While wrapping myself in a thick blanket with a hot water bottle and drinking tea my mind always drifts away to the snow and I can literally see myself shredding down some wicked slopes in the sunshine and finally make use of this icy weather. Oh yes, I am counting the days until I’ll be back on my snowboard enjoying the calm of the mountains while racing down piste after piste.
Going on ski and and snowboarding trips is somehting I have done my whole life, I couldn’t even imagine a year without a trip to the snow. During the last few years I have discovered the perfect ski (or snowboard) area: Anzère, located in the French part of Switzerland, a region called “Valais”. With its breath-taking mountain panoramas this place has dropped its magic on me straight away and instantly became the number one of my my favourite ski areas.

When the clouds disappear you  have a beautiful view over the villages Sion and Rhone Valley

Different to well known ski areas such as Kitzbühl, Davos or Ischgl this region is very calm. The benefit of that: no long waiting queues in front of the lift and relatively empty pistes, hence fewer chances to crash into other skiiers and less opportunities to get lost in the woods somewhere. The ski area offers 52km of white, snowy ski slopes. There are plenty of slopes for intermediate and advanced  riders, but there are also some perfect ones for beginners as well as a couple of ski/snowboard schools (such as Schweizer Ski- und Snowboardschule Anzere and Glycerine International Skischool) .

Empty ski pistes in the morning

Skiing in the afternoon sun

For those who like the thrill and practice of jumps, there is a pretty great funpark which often organises events and freestyle competitions.

If you want to have a break, consider visiting the mountain restaurant “Tsalan”, which offers all kinds of food and has an incredible panoramic view over the mountains. Also don’t miss out on Swiss hot chocolate “Caotina”, made out of real Swiss chocolate and simply to die for.

There is only one real drawback to Anzere and that is the lack of wild aprés ski parties or crazy bars. Instead you get to spend more time waking to the sparkling morning  sun before enjoying a beautiful day in the snow, hangover-free.

And if you really can’t do without some hot and steamy, I recommend you check out the Anzère Spa with an economically heated outdoor Jacuzzi – ideal to relax your muscles and get new power for the coming day.

Anzère is well known for being served by Europe’s largest heating station, which uses wood as fuel in an effort to reduce the consumption of heating oil. The Swiss ski paradise is also participating in the project  “A dream of the future”, an initiative which aims to reduce energy consumption by 20% using mostly renewable energy .

Apart from skiing Anzère is popular among outdoor enthusiasts with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing or paragliding being among the most popular. Check out the official homepage of Anzère which lists a good overview of activities and routes.

Got you interested? For more photos have a peak my previous post: Above the clouds – Mountain Panoramas of Switzerland