Mürren is one of the most charming ski villages in the Alps, with a great sense of tradition and tranquillity. Set in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland, this quaint town is truly one of the most special ski resorts in the world. Skiing has taken place here since 1922, when the world’s first slalom races were held and organised in part by the great British ski pioneer Arnold Lunn. The town is still recognisable today from its historic roots, thanks to the classic mountain design of the chalets and the Mürren dialect which is still spoken by the locals. The resort is the highest continually inhabited village settlement in Bern, lying at 1,650m above the Lauterbrunnen valley.
The resort is car-free and peaceful, offering awe-inspiring views across the valley to the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains. Visitors will enjoy the leisurely pace of life which is retained throughout the town, despite the brush it has had with fame when the rotating Piz Gloria restaurant was featured by James Bond in the film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Visitors can follow in Bond’s footsteps by visiting the interactive adventure exhibition ‘007 Walk of Fame’ for a thrilling ski experience which brings the on-screen action to life.
The magic of the resort is truly made by the fact that there are no roads at all leading into it. The only way to access Mürren is via a cable car ride from Lauterbrunnen and then a short cog-railway train journey up to the highest railway station in Europe, which sits on the outskirts of the village. Children and adults alike will love the thrill of taking the train all the way up the mountain, snaking through the tunnels buried within the Eiger's north face and giving way to fantastic views of the glacier at the top.
Resort Altitude: 1,650m
Resort Skiing: 2,970m
Total Ski Area: 224km
Blue Runs: 86km
Red Runs: 107km
Black Runs: 31km
Cross Country: 12km
Access to Mürren’s ski area is gained via the cable car from Lauterbrunnen station, which was introduced in 2007 to replace the century-old funicular and then a mountain railway along the plateau from Grutschalp. An alternative cable car runs directly up from the valley hamlet of Stechelberg to the opposite end of the village, which runs later into the evening. Whilst the extent of the ski area is not vast, the incredible panoramic views are not to be missed.
Mürren offers its best skiing between 1,500m and 3,000m where it is possible to ski some challenging off-piste and thrilling 800m vertical descents from the cliff tops to the valley below. Overall, there is around 2,175m of vertical descent across 26 pistes. The terrain is best suited to intermediate to advanced skiers who are looking to explore a variety of exciting pisted and off-piste territory.
Experienced snowboarders will be delighted by the incredible off-piste on offer in Mürren. From the top of the Schilthorn is a well-established freeride descent which can be reached from the main viewing platform. There is a small snowpark near the bottom of the Schilthorn lift, and a good variety of both black runs and more easy-going terrain to suit boarders of various abilities.
The resort’s main ski school is called Schweizer Schneesportschule Mürren-Schilthorn AG, and has 40 teachers who between them speak English, French and German. They accept students from the age of four and above and will provide group lessons or private tuition in skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing, carving, freeride, heliskiing and more.
One of Mürren’s nursery slopes is in town in front of the Jungfrau Hotel. It has a small drag lift and a Snowli Kids centre, which offers tuition for children alongside a viewing sun terrace for parents. The other nursery slope is on Allmenhubel, which is accessed by the funicular. The resort’s general ski area is fairly steep and can be icy, and it is therefore recommended that young children remain within these two designated nursey sections.
Mürren’s famous revolving restaurant Piz Gloria sits at 2,970m above sea level and is a hotspot for James Bond fans, serving 007 themed dishes. It takes an hour to make a full 360-degree rotation and offers spectacular views from all angles. There are around 20 dining options in the town, most of which serve traditional Alpine cuisine. Head to the Taverne for fondue and raclette, or to the Arvenstübli for rosti and local Bernese steak.
Mürren’s après ski mostly revolves around the village’s hotels and bars. The Tachi Bar at Hotel Eiger is the place to go for some relaxed, pre-dinner drinks, and is open to non-residents. In the later months of the season when the sun is out, head to the sun terrace at Hotel Jungfrau for an afternoon beer or two. This ‘Gondel’ bar is made from one of the carriages of the old Schlithorn cable car, and drinks are served from midday onwards.
There are plenty of activities in resort to entertain those who are not looking to ski or snowboard. Miles of scenic walking paths, snowshoe trails and toboggan runs will ensure you don’t miss out on the resort’s fabulous views. The sports centre has a 25 metre pool, a Jacuzzi with mountain views, a sauna, basketball courts, squash courts, sun-beds spa facilities and an ice rink; making for the perfect day out for all the family if the weather isn’t behaving.