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3 Secret Alps Ski Destinations

Skiing in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria.

Photo: James Schriebl

Switzerland
The Resort: Grindelwald

This storybook village in the picturesque Bernese Oberland is home to the towering Wetterhorn and Eiger mountains and near the Jungfrau (now a UNESCO-protected natural World Heritage site), which have long attracted outdoor enthusiasts and form a breathtaking backdrop to the chalet-dotted hills surrounding town.

Getting There: Grindelwald is three hours from Zurich by train (sbb.ch).

Stay: Nothing captures the town’s charm like the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof (doubles from $474), with its pitched roofs and 19th-century wood-paneled façade. The suites blend old-world details (fireplaces; carved pine headboards) with modern amenities (flat-screen TV’s; heated tile floors in the bathrooms). For impressive views at a more affordable price, try Hotel Steinbock (doubles from $250), where the wood-beamed rooms are simple but cheery.

Eat: Directly across from the train station, Grand Regina hotel’s La Pendule d’Or (dinner for two $90) serves a mix of regional and French cuisine—all prepared with ingredients from the hotel’s own farm and organic garden. For fondue, look no further than Barry’s (dinner for two $73), an authentic Swiss hut inside the Hotel Eiger that offers the perfect blend of Gruyère and Vacherin cheeses, plus a shot or two of kirsch. Rancher Bar (dinner for two $112), an atmospheric log cabin set on a slope above town, is known for its steaks and mulled wine.

Do: Need a day out of ski boots? Shop for gear (not to mention clothing from designers like Escada) at Graf Sport, or hike the wooded trail to mountain hideaway Rasthysi, where local character Rolf Schneller makes a tasty Schümli Pflümlis (Switzerland’s answer to Irish coffee). For a day trip, hop the Jungfrau Railway (tickets $26), whose tracks top out at a spectacular 11,000-foot vantage point.

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