Murren

Murren is one of Switzerland's best ski resorts, and this has a lot to do with its rich skiing history. Winter tourists from Great Britain came to this high alpine village back in 1911, and by the 1920s, this resort was well on its way to developing both downhill and slalom skiing. The Murren Ski Resort is essentially where modern alpine racing got its start. In 1931, the resort played host to the first Alpine Ski World Championships, and three years prior to that, it staged the first Inferno race. The Inferno race is still held to this day and is credited with being both the largest and longest amateur ski race in the world. With a history like this, you might expect Murren to be a highly-developed resort, though it's interesting to note that it has largely shunned growth. The village is charming and relatively quiet, in which case it serves as an ideal alternative to some of Europe's larger and busier resorts.

Murren Switzerland is located in the country's Bernese Oberland region. Just twenty miles to the north is Interlaken, and it's only seven miles to Lauterbrunnen. Since Murren is a vehicle-free village, many visitors take a train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen in order to get there. After arriving in Lauterbrunnen, a ten-minute cable car ride is required to finish the journey. Once you arrive in Murren, you are likely to be blown away by the beautiful scenery. The surrounding mountains include the famed Jungfrau, and should you venture up to the rotating restaurant on the summit of the Schilthorn, you can see clear to the French-Italian border and the Black Forest of Germany. The Schilthorn mountain tops out at 9,585 feet, and the restaurant that sits on its summit was made famous by its appearance in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

There is more to the Schilthorn than the famous Piz Gloria restaurant. Those who purchase a lift ticket for the Murren Ski Resort can access this relatively lofty peak to enjoy what amounts to one of the longest runs on the continent. The nine-mile run down the Schilthorn ends in Lauterbrunnen. Schilthorn also deserves mention for the fact that its summit serves as the starting point for the longest downhill race in the world. As you might expect, skiing or snowboarding down the Schilthorn is best suited for advanced skiers. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will have some good black runs to choose from at the Murren Ski Resort, and there are also excellent off-piste possibilities to keep in mind.

The Murren Ski Resort is part of the Jungfrau Top Ski Region, and should you buy a Skipass for this region, you can access the lifts and slopes at other ski resorts that are close by. These ski resorts include Wengen and Grindelwald. Murren skiing and snowboarding cater mostly to those who are of the advanced level, as this relatively small resort has mostly black runs. Over in Wengen and Grindelwald, the intermediate slopes are more abundant, and beginners will be happy to know that the area also features plenty of easier slopes. Seven lifts, a pair of cable cars, and a funicular railway serve the runs at the Murren Ski Resort, and there are mountain restaurants that provide good places to break and get something to eat. It is also worth noting that the resort has a snow park to go with its slopes. At the snow park, you can hit some jumps and work on a variety of tricks.

Even if you aren't a skier or a snowboarder, booking a couple nights or more at one of the Murren Switzerland hotels can be a great idea. Much like Italy's Cortina d'Amprezzo, Murren boasts some of the best mountain scenery of any ski resort. It also features a fantastic sports center where you can swim in an indoor pool, skate on an outdoor skating rink, let the kids burn some energy at the children's playroom, and play some tennis. Checking out the local shops can also be a fun way to spend your time while in town, and while the nightlife is limited, you can find some cozy bars at the Murren Switzerland hotels that can be great places to cap off a fun day.

Murren might not be Switzerland's largest ski resort, but it offers an array of lodging options nonetheless. Among the best Murren Switzerland hotels is the Hotel Eiger. Founded in the 1920s, the Hotel Eiger is the longest-established hotel around, and you can find it right across the street from the cable car terminus. The facilities at this cozy hotel include a heated indoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna, a bar, and a restaurant, and as is true of most alpine hotels in Europe, breakfast is included in the rates. Should the Hotel Eiger be fully booked, there is little reason to worry. The Murren Switzerland hotels include many other options. Top picks in the overall value department include the Chalet Fontana and the Eiger Guesthouse.

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