France and Austria both have their particular strengths, but in many respects Switzerland is hard to beat. It has an unfair share of the most dramatic mountain scenery, and ditto the most captivating traffic-free old mountain villages, the best mountain restaurants, and some of the most impressive ski runs.
Sadly, with the poor exchange rates of recent years, Switzerland has also become much more expensive for visiting Britons. Even in the cheapest Swiss resorts costs on the ground are likely to be more than in the average resort in the euro-zone countries such as Austria, France and Italy.
Here’s our pick of 10 resorts that are definitely worth considering, by category.
Unless otherwise stated, prices are per person based on two sharing, half-board, and include flights and transfers for seven days. Chalet board means half-board plus afternoon tea and wine with dinner.
Best for powder
Andermatt sits in a good position for gathering snow, at a meeting of valleys close to the northern side of the Alps. The altitude is helpful, too – on the main mountain, steep and shady Gemsstock, most of the slopes are between 2,000m and 3,000m. There’s often good snow here when conditions in the Valais region – Switzerland’s main concentration of major resorts – have been mediocre.
Although it does have one or two intermediate pistes, Gemsstock is really an expert’s mountain. The main face of 900m vertical consists almost entirely of black runs and off-piste routes to mid-mountain, and the one run to the valley is also a black, although an easy one. A six-seater chair opened up more black runs on Gemsstock below Gurschenalp for the 2015/16 season.