Here, we look at some of the most popular snowboarding destinations in the breath-taking Swiss Alps.
St Moritz – glitz and glamour
One of the most prestigious winter sports destinations in the Alps, St Moritz is in the stunning Engadin Valley on the Swiss-Italian border. It’s a popular retreat for many wealthy celebrities and royal figures, and is ideal for intermediate snowboarders, with 7 Funicular railways and 3 lifts.
The scenery here can only be described as ‘out of this world’, and comprises pictorial Alpine villages overlooked by pristine rocky peaks and dense silver forests. Accommodation is top-of-the-range and, unsurprisingly, very expensive, although it is possible to find much more affordable places to stay in nearby villages, which are accessible via regular bus services. With its well-groomed pistes and staunchly cosmopolitan atmosphere, St Moritz is very similar to the French resort of Chamonix, with numerous bars and a nightclub open until the early hours.
Davos – easily accessible, ample freeriding space
Another terrific choice for skiers of all levels and abilities, Davos benefits from good public transport links to the rest of Switzerland, and offers plenty of freeriding space on 5 mountains.
On the slopes of Graubunden it is normally possible to start snowboarding from as early as November until as late as April, and the 200 miles of terrain is perfectly preserved throughout the season. In Davos you can explore 140 kilometres of enchanting winter trails, or watch the impressive Nordic World Cup Race and a whole host of other major winter sports events. It’s also worth bearing in mind that this is the venue for the World Economic Forum in late January, when many hotels become fully booked months in advance.
Nendaz – popular with learners and intermediates
1,400 metres high, and featuring a vertical drop of just over 1,500 metres, Nendaz has dozens of well-maintained pistes, and attracts many beginners and intermediates. However, it still has a great deal of freeriding space, so it’s still a good choice if you are travelling in a group with learners and advanced skiers alike.
Nendaz is in the centre of the dramatic 4 Vallées, which is one of the largest ski areas in the Alps, including more than 400 kilometres of runs and more than 90 mountain lifts. Accommodation here is not as expensive as Verbier, and you can find even cheaper deals by staying a little further away from the slopes.
Zermatt – awe-inspiring views
A favoured winter sports destination for more than 150 years, Zermatt is overlooked by the spectacular Matterhorn, which is 4,478 metres above sea level and one of the highest peaks in Switzerland. This trendy resort features around 360 kilometres of pistes and is ideal for advanced skiers, boasting the highest-altitude ski slopes in all of Europe.
The resort, only a short train journey from Täsch, is even car-free, with the main mode of transport being either walking or driving electric vehicles. In 2015, the resort also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn of July 14th, 1865, which included various festivities and the reopening of the Hörnlihut base camp.
Last but not least – stay safe
No matter how experienced you are at snowboarding and skiing, you should never travel abroad without suitable winter sports travel insurance. This will protect you from very expensive medical bills should you sustain any injuries or become ill during your trip.
Laura Reeve is the Marketing Executive for Avanti Travelcare, who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.
*This post is created in collaboration with Avanti Travelcare!