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If you’re torn between visiting or staying in Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund for your upcoming Swiss adventure, this article will provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. So which is the better choice in Saas Valley: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund?
Overview: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
You can’t go wrong with Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund in Saas Valley. There’s plenty to do, shops, and restaurants in both places. Although they are both high alpine towns, Saas-Fee is situated at a higher altitude compared to Saas-Grund. Nonetheless, both are high alpine towns with easy access to many mountains and good skiing possibilities.
Visitors from all over the world might wonder: Is it better to stay in Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund? We’ll talk about the different places we can visit nearby as well as the advantages of staying in each.
Key Differences: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
The key differences between Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund are as follows:
|Population: approx. 1,563||Population: approx. 1,000|
|Total Area: 40.6 km2||Total Area: 40.57 km2|
|Elevation: 1,800 m (5,900 ft)||Elevation: 1,559 m (5,115 ft)|
|Accessible by bus and car (cars remain at the parking area),|
|Accessible by bus,|
|Highlights: Mittelallalin, Spielboden, Längfluh, Plattjen, Felskinn, Several glaciers (Schwarzberg, Allalin, Fee, Hohlaub)||Highlights: Hohsaas, Kreuzboden|
|Language: German||Language: German|
Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund: Which is Better?
You can’t go wrong with Saas-Fee or Saas-Fee. These two towns are both located in Saas Valley, in Canton Valais, Switzerland. Surrounding both are beautiful mountains, glaciers, and gorgeous scenery. Hotels and restaurants abound in both towns as well.
Saas-Fee is better than Saas-Grund if you prefer panoramic views of surrounding glaciers, an attractive mix of guests who seek a more relaxed atmosphere, and a traditional Walser Swiss mountain village with charming chalets. It is also preferable if you wish to stay somewhere car-free. Saas-Grund is a better option than Saas-Fee for those seeking a quieter mountain resort and the ability to drive directly to their accommodation.
Personally, I prefer Saas-Fee because it has more restaurants and is more lively. Still, Hohsaas has the best views and more sunshine than Saas-Fee, so it’s definitely a plus to keep in mind.
Let’s take a closer look at these two places.
Located in Valais, Switzerland, Saas-Fee is renowned for its exceptional alpine landscape. The village lies within the Saas Valley, a breathtaking expanse carved by the meandering river Saaser Vispa. The Mischabel massif acts as a natural divide, separating Saas-Fee from the Matter Valley, where the famous destination of Zermatt is located. The main language here is German.
This enchanting village boasts an impressive accolade – it is surrounded by an astonishing 13 peaks soaring above 4,000 meters. This remarkable concentration of high peaks is among the highest in the entire Swiss Alps, setting the stage for breathtaking panoramic views and endless outdoor adventures.
Close to the glaciers of Dom and Allalinhorn, Saas-Fee is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventurers. The village’s car-free status adds to its appeal, creating an oasis of tranquility.
Saas-Grund, much like its neighbor Saas-Fee, is nestled within the picturesque Saas Valley. Comprising the core village of Saas-Grund and the adjacent hamlets of Unter dem Bern and Ze Laubinu, it is renowned for its abundant sunshine year-round. Moreover, the village offers breathtaking panoramic vistas encompassing 18 mountain peaks, each beyond an altitude of 4,000 meters.
While Saas-Grund forms an integral part of the Saas Valley’s ski region, it primarily provides direct access to two key destinations:
- Kreuzboden – situated at 2,400 meters
- Hohsaas – situated at 3,200 meters
One of Saas-Grund’s distinctive features is its family-friendly appeal, with 14 gondola cars themed around the adventurous tale of the Saasi and Hohsi dwarf family, delighting young and old alike. The Kreuzboden area offers an array of attractions for children, including a playground with climbing areas, a water park, and a petting zoo with goats. Mountain biking enthusiasts can also revel in the Trift Flowtrail, an exhilarating biking experience connecting Kreuzboden to Trift.
