The largest city of the Helvetian Confederation by area and population is the city of Zurich.
Zurich is considered to be one of the cleanest and most efficient cities in the world. Surprisingly, it has only been within the last 10 to 12 years that the city has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The city’s increasing cosmopolitan population, cultural liberalization, and cuisine have been the key reasons for Zurich’s rise in popularity. However, it is most renowned for being the gateway to Switzerland’s Alps – the home of the finest skiing in all of Europe and quite possibly the entire world. Zurich has been appropriately nicknamed the “portal to the alps”.
The concept of alpine skiing was one of the Alps’ best kept secrets for many years. Only a few people were aware of it but now it has become quite popular with this area being a targeted destination for skiing vacations. Gradually, as more and more tourists started coming to the Alpine ski areas, more lodging facilities began appearing. As a result, the activity grew from a few hundred participants to over 40 million per year. Listed below are 5 of the most popular skiing destinations in and around Zurich.
You will find 14 ski lifts here capable of transporting up to 10,000 skiers/snowboarders per hour to 15 pistes and over 40km of downhill skiing. Beckenreid is facilitated by three different airports that are situated within a two hour drive of the resort, with Zurich being an hour away (in good driving conditions).
With 17 ski lifts available, Flumserberg is one of the busier ski resorts situated within an hour’s drive of Zurich – pending good driving conditions. The highest lift takes you up to 2,220m and there are 20km of cross-country trails to choose from.
3. Oberiberg – Ybrig
13 ski lifts, 30km of cross-country trails, and 50km of downhill skiing make this area a desirable skiing destination. It is facilitated by three airports within 2 hours of the resort, Zurich being an hour away based on weather conditions.
Four airports within two hours (Zurich within an hour and a half based on driving conditions) facilitate Andermatt. There are 13 ski lifts, 20km of cross-country trails, and 56km of downhill skiing. (NOTE: Rated for intermediate skiers and above)
Located within 1.5 hours of Zurich (based on the weather), Engelberg is a premier ski resort with skiing for all levels – beginner, intermediate, and expert. It is rated as 4-star for snowboarding as well. There are 23 lifts, the highest of which tops 3,000m, 41km of cross-country trails, and over 80km of downhill chutes to choose from.
Photo of Flumsrberd, Switzerland, by MuntyPix