Gliding through Goms Eric Kendall | Posted: 08 October 2014
Cross-country skiing in the Goms Valley, Switzerland
The high-quality Hotel Castle sits on the slopes of Switzerland's Goms Valley
Cross-country skiing in the Goms Valley, Switzerland

Cross-country skiing in the Goms Valley is a window into a pristine winter landscape.

Ancient villages line the valley, providing the perfect spot for a drink or a meal and giving tantalising glimpses of the shingled houses and steepled churches that make up these tiny communities.

Smack in the middle of the Alps, Goms is Switzerland’s cross-country ski capital. Skiers who have decided that gliding across wintry landscapes is preferable to hurtling down the steep bits don lightweight skis and comfortable boots to slide through the view. It’s the snowbound equivalent of cycling through mountains, giving access to the winter landscape but avoiding steep hills, either up or down.

Reaching terrifying speeds is a remote prospect and any exertion involved is an afterthought; you just cruise along enjoying the scenery, comfortable in the knowledge that even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are earning your next cake stop.

Related Holidays

Winter Holidays at the Hotel Castle, Blitzingen

Spend a week at the Hotel Castle in Blitzingen to enjoy this cross-country paradise, and try a range of other activities such as winter walking, snowshoeing and tobogganing.

More about our cross-country skiing
holidays in the Goms Valley >

The high valley, bordering some of the snowiest peaks in the Alps, is uniquely suited to the sport: there’s snow in abundance, while the series of villages strung along the upper reaches of the Rhône are perfect coffee, lunch and tea spots, with multiple routes leading from one to the next. After a lesson to master the equipment, you’re away, following the easy trails to begin with, then tougher routes which meander away from the river and up into the forests. When you’ve had enough, it’s time to stop at one of the many outstanding restaurants – the region is renowned for its cuisine, and was the home of Cesar Ritz. Refuelled and refreshed, it’s time for more skiing, and when you’ve finally exhausted your new-found ski muscles you can simply stop at a station and ride the warm train back to Blitzingen and the Hotel Castle.


Eric Kendall of is a writer who lives in Switzerland’s Valais region.

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