Saas-Fee – „The pearl of the Alps“ is the main village in the Saas Valley and is located in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
Tourism started in the early 19th century in the valley of Saas. During the summer months, mostly mountaineers would travel to Saas Fee to climb one or several of the impressive 4000 meters high mountains surrounding the valley. To accommodate the tourists the village started to open guest houses, hotels and restaurants. While the village was flourishing during the summer months, winter tourism hasn’t developed yet. The locals would carve wood to make stunning furniture during the winter months and sell them to the tourists in summer. Only later during the early 20th century did skiing become popular as a sport and with it, Saas Fee became a popular tourist destination during both the winter and summer seasons.
Today the resort offers many cultures, sports and off-slope activities, including classical music, a sports and leisure complex, restaurants, and nightclubs. The resort features the highest underground funicular railway in the world up to the skiing area and the highest revolving restaurant in the world at 3,500 m (11,500 feet). Houses are required to be 40 per cent wooden, which is why the village often seems to blend in nicely with its surroundings.
Thanks to its altitude (1800 meters above sea level) and the Saas Glacier it is possible to ski all year round on the glacier in Saas Fee. During the summer months, many international ski and snowboard teams chose the destination for their summer training. But also leisure skiers and snowboarders often return to Saas fee to get their share of skiing and snowboarding during summer.
However, the number one reason to come to Saas Fee in summer remains to be hiking and mountaineering. With 350 kilometres of hiking paths and some of the highest mountains to climb in the Swiss Alps (Dom 4545 m) Saas Fee is a paradise for nature lovers.
Other activities during the summer include:
Mountain biking, Adventure park with canopy, George alpine (day and night tours), Wildlife watching, Alpine golf, Mini golf, Pit pat, Petanque, Aerobic, Yoga and more.
Throughout the summer several events are organized such as weekly summer market, gourmet trail, summer concerts, the annual traditional food festival “Genussmeile”, guided village tours, local wine tastings, museum tours and more.
Saas Fee is considered to be a very attractive winter sports destination in the Swiss Alps. Its elevation guarantees excellent snow conditions during all winter months and the village offers currently the following for skiers and snowboarders: 100 km of slopes (30 km beginner, 45 km intermediate, 25 km advanced), 22 lifts including 5 gondolas (1 dedicated to walkers), 2 cable cars, 1 underground metro, 2 chair lifts and the rest being draglifts. The ski area has a vertical drop of 1800 m and a top elevation of 3600 m. Beginners park for the children, as well a fun park with half pipe and kickers for freestylers are provided by the cable car company. A new gondola right next to the bus terminal is planned to be built within the next two years to replace the gondolas of Spielboden and Laengfluh. Additionally, two new restaurants will be constructed in the Spielboden and Laengfluh areas.
Other activities during winter include:
Sledging, snowshoe hiking, ice climbing, ski touring, ice skating, hockey, wellness, cross country skiing, curling and more.
Throughout the winter month, several events are organized such as Snowboard and Freeski European cup, Ice climbing world cup, Glacier bike downhill, Allalin races, New Years and Carnival festivities and more.
Saas-Fee is a car-free village and motorized vehicles are allowed to enter the community. Only small electric vehicles operate on the streets which makes it much more charming. Be it in summer or winter Saas Fee is a very charismatic and beautiful village to visit which provides a vast range of activities in one of the most beautiful natural settings one can imagine. Discover the pearl of the alps…