Already in October I feel my legs tingling in anticipation, and with the first snow I am overcome with a sense of happiness: Perhaps you know me already – I am Christina Ragettli, a passionate winter sports enthusiast. As an ambassador for Swiss Youth Hostels, I’ll reveal where you can make your first tracks in the snow as early as November.

On average, winter sports enthusiasts have to wait 230 days. The slopes start to melt in April and usually don’t return until December. But not everywhere: There are also destinations in Switzerland that start the winter early or others that don’t take any breaks at all. For all you winter fans, I have created a programme for those of you who are impatient for the season to start.

A larch dream in Saas-Fee

wellnessHostel4000 has been in Saas-Fee since 2014. Before that, a tennis hall stood on the same spot. The view of the glacier right from bed is magnificent, and the view from the sauna also makes me go into raptures: Sweat, watch chamois and squirrels and forget the time (heads up!). In addition to the two saunas, there is also a steam bath, a pub area, a whirlpool and a large indoor pool with a slide (perfect for children).

Frau im Sprudelbad Aussicht auf Lärchenwald

Relaxing views after a work-out on the slopes ©Christina Ragettli

Sauna Aufguss Zuber

wellness4000 offers relaxation and sports on 1,900 m2 ©Christina Ragettli

wellnessHostel4000 is about 2 minutes from the bus stop and the large car park. As many of you surely know, Saas-Fee is car-free. No need to lug your suitcases and skis very far! And to get from the hostel to the mountain railways, it takes just under 5 minutes. Everything is close by, promising a stress-free trip to the mountains. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a group of friends or a family, everyone feels at home at wellnessHostel4000.

Anyone travelling to Saas-Fee in autumn can look forward to a sea of gold. The larches usually turn more yellow with each cold night from October onwards. The golden glow of the larches is an incredibly beautiful natural spectacle. From November, the needles then start to fall off.

Alpin Express Gondel verschneite Berge im Hintergrund

A quick trip to the hostel and to the mountain: Straight to 2988 m with the Alpine Express ©Christina Ragettli

wellnessHostel4000 Saas-Fee

wellnessHostel4000 is the ideal starting point for winter enthusiasts
©Christina Ragettli

Toblerone, everywhere you look – Zermatt

The Zermatt Youth Hostel is situated on a slope with a fantastic view of the Matterhorn. It has stood in this place since 1950. In 2003, the hostel was expanded with the first certified Minergie standard buildings of the Swiss Youth Hostels. I have met many lone travellers from all over the world at the Zermatt Youth Hostel. There is a lot of chatting and sharing of travel stories

Frau im Fenster Jugendherberge Zermatt

Weather permitting, the rooms in the new building of Zermatt Youth Hostel offer a direct view of the Matterhorn ©Christina Ragettli

The main building has a cosy and familiar charm. You immediately feel at home and are served the finest food or you fetch it yourself in a very «youth hostel-like» way. You can see as far as the Matterhorn from the restaurant. What a view!

Jugendherberge Zermatt

The two new buildings of Zermatt Youth Hostel are the first certified Minergie buildings of the Swiss Youth Hostels ©Christina Ragettli

Cross-country ski trails in the Engadin Lakes Region – St. Moritz

In 2011, the hostel in St. Moritz was extensively and sustainably renovated. Located directly on the forest, the St. Moritz Youth Hostel impresses with its modern lobby and restaurant as well as the spacious family rooms. One highlight is the small fondue Stübli. Here, hostel guests are served fondue or raclette instead of the evening menu for a small extra charge.

There are numerous winter hiking routes right nearby the hostel, for example the winter hiking trail to Lej da Staz, which is also used as an ice skating rink from the end of November. The Nordic Arena cross-country ski trails are only a few minutes’ walk from the hostel and are already in top condition in November.

Ley Staz in St. Moritz im Winter

Surrounded by the most beautiful Engadin mountain nature, you can spend the night at St. Moritz Youth Hostel ©Christina Ragettli

St. Moritz Youth Hostel has created an exciting offer for this exact reason: The Cross-Country & Yoga Camp in St. Moritz will take place four times this winter. Three days of cross-country skiing, yoga and cross-country technique made easier with breathing techniques derived from yoga, and spending the night in the St. Moritz Youth Hostel.

Langläufer auf Loipe St. Moritz

Full-body workout and fun included – first-attempts at cross-country skiing are also guaranteed to train your laughing muscles ©Christina Ragettli

Action & adventure Hostel tips In the mountains

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