Grindelwald in winter. - (c) Jungfrau Tourism
If we were to do a Family Fortunes-style survey amongst the general public, asking them to name five things that they'd associate with Switzerland, then skiing and mountains would top the list (probably followed by watches, cuckoo clocks, Toblerone and ..er cheese fondues). Switzerland's reputation for skiing, even amongst the general public of a (mainly) non-skiing nation like Britain, is well deserved because the country is not only home to a vast number of ski resorts, but also to some of the world's very best.
Yes, Switzerland has the lot - charming resorts, great skiing, and the world's best scenery. Yes, the world - no other country can match Switzerland for scenery. Just the mere mention of two mountains, the Eiger and the Matterhorn, is enough to end that little argument with anyone who wants to challenge it.
Switzerland also has the slopes to match the resorts...
High, snow-sure slopes ? Tick.
Glacier resorts ? Tick.
Challenging slopes for experts ? Tick.
Long cruisers for intermediates ? Tick.
Easy resorts for beginners ? Tick.
All set around some of the most traditional and authentic mountain villages and resorts in the Alps.
And to get you to these beautiful mountains and resorts, there is of course another Swiss stereotype - the country's incredibly efficient public transport system, lead by the legendary rail network, getting you swiftly to your destination on time and, if you book in advance, at a reasonable price, especially for those with families who can take advantage of the free children's tickets.
Whilst Switzerland's impeccable transport system is second to none, some of the country's resorts lift systems through the 1990's were not quite up to the same standards of reliability or speed, but recent investments made in this area have steadily improved things over the last few years in a large number of resorts that had previously started to lag behind the technology being used by some of Switzerland's Alpine rivals.
Some of the other big plus points of Switzerland's resorts are the general standard of the country's hotel and accommodation industry. The hotels and chalets tend to be of a good standard and really well run, and you get the feeling that the reason the Swiss have a good reputation in this area is that they take a real pride in it, and the whole sector seems to be taken a bit more seriously than in some other countries. This is reflected not just by the professionalism of the owners but by the attitude and hard working ethic of the people who work for them.
Obviously this website is dedicated to Switzerland, so we're going to be slightly biased but it seems a shame that not more British holidaymakers enjoy a trip to the resorts of this fantastic country. And one of the main reasons in our eyes is yet another of the big stereotypes about Switzerland - that it's incredibly expensive. Ok, so admittedly it's not exactly cheap, we agree on that, but there are some great offers from some of the country's big tourism centres, such as kids go free offers, or free travel tickets, that can make it much more affordable and more comparable to some of its neighbours.