Leukerbad is the largest thermal spa resort in the Alps, where every day 3.9 million litres of bubbling water gush from 65 thermal springs, reaching temperatures of up to 51°C. Lying well-protected in a Valais side valley, this resort attracts wellness and sports' enthusiasts looking for a luxury ski getaway. Whether you're sports mad, a wellness fan, in search of peace and quiet or looking for something more family orientated, enjoy a whole range of opportunities to relax, unwind or get active in the heart of this magnificent mountain landscape.
The town of Leukerbad is small and charming, situated at the far end of the road that rises from Leuk in the Rhone Valley to the foot of the Gemmipass at an altitude of 1,411m. Modest and simple, visitors will come to Leukerbad for great skiing complemented by the unique off-slope experience of the extensive Alpine Spa and Wellness centres.
Resort Altitude: 1,411m
Resort Skiing: 2,850m
Total Ski Area: 55km
Blue Runs: 9km
Red Runs: 25km
Black Runs: 21km
Leukerbad has direct access to 55km of downhill skiing, comprised of 18 individual pistes served by 11 ski lifts. Reaching up to a snow-sure 2,850m you can be sure to find good conditions all season long. The Rinderhutte lies in the heart of the ski area, just above the tree line and where seven lifts meet. These provide access to a number of black trails and off-piste or tree skiing opportunities; overall making the ski area fantastically varied in its terrain and suitable for skiers and boarders of various abilities.
The ski area is mostly comprised of red and black runs, which include the World Cup training runs. Plenty of off-piste opportunities are available around Leukerbad's slopes, with a notable route accessed via the cable car up to Rinderhutte, from which it is possible to make a variety of descents through an open powder field and into the tree line below. Whilst this challenging terrain may not be well-suited to beginners, the Park Erli facilities offer a wide open nursery slope, T-bar and children's ski lift.
Beginner snowboarders should be aware of a large number of drag lifts in the resort. Whilst it is possible to avoid these by taking a cable car across the valley into the main ski area, once you reach the Rinderhutte you will find that this is the most common type of lift. For those who have mastered the basics, there is a Fun Park offering three kickers, four rails, a box and various other obstacles, as well as a wide variety of off-piste and challenging reds and blacks.
Leukerbad's two ski schools - Swiss Ski School and Red Carpet, offer group or private lessons for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The Swiss Ski School gives you the chance to master skiing in just three days, on a course for beginners and returners, which assures you will be able to ski parallel on blue runs by the time you have finished. Additional lessons and tours are available in practices such as telemarking and cross-country, or you can choose a ski safari to other resorts nearby in Valais.
The Swiss Ski School will look after children aged three years and above, with the help of the much loved Snowli mascot. The Snowpark Sportarena is situated in the village and is a facility in which kids can master the basics without having to take the cable car up the mountain. The ultimate ski school experience on offer for children is the torch run which takes place on a Tuesday and the weekly race.
Leukerbad has five mountain restaurants in its main ski area, most of which are located close to the key ski lift stations. Whilst the choice is not extensive, you will find a nice variety of dining such as the self-service Bergrestaurant Rinderhutte with a panorama sun terrace, and the popular Weidstubli restaurant which can be accessed from the piste or via walking trails. Delicious local fayre can be found in town at the Walliserkanne which is run by a local family and serves wood-fired rösti.
Whilst thermal bathing in the resort's spa and wellness centres is by far the most famed and popular apres ski activity, Leukerbad does not fail to offer a selection of bars to satisfy those looking for an evening out. The Chinchilla bar serves delicacies from all over the world in a cosy setting, whilst a busier night out can be had at Courage Club which stays open until 4am.
If you want to relax and unwind, Leukerbad is the place to go. While others are tiring themselves out skiing you can be soaking in the natural thermal waters, having a mud bath or getting a massage. With its 22 thermal pools, this resort really is the ideal place to recharge. For those looking for something a little more active, there are three tobogganing runs spanning over 4km, 65km of winter walking paths, paragliding, husky sleigh rides and snowshoeing.