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Mürren, Switzerland

Charming village with tremendous views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Mürren is one of our favorite resorts – for a short visit, at least. There may be other Swiss mountain villages that are equally pretty, but none of them enjoys views like those from Mürren across the deep valley to the rock faces and glaciers of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau: simply breathtaking. And then there’s the Schilthorn run, which draws us back like a magnet whenever we’re driving through the Oberland.

Our visits are normally one-day affairs; holidaymakers, we concede, are likely to want to explore the extensive intermediate slopes of Wengen and Grindelwald, across the valley. And you have to accept that getting there takes time.

It was in Mürren that the British more or less invented modern skiing. Sir Arnold Lunn organized the first ever slalom race here in 1922. Some 12 years earlier his father, Sir Henry, had persuaded the locals to open the railway in winter so that he could bring the first winter package tour here. Last winter, we had the great pleasure of a chat in the bar of the hotel Eiger with Sir Arnold’s son Peter, who first skied here in November 1916 and now skis here with his children and grandchildren. Mürren’s that kind of place.

What’s Great

  • Tiny, charming, traditional ‘traffic-free’ village, with snowy paths and chocolate-box chalets
  • Stupendous scenery, best enjoyed on the challenging run from the panoramic Schilthorn
  • Good sports center
  • Good snow high up, even when the rest of the region is suffering

What’s Not-So-Great

  • Extent of local slopes very limited no matter what your level of expertise
  • Lower slopes can be in poor condition and are served by some awkward T-bars
  • Quiet, limited nightlife
  • Like all other Swiss ‘traffic-free’ villages, Mürren is gradually admitting more service vehicles
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