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Recommendation for first Swiss family ski trip - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Zurich or Geneve, I think you will see more Alp if you land in Geneve. Zurich to Bern Mt views are distant but as you get near Interlaken Ost, if going to Jungfraujoch/Grindelwald area the Mt train up to the area is fantastic. (This is if you use the SBB)

post #32 of 42
I probably would fly to Zürich, it has a major international airport and great inland train connections.
Not sure about the ticket prices though, I haven't got a clue about those...
post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 

Train cost, FYI

I looked up the costs, there's a "transfer ticket" that takes you from any airport or the Swiss border to your destination and back, within one month: 2nd class $129.
post #34 of 42

More Skiing in Alps during Christmas Week

We had a such a great time in Schladming, we would like to go back to the Alps this Christmas. We were thinking of going somewhere different, although Schaldming again would be fine. Many people on this list seem to favor Zermatt. Is the snow there reliable at Christmas? (One person who posted suggested it wasn't.) My family also has a range of skier abilities from low intermediates to racers. Is there good beginner and intermediate terrain in Zermatt as well as advanced terrain?

I was looking at the apartment rentals on the Zermatt site. How would you compare the two star and three star rating to American Hotel star system rating? Can anyone recommend lodging that would be reasonably priced but nice again providing a classic ski experience, even if it means taking a bus ride to the lifts. (BTW, Alastair, I checked the Hotel Schutzen, but it's completely booked Christmas week.)

Thanks for your help.

post #35 of 42
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
Go to Zermatt - THE alpine classic.

Much better than Crans-Montana for what you are looking for.

Ditto on Zermatt...I lived in Zurich for 4 yrs and I've been to just about every Swiss resort and Zermatt makes everything else look silly. It is truly awe inspiring....a bit tough to get to via train but well worth it ...stay at Mont Cervin if you really want to go all out....100 yrs from now your family will still be talking about the trip.

Also if I recall, if you fly into Zurich, they will transport all your ski gear and luggage directly thru to Zermatt...a no brainer
post #36 of 42
We've been to Zermatt and Lech in the past two years ... both were fabulous, but Zermatt was more fabulous.

Now, the reasons for that aren't necessarily going to be the same for everyone ... they had to do with weather and other things that are variable. I think the two places were pretty similar. I was just more comfortable in Switzerland, for whatever reason. I'd been to both places before, although not to ski.

Caveat: the word "budget" wasn't terribly prominent in the picture. We ate like kings, had guides all day every day, and basically (this past trip, to Lech) tried not to do too many mental conversions from euros to dollars. We saved money here and there (like bringing our own skis, but that was more because I wanted to ski my own skis), but we treated the experience differently than we do on our regular ski trips in the US.

One more thing -- we always rent cars instead of taking trains ... I just like the flexibility of being able to go wherever on a whim. And it's really easy to drive over there. Well, usually. We made a mess of Zurich's old town on the first day. (The GPS we had in Austria was great, though! Get one if you drive.) I like "getting lost" in strange places. You can do it walking, too, but it's fun to take side streets and country roads in Europe and see what's there.
post #37 of 42

Re : Recommendation for first Swiss family ski tripHi

Hi,jviss and hellllooooo everybody else.In my say, Zurcih will be a good bet.Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, clocking in with almost 400,000 residences and nearly 1 million in the city limits and surrounding area. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not the capital city.

post #38 of 42
Be aware that while Zermatt is an amazing place to ski, it's also a very big town (in ski town terms, of course) and you can find yourself a long walk from any lifts - or bars. Make sure you check before you book.

Austria is the real home of what many people think of as the Alpine experience ... particularly the sort that really sparked the alpine tourist industry (ie, mainly with British holiday skiers). The apres ski is often unbeatable and some of the skiing is awesome (St Anton springs to mind and the Zillertal isn't bad either) but many resorts are comparitively low.

France has some amazing skiing too, as well as some great nightlife ... but also some pretty horrible purpose-built ski stations which can be soulless.

Party towns for college-age kids (bearing in mind they'll be legal to drink in Europe - are you ready for that?) would include Verbier, Val d'Isere, Meribel, St Anton, Morzine, Zermatt to some extent, Chamonix (fantastic skiing, too, but not super convenient) ... there are more.

Italy's a great place to ski with fantastic food. Ski in Courmayeur and you can go through the tunnel and ski Chamonix as well!

Enjoy your internet searches - if there's one thing I really miss working in the ski industry it's that build-up of excitement to a ski holiday!
post #39 of 42

I´m toni in spain, I went to Austria last 3 years is the best option n europe.

3 reason:

Good price.

good snow

Apreski very good.

ZILLERTAL nea to munich airport 2 hours, ISCHGL fantastic apreski and lift and slopes 3 hours in car from munich, near St anton am arlberlg.

I recomended you rent car with winter tyres in sixt.com in option holiday cars is incluyed but you will can do our rent in december.

www.atraveo.com There are apartaments and house for rent.

Jaunary is good option for price.

post #40 of 42

Too late....

Dear keivancas,

I agree with you about Austria's Alpine experience. It's amazing.We had gone to Stubaier last January and was amazing for sure and do recommend!

And you recommendation of

"...I recomended you rent car with winter tyres in sixt.com in option holiday cars is incluyed but you will can do our rent in december... "

Came to late for us... And you are absolutely right.

Take a look at: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=69199

And be aware!!

post #41 of 42
Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
I say Grindelwald,, lots to ski, lots to see, nice folks! Crans is ok but if your going to da Schweiz go big, Zermatt is great as well!
Buy a family SBB rail pass before you leave US, then sit back and watch some of the best landscape go by. SBB rail pass also pays for some alpine trains, city trams, boats and often a discount on points of interest and 50 % discount on most mt top trains and cablecars. You can also
check in luggage at any airport then pick it up at the train station
when you get to ski area. Hotel can also pick it up for you.
check out www.rail.ch or www.swisstravelsystem.ch


Well, if this thread is still going, I'll just put in my vote for Grindelwald. Everyone loves Zermatt (except me -- but that was a LONG time ago) and the Engadine is something else but Grindelwald ticks all the OP's boxes, so far as I can tell.

Two added thoughts. Bad news. Switzerland is VERY expensive. Good news. The standard of Swiss hotels is extraordinary. The lowest-rated may only have basic facilities but the cleanliness, comfort and attention is generally outstanding. It isn't an accident that so many top international hoteliers are Swiss or Swiss trained. (Unfortunately, I don't know hotels in Grindelwald, but I have a friend who skis there every year. If you PM me, I'll e-mail him for advice if you like.)
post #42 of 42
I have skied at most of the resorts mentioned in this thread, and for a first-timer Zermatt is the overwhelmingly best choice. It is pricy, but has easy access (via cog railway!), easy accomodations (either in a hotel or rental apartment), walkability, Gemutlichkeit, scenery, and a wide range of levels of skiing available.
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