One of Swiss skiing's best kept secrets
Grimentz emerges at the end of one branch of the Anniviers valley and ski area after a spectacular drive. A 15th Century Swiss mountain village with a pedestrianised and cobbled main street lined with traditional wooden chalets with red geraniums hanging from nearly every window in the summer, Grimentz oozes charm all year round. The winter season is snow sure due to its high altitude and a variety of runs suit all abilities. Powder hounds enjoy its famous off-piste skiing on the uncrowded North and East facing back country terrain. Close to ski resorts and filled with a variety of shops and a small number of hotels, restaurants and bars, the après ski is understated, but if you are looking for a quiet and charming village with epic skiing and numerous summer activities, Grimentz is a great choice.
What about property in Grimentz? The valley has been a popular draw for British visitors for centuries and now attracts those from all over the world, particularly in summer. With around 500 local residents, a high percentage of properties are second homes which means once the handful of new 2 or 3 bedroom chalet and apartment developments are finished, no further new building will be allowed for any property type.
A guide to Grimentz
Grimentz and its neighbouring villages Zinal, St Luc and Chandolin, are situated in the Val d’Anniviers, 2.5 hours from Geneva by car. The valley has been a favourite of climbers and walkers since Victorian times, yet it has “flown under the radar” as a ski destination until recently. This has allowed Grimentz to retain its authentic Valaisan charm while, at the same time, allowing for appropriate new tourist infrastructure and property development.
The village of Grimentz hangs over the western side of the valley with a splendid view over to the Weisshorn and the other 4,000 metre peaks that make up the famous “Imperial Crown”. The centre of the village is traffic-free, its traditional chalets toasted dark by the sun over the centuries but alive with colour from the geranium pots hanging from the balconies.
Grimentz Ski Area
Grimentz is one of the resorts that has joined the Magic Pass grouping. The predominantly North and East-facing slopes ensure a long season, as does the 1400 metre vertical from the top lift at 2900 metres. What’s more, the close proximity to the Lac de Moiry further up the valley guarantees a plentiful supply of water for snow making. Grimentz itself has 50km of pistes which are now linked by high-speed cable car to Zinal on the other side of the valley, adding a further 70km of ski pistes. Most of these are intermediate friendly. The ski area is also popular with experts for its back-country bowls where the tracks are seldom skied out. Zinal hosts an annual Freeride competition. A free bus connects the villages of St Luc and Vercorin, making a total of 220km of skiing across the valley. Skiers and snowboarders have 11 fun parks across the valley at their disposal.
Non skiers are well catered for with 7 cross-country ski routes, 120km of snowshoe trails, 110km of winter walking trails and 15km of tobogganing.
Après Ski in Grimentz
Chez Florioz is a good starting point, at the foot of the pistes and with a good atmosphere. The bar at the Hotel Alpina is also a popular spot. Bar Le Country is a good place to watch sports. Bar Domino has a large selection of Belgian beers and cocktails and attracts a younger crowd. It’s fair to say that Grimentz is not a place to come for lively nightlife, but that’s just the way the locals and visitors like it.
Eating Out in Grimentz
Every resort needs a good pizza restaurant and Arlequin does not disappoint. For great crepes head to Claire Fontaine. Bar Domino serves pizzas and flammenkuche washed down with a Trappist Ale or two. The Hotel Alpina serves great local dishes.
For lunch on the mountain try the Etable du Marais for traditional Valaisan dishes, or the Cabane Becs-de-Bosson with panoramic views.
Summer in Grimentz
The Val d’Anniviers is a fantastic place to be in the summer. Alpinists can take various routes around the Imperial Crown of peaks, and the valley is covered with walking paths all the way up to the glaciers above the Lac de Moiry. There are 100km of signed mountain bike routes and Grimentz is the end destination for the annual 130km Grand Raid mountain bike race starting in Verbier. Adrenalin junkies will enjoy paragliding, bungee jumping and the 410 metre long via ferrata above the Moiry Dam.
Grimentz Property for Sale
If Alpine property for sale in the Grimentz area is not of interest, consider properties nearby in Crans Montana.
• Other Destinations in the Swiss Alps •
Andermatt, Anzère, Villars, Crans Montana, Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Champéry, Flims-Laax-Falera