Zurich: Under Two Hours From Switzerland's Major Resorts -
The traditional alpine resort of Klosters (1200 metres), 1.5 hours from Zurich, is a favourite with the British Royal Family. You'll love it, too. The resort is divided in two: Dorf and Platz. Skiing in Klosters is suitable for all levels, with 307 kilometres of piste divided into 97 slopes and connected by 52 lifts. Skiers can reach at height of 2844 metres.
There is also 50 kilometres of cross country skiing and a snowpark. Both Dorf and Platz are relatively quiet in the evenings, but have plenty of restaurants to choose from. Non-skiers can enjoy sleigh rides, ice skating, and winter walking trails.
The quaint village of Andermatt (1440 metres) – 1.5 hours from Zurich – features 56 kilometres of downhill pistes reaching a height of 2960 metres, served by 13 ski lifts. With skiing and boarding above 2500 metres, snow is assured throughout the season.
Lenzerheide (1500 metres) – 1.5 hours from Zurich – is a charming old town with pretty wooded runs. Its 155 kilometres of piste reaches a height of 2865 metres. Snowboarders will enjoy the snowpark and 52 kilometres of cross country trails. Lenzerheide is not known for its exciting après ski, but it is a picturesque village and is linked to the neighbouring town of Valbella by a lake.
Two hours from Zurich lies the resort of Wengen (1275 metres). This traffic-free resort shares the Jungfrau pass with Murren and Grindelwald. Pistes here don’t go much higher than 2000 metres, so is best suited to beginners and intermediate, but advanced skiers will enjoy the dramatic downhill of the famous ‘Lauberhorn’ run. Skiers and boarders to Wengen have access to 213 kilometres of terrain, 71 slopes, and a high altitude of 2472 metres. The village has plenty of alpine charm, offering a fusion of traditional Swiss family restaurants and modern international cuisine. Nightlife is fairly laid back.
The picturesque town of Grindelwald (1034 metres) is two hours from Zurich. This traditional mountain town looks up at the Eiger and Jungrau mountains. It is renowned for its spectacular alpine surroundings and its lively town centre is packed with bars, restaurants, and shops. The 213 kilometres of piste are particularly well suited to beginners and intermediates. The area is connected by two modern gondolas, 18 chairlifts, and 11 drags.
Davos (1560 metres) is also two hours from Zurich. The 320 kilometres of terrain is divided into 110 slopes and connected by 55 lifts. Skiing here suits all levels, particularly intermediates and advanced. It is also popular with snowboarders for its snowpark. Cross country skiers have 75 kilometres of trails to explore.
Host of the 2001 World Alpine Skiing Championships, St Anton am Arlberg (1304 metres) is famous for its excellent ski conditions and facilities. As one of the world’s leading ski resorts, St Anton sits alongside Val d’Isere, Zermatt, Chamonix, and Whistler. It offers 276 kilometres of terrain, 134 ski slopes linked by 86 lifts, a snowpark, and 40 kilometres of cross country runs. St Anton is mostly regarded as a resort for experts, with plenty of off-piste, powder and moguls. The town also offers plenty of après ski with bars and clubs dotted throughout. St Anton am Arlberg's pedestrian centre is packed with shops and cafes.
Three hours from Zurich is the most famous Swiss resort - St Moritz (1770 metres). St Moritz, renowned for its glamour and style, basks in year-round sunshine. Cross-country skiers have plenty of choices, with 180 kilometres of picturesque tracks around the frozen lake. Having hosted the Olympics twice, there’s no doubting the resort’s modern mountain facilities. The 350 kilometres of piste is divided into 88 runs with 56 lifts. The resort is bursting with accommodation and nightlife, with top-class hotels, fine dining, family restaurants, and lively bars. St Moritz is difficult to access by car, so many prefer the train.