For those seeking a more leisurely experience, Saas-Grund offers a multitude of themed trails. In winter, you can ski, go snowshoeing, or sled.
Places to Visit near Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund
Places to Visit Near Saas-Fee
- Mittelallalin – At 3,500 meters above sea level, Mittelallalin is one of the highest viewpoints in Switzerland. Here, you can enjoy a breathtaking experience in the world’s highest-revolving restaurant. Sunrise skiing is sometimes possible if the weather permits (reservations recommended).
- Felskinn – Felskinn is a rocky outcrop at almost 3,000 meters that serves as the middle station before heading over to Mittelallalin.
- Spielboden – You can discover playful marmots and a captivating alpine landscape at Spielboden. This is an enchanting spot to witness up-close these charismatic creatures in their natural habitat. You may even feed them (food can be bought from the Tourist Office) and pet them if they let you.
- Längfluh -From Längfluh at 2,870 meters above sea level, embrace sweeping vistas of towering peaks of Dom, Täschhorn, Alphubal, and Feechopf, making it a haven for mountain enthusiasts and photographers.
- Plattjen – Plattjen offers a tranquil escape with stunning vistas. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the mountains while taking in the crisp mountain air.
Places to Visit Near Saas-Grund
- Glaciers in Saas Valley – Embark on a journey through breathtaking glaciers – Fee Glacier, Allalin Glacier, Hohlaub Glacier, and more – each offering a unique, awe-inspiring spectacle of ice and majesty in the Saas Valley. Snowshoeing is possible on the Fee Glacier together with a mountain guide.
- Hohsaas – Hohsaas can be reached by gondola from Saas-Grund. It enjoys fantastic views of the Saas Valley, sunshine, and 18 four-thousand-meter mountains. From here, you can easily reach Weissmies. Lagginjoch, an elevated mountain saddle, is also nearby.
- Kreuzboden – At Kreuzboden, children can enjoy the engaging playground (hanging bridge, water park, and more). A small animal park is located beside the restaurant in case you want to pet and feed goats. There is also a small lake nearby.
Accessibility: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
Saas-Grund can be reached more quickly from Zurich, Geneva, and Bern compared to Saas-Fee since Saas-Fee is at the end of the valley. Also, take note that Saas-Fee is car-free and you will first need to leave your car at the Saas-Fee Parking Lot before entering the village.
The comparison table below shows how long it would take you to reach Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund from Zurich, Geneva, and Bern.
|Travel time from Zurich (fastest)||3 hours and 6 minutes||2 hours and 49 minutes|
|Travel time from Geneva (fastest)||3 hours and 26 minutes||3 hours and 11 minutes|
|Travel time from Bern (fastest)||1 hour and 53 minutes||1 hour and 46 minutes|
Skiing: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
Saas-Fee is one of Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts offering 150 kilometers of skiing for all levels of difficulty. The village itself is situated at an elevation of 1,800 meters. Its highest peak, Mittelallalin, is located at a height of 3,500 meters.
Of the ski slopes in the Saas-Fee ski region, around 32 kilometers are in Saas-Grund and 100 kilometers are in Saas-Fee.
Most of the ski slopes in Saas-Fee are intermediate runs. In addition to the easy and intermediate slopes, the ski resort has some difficult ones too. Saas-Fee has flat practice slopes that are great for beginners.
Below we have two tables comparing the slopes of ski resorts in Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund.
|Pistes (in km)||Saas-Fee||Saas-Grund|
|Ski season||mid-July to mid-April||late December to early April|
While Saas-Fee boasts a larger and more expansive ski area that operates longer, Saas-Grund also offers a substantial and delightful skiing experience, with a relatively high level of snow reliability compared to other Swiss ski resorts. Those with small children and beginners may prefer Saas-Grund due to its size or smaller atmosphere.
Advantages: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
Advantages of Staying in Saas-Fee
- Panoramic Views: Mountain peaks and glaciers are visible from Saas-Fee village itself. The vistas are breathtaking and the village is really charming. From Spielboden, you will get closer to Fee Glacier. And from Mittelallalin 3,500 meters above sea level, the views are nothing short of amazing.
