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Saas Fee, Switzerland

Beautiful, car-free village with snowsure slopes on top of the world.

Saas-Fee is one of our favorite places. It oozes Swiss charm and the setting is stunning – spectacular glaciers and 4000m peaks surround the place. And good snow is guaranteed, even late in the season: the altitude you spend most of our time at – between 2500m/8200ft and 3500m/11500ft – is unrivaled in the Alps.

But we tend to drop in for a couple of days at a time, so the limited extent of the slopes never becomes a problem; for a week’s holiday, it would. Top to bottom there is an impressive 1800m/5900ft vertical – but there aren’t many alternative ways down. Keen, mileage-hungry intermediates should look elsewhere, as should experts (except those prepared to go touring). For the rest, it’s a question of priorities and expectations.

What’s Great

  • Spectacular setting amid high peaks and glaciers
  • Traditional, ‘traffic-free’ village
  • Good percentage of high-altitude, snow sure slopes
  • Powerful lift access to highest slopes for year-round skiing
  • Good off slope facilities are banned

What’s Not-So-Great

  • Disappointingly small area of slopes, with mainly easy runs
  • Glacier stifles off-slope potential
  • Much of the area is in shadow in midwinter – cold and dark
  • Bad weather can shut the slopes
  • Long village can mean quite a bit of walking to and from the slopes
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