Switzerland is the original home of alpine skiing and its magnificent scenery and snow-covered peaks continue to attract skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. The country boasts some of the highest mountains, largest resorts and the highest revolving restaurant in Europe, not to mention some of the best après ski resorts in Switzerland. Here are four of our favorites:
St Moritz, Engadin
St Moritz is one of the best-known après ski resorts in Switzerland. The name may be synonymous with wealthy socialites and celebrities but it’s not as ultra-exclusive as its reputation suggests. At an altitude of around 6,000 feet (1829mt), you can depend on some of the best skiing in the Swiss Alps. As well as offering superb downhill skiing, picturesque St Moritz offers noteworthy cross-country skiing and is home to the famous Cresta Run toboggan track.
Après Ski around St Moritz should include a visit the faux-Gothic Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. Other favorites are the low-key Suvretta House with its picture postcard views, the cozy Pirates on the Rocks at Corviglia Station and the legendary Hauser’s Roo Bar in the center of the town.
Getting to St Moritz by car
St Moritz is a scenic 140-mile (223km) drive from Zurich Airport. Allow at least 2.5 hours for the journey, which skirts the south shores of Lake Zurich and the Walensee.
Davos is Europe’s largest ski resort. Its 5,120-foot (1,560m) altitude means plenty of deep snow, which keeps winter visitors faithful to this top ski resort in the Swiss Alps. A network of lifts and slopes connects Davos to the traditional alpine village of neighboring Klosters.
Après ski fun goes on well into the small hours in Davos, particularly at the string of small and cozy bars along the promenade. The charming wooden chalet in Klosters is the Chesa Grischuna, which houses the area’s top restaurant while Gaudy’s Grastroechno offers live bands and a party feel in the al fresco umbrella bar.
Après ski partying starts early beneath the palm trees at the Schneebar Totalp, but there’s a catch. You need to catch the last lift back to Weissfluhjoch to avoid being stranded.
Getting to Davos-Klosters by car
Fly into Zurich International Airport and pick up your car rental at the airport for the 105- mile (170km) drive to Davos-Klosters, which takes about 2 hours.
The Valais Offers the Best Skiing in the Swiss Alps
Combining some of Europe’s best off-piste skiing with a hedonic nightlife, Verbier is one of the most popular destinations with arguably the best skiing in the Swiss Alps. Located in the French-speaking part of the country, Verbier attracts a younger, more adventurous crowd of skiers and snowboarders and naturally has an après ski scene to match. Pubs and bars in Verbier can be seen hopping with a cosmopolitan set of skiers while older visitors prefer the swish comforts of the Hotel Rosalp, which offers exquisite dining and excellent Valais wines.
The aptly named Ice Cube bar is the top spot for dancing and drinks on the mountain before the final run of the day while Bar 36 competes for attention with squishy sofas around a blazing wood stove.
Getting to Verbier by car
Bern International Airport is just 102 miles (164km) from Verbier and is a scenic two-hour drive along the A12 toll road.
Saas-Fee is one of the few places in Europe that offers skiing and snowboarding almost year-round. This “Pearl of the Alps” is surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in Europe and is within striking distance of better-known Zermatt.
Saas-Fee’s car-free streets lend themselves perfectly to a range of après-ski activities along the “Party Mile”, which stretches from Ski-Huette Burgener to the Black Bull Snowbar and beyond. Head for the radiant heaters and hot drinks at Mistral or warm up with dancing in the cozy Black Bull. There are cultural, sporting and off-slope activities in the leisure complex, along with the highest revolving restaurant in the world at Three-Sixty.
Getting to Saas-Fee by car
Saas-Fee is one of the easiest après ski resorts in Switzerland to reach. From Bern International Airport the drive to Saas-Fee is around 76 miles and the two-hour journey includes taking the 9-mile (14km) Lotschberg Tunnel car train from Kandersteg to Goppenstein before continuing on to Saas-Fee.
Auto Europe recommends a luxury SUV rental or a large rental van for plenty of space and great visibility for enjoying the stunning views as you drive. Remember to ask for an upgraded winterization package when you book your car rental. This offers complete peace of mind with snow tires and snow chains, ski racks and other storage to make your trip both comfortable and safe. Reservations can be made online in three, easy steps when you utilize our secure booking engine, or by calling us toll-free 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555. We look forward to helping you plan your next trip to Switzerland!