Switzerland and its Alps offer a great opportunity to get away for a winter break to enjoy some of the European winter weather. What better way to explore the region than by taking a trip between its two renowned ski resorts on the iconic Glacier Express.
Enjoy some of the finest skiing in Switzerland by visiting the Spa town of Zermatt. In the shadow of the Matterhorn Mountain, the Zermatt Ski resort offers the chance to ski amongst some of the highest mountains in Europe and best of all, it’s a site which is great for all levels of skiers. Top experiences here include taking a ride on the Matterhorn Cable Car and skiing the moguls of Triftji. Ski passes for the Matterhorn resort start at 11CHF for adults and can be bought at the tourist information centre in the town or via your mobile phone in advance. As well as skiing, there is snowboarding, tobogganing and ice climbing available throughout the winter and if you’re feeling really brave, why not try your hand at paragliding in this fantastic setting.
A great cultural accompaniment to your time spent skiing is to visit the Matterhorn Museum. This awe-inspiring centre details the history of the great mountain and delves into the story behind the great ascents which have been fraught with danger. As one of the last Alpine mountains to be scaled, its story makes for a fascinating trip. Entry costs 10CHF for adults and 5CHF for children between the ages of 10-16.
The Glacier Express
The Glacier Express is arguably one of the most famous railway lines in the world. Known as the slowest express train, The Glacier Express offers the chance to travel through some of the most beautiful Alpine landscapes in an iconic setting. Depart from Zermatt and make your way to St. Moritz over 7 and a half hours of sheer beauty and joy. The Express stops in places such as Visp and Andermatt but it is in the scenery and the landscape you’ll pass through that the train really comes into its own. Covering over 180 miles, the line runs past towering mountains including the Matterhorn and the Dom, past gaping gorges and through rolling valleys. If that wasn’t enough, the line also runs beside the UNESCO listed Rhaetian Railway, through the Swiss National Park and along the Oberalp Pass. Your journey will disappear in the blink of an eye as you take in the stunning Alpine scenery in one of the finest ways possible.
Tickets cost €120 for a 2nd class ticket or €211 for a first class ticket if you really want to travel this iconic line in style. children’s tickets are reasonably priced at 50% of the adult price, and under 6s go free. Catering is also available on board, with the dining car offering a chance to enjoy a meal with some fine scenery to set the mood. Timetables are available online and tickets can be purchased via their website.
- For more information, visit glacierexpress.ch
Depart the Glacier Express in the resort town of St. Moritz. Famed for its love of winter sports, St. Moritz is one of the few towns to have hosted the Winter Olympics twice. It is also home to the famous Cresta Run. Located in the Eastern Alps, it is in the shadow of the highest altitude peak in the area, the Piz Bernina. Being in such a prized location and due to the wealth of activity available, St. Moritz attracts an exclusive clientele and offers a high-end resort to visit.
Top attractions here revolve around winter sports and the resort provides the best location to try your hand at something new. The Cresta Run is an obvious choice to visit, which is dedicated purely to the Skeleton run. A great alternative to visit is the Olympic Bobrun which offers the chance to take a guest rides down this breathtaking course. A ride costs 250CHF per person and your bravery is rewarded with a certificate and a well deserved glass of Prosecco.
If you yearn for something a little less hair-raising, then there is still plenty to keep you occupied here. There are a number of museums and galleries within St. Moritz to keep the cultured traveller entertained. I would recommend visiting the Segantini Museum and the Chesa Planta Museum which dates back to 1595.
Switzerland in January
With January being a great time to enjoy skiing and winter sports, it’s unsurprising that you’ll find cold temperatures and lots of snow throughout January in Alpine Switzerland. Temperatures average highs of -9C (16F) in St. Moritz and guaranteed snow in Zermatt too. There are over 9 hours of sunshine too which means you can enjoy the sun as well as the snow whilst skiing.