Wengen Ski Holiday Resort
If you are obsessed with skiing in the Three Valleys then Wengen may not appeal. If you are a little more broad minded and have a sense of adventure then you will love it. The Three valleys is a huge machine of ski convenience where as Wengen has far more charm, quaintness, and scenery. Whilst the village isn't huge and can be hilly in parts it is one of the most charming in the Alps with many Victorian grandoise hotels and small chalet styled shops lining the pedestriansied central area. The locals are very friendly and you really get the feel of being a welcomed guest.
The resort sits at 1275m with slopes arriving into the village itself. Here here you can take the fantastic mountain cog railway past the famous Eiger on to the Jungfrau up at 4160m (although skiing is not possible here). The top ski station is at 2971m at Murren on the Schilthorn. Overall there is 160km of piste which incorporates the Grindelwald plus the aforementioned Murren (famed for the filming of the James Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service).
Beginners have a good nursery facility in the village with a further two on the mountain, one above Grindelwald and the other at Wengernalp to the far right of the piste map. The latter offers blue runs to ski back into the village on. The friendliness of the instructors and locals means that this is an excellent area for families and novices alike.
Intermediates that aren't focussed on how many km of piste they have skied will really love the area. There are some long runs and good pitches too. The Lauberhorn is a stiff challenge and journeys across to the neighbouring resorts on the ski map will excite most. The one thing with skiing here is that you get a feeling of traveling from village to village with wonderful mountain huts and a more rural feel rather than the motorway pistes of some of the French ski factories.
Experts will wish to head for the off-piste under the north face of the Eiger with some great challenges as well as dropping into the Kleine Scheidegg area for some of the more difficult piste skiing. The blacks off the Lauberhorn are also good stiff runs and depending on conditions can either be fast and flat or moguled. Murren has some good freeriding terrain and is worthy of at least a days visit.
Boarders will like Wengen but there are some flats and a few drag lifts too. There are only two fun parks in this ski area, one at Murren and the other at Grindelwald.
Wengen is one of the best skiers that a non-skier could ever wish to visit. The visitor numbers in the summer almost rival that of the winter and that is testimony to it's charm and beauty. The mountains are totally accessible to walkers via the stunning engineering feat of the cog mountain railway (highest in Europe) that takes tourists up to the Jungfraujoch with it's amazing views. Here you can also visit the Ice Palace and Eiger Glacier. Trips by train to both Lauterbrunen and Interlaken are a must for non-skiers as these are both good days out. Walks around the village are plentiful with lots for culture vultures to enjoy and village has a surprisingly good selection of shops. In addition there is an ice rink where you can try skating or curling.
The selection of restauarants both in the village and on the mountain is just fantastic and this is one place to come and eat your way around your ski holiday.
Ther are some lively apres ski bars on the mountain for that 3-7pm slot, these include the funky Tipi-rama on the Kleine Scheidegg, the Brunner bar, the Pickel, The Start bar. Later on the scene moves on to various bars and clubs in the resort centre such as the ultra modern Blue Monkey club, or the Hasenstall. Wengen isn't a Val d'Isere or an Ischgl but if you come expecting it to be dead you will be in for a pleasant surprise.
Charming traditional and virtually fully pedestrianised ski village positioned amongst some of the Alps most spectacular scenery. Wengen is a ski resort that you will want to chill out rather than party but its skiing shouldn't be underestimated.
At a glance
- Resort height:
- Top station:
- Beautiful scenery
- Alpine skiing tradition
- Intermediate skiers haven
- Good family resort
- Stunning village (one of the best)