he Silvretta Arena comprises a large area between quiet, duty-free Samnaun in Switzerland and party-town Ischgl in Austria. There is some excellent skiing and snowboarding, particularly for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, and the area is largely clear of flats and unavoidable surface lifts. The modern, efficient lifts, excellent park, high, well-groomed slopes and Ischgl's après ski give it an almost legendary status amongst those with a work hard, play hard ethic, contrasting with the more traditional, family atmosphere of Samnaun. Plans to extend what is already a huge resort with new runs off Piz Val Gronda have hit environmental opposition and are currently on ice, so to speak.
The winter season kicks off in Samnaun around late November with the annual Santa Claus World Championships, the ClauWau, where teams from all over Europe make complete idiots of themselves for two days of light-hearted fun and heavy-duty (and duty-free) alcohol consumption.
Best of the Slopes
Some seriously long runs here, with the best probably being the 11k run from the summit down into Ischgl, right into the heart of the village. Also recommended are the black ski trails around the Greitspitz. There are some 20km of marked trails too, in addition to the substantial pisted area.
Where to Eat and Party
Across the mountain in Ischgl the nightlife gets pretty wild - there is even pole-dancing. Samnaun is much more demure, although incongruously it has a very good fish restaurant, Hotel Haus Homann (+41 81 861 91 91).
Please refer to a map and check local conditions for accurate routing information.
- The road distance from Zurich is around 268 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs 10 mins.
- The road distance from Basel is around 347 km and the journey time is roughly 4 hrs.
- The road distance from Berne is around 389 km and the journey time is roughly 4 hrs 25 mins.
- The road distance from Geneva is around 552 km and the journey time is roughly 6 hrs 10 mins.
The nearest major airport to Samnaun is Zurich although other airports may also be convenient.
Destinations in the region include Scuol.
Latest Resort Report
Visit Resort Website for a Snow Report (see sidebar).
Piste Map for Samnaun
Get directions from Google in a new window or tab
Accommodation in the Resort & Nearby
- $$$ Des Alpes, Samnaun (3*) Ranked #14 by Tages-Anzeiger amongst Swiss 3* Hotels.
+41 818685273 http://www.hotel-desalpes-samnaun.ch
- $$$ Wellness Hotel Chasa Montana, Samnaun (4*) Ranked #9 by Tages-Anzeiger amongst Swiss 4* Hotels, and ranked #1 in Samnaun by TripAdvisor.
+41 818619000 http://www.hotelchasamontana.ch
Samnaun is located in Graubünden