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Grindelwald is a very pretty, historic, year round resort in a spectacular setting with the backdrop of awe inspiring mountains including the Eiger. Grindelwald is also the largest base in the Jungfrau region, which includes Wengen and Mürren. It shares a ski area with Wengen, but also has its own First ski area. Famous for the its breathtaking views of the Eiger and spectacular scenery, Grindelwald celebrated its 850th birthday in 1996 and the 60th anniversary of the First Mountain railway in 1997. The first person to ski here was Englishman Gerald Fox who put his skis on in his hotel bedroom in 1881 and walked out through the hotel bar to the slopes wearing them - then followed the great and the good from around the world. Indeed the resort is busy year round and has a distinctly cosmopolitan air, attracting guests from all over the world giving a diverse ethnic mix in clientele rarely found in other resorts. As with Chamonix, Grindelwald's history as a climbing village predates that of its skiing fame, and its mountaineering heritage remains strong.

A very pretty, historic, year round resort, the largest in the Jungfrau region, which includes Wengen and Mürren. It shares a ski area with Wengen, but also has its own First ski area. Famous for the Eiger with it's break taking north face, Grindelwald celebrated its 850th birthday in 1996 and the 60th anniversary of the First mountain railway in 2007. The first person to ski here was Englishman Gerald Fox who put his skis on in his hotel bedroom in 1881 and walked out through the hotel Bar to the slopes wearing them. Then followed the great and the good from around the world and today thousands of ski and snowboarding fans.

Mountain

Grindelwald is part of the Jungfrau Region, shared with Murren and Wengen. It shares a ski area with Wengen - the Kleine Scheidegg and Mannlichen which is accessed by cog railway from Grindelwald or a 4 person gondola from the 'suburb' of Grund, and has its own ski area, First, reached by a six person gondola from the village. First has about a quarter of the Jungfrau's skiing - fivelifts serving 50km (31 miles) of runs, whilst the joint area with Wengen is the Jungfrau's largest having 20 lifts serving 100km (63 miles) of trails. The third sector, Mürren's Schilthorn, slightly smaller than the First ski area, is also included on the pass but is not ski linked - it's either a long - if spectacular - rail or coach link. Beginners and children are likely to spend their first few days at the Bodmi Nursery slopes which are home to Grindelwald's ski school and easily reached by ski bus from the village centre. There are two beginners' lifts and magic carpet lifts here. Intermediates will find the most to attract them above Grindelwald and in the Jungfrau as a whole. One of the best run is the long 8km (5 mile) descent from Oberjoch back to Grindelwald. The powder slopes from the Eiger's glacier are also wonderful if you reach them first! There are fewer runs for experts but the legendary Lauberhorn World cup downhill has to be ticked off your 'wants' list, although the Black Rock and 'near vertical' Kanonenrohr are arguably more intimidating. Grindelwald Sports, the snow sports and mountaineering school offer guiding to the various off piste, powder snow and glacier descents. Depending on the conditions cross-country skiers will find 20km (around 12 miles) of cross-country tracks in the Grindelwald Valley, starting at Grund. Use of the trails is free but those who make a lot of use of them are encouraged to purchase a 'cross-country sticker' for 30 SF to help with their maintenance.

Families

Grindelwald is a good choice for families because children will be as awe inspired as adults by the incredible scenery, be enraptured by the mountain trains and village ambiance and be well entertained by the rich variety of activities available on and off the slopes. The Kinderhort Murmeli at first and the Sunshine Crèche at Männlichen are happy to look after children from babies upward on an hourly basis or for the whole day. The Swiss Ski School organizes lessons for children from as young as 3 up to 14. The younger ones are welcome in the Club Snowli between 9am and 4pm from Monday to Friday. Here they can enjoy sledging, painting and generally having fun in their own nursery area. A list of additional baby sitters and child minders is available from the tourist office.

Eating Out

Grindelwald has a good selection of restaurants, mostly hotel based, serving Chinese, French, Italian, and Japanese meals as well as Swiss. The Hotel Spinne is the place to find Italian and French restaurants - all recommended whilst the popular Hotel Derby is known for its fondues. The Belvedere serves French cuisine whilst vegetarians will find a great selection, by Swiss standards, at the Kirchbuhl. High calibre establishments include the Schweizerhof, whilst The Memory restaurant at the Hotel Eiger is well known for its cheese and potato specialities and offers affordable, quickly prepared food. The C&M cafe has a small fresh menu changing daily and homemade pastries.

Apres

With so much going on in the evenings (see activities) in Grindelwald, the action in the bars fails to dominate the resort's reputation. However there is plenty happening - initially at establishments such as the Challi - which has live music, as does the up-market hotel Regina - or the Expresso. Late night action continues at the Mescalero discothèque and the Plaza Club. Don't miss a full moon or torchlit descent, complete with fondue, organised by Grindelwald Sports..

Boarding

Grindelwald boasts a superb terrain park with kickers, rails and boxes in the First area. There's also an excellent half pipe. The resort has hosted Skicross World Cup Races. Tuition is available from three schools, underlying the resort's significance in the 'boarding world, let be the Private Ski and Snowboardschool or the Ski and Snowboardschule Grindelwald. Another choice is the Burisport School. The high ratio of chairs, gondolas, funiculars and cable cars (trams) to drag lifts and the varied natural terrain also make Grindelwald a good choice for those seeking easy uplift and exciting downhill.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Vertical drop
1562m
Ski area
160
Resort height
1034m
Airport
Geneva
Train station
Grindelwald
beginner
30%
intermediate
50%
expert
20%