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Andermatt, Switzerland

Andermatt photo

ABOVE: Andermatt's Gemsstock mountain and cablecar.

Andermatt may not have the glitz of St. Moritz, the massive lift network of Davos, or the hip modernity of Crans-Montana, but this resort in Central Switzerland is popular with hardcore skiers who prefer alpine excitement to disco action.

The town lies only 67 km (41 miles) southeast of Lucerne and 140 km (87 miles) from Zürich near the junction of four alpine passes: the St. Gotthard, Grimsel, Susten, and Oberalp. The plateau setting isn't very spectacular, but the surrounding mountains are--and the Andermatt Tourist Office boasts of "guaranteed snow from November to May."

Skiing is geared toward intermediate and expert skiers, with 56 km (34 miles) of alpine runs and 40 km (24 miles) of groomed cross-country trails that run along the valley floor toward the beginners' alpine lift at Realp. Off-piste skiing is available for advanced or suicidal downhillers. Non-skiers won't find much to do in Andermatt during winter, except for sledding and ice skating on an outdoor rink.

Getting to Andermatt

Andermatt is in Canton Uri, on a plateau above the main Chiasso railway line between Zürich and Italy. You can take an express from Zürich to Göschenen (near the entrance to the Gotthard tunnel) where you'll switch trains for the quick climb to Andermatt. Some trains continue beyond Andermatt to Brig, but you'll normally have several minutes to haul your belongings off at the Andermatt station. To check train times, use the Swiss Federal Railways journey planner.

If you're driving, take the Autobahn toward the St. Gotthard Pass and Lugano. Leave the motorway at Göschenen (before the tunnel) and head uphill on the local road to Andermatt. 

Tourist information

Andermatt
The town's official tourism site covers all the basics, with text in English or German.

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Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Arosoft

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