Grindelwald is a ski resort set in the spectacular Jungfrau region of Switzerland, which also encompasses the popular mountain resorts of Wengen and Murren. Set at the foot of the Eiger, Grindelwald is a traditional ski resort offering breathtaking views and particularly good intermediate skiing.
How to get there
Most chartered and scheduled services from the UK fly direct to Zurich airport, located approximately two hours from Grindelwald. From Zurich airport, take a train to Interlaken (there are two per hour) and from there, catch one of the regular regional trains to Grindelwald. If you are travelling from the airport by car, take Autobahn A20/A4 and A8 to Interlaken and then routes 9 and 44 to Grindelwald.
Who the resort caters for
Because Grindelwald shares many of its ski lifts with Wengen, it can take a long time to get up the slopes, making it ideal for older skiers who appreciate the resort’s slower pace. Its slopes cater well for novice and intermediate skiers and those seeking plenty of off-slope activity, making it popular with family groups. The resort has a reasonable number of English-speaking instructors and is good for those skiing for the first time or those who simply crave more of a laid-back skiing experience.
There is plenty of good accommodation in Grindelwald, including bed and breakfasts, and hotels with half or full board. Popular hotels in the resort include:
Lauberhorn: a small hotel offering bed and breakfast or full board accommodation. Many of the rooms come with south-facing balconies. Prices start at £419 for 7 nights.
Hotel Romantik Schweizerhof: popular for its central location and excellent cuisine, this hotel has impressive views and great facilities. Prices start at £872 for 7 nights.
Hotel Eigerblick: facing the Eiger, this is an alpine hotel with good food and panoramic views. Prices start at £450 for 7 nights.
Jungfrau Lodge: good-value hotel close to a ski-bus stop and a few minutes walk from the centre. Prices start at £509 for 7 nights.
Grand Regina: a grand hotel complete with spa facilities. Offers convenient access to mountain railway up to the Kleine Schedigg area. Prices start at £1115 for 7 nights. Grindelwald also has a large number of self-catered apartments and ski chalets for hire through one of the many tour companies which serve the area.
With only 20% of its pistes classified as expert slopes, Grindelwald is best suited to novice and intermediate skiers. It offers a good range of long, gentle slopes. One of Grindelwald’s major advantages is its dramatic scenery – set beneath the north face of the towering Eiger it allows impressive views of the neighbouring slopes.
On the downside, Grindelwald shares the Kleiner Scheidigg pistes with the more popular Wengen resort, meaning there can be long queues for gondolas or trains up the slopes. With most of its skiing located between 1000 and 2000 m, the resort’s biggest downfall is its lack of unreliable snow. Better snow can be found further up the slopes, at the base of the Eiger.
The majority of the resort’s slopes pass through trees with diverse terrain and long valley runs. Three areas of pistes make up the skiing area around Grindelwald. The closest and most easily accessible is First, accessed from the eastern side of the village, which has 50 km of pistes and is the most convenient skiing for those staying in Grindelwald itself. Kleiner Schedigg/ Mannlichen has 100 km of pistes situated at the base of the Eiger, most of which are long blue runs or gentle reds. At the top of the Lauberhorn lift are some more advanced slopes, including the Black Rock Run and World Cup downhill. This area is linked by a half-hour train journey from the Western end of the village and suffers from long queues at the weekend and during peak season. The third area for skiing is Wengen, which is linked to Grindelwald by a lift and is popular with those seeking challenging skiing. Murren is also nearby but takes a full day to reach by train, which is often crowded.
There are plenty of good non-skiing activities to be experienced in Grindelwald, with some excellent walks and a historic village to explore. The resort even boasts a 15km toboggan run – the longest in Europe. The resort offers a reasonably good night life with bars, two nightclubs and plenty of good restaraunts, although the general après-ski vibe is very relaxed and not too lively.
**** for Intermediate
Down hill Pistes: 213 km
Cross Country Trails: 40 km
Ski Lifts: 45
Max Verticle: 1036 m
Highest Lift: 2486 m
Resort Altitude: 1034 m
Lowest Piste: 1050 m