There are lots of little things to complain about with Zermatt. If there weren’t, it would be perfect. Winter sports resorts simply don’t come any better. What sums the resort up for me is eating the splendid fish soup at Cafe Etoile on the Cervinia side, under the Matterhorn on a sunny spring lunchtime, after a run down from the Breithorn.

For the most up-to-date information on the resort, visit my page in my full database here: Zermatt

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Engadin including St Moritz

St Moritz is the oldest and most famous winter sports resort in the world and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Whilst it is undoubtedly and justifiably renowned for the jet set clientele it attracts, this is both a tribute to its appeal and is also misleading, in that the Engadin valley is not just for the affluent few. There is plenty of affordable accommodation in the region and some of the most awesome skiing and snowboarding alongside a host of other diversions. Every winter sports enthusiast should visit this corner of Switzerland at some time in their life!

Ski Area Engadin
Resorts Celerina, Corvatsch, Corviglia, Piz Nair, Marguns, Diavolezza, Lagalb, St.Moritz, La Punt, Maloja, Pontresina, Samedan, S-chanf, Sils, Silvaplana, Zuoz
Ski Region Graubünden
Piste (km) 350
Top run (m) 3303
Bottom (m) 1750
Max Drop 1553
Snow’n’Rail Y
Black (km) 35
Red (km) 245
Blue (km) 70
Lifts (#/hr) 67480
My Rating 5
Alpine 5
SnowPark 5
Nordic 5
Hiking 5
Family 4
Apres Ski 5
Free Ride Y
Snow making Y
Fun park Y
Snow park Y
Half pipes Y

In Brief

The Engadin (Inn Garden) is named after the river Inn, which originates in this area and is known in Romansh as “En”. The snows of Piz Bernina (4,049m), just east of St Moritz and the highest peak in the Eastern Alps, melt into the river which then flows on through Austria and Germany before joining the Danube. St Moritz was one of many swiss resorts that benefited from the popularity of the Alps as a summer tourist destination but in 1864, the St. Moritz hotelier, Johannes Badrutt, laid a wager with four British guests that if they returned that winter and did not find it to their liking, he would pay for their travel costs. With over 300 days of sunshine a year in the valley, and a quarter of the precipitation in February compared to August, Badrutt’s gamble paid off – and the Alpine winter sports industry was established.

The most up-to-date information on the Engadine is posted at Engadine

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Quattre Vallées

Brash, a bit nouveau, perhaps over-rated… you can’t dismiss Verbier, Switzerland’s answer to the big ski circuses of France is a post-war invention, but the resort is nonetheless surprisingly attractive and the skiing and snowboarding is BIG. The off-piste and marked trails are demanding, but there is something here for everyone although I don’t think it is a great place for beginners or early intermediates. Nendaz and Veysonnaz are better for families, Verbier for party animals.

Latest updated information is at 4 Vallées.

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Portes du Soleil

Huge, rambling ski area that crosses over into France and features the famous Swiss Wall. Champery is probably the most convenient of the resorts for accessing most of the circuit, but purpose-built Champoussin and Morgins have the advantage of having runs back down to the resort.

Full details on the resort can be found at my database of Swiss Winter Resorts under the entry for Champéry.

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