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Winter sports were more or less invented in St Moritz, by a bunch of British aristocrats, and ever since the resort has had an old money feel...
Don't let that put you off - St Moritz ski holidays offer oodles of on-piste adventure for intermediate skiers, as well as masses to do off the slopes. And the Engadin Valley, in which the town is set, is a fascinating destination in its own right.
Resort height: 1,856m
St Moritz's ski area is big - encompassing 350km of piste - but it's broken up into three main areas, and a bunch of little ones besides. This means you have to spend time commuting in the free shuttle buses, which most people find a drag. That's a good thing, because as a result, the majority of skiers and snowboarders congregate on the closest mountain to town - Corviglia - leaving the other areas blissfully underused. Corvatsch, just across the valley, can be almost entirely deserted in the middle of the week. If you've ever been freaked out by the crowds in the A-list resorts of France, you'll find skiing in St Moritz a powerful tonic.
St Moritz has pistes to suit every level of skier and snowboarder, but the people who will enjoy themselves most are intermediates, who will love the many fast reds on offer here. Experts tend to venture off-piste to find their thrills, but although the terrain is pretty steep and exciting, the dry, cold climate means there's less powder to be found here than in many ski resorts further north.
The transfer to St Moritz from Zurich airport takes three to four hours...
So take the train if you can: it's one of Europe's great railway journeys.
As the birthplace of modern snow sports, you might expect St Moritz to be a great place to start skiing...
The truth, however, is that most of its pistes are better suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
St Moritz offers up bags of fun for non-skiers and has a beautiful mountain backdrop. It's not a cheap resort, though...
In a word, the après-ski in St Moritz is odd. One of the main gathering points at the end of the day is an old-fashioned cake shop called Hanselmann's - not exactly party central. Town tends to warm up after dinner, in the bars of the Schweizerhof hotel, and finishes in the very posh King's Club at the Badrutt's Palace hotel. There is also a host of good restaurants in St Moritz, at a range of prices, but the real attraction here is lunch at the bizarrely-named but very exclusive Mathis Food Affairs - where the owner stands and shaves black truffles over the pizzas.
Non-skiers have come to the right place. St Moritz is famous for the daft stuff the aristos get up to, such as horse-racing and cricket. But actually the real attraction is all the activities the locals enjoy, such as cross-country skiing, skating and tobogganing (although some of the runs are lethal). Shopping is a big part of the appeal too - even if it's only to laugh yourself hoarse at the Eurotrashy styles of some of the merchandise.
Cost of living 4/10
No doubt about it, St Moritz is expensive. To keep costs down, stay in one of the outlying suburbs, such as St Moritz Bad or Celerina. And stay out of the ritzy shops!
Attractiveness of the resort 8/10
The main town lacks a little charm and is full of rather big, bulky buildings. Overall, however, St Moritz is a beguiling place. The Engadin Valley is very self-contained and isolated, and feels like a separate country. The mountain scenery is stunning.