Ski In The Open Snow Fields Of Arosa

Perched at the top of the delightful Schanfigg Valley to the southeast of Zürich and Chur, family-friendly Arosa ski resort is one of the highest (1,800m) and most popular of the Alpine resorts in the Grisons, after Davos and St Moritz. The open snowfields on four mountains largely favour beginners and intermediates and the lift system is highly efficient.

Arosa village lies sheltered above the Schanfigg Valley and, although part of it dates from the 14th century, it has a modern and contemporary feel. The village consists of one main street (Poststrasse), lined with hotels and shops, and lures families with its attractions such as kindergartens for children and fashionable shops for adults.

The 76kms of marked beginner to advanced pistes at Arosa ski resort total 55 slopes. Thirteen ski lifts, including two cable cars, one gondola, six chairlifts and four T-bars make access to either side of the valley possible, as do a network of buses that make frequent runs up and down the valley floor. The total capacity of the lifts is 21,500 people per hour.

The variety of hotels, chalets and apartments in Arosa provide almost 8,000 beds, and additional lodgings are available in nearby Chur. Après-ski in the village is low-key, mostly involving good hotel-based bars and decent eateries, as well as concerts and folklore evenings. Regular bars and discos are also on hand.

For top-class skiing farther afield, other passes allow access to Davos, Klosters, Flims and Lax, as well as some of the slopes in the Engadine. Away from the slopes though, Arosa resort has some of the best horseback riding in eastern Switzerland. The stables at Fuhrhalterei, Wierhof, are open throughout the year and offer scenic trail rides.

Arosa's ski season runs from late November to mid-April, with cheaper rates offered before the Christmas holidays, and from early March to early April. The best way to get here is to fly to Zürich and take a train to Arosa via the city and Chur.

Skiing In Arosa

Situated in the Schanfigg Valley, Arosa is a friendly and charming mountain resort located 150kms southeast of Zürich. Ideal for families, Arosa is a very Swiss and traditional resort. It has 76kms of wide-open skiing, perfect for learners; while experts will have the choice of a few black runs and some off-piste slopes.

Arosa ski resort has 55 runs in all, covering 76kms of slopes which are divided into 31 per cent for the beginner; 57 per cent for intermediate; and 12 per cent for advanced skiers. Multiple ski lifts carry up to 21,500 people per hour. There are also 25kms of cross-country trails.

Historic Arosa nestles into a circle of mountains at the end of the Schanfigg Valley, above Chur, and offers a good museum and a host of shopping opportunities. There is plenty of choice of accommodation in hotels, chalets and apartments, with a total of 7,900 beds.

Other winter activities and facilities include: snowboarding; snowshoeing; ice-skating (natural and artificial); 60kms of winter walking trails; curling; horse-drawn sleigh rides; a fitness centre; sauna; and indoor swimming, tennis and golf. Après-ski is relaxed and features folklore evenings and concert performances, plus a handful of laid-back bars and discos.

The Arosa ski season spans November to April and the best snow is usually to be had from early February to early March (high season); while cheaper rates are offered in the early and late parts of the season.

The best way to get to Arosa ski resort is to fly to Zürich, take a train to Chur, and then take the light single gauge railway to the resort (four hours). However, hiring a car and driving yourself is a lot more convenient.

Apres-ski In Arosa

Historic Arosa nestles into a circle of mountains at the end of the Schanfigg Valley, above Chur, and offers a good museum and a host of shopping opportunities. There is plenty of choice of accommodation in hotels, chalets and apartments, with a total of 7,900 beds.

Other winter activities and facilities include: snowboarding; snowshoeing; ice-skating (natural and artificial); 60kms of winter walking trails; curling; horse-drawn sleigh rides; a fitness centre; sauna; and indoor swimming, tennis and golf. Après-ski is relaxed and features folklore evenings and concert performances, plus a handful of laid-back bars and discos.

Transportation To Arosa

Located above the Schanfigg Valley, to the southeast of Zürich and Chur, Arosa ski resort is accessible by road and light rail. The best way to get here is to fly to Zürich and take a train to Chur and the light rail on to Arosa, or to hire a car and drive yourself. Alternatively, there is a rail connection from London and self-drive is also feasible.

By car from Calais, the quickest route takes in the cities of Reims, Metz, Strasbourg, and Zürich along major autoroutes and autobahns. From Zürich, the A-3/13 autobahn goes to Chur, from where the mountain road to Arosa is signposted (984kms; ten hours).

From Zürich International Airport, take the A-11 autobahn, drive through the city and on to the Chur (A-3) autobahn, and then take the winding road to Arosa ski resort (160kms; two to three hours); snow chains will be required.

A good train connection has a Eurostar leaving London (Waterloo) at 17:09 and arriving in Paris (Nord) at 20:59. An overnight train then leaves Paris (l'Est) at 22:42, arriving next morning in Landquart at 07:40 and then on to Chur at 07:51. The light gauge railway then carries passengers to Arosa ski resort from here.

The nearest international airport is Zürich International Airport, which has regular and direct trains to the city of Zürich, from where hourly trains go to Chur, connecting with the Rhaetian light railway to Arosa (four hours total). For a much quicker transfer time, and if you're not on a package holiday, it's best to hire a car and drive yourself.