Our complete guide to...

Engelberg

Switzerland

Few resorts can rival Engelberg as a short break destination, particularly for competent skiers.

 

Not only is Engelberg easily accessible from both Zurich and Basel, but it also combines a great snow record with some formidable expert terrain, especially off-piste. Adventurous intermediates are also well catered for, though beginner skiers would be better served elsewhere.

 

Engelberg may not be a classic chocolate-box Swiss village, but it is reasonably attractive and has a lively weekend vibe.

Where is Engelberg?

 Transfer time:

 Zurich - 1hr15,  Basel - 1hr40 

 

Engelberg is in the central-northern Swiss Alps, just one hour’s drive south of Zurich. 

Engelberg - the resort

 Resort height:

1050m

 

Engelberg is a traditional Swiss village surrounded by magnificent high mountain scenery including the permanently snow-capped 3020m Titlis.

 

The village may not have quite the same charm as Zermatt, Wengen or Saas-Fee but it is pleasant enough, with friendly locals, a relaxed atmosphere and an animated après-ski scene, at weekends at least.

Engelberg's ski area

 Altitude:

1050-3030m

 

 Pistes:

82km 

 

 

Engelberg offers skiing on both sides of its valley. The smaller, sunnier Brunni area is served by a cable-car from just outside town and offers a selection of mostly short, tree-lined intermediate pistes.

 

On the other side of the valley, Engelberg’s larger Titlis area is also served by lifts from just outside town. This is where you will find the bulk of the more challenging terrain (both on and off-piste) that the resort is famous for.

 

The Titlis area can be split into two distinct sectors, the first being Trübsee-Stand-Titlis which has the glacier, much of the best off-piste and a vertical drop of nearly 2000m. The second Jochpass sector is smaller, but also of interest to both on and off-piste skiers.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg's ski area Engelberg's famous revolving Titlis cable-car.

Engelberg's snow record

Our snow rating:☆☆☆

 

While the village itself may not be high, Engelberg’s slopes reach over 3000m and, being near the northern edge of the Alps, they also catch the full brunt of northerly storms. Low level rain is not uncommon here but your chances of finding powder higher up are just about as good as anywhere in the Alps.

 

Engelberg also has a small glacier which normally allows skiing to open as early as October and continue well into May.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg's snow record Engelberg's ski area is well known for its copious snowfall.

Where to find the best snow in Engelberg

The upper half of the Titlis/Jochpass area is high and north-facing and usually has the best snow. It includes a small glacier that reaches over 3000m and is usually open from mid-October to mid-May.

Where to ski in bad weather

In bad weather, but as long as the snow is OK, you should head to the Brunni side where there are plenty of gentle wooded runs. The Titlis side is largely treeless, except for the very bottom.

Engelberg for experts

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

Engelberg is an excellent resort for advanced and expert skiers, especially off-piste.

 

The most famous off-piste area is the Laub, a wide, steep slope of around 1000m vertical with great views over the village. There are also plenty of less obvious unmarked routes off the top of Titlis, some of which are as long as 2000m vertical.

 

Back on-piste, the itinerary from the bottom of the glacier to Stand is steep and mogulled. Many of the red runs are also on the steep side.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg for expert skiers Engelberg is one of the best resorts for powder in the Alps.

Engelberg for intermediates

Our rating:☆☆☆☆

 

Engelberg has limited easy cruising and is best suited to adventurous intermediates in search of more challenging terrain.

 

The tougher runs are generally on the upper part of the mountain, with some more mellow blue runs lower down, and across the valley at Brunni.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg for intermediates Engelberg does have some easy cruising, despite its reputation as an expert's resort.

Engelberg for beginners

Our rating:☆☆☆☆

 

There are several small nursery slopes scattered around Engelberg, one in the valley near the village, another at Trübsee, and a third at the top of the cable-car on Brunni. However, Engelberg only has a relatively limited number of easy slopes to progress to, so there are better places to learn to ski.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg for beginners Engelberg's Swiss ski school.

Engelberg for cross country skiers

Engelberg has around 35km of cross-country trails. The longer ones are in the valley but, if snow is in short supply, there are some shorter loops both at Gerschnialp and Trübsee.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland - Engelberg for cross country skiers Cross-country skiing on the 'Sun Track' in the Engelberg valley.

Mountain restaurants in Engelberg

For a relatively small resort, Engelberg is well endowed with good mountain restaurants. A perennial favourite is the cosy Skihütte Stand at the bottom of the Titlis cable-car. Other recommendations include the Jochpass, the Untertrübsee and the Berghaus Trübsee hotel at the top of the main lifts out of Engelberg.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland -  Mountain restaurants in Engelberg Mountain dining at the Trübsee Alpine Lodge.

Engelberg for non-skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆

 

Engelberg has plenty to do off the slopes. In the village itself you can visit a 12th century monastery and ‘show-dairy’, which produces Engelberg’s famous “Klosterglocke” cheese. There is also an excellent sports centre.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland -  Engelberg for non skiers Engelberg's 12th century monastery.

It is also easy for non-skiers to get up the mountain, to sightsee or visit the ice grotto and suspension bridge up on Titlis.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland -  Engelberg for non skiers Titlis suspension bridge.

Engelberg's après-ski

Our rating:☆☆☆☆

 

Engelberg has a good variety of après-ski options and can be quite lively at weekends. At the bottom of the main lift, the Chalet après-ski bar is among the more popular places. The Ski Lodge and Yucatan bars are two other established haunts or, for late action, you could try the Spindle nightclub.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland -  Engelberg's après-ski The Chalet après-ski bar.

Eating out in Engelberg

Engelberg has a huge number of restaurants to choose from.

 

For traditional Alpine fayre in a cosy atmosphere you could try the ever popular Alpenclub. For Tex-Mex, head to the Yucatan at the Hotel Bellevue Terminus, or for Chinese food you should go to Moonrise.

 

For a more gourmet experience, the panoramic restaurant at the Hotel Waldegg (just above town) also comes recommended.

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Engelberg, Switzerland -  Eating out in Engelberg The Hotel Waldegg's panoramic restaurant.

Snow-wise's top tip

Engelberg is the closest major ski resort to Switzerland’s biggest city, Zurich. Avoid weekends if you want the slopes to yourself.

Considering a luxury ski holiday or short break in Engelberg?

 

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