Nicknamed the 'Pearl of the Alps', Saas-Fee is a hidden gem of a ski resort, nestled amongst thirteen 4,000m peaks on a high plateau of the Saas Valley, which creates some incredible, dramatic scenery. Few resorts offer the opportunity to ski in such a high-mountain glacial environment, making for an awe-inspiring ski experience which is not to be missed by the discerning skier or boarder. The resort has a fantastic snow record thanks to its towering position, and the varied terrain will suit mixed ability groups.
The resort itself guarantees Alpine charming, housing many beautiful old-fashioned wooden chalets and a car-free environment, with electric buses and hotel vehicles available to ferry guests around. The village is based on an old farming community, and retains the olde worlde charm of its historic roots, despite substantial recent expansions and modern developments. Surrounded by a magnificent backdrop of dazzling blue glaciers, you will be guaranteed a picturesque, tranquil week with a family-friendly atmosphere.
Resort Altitude: 1,800m
Resort Skiing: 3,500m
Blue Runs: 30km
Red Runs: 45km
Black Runs: 25km
Cross Country: 36km
Saas-Fee's ski area spans around 100km of pistes, and is ideal territory for beginners and leisurely intermediates who are looking to enjoy fantastic snow on which to practice their technique. The resort is recognised as one of Switzerland's more family-friendly territories, with plenty of nursery runs and lots of flat, sunny pistes. A bus ride from Saas-Fee will take you to the neighbouring resorts of Saas-Grund and Saas-Almagell, which are covered by the same lift pass and offer more terrain to explore.
The skiing on the upper part of Saas-Fee's area is predominantly red and blue runs served by drag lifts. But because of the altitude, fresh powder can be found up here as late as April. Whilst the resort is better suited to beginners, advanced skiers will enjoy the long runs in the Langfluh/Spielboden sector and the black Kanonenrohr run below Maste 4. There are also opportunities to ski up to 3,500m to enjoy thrilling descents through untouched powder, however, this is best explored with a guide.
Advanced snowboarders will enjoy the off-piste tree runs around Platjen; whilst intermediates will be delighted with a wide range of cruising reds and blues across the whole resort. Towards the edge of the village, there is a good selection of nursery slopes, which are perfect for building up technique. Those who have never boarded should be aware of the number of T-Bars which connect many of the lower, flatter runs; however, it should only be a matter of practice before these are mastered.
Saas-Fee offers a choice of three ski schools, each of which offer both skiing or snowboarding and private or group lessons for students of all abilities. There are also some fantastic off-piste guiding opportunities, which enable you to safely explore the resort's freeride and glacial terrain. The Paradise Snowboard school is a good option for boarders who wish to receive specialist training and guiding.
The Eskimos Ski School offers mini group lessons for children aged four to six. These can be purchased as a morning, afternoon or all day package in which there is a supervised lunch break. There is also a Saas-Fee Kinderland, which is a designated safe Kids Village for young children. Magic carpets, games and visits from the Snowli mascot will be sure to keep children happy during their day on the mountain.
Saas-Fee is served by a dozen mountain dining options, which includes the famous revolving restaurant at Mittelallalin. At 3,500m you can be sure to find impressive views and a truly novel lunchtime experience. Down in the town, enjoy Michelin-starred fayre at the Fletschhorn Hotel, which serves Swiss specialities complemented by an extensive wine list. More laid-back evenings can be had at the Rotisserie du Sport which serves 15 varieties of grilled meat, or the restaurant at Hotel Dom which specialises in rostis.
Saas-Fee has a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars available to suit all ages. Located just off the slopes, the Zur Mühle has a busy sun terrace, whilst the Black Bull offers a live DJ on its large sundeck. The most popular spot is Nesti's Ski Bar, which is notoriously busy from the early evening. For cosy drinks in a cavern-like setting head to the Metro Bar, whilst those in search of a more refined and laid-back après ski atmosphere will enjoy the Walliserhof's smart drinks lounge.
Saas-Fee is an excellent destination for non-skiers with a variety of alternative winter sports on offer. There are around 30km of winter walking trails, 5km of toboggan runs from the top of Hannig and 36km of cross country ski trails. There is even an alpine gorge adventure, which gives you the opportunity to be guided through frozen waterfalls and across rope slides. Visits can also be made to Saas-Fee's ice grotto, which is the largest in the world.