°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km

Saas-Fee Ski Resort

Saas-Fee Resort Guide

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Saas-Fee Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length100km62 miles
Highest Lift3,500m11,483ft
Resort Height1,800m5,906ft
 Nearest AirportsSion and Milan Malpensa
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Saas-Fee at a glance

One of the world's top resorts, picturesque, car free, excellent facilities. Year round glacier skiing accessed by underground funicular and other modern, efficient lifts, including the 3-S-Bahn, a 30-person gondola. Sister resort is Steamboat Springs/Colorado.

 When will it snow in Saas-Fee?

The next notable snow forecast for Saas-Fee is 14cm5in, expected on 22 November, with around 158cm62in forecast over the next 7 days.

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Saas-Fee Facts, Stats and Ratings

Saas-Fee Rated

Ratings for Saas-Fee
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

How High is Saas-Fee?

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for Saas-Fee
Highest Lift3,500m11,483ft
Lowest Piste1,800m5,906ft
Resort Altitude (Saas-Fee)1,800m5,906ft
Max Vertical1,700m5,577ft

Ski Area, Pistes and Lifts

Saas-Fee Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Saas-Fee
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 5 25km16 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
1450km31 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
1325km16 miles
Downhill
Total Length
100km62 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
8km5 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
23

Saastal Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Saastal
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 7 
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
29
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
20
Downhill
Total Length
159km99 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
35
°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km

Saas-Fee Summary

The Swiss Ski Resort of Saas-Fee is part of the Saastal ski area with access to 159km99 miles of downhill skiing, with 56 marked pistes, served by a total of 35 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Saas-Fee itself (100km62 miles of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Saastal ski resorts of Saas Almagell and Saas Grund.

The ski resort itself is at 1,800m5,906ft, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,500m11,483ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Saas-Fee Piste Map

Saas-Fee Piste Map
Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee Overview

One of Switzerland's most important winter sports resorts, Saas-Fee, in the German speaking upper-Valais, also offers one of the five largest Summer skiing areas in Europe. Marketed, like Courmayeur, as 'the pearl of the Alps', the resort is car-free, which means vehicles are parked at a large car-park on arrival at the edge of the village and only small electric taxis, mostly owned by the hotels, hum quietly and slowly around the pedestrianised streets. The resulting tranquillity, coupled with the resort's strict planning regulations which have maintained traditional Swiss chalet style construction for several centuries, and the spectacular high alpine scenery all around, make Saas-Fee a delightful base for a mountain sports holiday.

The resort is based at the foot of the Dom, which although not as internationally well known as the Matterhorn, is in fact Switzerland's highest mountain, and one of thirteen 4,000 metre (13,120 feet) plus peaks surrounding the village. These may be viewed at your leisure from the world's highest revolving restaurant on the Mittelallin at 3,500 metres (just under 11,500 feet).

Saas-Fee has taken the quality of its environment and facilities seriously for many years, a member of GAST, the association of traffic-free holiday resorts, it was one of the earliest to ban cars in 1951, and as the road from Saas-Grund down in the valley only reached this high-altitude village in that same year, it can be said that Saas-Fee has never truly had car traffic on its streets, possibly a unique status.

The resort also has one of the longest traditions of mountain tourism in the world, with local clergyman Johann Josef Imseng recognising the importance of bringing visitors to the Saas Valley way back in 1836. Mr Imseng was also a mountain guide and is popularly regarded as the first skier in the country. Although one of the earlier successes of Swiss tourism (Saas-Fee had a population of 236 back in 1850 when most of today's ski resorts, even the famous ones, at that altitude were just summer cattle pasture with a couple of mountain huts for seasonal farmers), winter sports did not become predominant in the village until as recently as the 1960s, in common with many other Swiss skiing destinations.

Saas-Fee's early settlement and success as a tourist destination were helped by its mild climate, being on the same latitude as Ascona, 30km(19 miles) east in Switzerland's only Italian speaking canton, southerly Ticino, where palm trees grow. Today Saas-Fee's lift infrastructure includes some of the most hi-tec installations in the world, most notably the world's highest underground funicular railway, the Metro Alpin, which opened in 1984. Accommodation, eateries and other services and facilities in the village that offer particularly high standards are given a 'Q' symbol in recognition of the quality they offer.

