Switzerland is the land of our snowy holiday dreams. Jaw-dropping mountain views, endless perfect corduroy, adventurous off-piste areas and the après scene to beat all après.
We love the way the Swiss do skiing and snowboarding, but this beautiful European country often gets a bad rap for being more expensive than other ski holiday destinations. That’s why the key is to get away from the big-name, big-price resorts and head to the lesser-known spots that still offer up plenty of great terrain and fun activities.
Our ultimate insider tip is to head to Engelberg-Titlis, a local favourite that’s just under two hours from Zurich Airport. It offers up affordable fun throughout the winter season – even in January – and something for every member of the family, from the serious shredder to the non-skier.
Best of all SnowsBest readers get an exclusive discount, so read on for more.
Get your legs ready for runs that are up to 12km long, leading down to the gorgeous town of Engelberg. With 82km of runs serviced by 23 lifts, everyone’s covered here, from beginners to expert skiers and boarders.
Expect about 600cm of annual snowfall, 3020m of elevation, 2000m of vertical to explore and even a terrain park. The resort is particularly famous for its off-piste runs, so those keen on freeriding and powder hunting can seek out some local knowledge about the best spots, or book in for a lesson with the ski school.
With the resort opening in October and the season stretching all the way into May, there’s plenty of time throughout the season to get some good turns in, including during night skiing hours when the slopes stay softly lit up until 9pm (fun bonus fact – these just happened to be the first LED-illuminated slopes in Switzerland).
Expect to walk into a postcard and never want to leave again. The pedestrian town of Engelberg is perfect for families who want to keep it simple – everything is within walking distance, making it really easy to get around with kids, and all the buildings are just as cute and charming as you’d expect them to be. With comfortably furnished holiday apartments available to rent, you can cook up a storm at home or venture out to one of the restaurants and bars dotted around town.
Be sure to also drop by the local Benedictine Monastery, where monks still live, work and make our favourite Swiss delicacy, cheese.
Eat, drink and be merry
It just isn’t Switzerland without cheese and chocolate – preferably in fondue form, eaten in a slopeside wooden chalet. Or a glass of wine alongside a platter of delicious things. At Engelberg-Titlis, all your Swiss food daydreams can come true, and all with incredible mountain views to boot.
While on the mountain, head to Bärghuis Jochpass mountain lodge for a mid-ski break, take in the bluebird skies from the sunny terrace; grab a piece of homemade cake from the Brunnihütte ‘mountain hut’, located an incredible 1860m above sea level. Then check out the rustic atmosphere of Skihütte Stand, with tile stoves to keep the hut warm; or opt for the local favourite dish the Älplermagronen, the cheesy pasta dish to beat all others, at the Flühmatt restaurant.
Tubing, winter hiking, sledding, ice skating, airboarding (which is exactly as cool as it sounds) and even a snow treasure hunt – there’s plenty to do at Engelberg besides just skiing and snowboarding (and, well, taking endless photos of the views).
Our pick, even for the non-skiers, is to head up the TITLIS Rotair, which was the World’s first revolving aerial gondola. The incredible gondola cabins rotate 360 degrees during the five minute journey, allowing you to take in the very best of the mountains surrounding you. Take a spare battery for the camera or a battery charger for your phone, you’re going to need it.
Once you’re 3000m up in the air, check out the Glacier Cave with free admission, or – best of all – Europe’s highest suspension footbridge, the Titlis Cliff Walk. You can even get free admission to the Glacier Park where the ice is over 5000 years old.
THE DISCOUNT DEAL
Enjoy 7 nights at Mt Titlis Resort in a 1-bedroom apartment, along with a 6 day lift pass, for $1,399* per person twin share.
PLUS get $100 off your booking if booked by 31 May – reference ‘SNOWSBEST’ to get your discount.
Valid for travel 1-20 December 2019, 4-24 January 2020 and 21 March – 27 April 2020.