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Jewels of the Imperial Crown

Skiing the way it should be; traditional picturesque Swiss villages and wonderful slopes.

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.

Those in the know rate the snow quality in these resorts as second to none in Switzerland. These are the true hidden gems of Swiss skiing.

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Grimentz - Zinal

Grimentz - Zinal offer fantastic skiing and picture perfect rickety "Hogsmede" style villages. The ideal places to stay "Slopeside" for those looking for the best snow in Switzerland and the most charming rural idylls. These are not crazy party towns but good for a little apres and a nice supply of varied restaurants. The pisted snow is highly rated and the backcountry legendary. Also an amazing place for ski touring, paragliding and some good cross country too.
We have a collection of lovely Hotels and Chalets in these resorts. The chalets are available either self catered or with demi catering.

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.

St Luc - Chandolin

St Luc and Chandolin are a pair of small resorts located high above the Val d'Anniviers floor, the small windy road opens up these quality high altitude gems offering beautiful views and seriously good skiing.
We have some very stylish hotels in these villages

Together they are the sunniest resorts in Val d'Anniviers. The villages are at altitude and combine the rickety rural charm of the area with a grand Victorian vibe, from the early grand tour hotels built here. The views from the top are breathtaking and there is plenty of skiing here. The best slopes are accessible only by surface lifts. Of particular note is the long red from Bella Tola at 3026 down to the fabulous bar Le Prilet, a fine way to end the day.

Defining interesting features:
  • 35km marked ski touring trail.
  • Many treelines runs for poor visibility days.
Non Skiing Activities:
  • Excellent spa at the Hotel Bella Tola.
  • Sledging and Snowshoeing.
  • Observatory and Museum.
  • Hangliding and Paragliding for the adrenaline junkie.


Half way between the main ski resorts Grimentz and St Luc the small sleepy rustic town of Ayer offers a great base for those with an eye to explore.
Armed with a car you can visit a different resort every day.

We have a catered chalet, available as a whole or by the room and 2 self cater chalets, one for up to 10 and the other up to 4.

Defining interesting features:
  • Trecuit black run.
Non Skiing Activities:
  • 35km Snowshoe and winter hiking trails.
  • Sledging.
  • Natural Ice Rink.
  • Winter Garden.

Other local ski resorts

Vercorin is the smallest resort in the Val D'Anniviers but holds the best quality of snow.

Nax / Mount Noble is between the Val D' Anniviers and Val d'Herens and is a gem of a small resort with excellent accessible off piste. Do not miss it.

Crans Montana sits on the other side of the Rhone valley and is wonderfully glitzy and glamorous. It is an incredibly sunny resort so keep it for the colder days.

The Val d'Herens has 3 incredibly low key small downhill ski resorts and ample cross country. This is a place to slow life down and take in nature.

Defining interesting features:
  • Tree Lined runs.
Non Skiing Activities:
  • Ski joering. (slides pulled by a horse)
  • Luge track and snow tubing.
  • Natural Ice rink with Eistock (bavarian curling)