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When we envision skiing, Switzerland often comes to mind. This European country is associated with some of the highest peaks on the planet and the conditions of the pristine slopes are often much better when compared to other areas in the south. In fact, many are open throughout the year due to their sheer height. While the Swiss are famous for their cuckoo clocks and their chocolate, this small country is also a paradise in terms of skiing. What are some of the aspects which have enabled Switzerland to become so very famous and what can you expect upon arrival?
Many of the peaks associated with Switzerland are certainly not for the faint of heart. The tallest (Monte Rosa) reaches an incredible 4,634 metres into the heavens. The country is also famous for iconic mountains such as the Matterhorn and Grand Combin. In fact, there are more than 250 summits which reach higher than 3,600 metres within the Swiss Alps. We should nonetheless mention that novices can also enjoy their stay. Many of the resorts offer bunny slopes and similar terrain which will help beginners cut their teeth before moving on to more challenging ventures.
Besides the skiing itself, Switzerland offers a unique culture and some of the most attractive cities in the world. Schaffhausen, Chur and Biel are three examples. The residents are friendly, the food is excellent and many of thee urban destinations are excellent for those who have been searching for high-end shopping districts.
It would be unfair to classify one resort over another as “the best” and yet, there are a handful of locations which tend to stand out over the years. Let's take a look at three spots which continually receive top reviews from locals and tourists alike.
Andermatt normally finds itself within the top spot due to the powdery conditions of its snow. This primarily arises from the fact that the majority of its slopes are between 2,000 and 3,000 metres in altitude. This is actually important, for the Valais region (the main location of the majority of resorts) can often be a bit lacking in terms of snow quality. If you are looking for conditions that are virtually guaranteed to be agreeable, Andermatt is the best option. A par-72 golf course is also found within its confines; a great idea if you are looking to take a break from the slopes. This resort is also modernising its facilities, so expect to enjoy new lifts and cutting-edge accommodations.
Verbier is considered to be the top spot for experts. Winding trails, off-piste courses and towering peaks all tend to define this resort. Some of the mountains here reach well over 3,300 metres and when we take into account vertical drops of more than 100 metres (such as the Vallon d'Arby), it is clear to see why experts take to the slopes so readily. Once again, we need to mention that there are plenty of locations available for those who might not be as confident in their skiing abilities. Other advantages include a free bus system, amazingly beautiful chalets and a sprawling commercial district known as the Place Centrale.
Beginners and intermediate skiers can likewise select to visit Davos. In fact, many may have already heard of this destination. It is known as the playground of the rich and famous and you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of your favourite celebrity while on holiday here. The skiing here is phenomenal and while there are plenty of red and blue trails, others are specifically designed for beginners. Shopping and accommodations are just as impressive, as the town of Davos itself boasts a host of high-end facilities alongside spas and swimming pools.
Keep in mind that Switzerland is quite popular and it is therefore prudent to make reservations in advance. Plan your budget carefully, take a look for all-inclusive holiday packages and above all, be sure to dress warm! In terms of skiing, there is perhaps no better country on the face of the earth than Switzerland. Get ready to have the experience of a lifetime.