Sunday, 15 March 2020

Andermatt - Steep and Deep

With over thirty top Swiss ski resorts to choose from at www.otp.co.uk, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So, to help you decide, we will be doing a blog focusing on a particular resort and its merits. This week, we take a look at Andermatt.


Andermatt is a very diverse resort in Central Switzerland. It consists of two very different ski areas which span across the cantons of Uri and Graubünden. These two areas are the Gemsstock mountain and the Andermatt-Oberalp-Sedrun area. Whilst the former is an absolute haven for freeriders, the latter provides a more leisurely experience with wide, intermediate pistes, two nursery slopes, three toboggan runs and a whole host of mountain restaurants. 

Initially a sleepy Swiss village, the area has been transformed by the construction of the award-winning luxury hotel, the Chedi Andermatt, in 2013. Fortunately, though, the village has managed to retain its Alpine charm throughout its redevelopment. 



Since the opening of the Andermatt-Sedrun connection at the end of 2018, the resort consists of 120 kilometres of piste, making it the largest ski area in Central Switzerland. The piste, however, is not where Andermatt has made its name. 

Expert skiers often make their way to the steep and shady slopes of the Gemsstock in search of the perfect powder lines. Indeed, as the Ski Club of Great Britain so accurately put it, ‘the Gemsstock is home to some of the world’s finest off-piste and the snow quality is usually excellent.’ 

The mountain is the highest point of the resort at 2,961 metres and the many black runs and off-piste routes that descend the mountain are the perfect place to enjoy Andermatt’s fantastic snow.


Andermatt is situated at a meeting of valleys in the northern side of the Swiss Alps. This means that it is ideally positioned for powder and is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Europe. 

The natural geography of the area accounts for why the resort has been lauded for its deep powder and excellent freeride conditions. Indeed, the Telegraph has highlighted the resort as the very best in Switzerland for powder. This makes Andermatt an excellent alternative to the major resorts of Europe, particularly when snowfall in the rest of the Alps has been scarce. 





Sunday, 23 February 2020

Laax - A Mountain Playground

With over thirty top Swiss ski resorts to choose from at www.otp.co.uk, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So, to help you decide, we will be doing a blog focusing on a particular resort and its merits. First up, Laax!




Laax is an expansive and slightly unique ski resort in the canton of Graubünden. Its eastern location in Switzerland means that it is an easy resort to get to, only taking ninety minutes from Zurich. 



With over 235 kilometres of piste, Laax has plenty of variety in its slopes and is suitable for all groups and abilities.



From skiing on the Vorab glacier, the highest point of the resort at 3,018 metres, to eating at excellent mountain restaurants, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The connected resorts of Flims, with its extensive network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails, and Falera, an authentic Swiss village, really add to the diversity of the ski region. 

That being said, Laax is particularly renowned for freestyle snowboarding and skiing. In fact, the peak of Crap Sogn Gion has become somewhat of a Mecca for adventurous snowboarders looking to experience the mountains to their full potential.


Boasting the world’s largest halfpipe, four snowparks of varying difficulty, special freeride areas reserved for snowboarders and the Freestyle Acadmey, Europe’s first indoor freestyle centre, Laax is more of a mountain playground than a ski resort. 

It’s no wonder, then, that it has been named the World’s Best Freestyle Resort at the World Ski Awards for the past four years in a row. David Hablützel, a professional snowboarder from Switzerland, described the resort as ‘one of the top freestyle spots in the world.’ Indeed, it often plays host to elite freestyle events, such as the recent 2020 Laax Open. So, whether you’re only just learning to 180 or are already pulling off double backflips, Laax is the resort for you. 


Check out available accommodation with our Live Availability & Booking system at www.otp.co.uk 

Monday, 18 June 2018

UNESCO World Heritage Switzerland

Bern

 
SwissPasses.com are the exclusive online ticket suppliers of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland.

See more of the country and experience these amazing sites.

We will focus on one on each blog and today:

Old City of Bern





Founded in 1191, the Swiss capital Berne features a historic Old Town quarter renowned for its medieval magic, impressive cathedral and attractive arcades.    

Highlights:

Visit the Zytglogge in the old city of Bern and learn more about the impressive tower from the 1300s. Discover the first Western city gate and enjoy an incredible view of everything from the city to the Alps. Admire the golden inner workings of the clock and see an incredible puppet show Visit the Zytglogge in the old city of Bern and learn more about the impressive tower from the 1300s. Discover the first Western city gate and enjoy an incredible view of everything from the city to the Alps. Admire the golden inner workings of the clock and see an incredible puppet show.
 
 
        
Conceived in the 1300s, the clock tower is one of the remainders of Bern's first city walls. For over 600 years, the clock has struck on the hour. Inside, time seems to stand still and cool solitude awaits. Conceived in the 1300s, the clock tower is one of the remainders of Bern's first city walls.
 
The reliable ticks of the Middle Age technology impart a steadiness to visitors. Approximately 130 steps to the top of the spiral staircase lead you to a lookout platform. From here, see the roofs of the old city and maybe even the Alps. 
 
Visit the clockwork with your guide and follow the puppet show step by step until the famous rooster crows.

