Last Updated on 2nd December 2022 by Steve
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and is home to one of the busiest airports in the country. That means when winter arrives there are plenty of people who are looking to head out onto the ski slopes.
But, something that may be a little surprising to those who think of Switzerland as a country filled with mountains, the Zurich region is not blessed with ski resorts around every corner. Sure, there are some low beginner resorts in nearby villages with a T-bar or two, but for a proper ski area, people in Zurich are going to have to head at least 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the south into the proper mountains.
Here are six ski resorts near Zurich where it is worth taking a day trip (by car or on public transport).
The Rigi area is pretty much the closest skiing with altitude near Zurich, with the lifts (and historic cog railways) climbing to a height of just under 1800 metres. (The skiing, however, tops out at 1600 metres.) There is nothing challenging here and the few drag-lifts have relatively short runs, but the main attraction is the stunning views over the lakes below.
Distance from Zurich: 51 kilometres
Hoch-Ybrig is a little more of an interconnected ski area than the collection of T-bars on the Rigi. It is a relatively small ski resort but the altitude ranges between around 1000 and 1800 metres and it can offer 17 different ski runs with a decent vertical. The skiing is just under an hour’s drive south of Zurich.
Distance from Zurich: 55 kilometres
Engelberg is the probably the first of the ski areas easily accessible from Zurich that is known outside Switzerland. The famous rotating cable car on the Titlis mountain is a favourite year-round destination and the village in Central Switzerland offers three different ski areas. Not only that, but Engelberg claims to offer the longest winter ski season in the country.
Distance from Zurich: 86 kilometres
Moving a little further away from Zurich, Flumserberg is off to the east on the southern shore of the Walensee, with a gondola from Unterterzen on the lake connecting into the ski area. This is another decently-sized ski resort rising to 2222 metres in altitude, with 65 kilometres of runs and 17 lifts serving the area. The longest run is an ungroomed six kilometres in length from Seebenalp to Oberterzen.
Distance from Zurich: 96 kilometres
Back down in the Bernese Oberland to the south-west of Zurich, Meiringen-Hasliberg is a relatively unknown skiing neighbour to the popular resorts in the Jungfrau region. The 60 kilometres of pistes rise to a top altitude of more than 2400 metres, with a vertical drop of 1400 metres. Most of the skiing is from the Hasliberg, a sunny ski area above Meiringen reached by cable car.
Distance from Zurich: 100 kilometres
The winter resort of Sörenberg is located to the south-west of Lucerne and offers 53 kilometres of runs split between several areas in the Waldemme valley. The highest of the ski areas is the one at the Brienzer Rothorn, with the possibility to descend more than 1000 metres to the valley floor in good conditions.
Distance from Zurich: 106 kilometres