As you know from my blog, we take day trips mostly to the Berner Oberland, a region close to us, for skiing. But this time we decided to spend a few days somewhere further from our place. After browsing the internet for a few hours, we chose the ski resort of Saas-Fee in the canton of Wallis, where we had never been before. What convinced us was that Saas-Fee, thanks to its altitude, offers the certainty of snow and there are varied slopes to satisfy the needs of young and old, beginners and advanced skiers.
Saas-Fee is a resort village in the Wallisian Alps near the border with Italy. This mountain village lies at an altitude of 1800 m above sea level and is surrounded by monumental Swiss 4-thousanders. Saas-Fee was discovered for tourists in the mid-19th century and today is made up of traditional and relatively modern hotels with gabled roofs, which must respect the character and size of the former buildings – the resort thus looks beautifully compact and homogeneous. You’ll also find old wooden “larder” houses on stilts (Stadel), and a wide selection of aprés-ski bars, cozy cafés, and restaurants in the narrow streets where you can spoil yourself with Swiss specialties.
The municipality is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism, so in the interest of preserving clean air, calm and quiet, Saas-Fee is one of only 15 Swiss resorts where cars are not allowed. Others include e.g. Zermatt, Stoos, Mürren, Melchsee-Frutt, or Wengen. There is a large parking garage at the entrance to the village (for a fee). Don’t worry, you won’t get lost, the road just doesn’t go any further. We were worried about entering whether our car would fit in with the roof box (the measuring barrier looked dangerously low), but apparently, it was just an optical illusion and we did fit.
Hotel guests have a free shuttle that takes their luggage to/from the parking garage. You simply drive into the car park, park right on the floor you entered, and call your hotel. Then, with the help of the staff, you shift your luggage to the hotel taxi, drive to the innards of the parking garage, and park while the rest of the family is waiting, comfortably nestled in the cute little vehicle. If you’re here for a day’s skiing, you can order a taxi to the cable car station, or take the local electric buses (or walk a kilometer or so).
Saas-Fee in the famous Last Christmas video
It was in 1984 when a certain Georgios Kyriacos Panagiòtou, also known as George Michael, wrote a song for the festive season that instantly became a classic. It needed a music video, and it needed a setting that was both intimate and spectacular, recognizable and ethereal at the same time. And so, in 1984, Saas-Fee suddenly became famous around the world when it became the setting for the music video for Last Christmas by Wham!**
Skiing in Saas-Fee
The ski area in Saas-Fee is unique in that it is literally located in a glacial amphitheater, which is why it is possible to ski here even in summer. As most of the slopes are located at an altitude of 2500 to 3500 meters above sea level and the 4,000 peaks provide ample shade, Saas-Fee is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Europe. Almost half of the area of the varied slopes lies on “eternal snow”. Beginners and advanced skiers alike will find a lot to enjoy here. For the sake of clarity, I’ve cut the official plan down to Saas-Fee (the Saastal ski region also includes the resorts of Saas-Grund and Saas-Almagell).
The Saas-Fee is unique for its long, 14-kilometer-long “Panorama” run, which starts at the highest point of the area on the 3,500-metre-high Mittelallalin glacier. Mittelallalin station is the highest metro station in the world. Yes, the “Alpin metro” will take you from Felskinn station to Mittelallalin. And the tourist attraction of the Mittelallalin glacier is also the highest revolving restaurant in Europe, which turns around within an hour and offers visitors a panoramic view of the nearby 4,000 peaks.
The main ski center is situated around the Felskinn rock outcrop (3,000 m). The ascent from Felskinn Station to the slopes is equally interesting – it leads through a long rock tunnel. From here, nice red and blue slopes lead to Morenia station (2,550 m), where you will also find a restaurant with a terrace. The other skiing “branch” is the slopes around the Längfluh (2 870 m). A modern 10-seater cable car ascends from Saas-Fee. From its terminus at Spielboden (2,450 m), a suspended cable car connects to Längfluh. Here you can enjoy views of the unique glacial formations.
Off the main area is the somewhat overlooked peak Plattjen (2 567 m). Training slopes for ski schools and gentle blue runs are located on the flat bottom of the mountain basin right on the edge of the Saas-Fee (Dorflifte).
There are also two snowparks, which will please both beginners and professionals. In the Morenia area, there is a freestyle park with various jumps, boxes, rails, superpipes, and a U-ramp. The second snowpark is located at the aforementioned Dorflifte. It features, among other things, measured slalom and various jumps (btw. haven’t you seen our Reels on Instagram yet? Here you go, so you can get a better idea of where the whole family can have a good time 😉 ).
Where to stay in Saas-Fee*
If it’s a private chalet you’re looking for take a look at The Luxury Chalet Company. They offer lots of luxury chalets and the majority of them are child friendly!
NOTE: this is not a paid collaboration with the hotel. We chose the Alphubel Hotel on our own based on our own preferences and available reviews. However, since we liked our stay here, I am happy to recommend it further.
The hotel is about a kilometer from the gondola station. So that you don’t have to carry your ski equipment out of the hotel every morning, the hotel has a free ski storage room just a few steps from the gondola station. You can either walk through the village to the ski storage (it’s a nice 10-minute walk) or take the free bus that stops near the hotel (stop Allalin, all 4 local lines stop here).
We stayed at the hotel for 3 nights with half board. Although the property shows some age (the bathroom is a bit dated and gives you a 70’s vibe), it is nicely maintained, very clean, and feels cozy. We had a south-facing room with a balcony, which I definitely recommend. The view of the village and mountains is absolutely breathtaking. The kids enjoyed the games room with billard and table tennis again after skiing.
The food in the hotel was absolutely great: in the morning there was a breakfast buffet, and every day for dinner there was a four-course menu (salad, soup, main dish, dessert). Sometimes a “greeting from the kitchen” still landed on our table (our greeting to the chef 🙂 ). You could even top up your main course if you didn’t feel full. If you’re a family, then this 3-star hotel is just right for you.
- Since Saas-Fee is one of the more expensive ski destinations in terms of ski pass prices, a multi-day ski pass is recommended.
- In Saas-Fee, it’s easy to rent ski equipment from several local sports shops.
- If you are in Saas Fee for a longer period of time, the Brigerbad thermal spa, approximately 30 kilometres from Saas Fee, is definitely worth a visit.
- If you want to take a break from skiing, you can try the 6-kilometre-long sledge run that runs from the top station of the Hannig cable car.
- Here, too, the resort has to partially or completely close the lifts from time to time due to bad weather. But who would go skiing in a snowstorm?
*DISCLOSURE: This post contains a sponsored link.