 


Includes:  

     50-minute tour with guide      
 

Meeting point:   

Zytglogge (Clock Tower) on the side near the Kramgasse, Bern 
 
 

 Opening hours Tourist information Office at Bern Bahnhof:

• Monday - Saturday - from 09:00 to 19:00   
• Sunday and general holidays - from 09:00 to 18:00
 


If you are in Switzerland already - just book your discounted tickets at www.swisspasses.com/whes

If you would like to visit Switzerland for a short break to experience one of the amazing sites, have a look at our packages at www.otp.co.uk for Live Availability & Booking






Friday, 8 June 2018

Grindelwald V Project

Grindelwald V Project goes ahead

Ready for winter season 2019

 
The Grindelwald V Project has given the final go-ahead, a 400 million-franc project that will cut travel times from the village of Grindelwald up to the Jungfraujoch railway station by 47 minutes.
 
At 3,454 metres above sea level, the Jungfraujoch station is the highest in Europe and is a hugely popular destination for tourists: over a million people used the station in 2017, up 13.6 percent on a year earlier, thanks in part to its popularity as a destination among Asian tourists.



Currently, rail tourists travelling to the station from the Grindelwald Grund railway station must first take the train to Kleine Scheidegg and then change for the Jungfraujoch service.

 


The Männlichen gondola is also being replaced with state-of-the-art 10-person seated gondolas so speed up access to this brilliant ski area.
 
Trains from Interlaken Ost will pass through a new Grindelwald Grund station before climbing up to Grindelwald Dorf (and the Grindelwald First ski area).

 
 
This huge project is due for completion in time for the winter season 2019 and makes Grindelwald even more of an attractive destination.
 
We have a great selection of apartments, chalets & hotels in Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region, with Live Availability & Booking at www.otp.ski
 

 


 

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

UNESCO World Heritage Switzerland

Bellinzona



SwissPasses.com are the exclusive online ticket suppliers of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland.

See more of the country and experience these amazing sites.

We will focus on one on each blog and today:

Three Castles of Bellinzona Three Castles of Bellinzona




The three imposing castles of Bellinzona - Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro - are among the most significant examples of medieval defensive architecture. The three imposing castles of Bellinzona - Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro - are among the most significant examples of medieval defensive architecture.


Opening hours Castelgrande museum:

  • November-March/April - from 10:30 to 16:00
  • March/April-November - from 10:00 to 18:00

Castello di Montebello and Sasso Corbaro museums:

  • March/April - November: from 10:00 to 18:00
  • November - 7 January 2018 - from 10:30 to 16:00
  • From the 8th of January 2018 to March: closed

If you are in Switzerland already - just book your discounted tickets at www.swisspasses.com/whes

If you would like to visit Switzerland for a short break to experience one of the amazing sites, have a look at our packages at www.otp.co.uk for Live Availability & Booking






Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Your winter team 2017/2018

Your team!

We are very proud to present your team who will be looking after you when you come on holiday with us this winter.

GRINDELWALD: Ellie Joy






With a season under her belt and a true love of the outdoors, Ellie is the Resort Manager for OTP in Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region. She is champing at the bit to is sure to show you around the slopes!




NENDAZ, Les 4 Vallées: Chris Jenkins





From Doncaster and with a solid background in resort work, Chris is the Resort Manager for Nendaz and the 4 Vallées region, returning for a 3rd season.  Chris is an excellent person to show you the region and make sure your holiday runs smoothly.


SAAS-FEE: Tom Senior





From Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, many of you will know Tom - OTP Senior Resort Manager and back again to charm you in Saas-Fee. Tom is a qualified ski instructor too and not only back with us again, he is in charge of all winter resorts.

ZERMATT: Andy Thackray





Andy is from Rotherham and having travelled extensively, Andy is Resort Manager for Zermatt, is a keen snow sports enthusiast for many years, he is the ideal person to entertain and look after you in Zermatt!



My name is Jeff Michel, and I am the MD of OTP Swiss Holidays. I am so proud of the team we have this season and they will do you proud too. Thanks for everyone who visited us at the London Ski Show, 26th to 29th October at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London
 



OTP Swiss Holidays offers ski holidays to 30 Swiss resorts, so have a look at www.otp.uk and join us this winter for a great holiday. See you soon!




Saturday, 15 April 2017

Taking to the skies: Zermatt

With spring conditions upon us and the winter season drawing to a close, the OTP Resort Managers were given a taste of what other exciting activities Switzerland has to offer.

Partnering up with Fly Zermatt, the Resort Managers were each given the opportunity to go paragliding and soar above some of Switzerland's most iconic peaks.


Although the OTP team took off from Zermatt's Rothorn peak (3103 m), they reached altitudes in excess of 4000m.


The theory behind paragliding is that heat rising from the surface of the earth produces upward currents of air. As such, during the winter when Switzerland is covered in snow, there aren't as many air currents and flight altitudes tend to be a lot lower. As snow begins to melt during the spring and bare patches of earth are exposed, flights tend to be a lot more turbulent due to the mix of summer-like up-currents and the remains of the cold winter air.




Whether you're an adrenaline junky or simply want to experience paragliding at its highest altitudes, summers in Zermatt offer the smoothest flights and largest up-currents. Flights starting in Switzerland and crossing into Italy are one of the all-time favourites of paragliding enthusiasts.



 


Despite talk of landings being tricky, the experienced instructors at Fly Zermatt proved that there was nothing to worry about.


 

There was only one word the OTP Resort Managers used to describe the experience; beautiful.

Come along and join us; www.otp.co.uk