Ski, bike, walk, eat, fun, extreme sports...these are the Swiss Alps
The Alps span some 200 kilometres (125 miles), at an average altitude of 1700 m (5576 ft), and cover nearly two thirds of Switzerland's total surface area. The snow line begins at 2,500-2,800 meters (8,200-9186 feet). There are 48 mountains which are 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) or higher and about 1,800 glaciers.
The jagged borders of Switzerland contain dozens of worthwhile ski resorts. Probably the best ski resort are St Moritz and Verbier.
St Moritz Chic, elegant and exclusive with a cosmopolitan ambiance, St. Moritzit is located at 1,856 metres above sea level in the middle of the Upper Engadin lake landscape. The dry, sparkling “champagne climate” is legendary and the celebrated St. Moritz sun shines for an average of 322 days a year.
At 1,856m, St. Moritz is one of the highest resorts in the Alps. Set on the shores of the lake of the same name, it lacks anything approaching conventional alpine charm beyond the cobbled central square. Nondescript architecture from the mid 1900's is the order of the day with street level facades dominated by high-end boutiques such as Prada, Gianni Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton. When you come to a ski shop or bar, it tends to be in the same flavour, making the streets less than cosy after dark.
The town of St. Moritz consists of 'Dorf' (village) and 'Bad' (spa). Upmarket Dorf, with its five-star hotels and plush restaurants, is on the hill above the lake while a short walk away is Bad, set on the flat ground by the lakeside. It might not have the cachet of Dorf, but it still has the impressive Kempinski Grand, with its casino. There's not much in it for slope access. Walking to the cable car from Bad is easy on the flat and anywhere central in Dorf is close to the funicular, though the hill is steep, while for the other ski areas there are bus stops within range of most accommodation; for nightlife, Dorf is the prime location.
Three different cultural regions converge in St. Moritz thanks to the Romansch language, the proximity to Italy and the fact that the majority of the local population are German speaking. The resort owes its original fame to its therapeutic springs, which have been known for over 3,000 years. As well as its superb location above and on the lake shore, St. Moritz offers an attractive mixture of nature, cuture, sport, activity and tranquility.
St. Moritz was the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism (1864) and sport (1884), the venue for two Winter Olympic Games (1928 and 1948) as well as for numerous skiing and bob World Championships. The summer season is perhaps a little less glamorous but actually attracts more international visitors than winter. St. Moritz offers an all-year-round guarantee of exceptional leisure and sporting attractions, cultural highlights, chic shopping and world-class events.
VerbierAt an altitude of 1500 meters, Verbier, known as one of the world's best skiing resorts, is also a delightful summer destination offering superb walks, mountain biking, horse riding and a magnificent 18-hole golf course.
Optional Winter Activities:400 km of pisted slopes for skiing, snowboarding & a range of other winter activitiesHigh altitude & back country off piste skiing in Verbier & the ValaisAlpine skiing, back country skinning, and hiking in snow shoesParaglidingHusky dog sledging, between Les Ruinettes and La ChauxIce KartingHaute route adventures in the back country Patrouilles de Glacier (Zermatt to Verbier race, April)Heli skiing
Optional Summer Activities:Mountain bikingParaglidingElementary pilot 5 - 6 day paragliding courseVertical adrenalin. Rappel, Bridge Swing & giant rock or tree zip line, day rock climbing, day via ferata.Canyoning.
© MyPrivateVillas 2015