Ski Gstaad, and you will experience a beautiful town, trapped in an alpine valley, riddled with wooden chalets of classical Alpine architecture, which have resisted being swallowed by large hotel developments. It is an un-assuming, nicely manicured town, which caters for skiers as well as those enjoying quaint winter atmosphere. If you arelooking for Swiss chocolate box winter image, this place is it.
If you want to soak up the winter vibe, relax, get some skiing under your belt, it is a perfect destination. It is an excellent introduction to skiing Europe. When you ski Gstaad, be advised a lot of famous personalities parade the streets , and the Gstaad Palace is no exception.
- Upon arriving to ‘ski Gstaad’ have the mindset that you will need to catch some ground transportation to cover the slopes. If you can get past that, then you will have a blast.
- When exploring all the ski slopes consider purchasing the Super Ski Pass, which will cover Diablerets Glacier, Leysin, Villars, Sannen, Rougemont, and Chateau d’Oex.
- Explore the town on foot. It has restricted car access, a lot of quaint Chalets, river bisecting the town, and nice Bernese Oberland Alps.
- To avoid winter rush, aim to be here mid week. Most locals visit the slopes on weekends. The season runs from December to April.
- Should you have problems finding reasonably priced accommodation at Gstaad , consider the locations listed below.
- when skiing Chateau d’Oex and to a lesser extent Rougemont you are approaching the French speaking canton, so your German dialect may not work.
The skiable terrain caters well for beginners through to advanced skiers. A lot of the runs are through sheltered , often forested mountainous regions. A very tantalizing area to the eyes. If skiing through same monotonous runs at other resorts is not your cup of tea, this place offers meandering runs emerging at beautiful scenic destinations. Reported figures state there are 250km (155mil) of trails in the region, with 69 lifts at your disposal.
Ski Gstaad Trail Map.Click on image to enlarge.
Schonried. This and the below disclosed area of Saanenmoser, comprise the biggest ski region, ideally suited for your ‘Ski Gstaad adventure’. Quite few intermediate and advanced trails can be found here. Some of the runs are wide gentle sloping, some follow the line of the forrest, sheltering you from the elements, others entertain you with a steeper descend.
On the opposite side of the valley you will find sunnier slopes to catch few rays.
Saanenmoser. Adjacent to the above region, offers the benefit of gentler slopes, being excellent for your warm up sessions, or for cruzey runs, without fatiguing your quads.
Zweisimmen. A small ski destination catering for most skiers .The region is connected to adjacent regions of St Stephan, which is at the extreme of this ski sector, and neighboring Saanenmoser , both being a little further out of Gstaad. Skiing this region will open some new terrain for you, which cannot be seen from Gstaad. Venturing here is a good idea. More eye candy awaits you here. The Apre night ski life is quiet.
Diablerets Glacier. Officially open to public skiing all year around, has in the past had it’s access restricted. You can however ski below the glacier itself, enough of an area to keep your legs worked out. At this elevation you are about 1.7 km (1.1mil) higher than Gstaad. To access this glacierized region you need to catch a bus for 15km.
Egglis. This region carries the terrain park, catering for snowboarders visiting the region, and together with Wispile is reasonably close to the town of Gstaad. You predominantly ski two ridges of the two mountains.
Rougemont. Like most ski regions of Gstaad this one is located seven km out of the town. It is a good spot for cross-country skiers. It is not a bad ski destination as you can explore different mountain formations, reminiscent of the Italian Dolomites.
Chateau d’Oex. An excellent destination for beginners. If you want to find your feet this place is cool. What may blow novices away is the gondola ride to the top. Do not be too dis-heartened as the runs at the top are good intermediates.
In case you heard the revelation that the village does not always get abundance of snow, well you have 12 km of artificial snow making facilities.If you time your trip to ski Gstaad you will ski on powder.Check for local weather forecasts, and you should be fine.
Family Rating when you ski Gstaad **1/2
- Getting here. Gstaad is 150km (90mil) out of Geneva. Allow yourself just within 3 hours to get here.
- Proximity to slopes. Gentle nursery slopes are accessible by ground transport. Try Chateau d’Oex, and Schonreid or Saanenmoser areas. It is difficult to recommend a convenient destination to stay at, as regardless where you are at you will be catching transport for one reason or another.
- Creche. The Swiss ski school company minds kids up to 6 years of age.
- Cafes for kids. We have not encountered purpose build kids cafes, but do recommend family friendly restaurants. See below
- Ski hire.Try Hermenjat Sports, where you will also get advice on what to expect when you ski Gstaad. Alternatively Sanetschblick Chalet has also got rentals.
Food.There are in excess of 50 restaurants available to chose from. Consider ones situated inside small chalets, perhaps even out of the town of Gstaad, as they offer excellent cozy atmosphere, and more reasonable prices.
Accomodation. Some family friendly places when you Ski Gstaad are; Gstaaderhof, Grand, Alpenhorn , le Grand Chalet Hotels. The destinations in a more affordable range of approx. $100/day are; Bernerhof, Post, and Gourmet Hotels. If you want to blow your superannuation-fund, treat yourself to the Palace at approx. $1000.00/day.
Ski Gstaad and experience the classical Alpine feel of a town trapped in time, surrounded by beautiful scenery.
From ski Gstaad back to skiing Europe.