The homeland of the legendary ski champion Pirmin Zurbriggen rightly bears the name of the pearl of the Alps.
The high alpine villages of Saas-Fee, Saas Grund, Saas Almagell, and Saas Balen are located at the very end of the Saas Valley in the Swiss province of Vallis.
The town of Saas-Fee
At the entrance to the main town, Saas-Fee (1,800 meters), there are large underground garages and car parks. As car traffic is prohibited in the town itself, passengers and their luggage are transported by electric vehicles. The town seems fairytale-like. Preserved rustic architecture, snow-covered streets, and sleighs with horse-drawn carriages and bells create an idyllic image of the ski resort. The people we met in Saas-Fee have characteristic smiles on their faces like they are happy to be able to be a part of this winter paradise. This paradise, like any other, is not for everyone. It still is a place for mostly those with deeper pockets, but also a place where it is possible to find somewhat more affordable accommodation.
The ski resort has about 20 cable cars. The Alpin Express is a comfortable gondola lift that runs from the resort to Felskinn. There you can board the highest subalpine train in the world – Metro Alpin, which runs at a dizzying 3,500 meters. There is a fantastic view from Mittelallain, but be aware of the sparse air. That is, when you rise to that height, it is recommended to rest and give yourself half an hour to get used to these heights. The best place for this is Allalin, a panoramic restaurant that rotates at the highest altitude in the world and is located next to the gondola station itself. Next to the restaurant is the entrance to the Ice Museum, a cave drilled in the Fee Gletscher Glacier itself. Skiing at these heights is of great quality all year round.
Trails lead from the top via Felskinn (3,000 meters) or Laengfluh (2,870 meters) to the town in the valley. The trails are mostly red (45 kilometres) or blue (30 kilometers long in total), but for slope lovers, there are also mostly wild black trails full of moguls. Those are Kanonenrohr and Weisse Perle. On Allalin there is also a beautifully landscaped snow park for surfers and carvers.
Other places of the Saas valley
At the entrance to the valley is Saas-Balen. This place is proud of a Fellbach waterfall and romantic promenades. In Saas-Balen, the only round church from the 19th century in Switzerland can be found.
The Saas Grund ski area is also beautiful, and the view of the surrounding peaks at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres is simply spectacular. Saas Grund is a quiet and peaceful place with slightly fewer tourists. On the other hand, it is the starting point of most hiking trails such as Almagelleralp and Gsponer Hohenweg on Kreuzboden. From Saas Grund, the gondola goes to the top of Hohsaas (3,100 metres) where the famous Weg der 18 Viertausender trail on Hohsaas is located with a magnificent view of the Mischabela massif.
Saas Almagell is located the southernmost in the region and is also popular with mountaineers. This ski resort is smaller, has several cable cars, and is oriented towards families with small children.
There is a total of 41 cable cars and over 150 kilometres of ski slopes, and the same ski pass is valid all over. The longest trail in the valley is 15-kilometre-long. Saas-Fee is proud of 9-kilometre-long trail as well.
The offer of other sports is rich. Highlights include hiking and Nordic walking, snowboarding, carving, (night) sledding, ice climbing, and snowshoe hiking. Outdoor, winter activities include Gorge Alpine, snow tubing, Ski-Doo, curling, and touring skiing. Night skating, swimming pools, table tennis, yoga, Zumba, micro bowling, wellness and spa treatments, and fitness programs will relax every skier after a real glacier adventure.
Après-ski and gastronomic offer
Several bars are offering live entertainment next to the lower station of the cable car, so the after-skiing fun begins with the descent to the town. There are over 250 catering facilities in the village, partly discos or pubs and partly restaurants. The more popular ones offer local cheese specialties. Rösti, raclette, and fondue taste different than they do in France. A lesser-known delicacy is Saas cholera, reminiscent of pie or burek, and is as delicious as other dishes. Locals are extremely proud of Randenwurst, a dried sausage produced in the Saas Valley.
Saas-Fee is a special place on the Alpine ski map. It provides a unique atmosphere of an idyllic town, without traffic, overlooking the mighty peaks of more than 4,000 metres. Although it has about 300 sunny days a year, the resort is perfect for skiing and winter holidays. If it were closer, it would probably be more popular among our skiers.