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Skiing near Zurich

Phoenix, Arizona
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Skiing near Zurich

We are a family of 4 headed to Zurich week before X-Mas. Any recommendations on family friendly ski resorts near Zurich? Would also appreciate input on accomodations - we are open to apartment style living with a kitchen.

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Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
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1. Re: Skiing near Zurich

A couple of questions -

What level skiers are you? The more advanced skier resorts are about 3 hours from Zurich and unlikely to have any rooms or apartments available at this late date. Also the resorts closer to Zurich are at a lower elevation and may not have snow.

Do you mean an apartment in Zurich?

If you go on the website of the Swiss Tourism office (in English), you can get lots of ideas for skiing

www.myswitzerland.com

and more on the Zurich website as well as information on apartments there

www.zuerich.ch

Let us know about the kind of skiing you want and where you want to stay.

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Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Skiing near Zurich

We are moderate skiers (not beginners, but not advanced either). In the U.S, we ski on green and blue slopes. We were considering flying into Zurich, then taking the train to get to the ski slopes in the Alps. We were assuming the train ride from Zurich to the ski slopes would be 1 hour and that accomodations in Zurich would be cheaper than at the ski resorts. Therefore we were considering staying in Zurich, but are open to location. It is going to depend on how long it takes to travel from Zurich to the ski slopes.

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Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Anchorage, Alaska
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3. Re: Skiing near Zurich

It's pretty hard to ski in early winter within an hour of Zurich. The city is in the north of the country and the mountains start some way south of Zurich. The high mountains start in the Lucerne across to Bern area and go south to the border with Italy.

The idea that it is less expensive to stay in Zurich and travel to a ski area is not correct. It's really tough to find a hotel room for less than $200 per night and that's not a family room - they are less common by far than here in the US. Train fares will run at least another $100 per day and possibly quite a lot more. An apartment won't be much less. Zurich is a huge business area so it has no problem with hotels having lots of empty rooms!

Frankly, you would do better to go to somewhere like Tasch where you are a 15 minute train ride ($20 each round trip) from Zermatt but not paying the prices of Zermatt or Martigny where you are less than an hour from Verbier and, again, not paying the hotel costs in Verbier. Those are both resorts with not so much beginner or advanced beginner slopes and I mean them as examples. You might also consider staying in Interlaken (a not particularly great place but close to several ski areas).

Let me suggest that you get on the internet and pick some places that look like they would fit your needs for skiing while we all gather our thoughts to help you. It's the middle of the night in Swtizerland right now so those folks with the best knowledge of the smaller areas around the country are still in bed!

Try the

www.myswitzerland.com

website as a starting point.

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Lucerne
Lucerne
Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland
Bern
Bern
Bern Mittelland District, Switzerland
Italy
Italy
Europe
Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Verbier
Verbier
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Interlaken
Interlaken
Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
4. Re: Skiing near Zurich

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Anchorage, Alaska
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5. Re: Skiing near Zurich

Let me add to Maja's information that many Americans who are very good skiers find Swiss runs are rated much lower than they would be in the US. Reds in Switzerland would fairly often be rated at blacks in the US and so forth - some blues in Switzerland would definitely be reds and would be very challenging to someone who skis blues and greens in the US.

Bear this in mind and maybe have an instructor skiing with you the first half day so you don't get onto runs that are not fun!

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6. Re: Skiing near Zurich

Your exact " week before xmas" is highly important. Even some resorts that I would consider "higher" altitude in comparison to Austria don't open until 15th December

A place ideally suited to your "green/blue" requirements would be Schönried/Saanenmoser/Zweisimmen area near Gstaad.

Zweisimmen is ~ 2h30 with 1 change

Unfortunately it is a low resort (~1000 - 2000m) and any snow pre-christmas is not guaranteed. Also even if there was snow the resort area is only partially open from the 15th December. The runs from the hills around Zweisimmen not due to open until 22nd December.

Higher altitude option would be Saas-Fee

Plenty of blue runs and village at 1800m

http://www.saas-fee.ch/en/page.cfm/Home

There is also an offer with the train/bus which means you could stay closer (maybe cheaper) and get public transport to Saas-Fee every day on a discount

sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/day-trips/snownra…

You could stay nearer to Saas-Fee and take the local bus each day.

Use www.sbb.ch to show overall travel solutions - you can show intermediate stops

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Austria
Austria
Europe
Saas-Fee
Saas-Fee
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: Skiing near Zurich

thank you for those tips. I did go to the website you suggested, but am a bit overwhelmed by the choices. I like the idea of going to Tasch and then riding into Zermatt and also go see the Matador. It is dis-couraging that Zermatt does not many beginer or intermediate slopes though. My hunt continues...

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
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8. Re: Skiing near Zurich

Hi, Zermatt has tons of intermediate slopes - they are red on Swiss piste (run) maps. Some of the reds are a bit more than what would be an intermediate run here in the US (have you ever skied Taos? If so, let me know and I'll make some comparisons for you) but many are wide and quite comfortable for even an advanced beginner.

Then, of course, there's the Matterhorn. She (no arguments from you fellows!) is simply a magnificent mountain! It's fascinating to watch throughout the day (many of the mountain restaurants have decks with views of the Matterhorn) how the light plays on such a mass of rock! Oh, yes, the restaurants - Zermatt is regularly in the top 5 or so of great ski hill restaurants! I think I fell in love with the food I could eat all day!

Get on the Zermatt website and see if you can find a hotel there or in Tasch

www.zermatt.ch/en

Almost any will do to be honest - the standard is very high so 3 stars or more will be comfortable and very clean, etc. I suggest you take half board (that's a huge breakfast buffet and usually a 5 course dinner - you get a choice of dishes for each course - and sometimes an apres ski snack of pastries, etc. to tide you over to dinner. If you decide you want to try one of the restaurants, most hotels will give you credit for a dinner if you give them 24 hours notice.

You could surely do worse than heading for Zermatt!

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
The Matterhorn
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Zermatt, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
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9. Re: Skiing near Zurich

Zermatt will be great and maybe you will get good offer for the time before christmas. Try it.

For the transport from Zürich Airport to Zermatt watch www.rail.ch. The train ride will take around 3 1/2 hours with one time changing the train.

Enjoy your trip.

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
10. Re: Skiing near Zurich

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