As summer draws to a close, European ski trips will again be in high demand
For many of us, winter travel centers around the holidays and reconnecting with our families and friends in faraway places. Vacation travel is the primary driver of our business during the winter season, making December through February some of our busiest months of the year.
As a worldwide charter operator, we have extensive experience bringing our clients to the world’s top skiing destinations. We are excited for a winter full of activity this year, which means plenty of skiing in the Swiss Alps.
Chartering a Jet for Your Ski Trip
We get questions from brokers every year about how much our airframes can handle in terms of baggage volume; it’s a logical question. If you travel with a big group, say, eight people or more, then space for luggage can become a critical concern on certain types of jets.
A Gulfstream V (GV) can hold up to 226 cubic feet of baggage. In plain language, our GVs can easily hold about seven to eight sets of skis in the cargo hold, including two extra pieces of regular luggage for each skier. For larger groups, we typically load the baggage compartment up to the maximum legal weight and then utilize cabin storage spaces for excess bags.
Chartering a jet for an international ski trip is a logistical challenge that we and our broker partners are well suited to handle. Sometimes we hear concerns from newer clients about the potential for delays, lost bags, and bad weather. We take great care in ensuring the smoothest, most efficient travel experience possible and communicating with you directly about what can be expected on any given flight.
Skiing the Swiss Alps
For those new to ski vacations in the Swiss Alps, we have two good recommendations, plus sample itineraries below that may pique your interest. Skiing in Switzerland is slightly different from skiing in the US (think mountain railways). We have some helpful information here that will highlight the differences for both our brokers and direct clients who want to ski the Swiss Alps this winter:
Grindelwald is arguably Switzerland’s most picturesque mountain village, nestled just north of the Jungfrau Ski Region. From the village center, you can easily access the entire network of trams, railways, and gondolas that whisk you to any of its three mountain ranges. The skiing throughout the Jungfrau region is suitable for all levels of ability. Depending on which line(s) you take as you descend a run in the Jungfrau region, you can find challenging terrain or gentle, groomed slopes.
Bern Airport (LSZB) is a mere 34 miles north of Grindelwald and functions as a suitable airport for arrival to Switzerland. After a scenic one-hour drive southeast down the A6, you are in the heart of the village, where luxury lodging options abound.
Where to Stay In Grindelwald
For accommodations, we recommend the Aparthotel Eiger chalets and apartments for both their refined elegance and cozy feel. With apartments from one to four bedrooms, this hotel offers an authentic Swiss mountain experience with something for any ski group.
After getting settled, exploring the village center should be next on your list. As you make your way around the many shops, restaurants, and chalets in town, you will notice the gondola stations essential to your Swiss Alps skiing endeavors. These gondolas connect you to the other lifts and railways that will get you around Jungfrau.
To initiate your ski outing, start by purchasing a pass appropriate to where you want to go. This website details which passes are suitable for your ski holiday in the Jungfrau region. We always recommend not biting off more than you can chew. The Wengen ski pass will provide you and your group with plenty of runs to choose from.
On the southern half of the Alps, just north of the iconic Matterhorn, lies the city of Zermatt. Zermatt is more populous than Grindelwald and experiences marginally higher numbers of skiers during the season.
Zermatt offers a supportive and meticulously designed infrastructure to get skiers up the slopes. The one thing Zermatt does not offer, however, is drivable roads! Zermatt is a car-free town. Travel from the airport to Zermatt is best achieved by rail if you fly into Zurich. From Geneva, travel by road works well.
Geneva Airport (LSGG) is about a three-hour car ride from Zermatt. What makes the long drive bearable is the breathtaking scenery along the route. You could opt for rail transport from Geneva, but we have experienced greater efficiency and fun with this drive.
Zurich Airport (LSZH) is three-and-a-half hours north of Zermatt by rail or car. From Zurich, high-speed rail transit seems to work best. The sights along the railways between Zurich and Zermatt are easily enjoyed from the passenger cabins. What’s more, the comfort of the high-speed trains beats driving or having someone drive you into Zermatt.
Skiing and Staying in Zermatt
Zermatt has many unique and charming accommodations for your Swiss Alps ski trip. If you stay near the city center, you will have the easiest access to street life, boutiques, and restaurants. Should you choose to stay on the outskirts of town in a mountain resort nestled into the hills, you will have more breathtaking vistas from indoors and panoramic valley views from the outside.
The OMNIA hotel in Zermatt is our personal favorite and a top pick for a ski holiday in Zermatt. It offers the best of both worlds in terms of excellent views, tasteful elegance, and access to the city. This hotel has room options for large or small groups of skiers.
Because Zermatt is a car-free town, walking is the easiest way to get around. On the southwest side of the city center, you will notice the Zermatt gondola station. On the east side of town, there is the Zermatt inclined railway station. Both will be essential to starting your Matterhorn skiing adventure.