What is not so well known about Zurich, is that the lake is not its only natural feature, as it is also so close to our favourite mountains in the Alps.
Zurich is the financial capital of the world, Switzerland’s largest city with lots of wealth running through it. Amongst the high flying bankers, the city is also beautifully historical with very grand architecture. It sits at the top of Lake Zurich in Northern Switzerland, so it is city surrounded by natural beauty on its doorstep.
Unlike its neighbour city of Geneva, people do not use Zurich as a main hub for the ski holidays. This is a blessing as many of the main Swiss resorts from Geneva or further afield are expensive, glitzy and very busy. Instead in under 50 minutes from Zurich you can be in some incredible, but low key resorts where you can experience the charm of skiing in Switzerland without having to be a top Zurich banker.
So we wanted to shed some light, spill the tea and give you the skinny on the best resorts under 2 hours away from Zurich. Some are big, some are small, but we know all of them have the Swiss Alpine charm that we love. And you know that dressing appropriately for the slopes is crucial. So remember to pack essentials like a trusty ski jacket for women or durable ski coats to ensure every skiing adventure near Turin is both thrilling and comfortable!
Geneva and Geneva’s airport are only 10 km from one another, so you can go between them both within 20 minutes. There is super quick train access that takes around 15 minutes and driving or taking a bus is only around 40 minutes. It is very easy, quick and in true Swiss style, you can rely on any form of transportation- thank you Switzerland for making our holidays a little simpler.
From Zurich airport, with it being so accessible to the Alps, there is an abundance of transfer companies shipping tourists around the mountains, especially in the winter months. For flexibility and to add a little excitement to your trip, you can hire a car and self-drive, which allows you to experience the efficient Swiss motorway system, and also try multiple resorts in one trip, doing a different resort each day.
Where: Canton of Schwyz, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 43 minutes (46.8km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 12km
Elevation: 800 and 1,491 m
If you are wanting to ski in Switzerland but to avoid the hefty prices, then Sattel-Hochstuckli is a great option. This is mainly due to the fact it doesn’t abide by the usual Swiss extravagance but instead, it is cute, rustic and reasonably priced. Just 45 minutes from Zurich you can access some great slopes, that will keep you entertained for a day trip. The resort caters well to the beginners and intermediates, so this could be a great place to develop your skills on a small selection of uncrowded slopes and modern facilities. If you have completed the slopes, then don’t hesitate to unclip from the skis or board and enjoy your afternoon and evening on the floodlit toboggan runs.
There is the first revolving cable car in the world, it rotates a full 360 degrees whilst you ascend up the mountain, so you get the best panoramic views of the area.
Where: Canton of St. Gallen, Eastern Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 45 minutes (67.3km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 20km
Elevation: 931 and 1,684 m.
Amden is one of the closest ski resorts from Zurich and Zurich airport, although it’s not a big resort, the fact that you can get there in under 1 hour, makes it the ideal destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. The resort is actually made up of two ski areas, Arvenbuel which is typically enjoyed by the beginners and those wanting to advance their skills, whilst the other side of the mountain is Mattstock is perfect for the experts and thrill-seekers. This resort is frequented by Swiss locals and gets busy on weekends, but expect a low key and quiet atmosphere most of the time. There is one thing for sure, you won’t get the usual Swiss prices, but something a little more manageable.
There is an ice field that is open for iceskating.
Where: Heidiland, Eastern Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 50 minutes (94.3km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 65km
Elevation: 665 and 2,222 m.
In under an hour from Zurich, you can be in the awesome resort of Flumserberg, which is a small hidden gem. You will find a great number of slopes for such a small resort, which makes heading here for a long weekend or a few days ideal- it will be guaranteed you won’t get bored. The ski area of Flumserberg is actually accessed by several villages, which take you to the mountain via a modern and efficient cable car system. Families will love this hidden gem for its quiet pistes, lack of crowds and varied terrain. Plus, considering the resort is not one of the highest Switzerland has to offer, it is still well maintained all season with great snowmaking facilities, so you can still expect a long snowy season.
To cover some miles without needing a lift, there is a run that is 13km long.
Where: Mythen Region, Schwyz, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 45 minutes (61.3km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 50km
Elevation: 1070 m – 1593 m
Mythenregion is another small unknown resort so close to Zurich, that the Swiss locals love but the international tourists won’t be familiar with- ideal! Head to Mythenregion for a spontaneous short and inexpensive break, when the snow hits. For the locals in the know, they revel in the deep powder possibilities and getting off the beaten track with the assurance they will be gliding through untouched tracks. Whilst on the slopes, the intermediates will have a great time making the most of the plenty of red runs. The town itself is small and laid back, so perfect for relaxing and making the most of the mountain.
For the freestylers, check out the snow park Mythenpark.
Where: Schwyz, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 50 minutes (64.6km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 35km
Elevation: 1,300 and 1,935 m.
