Engelberg, in the Swiss canton of Obwalden, has a total of 82 kilometres of slopes, divided into two regions on either side of the village: Titlis and Brunni.
Engelberg takes its name from the legend that the voice of an angel ordered the founding of the medieval Benedictine monastery. Well, one thing is certain: the skiing is heavenly.
The cozy, pedestrian village is surrounded by majestic white peaks. Skiers can hit the slopes from October to May. The 3,028-meter-high Titlis glacier is the highest destination in Central Switzerland and is served by the rotating Rotair Titlis gondola, which offers spectacular views.
Rotair Titlis gondola. Courtsey of Bjorn Soderqvist
Here's how we'd spend three perfect days' skiing in Engelberg . . .
DAY ONE: STARTING AT THE TOP
Cable cars carry skiers up through the middle stations of Gerschnialp (1,262m), Trübsee (1,796m) and Stand (2,428m) all the way to the top of the mountain at Klein Titlis (3,028). Start at the top of the mountain and work your way down. First off is a visit to the glacier cave. A 150-metre-long artificial tunnel leads you into the heart of the glacier, 20 metres below the ice surface. With its beautiful crystals, this space is something magical and unreal. Make sure you are dressed warmly. Admission is free.
Artificial tunnel in the glacier cave. Courtesy of Michael Springmann
From the glacier, you have two skiing options. The first is to accompany a professional mountain guide across the glacier and continue to rise to the top of Titlis. The second is to ski the longest downhill Engelberg, which is also one of the longest descents in The Alps. The 12-kilometre run, with a 2,000-metre-vertical, starts from the Restaurant Alpstubli Trübsee Untertrübsee through the Kanonenrohrpiste and Schuss to Engelberg.
Back in the village, you can relax in the Hotel Central. Start with a drink in the cosy Dream Life Bar and then proceed to Restaurant Central for a hearty Swiss dinner. Be sure to try the traditional Älplermagronen (macaroni with apple compote).
Skiing in Engelberg. Courtesy of Engelberg-Titlis Tourist Office
DAY TWO: TIME FOR A CHALLENGE
Confident skiers and riders are well catered for in Engelberg. The intermediate runs under the Rindertitlis chairlift are a good way to start your second day on the slopes. After you've relaxed into it, hit the famous black Rotegg run, which is notorious for its icy bumps. Off-piste enthusiasts should head for the Steinberg: the 'Stone Mountain' route runs from the top of the Klein Titlis to Trübsee, descending the glacier for 1,200 vertical metres.
After lunch in a cozy ski lodge, fun activities include the snowXpark, snowtubing and snow biking (bicycles with two short skis instead of wheels). Don't miss the 3.5-kilometre-long toboggan run from the Gerschnialp station to Engelberg; open from mid December to early March. On Friday and Saturday nights, the run is torchlit.
Beginners and families . . . If you're not a seasoned skier yet or you have little ones in tow, you'll find plenty of pleasant wide, flat pistes in Trübsee, Untertrübsee and on the Gerschnialp. The sunny Brunni, on the other side of the valley, is also suitable for beginners and children, and features the Yeti Snow Park playground.
DAY THREE: FREESTYLE & EXPLORING
Freestyle enthusiasts should head to the TerrainPark Titlis at the bottom of the Joch Pass Express chairlift. There are plenty of jumps, rails, a half-pipe and a quarter-pipe.
Engelberg has almost 40 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. The beautiful winter landscape and the unique view of the glaciers offer an opportunity to completely unwind - a fine end of a busy few days on the slopes. The 10-kilometre trail from the Gerschnialp Untertrübsee takes you through the snowy Gerschni woods.
Points of interest: watch how cheese is made in the Benedictine monastery (founded in 1120) and pay a visit to the Baroque church, home to the largest organ in Switzerland.
Make the most of your last night, dine in the Panoramic Restaurant on Titlis (3,020m).
The village you will find a wide choice of accommodation: luxury spa hotels, chalets and modern holiday apartments. For a completely different experience, try Igloo Village Engelberg-Titlis on the Trübsee. An igloo can accommodate six people, making them a great option for families or groups of friends. Lovebirds should ask for a special "romantic igloo". All are equipped with warm sleeping bags and sheepskin blankets. The igloo village is open from Christmas until Easter.
Cosy igloo accommodation. Courtesy of Engelberg Titlis Tourist Office
More information on skiing in Engelberg