by: Sally Black - 19th December 2008

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 3All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 3Family Friendly
  • 4Aprés Ski
  • 3Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Duty free, great food, excellent ski area
Remote and hard to reach, ski area barren and all intermediate.

Full review

Samnaun is quite an unusual ski area. It's right up in the north East corner of Switzerland on the Austrian border and the winding mountain road up to it seems to pass in to Austria as you reach it. I didn't realise before i arrived it is duty free and the first thing you pass is about 10 petrol stations as the petrol here costs about half what it does in Austria or down in the valley. Samnaun has three or four separate village bases strung along the road. The main village has most of the shops, bars and restaurants but it's in a narrow valley and you skui down a track by the rosad or get the ski bus to access the doubkle decker gondola up to the ski slopes. You can ski back in from above via the 'duty free' red run. On the slopes the skiing is good fun with fast modern lifts but we had a couple of guys with us who hadn't skied in a few years and we realised nearly all the terrain is graded red/intermediate - a lot of it the kind of red that would be graded black in North Amerrica. There were a few blues, but really they ought to be reds too. The terrain is high which meant we had great skiing on December 1st, but it is a bit barren and windswept too, no trees. You can ski over the border in to Austria and down to Ischgl, which is a cool thing to be able to do. So it's great for intermediates but not so good for beginners I would guess. Back in resort we found great restaurants that were very affordable despite the high quality and lots of duty free bargains - much better than airport duty free.
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