Grimentz-Zinal is an ideal destination for keen skiers seeking an authentic and affordable skiing holiday. Two pretty and still unspoiled historic villages and two ski areas, connected since 2013/14 by the third largest cable car in Switzerland, offer spectacular views of the Imperial Crown of five iconic Swiss Alpine peaks, each over 4,000m.

With high-altitude ski areas between 1,570m and 2,920m, 1,350m of vertical elevation and plenty of northeast-facing terrain, Grimentz-Zinal is snow-sure, averaging 150 to 200 cm each winter. The resort also has 250 snow cannons where needed (30% of slopes) to ensure a good base Including long runs down from each ski to Grimentz and Zinal and Grimentz-Zinal webcams that let you view current weather and snow conditions.

The ski lift system in Grimentz-Zinal (21 ski lifts with a lift capacity of 24,145 riders per hour) is adequate despite many surface lifts which may prove challenging for some beginner skiers and boarders. The impressive new lift station in the centre of the new part of Grimentz provides easy access to both ski areas via an express gondola from Grimentz to Bendolla and the Grimentz-Weisshorn cable car from Grimentz to one of the highest points of the ski area above Zinal.

Both ski areas include long runs down to village levels. If staying in Zinal, you can also ski down to Grimentz via Le Chamois (a black run) or use both of these lifts to switch from one ski area to the other in around 30 minutes or so. Lift pass options include local ski passes for Grimentz-Zinal (115 km of slopes) or the full Vall d’Anniviers lift pass which includes the ski lifts at St-Luc Chandolin and Vercorin and free travel on the local bus system which is excellent.

There are three ski schools in Grimentz-Zinal including ESS Swiss Ski School (in Grimentz and Zinal) and Grimentz-Zinal Backcountry Adventures is recommended for off-piste guiding including back-country skiing and ski touring from Zinal to Zermatt. Also a choice of ski shops – four in Grimentz and two in Zinal – offering a good selection of snowsports equipment for rental or purchase.

Both villages are pretty and justifiably proud of their heritage which is well-preserved and includes a delightfully pretty historic centre in each village. Grimentz is the larger of the two villages and, architecturally speaking, the prettier of the two despite recent development activity (new apartment buildings) away from the splendid old part of the village which is beautifully unspoiled and resembles a lived-in museum.

The village of Grimentz offers a better choice of accommodation, better apres-ski and more amenities, and because of its location between the two ski areas, it is the more convenient place to stay. The choice of accommodation in Grimentz includes four popular hotels, most notably the Hotel Apina (3-star standard), which is directly opposite the lift station) and Hotel de Moiry (3-star), and numerous privately owned chalets and apartments developed over many years on the south-facing slopes above the village, and some impressive new ones. The last remaining plots of development land in Grimentz have been sold, so the resort is unlikely to grow any bigger. Prices reflect its growing popularity and are rising, but it remains good value for money compared to better-known ski resorts in Switzerland.

The village of Zinal, the “Pearl of the Alps”, is less conspicuously pretty and is spread out along a flat valley floor, it offers even more spectacular mountain views. Accommodation in Zinal includes a handful of characterful historic hotels (rated 2-3 stars) and the impressive new Swiss Peaks Resort (4-star) aparthotel residence. More developments are expected.

Skiers choose the pretty villages of Grimentz and Zinal for excellent skiing on uncrowded slopes, superb mountain views amid peaceful surroundings and good food – not for their nightlife. Apres-ski in Grimentz-Zinal is laid-back and relaxing. Both villages are relatively quiet after 10 pm most nights.

Getting to Grimentz-Zinal via the nearest airports is quite easy and transfers time from Geneva Airport are around 2 hours and 20 minutes by road or 2 hours by rail (to Sierre-Siders) then a further 45-60 mins transfer by taxi or bus from Sierre. Alps2Alps and Ski-Lifts offer competitively priced transfers from the nearest airports and there’s a good rail connection nearby at Sierre.

Strengths & Weaknesses

+ Picturesque ancient villages and authentic atmosphere
+ Stunning panoramic views of the Swiss Alps
+ Diverse terrain for all levels of ability
+ An abundance of off-piste and backcountry ski terrain
+ More affordable than bigger and better-known Swiss ski resorts

– Lift system still includes many T-bars and button lifts
– Too few good mountain restaurants
– Après ski and nightlife is limited compared to larger resorts
– Limited shops and amenities in the villages


Grimentz-Zinal Resort Stats

Base: 1,570m
Peak: 2,920m
Vertical: 1,350m
Ski Area: 115km
Longest Run: 7km
Beginner: 23% %
Intermediate: 51% %
Advanced: 26% %
Number of ski lifts: 21
Lift Capacity: 24,145
Ski Season Starts: Mid-November
Ski Season Ends: Mid-April
Nearest Airport: Geneva
Transfer Time: 2 hours 20 mins

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Grimentz-Zinal Resort Ratings

Ski Area star rating
Lift System star rating
Snowsure star rating
Beginner star rating
Intermediate star rating
Advanced star rating
Scenery star rating
Charm star rating
Apres Ski star rating
Other Activities star rating
Getting There star rating

Total Ratings = 11

Ratings sum = 38

Grimentz-Zinal Map

Webcams in Grimentz-Zinal

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