St Moritz ski resort
About St Moritz
St Moritz is the world’s original ski resort and has long been the most famous. As well as playing host to kings, presidents, fur-clad movie stars and private jets, this illustrious resort has also staged Olympic Games, Alpine Ski World Championships and world-class horse races on its frozen lake. The resort also delights in offering all manner of imaginable luxuries in its 5-star deluxe hotels and private clubs.
But, as with its twin town of Aspen in the USA, it’s a mistake to think St Moritz ski resort is exclusively for the rich and famous. Yes, they keep a few places just for themselves (and quite a few of the others price out mere mortals), but St Moritz can be done on a budget. The huge Engadin ski domain isn’t the cheapest lift ticket in Europe, but it’s not the most expensive either, and affordable dining and lodging is there for those who look hard enough.
Whatever your budget, St Moritz is an attractive proposition, with 350km (219 miles) of varied pistes and a plethora of off-slope activities within the resort. So don the furs, strut your stuff and sample a taste of the ski world’s high life.
St Moritz is located in the Engadin Valley in southeastern Switzerland, close to the borders of Italy to the south and Austria to the east.
On the slopes
St Moritz is part of the Engadin ski region, which includes multiple ski areas above the Engadin Valley, an overall domain that covers 350km (219 miles) of pistes.
The main ski area directly above the resort is Corviglia, which is reached by a state-of-the-art funicular, complete with solar panels to help generate power. There are runs for all abilities here and a cable car carries on further to Piz Nair, from which it’s possible to see the steep start of the men’s World Cup downhill course.
The second nearest ski area is Corvatsch, a short bus ride away above Silvaplana-Surlej. These slopes offer the highest skiing in the region and more challenging terrain.
A 30-minute bus ride the other way is the third ski area, Diavolezza, which has some of the region’s toughest runs, including a 10km-long (6-mile) descent over the glacier back down to Morteratsch in the valley below.
Then there is Zuoz, which promises relaxed days for the whole family. Here you have plenty of room to carve wide turns on quieter pistes. The ride on the chairlift is a pleasure too, especially for families as it is one of two in the Engadin equipped with special child safety features.
The ski area’s altitude and extensive snowmaking mean it is snowsure throughout the season. There used to be a small summer ski area on the glacier, but climate change and lack of interest put an end to that in 1999. The season generally runs from mid-October until May.