11) per day at any ski shop in the resort. Zermatt Zermatt has it all: some of the best restaurants of any ski resort, fabulous shops, cafes and bars. Activities include ice skating, curling, ice climbing, husky sleigh rides, igloo building, and lovely walks on designated paths. All of this is backed by spectacular scenery and a beautiful village. Stay: Like the restaurants, many of Zermatt’s hotels are fairytale fabulous, but it is still possible to find a simple three-star like Hotel Butterfly. From £1,239 with SkiLine (020 8313 3999; skiline.co.uk). Insider tip: Zermatt has a rich history, which you can find out about by visiting the Matterhorn Museum, CHF10 (£8) entry, with concessions available. Davos Resorts suitable for non-skiers are few and far between. The joys of winter walking with – or without – snowshoes begin to fade after a couple of days, while ice skating is not for everyone. But Davos, home of the annual Economic Forum, is a proper town with a variety of shops, museums, and a large choice of spas. Stay: Hotel Central Sport is in the middle of the main part of the resort, close to a bus stop for easy exploring off skis. From £1,089 with Inghams (01483 944032; inghams.co.uk). Insider tip: Buy a pedestrian pass to ride the lifts and meet skiing family and friends for lunch. Prices listed are per room per night based on two sharing. Packages are priced per person per week, including half board, flights and transfers, unless otherwise stated. Read Telegraph Travel's guide to the best hotels in Switzerland for more inspiration on where to visit and stay.