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Resort Guide: Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee is one of Europe’s best resorts. It has some of the highest slopes on the continent and as a result is snow sure for 10 months of the year. It is a paradise for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, has a wonderful traditional Alpine charm and is home to a fantastic apres-ski scene.

In the guide below we will explore the resort showing you what you can expect from the slopes, discover the ski school Saas-Fee options, offer tips on accommodation and explore how to get to the resort.

Ski in Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Saas-Fee – What to expect

Pretty Saas-Fee is one of the highest ski villages in Europe with traditional wooden chalets, narrow streets and wonderful views of the mountains. It sits at a height of 1800m which together with its proximity to the Fee Glacier, makes it a snow-sure resort from the end of July to the end of April. That means 10 months of skiable slopes, even during the summer!

The village has an old-world charm and is car free with only the small electric taxis and the resort buses running within the village. This charm is extended to the many traditional wooden catered and self-catered chalets and upmarket hotels. Despite this demure character the village is also home to some of the best apres-ski bars in Switzerland and hosts a lively nightlife in the peak season. 

With its snow-sure slopes, Alpine charm and abundance of great bars, Saas-Fee is a great choice for a ski or snowboard holiday!

 

The slopes

Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, you will find plenty of fantastic runs to explore in Saas-Fee. The resort’s slopes go up to 3500m and are some of the highest in Europe with excellent snow coverage for 10 months of the year!

Beginners can start finding their feet in the beginners’ area just next to the village. Unlike many other resorts, these gentle slopes are not connected to the main slopes, so you don’t need to worry about experienced skiers whizzing past. Your beginners’ ski pass will give you access to the lower lifts and give you easy access to the best slopes for practicing your new found skills. At Saas-Fee even the top of the mountain is accessible to beginners and it can be a great feeling of achievement after a few days practice to make it all the way down the mountain!

For intermediates Saas-Fee is the perfect choice with a great variety of long blues and steep reds (make up 60% of the slopes) with fantastic snow. The longer runs are up to 9 km long and are above the tree-line for some breath-taking views. You can take the Metro Alpin underground funicular or the gondola to the top of the mountain and make your way down on the reds and blues. For a bit more variety you can upgrade your pass to a regional Saas pass and have access to neighbouring Saas-Grund. It offers 25km of runs and even a 1540 vertical slope.

There is less variety of advanced skiers with only 5 black runs on the lower slopes. Off-piste opportunities are limited by the cliffs and the glacial terrain but with an expert local guide and an upgraded pass, there is still plenty to challenge you.

Ski slopes in Saas Fee

Finding a ski school

No matter whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced winter sports enthusiast, it is always a good idea to take some lessons during your holiday. Beginners need to learn the right skills to ensure their safety on the slopes and the more advanced can always benefit from advice from a local expert, they know all the best spots after all!

When you are planning your trip to Saas-Fee, make sure you do your research and find a ski school that meets your needs. Check out the websites, read up on the instructor bios and find some reviews to make sure they have the right teaching style for you. Keep in mind that you can choose between private and group lessons. Private lessons are one of the best and fastest ways to learn the ropes, but can be quite expensive. Group lessons will vary in size but can be up to 10 people and mean you get less individual attention.

Of the schools in Saas-Fee we recommend Skizenit with their brilliant international team of experienced instructors who have been giving lessons to people of all ages and levels since 2008. The instructors are all professionally qualified and have years of experience in the Saas-Fee and Val d'Anniviers area. They speak 5 languages, so you will have no trouble understanding each other.

You know you are in safe hands with the Skizenit team and if you are an advanced skier looking for some safe off-piste adventures, they know the best spots! Their lessons are both challenging and fun, using progressive and adaptable methods to empower all skiers, no matter their age or experience.

Much like the resort, Skizenit operates all year-round with normal ski, ski racing and freeride ski lessons in the winter months and in the summer, they even offer ski racing camps. Whether you plan to visit Saas-Fee in the winter or summer, make sure to check out the experiences offered by Skizenit!

