Small, car-free village, or party mecca in the mountains? For anyone setting their sights high, no other country has winter sports destinations closer to the skies than Switzerland. The average altitude of Swiss resorts is the highest in Europe - and that goes for the ski areas too. Which means the ultimate in snow-sure skiing and pistes that go on for ever. Zermatt holds the record with its 17-km descent from the Klein Matterhorn.
Resort charm and outstanding scenery are also particularly high on the list in Switzerland, although prices tend to be above those in other countries.
For those seeking an alternative to travelling by road, Switzerland is a great choice, offering as it does the world’s densest public transport system. Direct trains from around Europe and from the airports at Zürich, Geneva, Basel and Sion will carry you quickly and comfortably to your holiday destination. Not only is it green but train is one of the most panoramic ways to travel: the rail journey on the Glacier Express between Chur and St Moritz with its helical tunnels and vertiginous viaducts is one of the most scenic and interesting in the world and has achieved UNESCO World Heritage status. Check out SwissTravelSystem's pages for information on scenic routes.
An attractive choice of train tickets is available to visitors to travel to and within Switzerland. The Swiss Transfer Ticket is the simplest option to travel to your winter resort. It covers return travel from the airport or the Swiss border to any destination within Switzerland for 141 CHF. Children under 16 travel free when accompanied by at least one parent.
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Left to right: ESF Ski School, Champéry (P Brault); Grindelwald in winter ©Jungfrau Region Tourismus AG; Sledging on the Rellerli ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus; Off piste at Andermatt (www.andermatt.ch)