Skiing in the Swiss Alps

An unforgettable experience

Switzerland is arguably one of the best places in the world for skiing. Home to the Matterhorn, an iconic symbol of the Swiss Alps, the country boasts some of the most varied and best skiing terrain around. Novices and experts alike will have no trouble finding slopes to suit their interests.

Skiing in the Swiss Alps

Swiss resorts

There are a total of 336 resorts in Switzerland alone, the most famous of which include Zermatt, Verbier, and St. Moritz. However, for those looking for somewhere a little less well-known, and perhaps a little less pricey, there are plenty of great options:

  • Andermatt is one of Switzerland’s prettiest resorts with some amazing backcountry routes for the adventurous explorer. The area is definitely suited more for experts, with the main mountain, Gemsstock, consisting almost entirely of black runs and off-piste routes.
  • For snowboarders, Laax is the perfect destination. With four snow parks and the world’s longest half-pipe (measuring 200m), the area attracts many international pros and thrill-seekers, but also offers some great schools for beginners.
  • Families looking for a more relaxed atmosphere should consider Villars, a slow-paced resort with plenty of gentle blue runs and numerous ski schools for kids of all ages. Linked to the resorts of Les Diablerets and Gryon, it is also great for parents looking to explore while their children learn the basics.

Cross-border skiing

Bordering Germany, France, Austria and Italy, Switzerland is perfectly located for anyone wanting to explore the Alps further afield. Here, we list three of the best areas for cross-border skiing in Switzerland:

  • Portes du Soleil’s main connection links the resorts of Champéry in Switzerland and Avoriaz, France. Crossing over from the antiquated village of Champéry to the modern town of Avoriaz is a surreal experience. The terrain offers something for everyone, from easy greens for beginners, to the ‘Swiss Wall’ for super-experts.
  • If you fancy a day trip to Italy, why not take a cable car from the beautiful village of Zermatt to the gentle slopes of Cervinia? The crossing takes you to the top of the Klein Matterhorn, giving you an unforgettable view before a smooth descent into the village to enjoy a lunch of pasta and scaloppini with a glass of wine.
  • Those looking for one of the best après-ski experiences in Europe should head over from Samnaun in the east of Switzerland, to the Austrian resort of Ischgl. Often referred to as ‘Ibiza on ice’, Ischgl is a vibrant hub of bars and clubs, and is as serious about après-ski as it is about the slopes.

Staying safe

Skiing in the Swiss Alps is an unforgettable experience, but it’s important to keep yourself safe on the slopes, especially when crossing the borders. The crossing from Zermatt to Cervinia can be especially dangerous in bad weather, so it’s best to know of any potential hazards before setting off.

Cigna Global’s Safe Travel App  allows its international health insurance policy members to stay up-to-date with the latest local weather conditions and travel alerts, with notifications sent straight to your phone. There is also an SOS feature for emergency and rescue situations, should you have an accident on the slopes.

Swiss resorts

There are a total of 336 resorts in Switzerland alone, the most famous of which include Zermatt, Verbier, and St. Moritz. However, for those looking for somewhere a little less well-known, and perhaps a little less pricey, there are plenty of great options:

  • Andermatt is one of Switzerland’s prettiest resorts with some amazing backcountry routes for the adventurous explorer. The area is definitely suited more for experts, with the main mountain, Gemsstock, consisting almost entirely of black runs and off-piste routes.
  • For snowboarders, Laax is the perfect destination. With four snow parks and the world’s longest half-pipe (measuring 200m), the area attracts many international pros and thrill-seekers, but also offers some great schools for beginners.
  • Families looking for a more relaxed atmosphere should consider Villars, a slow-paced resort with plenty of gentle blue runs and numerous ski schools for kids of all ages. Linked to the resorts of Les Diablerets and Gryon, it is also great for parents looking to explore while their children learn the basics.

Cross-border skiing

Bordering Germany, France, Austria and Italy, Switzerland is perfectly located for anyone wanting to explore the Alps further afield. Here, we list three of the best areas for cross-border skiing in Switzerland:

  • Portes du Soleil’s main connection links the resorts of Champéry in Switzerland and Avoriaz, France. Crossing over from the antiquated village of Champéry to the modern town of Avoriaz is a surreal experience. The terrain offers something for everyone, from easy greens for beginners, to the ‘Swiss Wall’ for super-experts.
  • If you fancy a day trip to Italy, why not take a cable car from the beautiful village of Zermatt to the gentle slopes of Cervinia? The crossing takes you to the top of the Klein Matterhorn, giving you an unforgettable view before a smooth descent into the village to enjoy a lunch of pasta and scaloppini with a glass of wine.
  • Those looking for one of the best après-ski experiences in Europe should head over from Samnaun in the east of Switzerland, to the Austrian resort of Ischgl. Often referred to as ‘Ibiza on ice’, Ischgl is a vibrant hub of bars and clubs, and is as serious about après-ski as it is about the slopes.

Staying safe

Skiing in the Swiss Alps is an unforgettable experience, but it’s important to keep yourself safe on the slopes, especially when crossing the borders. The crossing from Zermatt to Cervinia can be especially dangerous in bad weather, so it’s best to know of any potential hazards before setting off.

Cigna Global’s Safe Travel App  allows its international health insurance policy members to stay up-to-date with the latest local weather conditions and travel alerts, with notifications sent straight to your phone. There is also an SOS feature for emergency and rescue situations, should you have an accident on the slopes.

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