Lying to the southeast of Zürich and Chur, on top of the alluring Schanfigg Valley, Arosa ski resort, at 1800m is amongst the highest and busiest of the Alpine resorts found in the Grisons, after St Moritz and Davos. The lift system is highly efficient and the open snowfields found on four of the mountains suite beginners and intermediates alike.
Arosa village, partly dating from the 14th century but with a modern and contemporary look, lies sheltered above the Schanfigg Valley. Most of the hotels and shops are located on one street (Poststrasse) in the centre of town. Arosa lures families with such attractions as fashionable shops for the adults and kindergartens for children.
There are almost 8,000 beds available in Arosa, mainly in hotels, chalets and apartments; alternative lodgings are in nearby Chur. Après-ski is fairly sedate, mostly involving good eateries and hotel-based bars as well as folklore evenings and concerts. Regular bars and discos are also on hand.
Arosa ski resort’s 55 slopes run over 76kms of pistes, ranging from beginner to advanced with access to either side of the valley made possible by 13 ski lifts, made up of six chairlifts, four T-bars, two cable cars, and one gondola, as well as a regular bus service taking passengers along the valley floor. The lifts have a total capacity of over 21,000 people every hour.
Alternatively, other passes allow access to ski slopes as far away as Davos, Flims, Klosters, and Lax, and some of the pistes in the Engadine. Apart from the skiing, Arosa resort features some great horseback riding. The stables found at Fuhrhalterei and Wierhof are open all year and offer rides across scenic trails.
The ski season runs between late November and mid-April, and cheaper rates can be found prior to the Christmas holidays and from early March until early April. Getting here is easiest if you fly into Zürich and catch the train to Arosa.