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Zinal

Zinal’s a tiny old Swiss village with surroundings that’ll make your jaw drop – the ‘Imperial Crown’ of iconic 4000m peaks. There’s 115km of pistes to explore throughout the Val d’Anniviers, and plenty more beyond the markers for freeriders.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Val d’Anniviers ski pass • Small mountain village • Incredible freeriding

Great for: • Off piste • Scenery • Quiet ski holidays

Zinal’s a tiny old Swiss village with surroundings that’ll make your jaw drop – the ‘Imperial Crown’ of iconic 4000m peaks. There’s 115km of pistes to explore throughout the Val d’Anniviers, and plenty more beyond the markers for freeriders.

Zinal Resort

Zinal feels wonderfully worlds away from the everyday - high up at the far end of the stunning Val d’Anniviers and under some of the Alps’ highest peaks - the 4000m+ Imperial Crown of Dent Blanche, the Weisshorn, Matterhorn et al.

The small, quiet village has only 300-400 permanent residents and is home to some charming old larch chalets – one farmhouse dating back to 1768. On the outskirts, the Zinal-Sorebois cable car takes you up into the ski area, which is linked with the bigger village of Grimentz, 8km along the valley.

But that’s not all you can access with your ski pass – also in Val d’Anniviers you’ll find the St Luc-Chandolin and Vercorin ski areas and together with Zinal and Grimentz there’s 220km of pistes. Buses connect you to St Luc and Chandolin in about twenty minutes and Vercorin’s small, tree-lined area is half an hour away.

When it comes to getting here, Sion and Geneva are the nearest airports – the first an hour away and the second under 2.5 hours. If you’re travelling by rail, Sierre is the closest station with bus links taking 40-60 minutes.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Valais, Switzerland

Established: 1961

Open: November - April

Downhill: 115km

View our detailed Zinal snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Zinal snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Sion Airport (SIR)45km, 1 hour
Geneva Airport (GVA)198km, 2h15
Bern Airport (BRN)201km, 2.5 hours
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (BSL)296km, 3.5 hours
Zürich Airport (ZRH)320km, 3.5 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 25km 22%

  • 25km 45%

  • 28km + 10km itinerary 33%

Top Altitude:2900m
Bottom Altitude:1500m
Resort Altitude:1670m
Longest run:4.3km (local area) 5.8km (Val d’Anniviers)
Slope Orientation:N E NE
Vertical Drop:1400m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 11cm
  • Base
  • 0cm
  • Forecast
  • 0cm

Web Cam

Zinal web cams
Downhill Runs:115km
Beginner slopes:22%
Intermediate:45%
Advanced slopes:33%
Lift Pass Price: 290CHF Grimentz-Zinal / St Luc-Chandolin / Vercorin Adult 6 Day
Nearby resorts: Grimentz

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Zinal

Intermediates and above are best off here, as there’s a long cruisey red route – Aigle – leading back to the village (with a straighter, steeper black detour halfway down).

That’s not to say newbies aren’t catered for – if you’re happy to get the lift back at the end of the day, there’s a learning area at the middle station with the blue Combe to progress onto.

But back to the red ones, this place has plenty of variety. We like the Durand and Crete from the Combe Durand drag – the former can link up with Coupe du Mond and Aigle for a valley run back to base. L’Arete from Corne de Sorebois is worth a ski, as is the lovely wooded Foret over above Grimentz.

Moving up in difficulty, the longest, most interesting expert run is the Chamois that connects over to Grimentz – starting off with a hairy narrow ridge (rockface one side, a drop on the other), then widening into a scenic stretch and narrowing again as it plunges down between the trees. While in the Grimentz half of the ski area, connect up to Becs de Bosson for another black run down and the FIS trail above the mid-station.

Where this area really comes into its own is beyond the piste markers. This was Switzerland’s first official freeride area and is home to an avalanche training centre which’ll clue you up on handling the backcountry sensibly. The Terrain at Gardes de Bordon is famously good, and local guides will be able to show you everything from couloirs to untouched powder fields and forest trails.

Zinal Apres Ski

Zinal definitely doesn’t throw parties as big as Verbier, but if you prefer a quiet night with a bottle of vino anyway, this is one of Switzerland’s biggest and best wine regions. There are a couple of traditional après options, like Bar a Pente at the car base station, where you can experience the joy of skiing one minute and sipping vin chaud the next. For a later evening, Bar E Voc closes 11pm weekdays and midnight at weekends, while Pub le Roc noir usually opens its doors until 2am…

Food-wise, Le Besso serves artistically presented, seasonal dishes and we can’t get enough of the fondues at Le Trift. For traditional Swiss nosh like rosti, try Restaurant de la Poste.

And when it comes to other activities, you can set off on snowshoe treks to the Zinal glacier or skate on the natural ice rink (just under Hotel Europe) which is lit up in the evening.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Zinal

When is the best time to ski Zinal?

Surrounded by the Imperial Crown – the sky high peaks of the Weisshorn, Dent Blanche and Matterhorn – helps keep the temperatures low and climate snowy. As spring approaches, the north facing nature of the slopes keeps the white stuff shaded from the Swiss sunshine, leaving Zinal with the best conditions in the valley. Earlier in the season, there is snowmaking on about 30km of trails if a top up is ever needed.

Peak Dates

Get the bus over to Grimentz for the famous Christmas Market and head to the tourist office for a torchlight walk to the live nativity scene. Look out for Santa too, who usually appears to hand out sweet treats. It all adds up to a magical Christmas in Zinal.

The ski school usually help to mark the New Year in Zinal with a torchlight descent and previous years have seen gallons of mulled wine and a big party at the community centre.

If you want to feel that the classroom or office is another world away, Half Term in Zinal is just the ticket.

With high, north facing pistes in the local ski area, you’ll find some of the best spring snow in Val d’Anniviers over Easter in Zinal.

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Families in Zinal

The International ski school take kids from 3.5 years for group ski lessons, and classes run for every level of skier and snowboarder. If everyone needs a break from the skis, there’s an indoor swimming pool with wellness facilities to keep the whole clan happy.

GroupsGroup Holidays Zinal

For a proper group getaway, escape deep into the Anniviers valley, surround yourselves with pretty chalets and soaring peaks and enjoy good times together. The après ski is far from the craziest you’ll find in the Alps, but spots like Bar a Pente make for cracking meeting points during a day on the hill. If a bunch of you are confident off-piste, share the cost of a guide and head out to explore the incredible freeride terrain here.

More Zinal Holiday Resources


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