There are always great deals around this time of the ski season. A great Swiss ski trip should give you memories to last at least until … the next one. As a local Swiss ski dude, I have worked at about five different ski schools in Switzerland and over the past two years I’ve skied for Swiss snowsports (Swiss ski instructor org) at about 11 different ski resorts such as Sass-Fee (Matterhorn), Andermatt, St. Moritz, Klosters, Davos, Cran-Montana, Gstaad, etc. I also qualified for the Swiss ski instructor championship in formation skiing and GS in Leukerbad, Switzerland. I thought I would give you this important information before I am in the apres skiing mood. Here are some pointers and tips.
As a basic rule, late season trips are most likely bargains especially when lower altitude ski resorts receive some needed snow for Easter vacation time. Most Europeans are not in the winter fun mood anymore. So take the opportunity and make a Swiss ski trip. Switzerland is a very expensive country but over the last few years the prices for skiing trips have been getting cheaper due to competition from EU member states such as Austria and France. I also believe every skier needs to know the Swiss resort setup and layout. Eastern US ski resorts are different in many ways even though most resorts are built by Europeans.
In most cases US ski resorts are owned by one organization which controls the entire mountain. In Europe, ski resorts are owned by many organizations and/or by the entire community. A variety of enormous deals are around these days at Swiss ski resorts.
Here are some of my favorite super deals. [Editor’s note: deals are always subject to change; visit the following web sites for the latest.]
The main website for Swiss tourism is www.myswitzerland.ch. There are many great deals regarding spring skiing and some summer skiing areas.
Engelberg, Switzerland: Year round skiing. “All-Inclusive” for CHF 89.00 (75 dollars) per night, hotel, ski pass etc. It’s good from 15. April - 27. Mai 2007. Visit Engelberg’s official web site for more details. www.engelberg.ch
Saas-Fee Switzerland: 4 nights with breakfast including a 3 day ski pass for $380 (www.sass-fee.ch, email@example.com)
Hohsaas Switzerland: 2 nights with a 2 day ski pass plus 1 entrees into the Schneegaudi for $180 (www.saastal.ch, firstname.lastname@example.org)
St.Anton Austria: 6 day ski pass, plus 7 nights in four star for 680 Euro. (www.stantonamarlberg.com, email@example.com)
If you do it yourself you can and will save a lot of money. Many smaller hotels and ski resorts are trying to get as many people into their resorts as possible. In general many bigger ski resorts have better all in one packages. But be careful, in Switzerland the ski resorts belong to only ONE skiing company. Therefore, you need to make sure the hotel works with the “Seilbahnen” lift company. Everything on and off the slopes belongs to different organizations. Regarding transportation: You don’t need a rental car. Almost every ski resort is connected to the public transportation system.
If you have more questions regarding a ski trip to Switzerland, please write them in the “Reader’s Comments” section below. I am more than happy to help and give you pointers.
Iwan F. Fuchs is a certified Swiss ski instructor and the former Ski and Snowboard School Director of Hidden Valley Resort. He has over 17 years of experience teaching, and has also served as a USSA racing coach.