 

Top tips for finding accommodation

Saas-Fee is a charming, traditional Alpine village with wooden chalets and quaint architecture galore. There is a great choice of accommodation available in the village itself and in the surrounding villages.

In Saas-Fee you will find many traditional catered chalets and hotels offering ski-in-ski-out access to the nearby ski lifts. These options are at the top of the price scale for stays in Saas-Fee, but if they are in your budget, they will ensure your stay is comfortable and convenient. A bit cheaper are the self-catered apartments dotted around the village, some of which can also offer you the convenience of being right at the centre of things and a short distance from the lifts. Self-catering also gives you the flexibility of cooking your own food, with supermarkets offering all that you could need in the village.

If you are on a lower budget, consider staying in a hostel. There is an excellent youth hostel, wellnessHostel4000, offering great value shared rooms and the perfect fit for a younger couple or group. Alternatively, from the furthest accommodation options in Saas-Fee from the lifts it is around a 15-minute walk. This inconvenience means that prices here are a bit lower! Finally, you can consider staying in one of the nearby villages, Saas-Grund, Saas-Almagell or Saas Balen down the valley. You will find lower prices in these villages and also a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere which makes them popular with families.

Staying in Saas Fee

How to get to Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee is located in the south of Switzerland, near the Italian border. It is easily accessible whether you plan to fly, take the train or drive, but make sure to book your transport in advance for the most convenient options and the best prices.

Flying

The closest airport to Saas-Fee is the small regional airport at Sion. It is only 1 hour 20 minutes by car and 2 hours 30 minutes by train, but as it is quite a small airport, it only offers a limited number of flights.

Geneva Airport, although around 2 hours 30 minutes by car and 3 hours 40 minutes by train, is the most popular flight option. It has an excellent flight network offering flights all over Europe and beyond with multiple options per day for many major destinations.

You can also consider the options below:

  • Zurich – 3 hours 20 minutes by car and rail
  • Bern – 2 hours 25 minutes by car and around 2 hours 35 by rail
  • Basel – 3 hours 10 minutes by car and around 3 hours by train
  • Milan – 2 hours 45 minutes by bus from the city centre

Whichever you choose, you will either need to book a private or shared transfer to take you from the airport to the resort. There are plenty to choose from and most accommodation providers will be able to suggest a good option.

You can also choose to take the train from the airport to nearby Visp, Brig or Sion and then a transfer or bus to the resort. See below for more information.

 

Taking the train

If you want a more relaxed pace of travel with a smaller impact on the environment, then the train is a great option. Unlike with flying, when taking the train your ticket allows you to carry 2 large luggage items, plus it is a lot easier for transporting ski equipment.

If you are travelling from the UK, you can take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then onto Lausanne or Basel. From there you will need to take a regional train to Visp, the nearest station to Saas-Fee. From the UK it can take around 11 hours.

You can also take the train directly from the Swiss airports mentioned above to Visp.

Visp is around a 30-minute transfer from Saas-Fee or a bit longer by the regular Postbus buses which leave every 30 minutes until 9 pm.

Drive to Saas Fee

Driving

As Saas-Fee is a car-free village, it is not recommended to drive to the resort. You will need to park your car in the dedicated car parks, outside. Parking costs CHF16.50 for the first day, and then CHF12.50 for each day after that. Hotels will provide free transport from the car park to the hotel in the village.

However, if you want the flexibility of being able to choose your own route and would like to include stops at other destinations along the way, then driving could be a good option. Keep in mind that if you are driving through France, you will need to pay for the tolls on the motorways and that you will need to purchase a vignette to drive in Switzerland.

 

We hope that these tips will help you plan your trip to Saas-Fee. If you want more ski resort guides, make sure to check out our France page.

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Hi there! 

We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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