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Skiing in Switzerland: Three ski resorts within easy reach of Lausanne

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
Skiing in Switzerland: Three ski resorts within easy reach of Lausanne
Skiing in the resort of Leysin. Photo by Nathanaël Desmeules on Unsplash

Whether you’re looking to ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, snowshoe or even enjoy a round of tobogganing, here are three wintry regions just an hour or two from the Swiss city of Lausanne.



The ski resort Leysin – also referred to as the freestyle Valhalla - is located in the beautiful canton of Vaud where vacationers can enjoy 60 kilometres of snow-covered slopes at an altitude of 1,250 to 2,198 metres. 

The Leysin ski area mainly offers easy and moderately difficult ski routes, which makes it a perfect fit for families and less experienced skiers. For those wishing to be challenged, Leysin also has a fair share of freeride skiing opportunities in addition to well-maintained, diverse descends.

Those opting to freestyle can choose from snow parks in Leysin and nearby Les Mosses where a 140-metre-long halfpipe, numerous kickers and rails await you. There’s also good news for thrill-seekers and fans of tobogganing, or so-called “snowtubing”, as Leysin is home to its very own Tobogganing Park. There you can sit inside a well-padded inner tube and spin your way down the park’s many slopes.

READ ALSO: What to expect if you're travelling to Switzerland this winter


Aside from skiing, visitors can head to the Kuklos for a bite. The revolving restaurant sits some 750 metres above Leysin and revolves under the power of self-produced solar energy, achieving a full circle in just 90 minutes. Diners can take in views of the imposing Matterhorn and Mont Blanc while stealing a glance at the Eiger from a distance.


It goes without saying - the canton of Vaud is not short of outstanding ski regions. But Crans-Montana in Valais is not far away and is very lavish. It is based just above the Rhone Valley in the immediate vicinity of other well-known ski areas such as Verbier, Grimentz-Zinal, Anzère and Chandolin.

As the name suggests, Crans-Montana is made up of the villages Crans and Montana and sits at an altitude of 1,500 metres. The ski resort’s 19 lifts will transport visitors to the famous Plaine Morte glacier (3,000 metres) where they can then ski down the 12 kilometres long track.

If this has you convinced, keep in mind that there are three entry points for everything winter sports-related in Crans-Montana. You can access the ski region via the village centres of Crans and Montana as well as via Les Barzettes, a region famous for its wonderful cuisine.

But while winter sports may be what draws most visitors in, Crans-Montana isn’t solely known for its excellent ski slopes. It also boasts many luxury shopping opportunities making it especially popular with families, shopaholics and even celebrities – the late actor Roger Moore owned a chalet there.


If the other resorts sound a bit too busy for you, then the quaint ski region of Arolla, in Valais, is a great alternative. 

You can purchase Arolla’s ski pass and ski or snowboard a total of 47 kilometres across 12 slopes to your heart’s content. The majority of the region’s slopes are either easy or intermediate and thanks to an altitude of 3,000 metres, there is generally little concern regarding a lack of snow. 


Meanwhile, cross-country skiers can ski along a trail running from Satarma via Arolla, all the way to the end of the lower Arolla glacier along the Borgne river which flows into the Rhône. Guests can also enjoy more laidback activities such as skating on the two natural ice rinks or learning how to ice climb.

The optimal time to visit the Arolla region is from December to April.

READ ALSO: Where are the best places to go skiing in Austria?


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