Geneva may be Switzerland’s better known 'ski airport' but Basel in the north of the country is another great gateway to the country’s spectacular mountains, with 13 ski areas within just one hour’s drive of the city, and another 60 less than two hours away.
1. Grindelwald – great all round resort
One of the most strikingly beautiful areas in Switzerland, the dramatic setting below the towering face of the Eiger cannot fail to impress. The ski resort is the largest in the Jungfrau region with over 200km of piste, 20 lifts as well as 17km of cross country trails. The village itself is a picturesque place with a long history of mountaineering. A cable car and a mountain railway deliver you to the mountain top, from where you can enjoy beautiful runs down to the village.
2. Andermatt – fab for families
Andermatt is one of Switzerland’s oldest and most beautiful villages. With 20 lifts, 125km of well-prepared pistes and a quiet ambiance, this is a great spot for family skiing. The village has a tranquil scene after dark, and every ski pass includes skiing in the neighbouring area of Oberalp/Sedrun, as well as free transportation on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn – a train that offers amazing views of the area.
3. Chateau d’Oex – ideal for romantic couples
Chateau d’Oex (pronounced 'Chateau Day') is a charming ski village connected to a number of other ski areas by mountain train. The skiing itself here is compact and pretty making it a good spot for the romantic couple, but if you want to go further afield, buy a pass for the ‘Gstaad Mountain Rides Ski Area’ which allows you to ski the mountains all along the Saane valley including: Saanen, Saanenmöser, Schönried and Zweisimmen. These small, individual ski areas are a charming change to the giant ‘super power’ resorts of the Alps.
4. Adelboden – awesome for intermediates
Adelboden is a picturesque Swiss resort and part of the large Adelboden-Lenk ski area. Offering substantial skiing with 72 lifts and some 170km of trails, the season here runs from November to May. The majority of the runs are red and blue making this an ideal area for intermediates skiers and snowboarders. The village has a good selection of restaurants and pubs whilst the slopes themselves are dotted with traditional mountain huts as well as trendy snow-bars.
5. Engelberg – excellent for experts
Engelburg has a long season, with the slopes typically opening in October and lasting till May. The skiing here is popular with advanced skiers and snowboarders, with lots of challenging runs, as well as plenty of excellent off-piste areas. There’s also snow karting, snow-mobiling, and snowshoeing on offer, making Engelberg an excellent all round snow activity destination.