The name Zurbriggen is prominent amongst the names in the Saas Valley, and Switzerland's recent skiing greats, Pirmin, Silvan and Heidi Zurbriggen have their home at Saas Almagell down in the valley.

On the Mountain

The longest possible descent in Saas-Fee is 9km6 miles long.

Skiing in Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee has some of the world's best skiing, guaranteed winter and summer because of its glacier. The ski area is one of Europe's highest and the full vertical of 1760m (5,774 feet) is skiable throughout the winter season given normal snow fall and temperatures, because of the high altitude of the resort and the bottom of the lifts. Some of the other European resorts which claim bigger verticals can only offer them for short periods as they are based at perhaps half the height of Saas-Fee so that the lower slopes get snow later and thaw sooner.

The area's skiing is particularly well suited to intermediate and advanced level skiers with 75% of the terrain and 60km ( 37 miles ) of the trails suited to good or better skiers. However beginners do have a large plateau right next to the village on which to learn or improve technique, and because of Saas-Fee's high altitude snow-cover on these slopes is far more likely throughout the season than at village level nursery slopes at many other resorts in the Alps, where the snow may only last for a month or two mid-Winter.

There are three main ski areas, the Felskinn, the Plattjen and the Längfluh. The Felskinn is served by the Alpine Express, Saas-Fee's most recent hi-tec lift, a gondola with cabins each capable of holding up to 30 passengers. The regional SAAS lift ticket covers the smaller and lower neighbouring ski areas of Saas-Almagell, Saas-Balen and Saas-Grund which you pass by en route up to Saas-Fee. It also covers use of the normal post bus service between the villages although there is no special ski bus.

Saas-Almagell and Saas-Balen have little to interest skiers much above beginner standard (although you may wish to visit the former just to pay homage to the mightly Zurbriggens) but Saas-Grund's ski area is quite large and possibly worth taking a day down the mountain for. Its seven lifts include a gondola going up to 3100 metres (10,170 feet) from the village base at 1560 metres (5118 feet) giving a vertical of 1540 metres ( 5052 feet ) which is after all only beaten by Whistler on the entire North American continent so shouldn't be sniffed at! The 25km(16 miles) of trails are almost entirely of 'intermediate' standard.

Cross country skiers will find 8km( 5 miles ) of trails around Saas-Fee, with a further 26km of trails in the Saas valley below.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding in Saas-Fee

Snowboarders will find plenty to entertain at Saas-Fee both summer and winter. In winter there is the huge Freestyle Park at Morenia (www.saas-fee.ch/freestyle),and a beginner park at the Stafelwald.In summer there is the big Allalin Freestyle Park at the Satefelwald. Purchasers of the SAAS regional lift ticket also have access to the Freestyle Park at Saas Grund, the neighbouring resort down the valley. The Eskimo Snowboard school, a member of the Swiss snowboard association offers tuition and organises snowboarding camps in the Summer.

All of the rental shops have boards to hire, with Popcorn a specialist snowboard rental and sales outlet, complete with bar.

When is Saas-Fee open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates for Saas-Fee.

 Open.

Usual opening is Late July, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in Saas-Fee.

Snow Making

Saas-Fee is able to make snow, on 24km15 miles of ski runs, with 62 snow cannons.

Ski Lift Capacity

The 23 ski lifts of Saas-Fee are able to uplift 22,690 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Where is Saas-Fee?

Saas-Fee is in the Swiss Alps in Saastal, Visp, Switzerland.

How can I get to Saas-Fee?

 By Air

The nearest airports to Saas-Fee are Sion, Milan Malpensa and Geneva. There are five airports within three hours drive.

Off the Mountain

Saas-Fee Aprés Ski

Saas-Fee's nightlife is generally surprisingly lively for such an apparently peaceful resort. In addition to the numerous restaurants, the village has ten bars and four night clubs which remain open until dawn. One is beneath the Feriehart, where there are sometimes live bands and where there is also a piano bar. Another, the Metropol Crazy Night Life, incorporates a pub and VIP bar.

Interesting choices include the Happy Bar, with its impressive carvings and the Metro, which resembles a century old mine shaft! Straight after the lifts close there are a number of small bars near the base of the runs which are usually busy through until dinner.

Saas-Fee

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