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Skiing

Galen’s ranking for best places to go. For further details, including lodging and dining, see the region notes above.

LocationCantonNotes
1ZermattValaisWhile definitely a big deal production and requiring advance planning and a decent amount of money, Zermatt is lots of fun and has the best skiing terrain we’ve found in Switzerland.
2GstaadBerneFull of flashy clothes, amazing people watching. Generally not crowded, stunning views, perfect for beginner/intermediate skiers.
3Saint-LucValaisA new favorite. About 1:15 from the house, not crowded, lots of terrain, beautiful setting. Very high and pretty dry (so good snow most of the time).
4St Moritz (Corviglia)GraubundenStunning views, great slopes, good on piste and off. Really big with a lot of diversity.
5Klosters/Davos (Gotschna) GraubundenThe main Davos/Klosters ski area is pretty amazing, but it’s very crowded, very snow-board centric, and can take close to an hour to get from the valley floor up to the ski area.
6ArollaValaisA unique place – a backcountry destination with a little help from poma-lifts. Very exhausting and a big time waster if you want to do a lot of skiing (you’ll spend 2/3rds of the day in lines or on the lifts). BUT if you like backcountry, it is likely one of the best places around. And an excellent place to find untouched powder a week, even two weeks after a snow. This area is very popular for heli-skiing. 
7VillarsValaisPart of Glacier 3000 and the closest “real” resort to our house (ignoring the kids-only places). While not my top pick, I prefer it to Port du Soleil and it’s excellent on a powder day. Big enough, well-groomed, lots of terrain for all skill levels.
8Saas-FeeIf you want to get right up next to a glacier, this is the place to go. The skiing is excellent, but don’t go here for a ton of skiing time – you’ll spend much more time than you’re used to on trams and gondolas.
9(Klosters) MadrisaGraubundenA lot of fun. It’s small (we had been on every run by noon), but it wasn’t crowded, has long and lovely swooping runs, good grooming, and a lot of just off-piste terrain.
10LauchernalpValaisSteep! No crowds, great views. Very high elevation.
11SchonriedBerneSchonried is at a higher elevation, covered under the same Gstaad pass, but not actually connected with lifts. I like less than Gstaad, but it’s a very popular spot for snowboarders.
12VerbierValaisSome of the best skiing around – and everyone knows it. More touristy, more expert slopes. Not much of a town.
13Port du SoleilOne of the closest ski areas near our house. Huge, and who doesn’t want to ski to France for lunch? Also the largest mountain biking destination (by trail volume?) in Europe. 
14Crans-MontanaValaisBig, with a lot of terrain. It’s a fairly advanced place, unfortunately attracting a not-advanced crowd, making for a lot of out of control people and a generally stressful experience. The backside on Mount Bonvin is a long and impressive ride.
15LeukerbadValaisNice spot, but very small, not much to explore. See notes for summer trips, which would be better for Leukerbad.
16Grimentz/ZinalValaisNot a huge fan of this area – Zinal side is a bit better. Very rocky terrain, needs a lot of snow coverage.
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