Skiing in Aletsch Arena, Switzerland
Bettmeralp, a beautiful Swiss ski resort!
We have been to quite a few Swiss ski resorts already, and this year, we spent a week in Bettmeralp which is in the Aletsch Arena ski area and offers beautiful views over the Aletsch Glacier from above. Bettmeralp, Riederalp and Fiescheralp are connected, and you can easily ski from one area to another. We stayed in Bettmeralp and loved the fact that this is a completely car-free village, which has kept its authentic charm with the cute wooden mountain huts which are so typical in the Valais/Wallis region of Switzerland. Also, since Bettmeralp is so high up, you are often treated to snow in the whole village, which allows you to gently ski on the main road, or go back on a sledge.
The Alpine Chapel ‘Mary of the Snow’
Mary of the Snow is the most known and an iconic image of Bettmeralp. In winter children will sledge from the hill next to the Chapel, and the real little ones will have their beginner Snowli ski classes on the flatter part next to the church.
The center of the village Bettmeralp
Bettmeralp has grown from an alpine meadow where local families used to live in summer, to a ski resort where you can find everything you need! On the main road, you will find sports shops, souvenir shops, a supermarket, a butcher, a baker, restaurants and hotels. But Bettmeralp has kept its authenticity and you will still see the beautiful traditional barns the farmers used to use.
The ski lifts
Bettmeralp has very modern ski lifts, which are accessible even for people with a slight fear of lifts, as they are quite close to the ground and have orange covers you can close, and some close automatically. Complete comfort and safety on your ride up! There is also a very long magic carpet which takes you to the area with beginner slopes. We had never seen such a long one!
The Moosfluh gondola takes you to where you can see the Aletsch Glacier covered in snow in winter. Of course, no need to be a skier to go up. A lot of people walk up there on the winter walking trail!
Other activities in Bettmeralp
If not everyone is a skier, or when the weather is no good, there are plenty of options on things to do in Bettmeralp.
- There is a Swimming pool with a slide and Jacuzzi’s in the Sports Center. The pool is at about 28 degrees Celcius, and the Jacuzzi’s at a comfortable 34 degrees. You can also rent an indoor soccer field, play table tennis and more.
- The Aletsch promenade connects Bettmeralp to Riederalp and is a nice, almost flat, winter walk.
- There are snowshoeing paths in Bettmeralp. The starting point is a bit out of the center though.
- There also is a cross country skiing track, also a bit further away.
- Our kids liked sledging next to the chapel, and some sledges that belong to the resort can be found there and used. Our kids like sleding, even during bad weather 😊.
- Other activities are also organized in Bettmeralp by the tourism office. You will find all the info on the information boards on the main street.
Restaurants in Bettmeralp
There are quite a few restaurants in Bettmeralp, but we would like to recommend you to reserve in advance, as we had a bit of a hard time finding a restaurant taking us without a too long wait.
One of the local specialties from Wallis we tasted here, is called Cholera… This completely inoffensive Swiss dish consists of a vegetable pie with potatoes, onions and apple. Very nice!
The Aletsch Glacier
The Aletsch Glacier is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Jungfrau-Aletsch and is the largest and longest glacier of the Alps, surrounded by impressive peaks.
We had already seen the Aletsch Glacier from the Belalp mountain on the other side while on holiday in Blatten in Summer. We would love to go to this region in summer once more to go hiking in Bettmeralp.
World Nature Forum, learning all about the Aletsch Glacier, and more
When you go back down, or before you go up to Bettmeralp or Blatten, make sure to stop in the village Naters, close to Bettmeralp. The World Nature Forum is located here, and we loved this modern museum where you can learn all about the UNESCO World Heritage in the Swiss Alps. The museum is very interactive. You can play with sand and watch by looking at colors where water would go while you reshape the sand, you can watch the VR experience and see the glacier change in time and learn about its history. The wide screen movie was very beautiful as well. Highly recommended to visit the World Nature Forum!
Their website for more information: https://www.jungfraualetsch.ch/en/worldnatureforum-en/
Right in front of the World Nature Forum is a cute café with very cool cupcakes!
Another option to prolonge the holiday feeling is a visit to the close-by thermal baths Brigerbad, which has indoor and outdoor pools. In case you go, always check on their website, as sometimes there is a discount you can download just before you go.
Their website: https://thermalbad-wallis.ch/en/
How to get to Bettmeralp
By car: you will need to leave your car in the big parking lot by the Gondola. You can then put your luggage on a special trolley and take that up in the cable car with you.
By train: the train stops right in front of the gondola, so this couldn’t be made more easy! From Brig, you will take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to the stop ‘Betten Talstation’.
Once you are up on Bettmeralp and your place for the night is still a bit far away, then there are snowscooter taxis at the gondola on arrival. Sometimes a bit expensive, but depending on how far you are, sometimes very welcome as well.
Where to stay in Bettmeralp
Most hotels and apartments in Bettmeralp are centrally located and have ski in ski out, or sledge in and sledge out 😊. This hotel was centrally located near the main road!
Visiting the Aletsch Glacier in Summer
If you liked this article and would like to visit the region in summer, then this article on Blatten and the Belalp mountain could also be of interest to you!