According to legend, Switzerland is the cradle of winter holidays. It is said that, one summer in the middle of the 19th century, the hotel owner Johannes Badrutt placed a bet with four British tourists, to come back for a vacation in winter. Apparently this was the first time people from Great Britain came to St. Moritz for a winter vacation. Today, it is almost impossiblenot to think of Switzerland as a holiday destination for the colder season. Over 7,000 kilometers of ski-runs attract visitors to ski and snowboard. The mountain scenery is absolutely unique. It counts 48 four-thousand meter mountains, which makes it the highest mountain range in Europe.
Probably the most legendary summit is the Matterhorn. It is 4,478 meters high and towers above the trails of Zermatt in Valais. Other ski runs with stunning panoramas can be found in the Jungfrau region in the Bernese Oberland, with the mountains Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau, in St. Moritz with view over the Bernina massif or in the Aletsch Arena. Here, skiers can enjoy the view over the Great Aletsch Glacier, the longest in Europe. The list of popular skiing regions in Switzerland, however, is much longer. On it you will find Saas Fee, Davos Klosters, Flims Laax Falera, Arosa Lenzerheide, Gstaad and many others. Including Portes du Soleil, which unites twelve skiing regions in Switzerland and France, the Swiss possess part of the biggest skiing region in the world.
Besides its long tradition of skiing, Switzerland also lives by its manifold customs. These can be found in culinary specialties such as the cheese - best enjoyed in a delicious cheese fondue - or musically with the sounds of the alp horn. The fine techniques of the watchmaking industry have for centuries enjoyed a fantastic reputation, too.