Where to stay in Switzerland
Switzerland is one of those travel destinations that truly offers something for everyone - a nation of major cities and remote Alpine lake towns, of modern urban lifestyles and traditional mountain customs.
Of course, it’s especially famous for the latter; it’s one of the key reasons why so many international travellers choose to spend both summers and winters visiting Switzerland. Many will be on the search for a world-class winter ski resort, and there’s certainly no shortage of those here - but whatever time of year you choose to visit, you’ll find the best Swiss resorts have plenty to offer in terms of relaxation, adventure, and warm hospitality.
Do you dream of owning a Swiss chalet? Many do - and if you’re one of the countless annual visitors looking to experience the chic charms of luxury chalets in Switzerland, you’ve got plenty of stunning locations to choose from.
Some of the most famous resorts, such as St Mortiz and Gstaad, offer glitz and glamour by the bucketload. Other smaller resorts may be better suited to more tranquil family getaways, or those seeking a Swiss experience more deeply rooted in classic Alpine tradition.
If your ideal destination combines a little of both, then the Canton of Valais is where you should be looking - and, in particular, the three resorts outlined below. If you’d like to learn more about any of them individually, you can read our other blog posts for plenty of detailed information and visitor guides on each.
Holidaying in a Verbier ski chalet is a great way to experience some of the finest winter sports facilities available anywhere in Europe. Verbier is quick and easy to reach by train from major air hubs like Zurich and Geneva, and boasts some truly stunning landscapes right on the doorstep of its many luxurious traditional-modern chalets.
With more than 400 acres of advanced and beginner slopes, off-piste runs and high-end après-ski spots to relax in, Verbier is a place of thrilling contrasts: a classic Alpine village whose population can swell to 35,000+ in peak season, and which acts as the central hub for one of the largest and most adventurous ski resorts on the continent.
While the area’s higher peaks enjoy year-round snow cover, there’s also a wide range of sunnier summer activities to explore - including hundreds of kilometres of countryside walking, cycling and golfing - when temperatures climb to around 20 celsius during June, July and August.
Crans-Montana skiing opportunities are just as abundant as those in Verbier, and the resort is hugely popular year-round with fun-seeking groups of all ages.
Crans is arguably the slightly more upmarket of these delightful twin villages, while Montana retains a marginally more family-focused atmosphere. However, their respective centres are only about a mile on foot from one another, so you’ll have no issue enjoying some distinctly high-end shopping and dining whichever postcode you set up your chalet base in.
The area around the municipality is also particularly well known for its glorious golf pedigree. In particular, the Severiano Ballesteros Course plays host to the European Masters tournament, and the global golfing elite that follows it, each year.
Your Crans-Montana chalet grants you easy access to all this, and much more besides. The twin resort sits on a sunny plateau above the famed vineyards of the Upper Rhone Valley, and offers plenty of scope for exploring lush woodlands and tranquil Alpine lakes outside the merged town.
Zermatt is another particularly glorious jewel in the Swiss Alps grown, thanks to some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on the planet. Sitting right at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn, it’s a genuine winter sports paradise rooted in ancient rustic Swiss culture, but that also offers boutique shopping, Michelin-starred dining and an indulgent spa scene to boot.
Those who come to ski in Zermatt - summer or winter - are rewarded with breathtaking views, pristine mountain air and glacial lakes, gourmet twists on traditional Switzerland cuisine, and mile upon mile of walking and biking country to unwind in when they feel like a day off from the expertly managed pistes.
Again, your ski chalet in Zermatt is easily reached from any of numerous popular arrival destinations. Regional hubs like Sion and Bern are the closest, but the town’s location on the border with Italy means it’s equally accessible from major international airports including Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Milan-Malpensa.
The town’s car-free policy helps preserve a truly pristine environment, but the drop-off point is only three miles away in Täsch. From there, the unique mountain cog railway shuttle is just a short but spectacular 12-minute ride into Zermatt centre.
Once you arrive, you’ll enjoy a classic Swiss mountain ski resort with all the traditional trimmings: deep powder snow, a range of slopes for all ages and abilities, and bustling après-ski along the main Bahnhofstrasse nightlife corridor.