Image by Sébastien Goldberg

Jewels of the Imperial Crown 

Switzerland

This cluster is the perfect embodiment of what Small Ski Resorts is all about.  

Picturesque and charming  mountain villages, uncrowded slopes and oodles of local charm make this 'end of the road' cluster a true hidden gem.  

The Jewels centre around the Val d”Anniviers valley, which culminates  in Zinal where 3 glaciers meet in spectacular fashion, beyond this lie the views and the mountains that make up the crown.  The skiing in this area is excellent, varied and at altitude snow sure. The resorts remain small and slightly disjointed due to the natural geography of the area. This in turn keeps the crowds away and so the villages have kept their charm, the slopes are less skied out and you are in a perfect place for whatever holiday you are after.


To stay and ski slopeside, Grimentz is the most common choice with its variation of slopes and uplift systems everyone can be satisfied. There are easy beginner blues, right through to some long blacks and plenty to do off the piste as well. Lovers of sunshine skiing may choose St Luc, which is glorious. It can be enjoyed to its full potential by those not adverse to the drag lifts, they tend to lead to the finest runs. For those who want to explore; we would recommend a village location and a vehicle, either your hire one or a driver that we can supply. This will put you 15 mins from many ski resorts and within an hour from enough for a new resort every day for a fortnight; each one a little gem with its own character.


For superb skiing on uncrowded slopes with spectacular views and a new challenge every day you just cannot beat the Jewels. For those looking for more than just skiing Grimentz has nightclubs and Zinal has an epic snowshoe walk to the ice caves where the 3 glaciers meet. St Luc observatory and the associated museum makes it an ideal visit for lovers of the night sky. For the whole valley the architecture is traditional and beautiful, from the Raccard built chalets, propped up on flat stones to the colourful churches and narrow twisted roads, it is a real delight.

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Paragliding in the Mountains

Grimentz - Zinal 

Two small towns perched upon the hill above a remarkable alpine pass, within the Val d’Anniviers. These two resorts are laid back and relaxed and often extremely quiet.
 
Zinal’s slopes can be accessed by Gondola from both the villages of Zinal and Grimentz. Both gondolas deliver you to the cool Bar a Pente, perfect for a beer stop with a view. From there you can see the large bowl filled with wide reds and blues, serviced by chairlifts and drags. The lift to the highest point then offers the chance for an excellent steep black back towards Grimentz. It is possible to ski red all the way back to Zinal when the snow is good all the way down. Both towns have a cozy relaxing feel and are perfect after a long day on the slopes, Le Besso in Zinal has some of the best food in the Val d'Anniviers. 

There is an abundance of small chalet bars and restaurants in both Grimentz and Zinal.  For the thrill seekers, Zinal is a centre for paragliding.
 
Defining interesting features: 

Extensive off piste area. 
1326 vertical meter Chamois Black Run.

Non Skiing Activities: 

Grimentz natural ice rink. 
Public swimming pool in Grimentz
Snow shoes walk under the Zinal Glacier. 
Paragliding above Zinal.