One of the great things about skiing in Switzerland is that it offers both the glitz and glamour of major, internationally recognized resorts such as Davos-Klosters, Zermatt and St Moritz and the simple serenity of small, traditional lesser-known resorts like Andermatt, Les Diablerets and Grimentz/Zinal. This enables skiers to find resorts that meet a diverse range of needs, safe in the knowledge that they all provide exceptional accommodation and services. Many skiers who have tired of 'factory skiing' on crowded French slopes with purpose-built towns are turning to authentic Swiss resorts, which are relatively uncrowded in comparison. They're often surprised to find that many of the resorts are virtually as large as their French counterparts and that the freeriding rates among some of the best in Europe. Party animals might find some of the smaller Swiss resorts disappointing for après-ski, but if they head for Engelberg, Verbier, Zermatt, St Moritz or Saas Fee they're sure to find enough going on there.
Switzerland is dotted with resorts, most of them curving along an imaginary meridian that links the east, south and southwest of the country. Two main weather fronts bring snow to the area, from either the north or the west. North fronts tend to predominate in the earlier part of the season, while west fronts, largely affecting the southern part of the Swiss Alps, begin to take precedence from February onwards.