Stoos is another secret Swiss resort so close to Zurich airport, it takes less than an hour to get there. Stoos is ideal for beginners due to its size and the beautiful long wide open pistes. The town itself is quaint and car-free, offering a relaxed and rustic atmosphere allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the traditional Swiss culture. Stoos is another great resort to still experience the Swiss vibes but without the costs. Families will love the ease and the simplicity of the resort and enjoy the mountain to develop their skills on the pistes.
For those wanting to dabble in cross country, there is a track that goes around the resort so a great way to explore.
Where: Canton of Lucerne, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 1 hour (55km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 9km
Elevation: 1,315 and 1,752 m.
Rigi is a very small resort known as the ‘Queen of the Mountains’, residing close to Zurich. It is a lovely little resort to visit on a spontaneous day trip if there has been a dump of snow. You can have a fun day smashing the two runs on a total of 9km of piste and play around in the halfpipe. The pistes are naturally quiet, especially during the week and are well-groomed, so you can really make the most of them. This tiny resort will make sure your day is memorable and special with some cute restaurants and mountain huts to enjoy a delicious Swiss mountain meal.
There is a mountain railway which will take you to the summit for some incredible views, perfect for the non skiiers too.
Where: Engelberg- Titlis, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 1 hour 10 minutes (85.8km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 82km
Elevation: 1,000 and 3,020 m.
Engelberg is on the freeriders and back-country enthusiasts map because of its incredible off-piste potential. Due to the resort’s location being on the northern edge of the Alps, it famously gets a lot of snow and big dumps all season long, making it a prime destination to access a constant supply of fresh, deep and fluffy powder. The off-piste potential is mostly accessible by lifts, so you can spend more time making fresh tracks down the mountain, than trekking up the mountain. The on-piste terrain is also fun, varied and great for those wanting to practice their carving skills. Once off the mountain, you can expect a chilled atmosphere in the town that has maintained a Swiss charm.
The season starts in October and finishes in May, so head to Engelberg to make the most of a long season and squeeze in a few more trips.
Where: Uri, Central Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 1 hour 25 minutes (109.4km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 31km
Elevation: 1,000 and 3,020 m.
Andermatt is seriously up and coming, so we recommend heading here before the word spreads far and wide. Since being pumped with some serious cash, the resort has glowed up and brought with it wealthy tourists, modern facilities and some swanky hotels and restaurants. Although it is a relatively contemporary resort, the small village has still managed to maintain a beautiful Alpine traditional vibe. But make sure to save some energy for the mountain, as the experts and freeride enthusiasts will love the off-piste, glaciers and a generous amount of black runs.
For the freestylers there is the biggest halfpipe in Central Switzerland.
Where: Graubunden, Eastern Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 1 hour 35 minutes (136.6km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 269km
Elevation: 810 m – 2844 m
Klosters is a collection of resorts which all have their unique charm. In Klosters, you may find yourself sharing a lift, be in queue for a mulled wine or accidentally crossing skis with the rich and famous. The resort is famously frequented by the British Royal family. If you fancy splashing out and feeling like an A-Lister, then you will love the high-end hotels, chalets and restaurants. But it’s not all glamour and no action, as once strapped into your ski or board the resort links up to its chilled, laid back neighbour Davos which combined is one of the largest ski areas in Switzerland. The ski area is perfect for intermediates looking to cruise, carve and grow confidence on long runs and epic descents.
If you want a big apres session or some late-night boogying, you can head to Davos for some of the best partying in Switzerland.
Where: Films Laax Falera, Canton of Grisons, Easter Switzerland
Distance from Zurich: 1 hour 45 (143km)
Ski-Able Terrain: 188km
Elevation: 1,100 and 3,018 m
In under two hours from Zurich, you can be in the famous, cool and very fun Laax. It is known for its famous snowparks, freeskiing and slopestyle competitions and consequently its massive professional riders community. The resort is always vibrant and exciting with so much entertainment on offer. There are many competitions such as the X-Games which take place each year, bringing professionals from far and wide and an abundance of spectators. Collectively, along with Flims, Laax is one of the biggest combined ski areas in Switzerland, so everyone will kept entertained.
You must try the many snow parks, half-pipes and freestyle areas and maybe take in part in one of the many amateur slopestyle competitions.
So there we have it, 10 of the best resorts all under 2 hours from Zurich and Zurich airport. It is surprising and not so well known that Zurich is not just a hub for finance but also for amazing skiing and boarding. There are some low key hidden gems, which allow you to appreciate all of the Swiss charm, refinery and tradition without the major costs, which is like wish come true. Or you can splash the cash, share the mountains with high flyers and celebrities and hit the off-piste hard in some of Switzerland’s best resorts. There is nothing the Swiss Alps can’t do and nowhere Zurich doesn’t give you easy access to- so we’re thinking we might quit our jobs, get a job in a Swiss bank and stay there forever.
Hey Riders, note from your gal Angelica here. All information was correct at the time of writing through research and extensive knowledge and experience. However, things change during different periods in the season and some websites offer out of date information and links may change.
Maybe you have some better information to offer or any addendum or changes to make, in which case, feel free to email me on email@example.com, and we can consider adding them in! Let me know. . .