Travel

Where simple slopes outshine the bling: Five underrated gems in Switzerland for expat skiers

Tired of reading articles on Christmas markets? I got you, boo. Onto skiing holidays! When most folks think of skiing in Switzerland, they probably envision the glamour of St. Moritz or the bustling slopes (and bars, you know it) of Verbier. You’re probably rolling your eyes, thinking these are overpriced holidays for sliding on two planks of wood on snow.

But rest assured my sweetheart, for there’s a hidden world of alpine wonder waiting to be discovered, where you don’t have to pay 12 euros for a Coca-Cola.

Buckle up your boots and prepare to explore five underrated ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. These hidden gems may not have the fame of their more illustrious counterparts, but they’re sure to leave you giddy with excitement.

Adelboden

Adelboden is Switzerland’s best-kept secret, and it’s time to spill the cocoa beans. Tucked away in the Bernese Oberland, this resort offers stunning vistas, pristine slopes, and a relaxed atmosphere that feels like a warm embrace. Adelboden is all about skiing in harmony with nature, and you won’t find any fur coats or flashy bling here.

Just pure alpine bliss.

It’s a two-hour drive from Zurich – the train journey to head there is not the most convenient, so I’d recommend renting a car.

Lift tickets start at 56 Swiss francs (58 euros) per day.

Andermatt

Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt is a delightful mix of old-world charm and modern skiing. Its quaint village boasts a timeless appeal, and you might just bump into a yodeling local on your way to the slopes. Andermatt offers a dose of nostalgia while still delivering top-notch skiing.

It’s an hour-and-a-half drive from Zurich, and you can also go by train.

Lift tickets start at 69 Swiss francs per day. You can get yours here.

Braunwald

In Braunwald, you won’t be standing in long lift lines or dodging selfie sticks on the slopes. This resort is a true escape from the hustle and bustle. With no cars allowed in the village, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a simpler era of horse-drawn sleighs and cozy chalets. Braunwald is where peace and quiet meet powdery perfection.

It’s an hour drive from Zurich, or a two-hour train journey – easy game.

Lift tickets at Braunwald start at 50 euros.

Laax

If the Swiss Alps had a rebellious teenager, it would be Laax. This resort has an infectious energy that keeps the party going, even after the slopes have closed. With a vibrant freestyle scene, epic terrain parks,and a good mix of restaurants and bars, Laax is the place to be if you’re looking for some adrenaline and a good time.

It’s a two-hour train journey from Zurich, so easy to go to for a weekend.

Laax uses dynamic pricing. That means prices are based on demand. You can see the daily prices here.

Morgins

Nestled on the border between Switzerland and France, Morgins is a little slice of Gallic charm in the Swiss Alps, in an area called Les Portes du Soleil (The Sun’s Doors – how pretty). With its unique blend of Swiss efficiency and French flair, this resort offers a ski experience that’s as smooth as a Swiss watch but as indulgent as a croissant, and happens to be one of my go-to skiing places. Plus, you can say “Bonjour” and “Grüezi” in the same sentence here … how cool hehe.

It’s a little under a two-hour drive from Geneva. I wouldn’t recommend taking the train to
go there; It’s a hassle.

Lift tickets at Morgins starts at a 64 Swiss francs.

Next time you plan a ski trip to Switzerland, consider these underrated gems. They may not have the spotlight, but they’ve got the snow, the charm and what it takes to make your Alpine adventure truly unforgettable.

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See more about skiing in Europe here in Dispatches’ archives.

Read more from Charlotte here.

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Charlotte Laborie grew up in England, Belgium and Switzerland. Charlotte then moved to Paris and graduated from Sciences Po Paris. She is still based in Paris, where she works in marketing.

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