Arosa Ski Resort

Arosa is a traditional but high (1,739m) Swiss mountain resort located beside a frozen lake. Its shared ski area with Lenzerheide is one of Switzerland’s largest but skiing is just one of the outdoor activities available. Even the journey to the resort is scenic, especially if you come by train.

An all year round health resort since 1877 at the top the Schanfigg Valley, Arosa is popular with wealthy families and mixed groups that often include non-skiers. The mountains are criss-crossed by 'winter walking paths' as well as pistes and almost all the mountain restaurants can be reached in boots as well as on skis.

Arosa is only 100 miles (160kms) from Zurich and is relatively easy to reach from the airport via a very scenic train journey; or by car, provided you don't mind driving in wintry-conditions on high, twisty roads. When you arrive you will find a resort built around Lake Obersee with no through traffic, and hotels, apartments and chalets extending onto the lower slopes of the mountains among the pine trees. It is a bit strung-out, some of the bigger buildings are rather block-like, and there is no real centre so it's not chocolate-box pretty, but it is still a tranquil, pleasant place to wander around, and maybe do some skating on the lake, or ride in a horse-drawn sleigh or try some gentle cross-country skiing. Apres-ski and nightlife exist but tend to be cosy, quiet and discreet rather than large, late and loud.

And then there is the skiing. It’s quite a big area (225km is the official piste slope measurement which is probably a slight exaggeration). Two thirds of it is actually not in Arosa’s valley but in the one next door, Lenzerheide, where the small villages of Vaz and Obervaz (now usually referred to as Lenzerheide) and Valbella, Parpan and Churwalden (which have kept their names) have a linked ski-area. The lift connecting the Arosa and Lenzerheide valleys, however is a good one, so it's easy for Arosa-based skiers to get across and back. Off-piste skiers with a guide can find more challenging routes between the two valleys.

The piste skiing mostly consists of easy cruising blue and red runs, plus some excellent nursery slopes. On the Lenzerheide side, there is a world cup downhill run from Rothorn but it’s not one of the steepest on the circuit, so strong skiers should hire a guide and explore both valleys' considerable off-piste potential. 

Snow-reliability is okay. It’s a sunny area but it’s reasonably high (the top lift reaches 2865m), with good artificial snow-making and excellent piste grooming.

You can also stay in the Lenzerheide villages. They too have a lake, Heidsee, and are similarly quiet, but the road running through them is busier.

Arosa Pros & Cons

+ Scenic ‘mountains, forest and frozen lake’ setting;
+ One of the largest ski areas in Switzerland;
+.An all-year round resort with plenty to do besides skiing and boarding;
+ Good for weekends/easy to reach from Zurich;
+ Excellent family-resort, especially for children learning to ski.

- The location is very pretty but the village isn’t;
- Few steep pistes; strong keen skiers should hire a guide;
- Very quiet at night;
- Quite expensive.

Arosa Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 22nd Sunny 22° 12° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 23rd Sunny 24° 14° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 24th OccLightRain 24° 14° Patchy rain possible New Snow 0cm
  • 25th PartCloudRainThunderDay 25° 15° Patchy light rain with thunder New Snow 0cm
  • 26th ModRainSwrsDay 23° 14° Moderate or heavy rain shower New Snow 0cm

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