- Price: Saas-Fee is generally considered more upscale in terms of accommodations, lift passes, as well as dining options. By using the Saastal Card, guests who stay at least one night in Saas-Fee can enjoy discounts and complimentary services during their visit (summer only).
- Ski Region: The Saas-Fee ski area covers both Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund. Nonetheless, for people who are looking for a larger ski area or prefer to ski earlier in the season, Saas-Fee is a better choice. Saas-Fee has a sizable ski area with a variety of slopes for all ski levels.
- Atmosphere: Saas-Fee attracts a mix of families, couples, and outdoor enthusiasts. As a traditional mountain village, its atmosphere is also cozy and inviting.
Advantages of Staying in Saas-Grund
- Panoramic Views: From Hohsaas, you have breathtaking views of the prominent mountains such as Dom (4,545 meters), Täschhorn (4,490 meters), Lagginhorn (4,010 meters), Weissmies (4,023 meters), Alphubel (4,206), Rimfischhorn (4,198 meters), and Allalinhorn (4,027 meters).
- Price: Saas-Grund offers more budget-friendly boarding and dining compared to Saas-Fee.
- Ski Region: The Saas-Fee ski area covers both Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund. For people who want to be near the smaller ski area of Kreuzboden/Hohsaas, Saas-Grund is the better choice.
- Atmosphere: Saas-Grund is definitely quieter and more relaxed compared to Saas-Fee. It is ideal for those who prefer a smaller, more quiet mountain resort.
Hotels: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
Our recommendations for hotels in Switzerland are based on our personal experiences or user reviews. I highly recommend using Booking.com. It is a fantastic way to find hotels in Switzerland.
Hotels in Saas-Fee
- The Capra Saas-Fee (5-star) – Located in the heart of Saas-Fee, this elegant mountain hotel is near many shops and restaurants, as well as ski lifts. The rooms offer fantastic panoramic views, and there is a spa and wellness center on-site.
- Walliserhof Grand-Hotel & Spa Relais & Châteaux (5-star) – This luxury hotel in the heart of Saas-Fee offers amazing service, fantastic rooms, and an exclusive spa area. There are three restaurants, fitness classes, and an airport shuttle as well.
- Boutique Lodge Spycher (4-star) – Boutique Lodge Spycher has excellent spa and wellness facilities, a convenient location near Hannig, well-appointed rooms, and a superb breakfast.
- Wellnesshotel Schweizerhof (4-star) – Located close to the village center, this amazing hotel has a spa area, a relaxation room with stunning views, and an excellent breakfast. Moreover, you can have a good dinner here if you wish.
- Boutique Hotel La Gorge (3-star) – Located right next to the Alpin Express cable car at the edge of a gorge, this boutique hotel is beautifully designed. The staff is helpful and the breakfast is delicious.
- Hotel Garni Jägerhof (3-star) – The family-run hotel is an excellent option if you want a convenient ski-in/ski-out location in Saas-Fee. Excellent breakfasts, great value, and an awesome location make this hotel a great choice.
Hotels in Saas-Grund
- Montela Hotel & Resort – Suiten (4-star) – Beautiful, modern hotel with a children’s playground. It is conveniently located near the Kreuzboden Gondola, with the bus stop for routes to Saas-Fee also in close proximity.
- Haus Chalet Arnika (3-star) – This rustic-style hotel in the heart of Saas-Grund is only 300 meters from the Kreuzboden Gondola. The place is tidy, efficiently arranged, and offers excellent value for your money.
Final Thoughts: Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund
Without a doubt, Switzerland is a country with many beautiful places. And because the time and budget to tour it might be limited, it would be wise to choose a place that suits your wishes and preferences.
Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund are two mountain resorts in the same valley in Switzerland. Saas-Fee is, in particular, a very popular place with its unique combination of close-to-village glaciers, an authentically traditional mountain ambiance, a well-sized yet approachable ski area, and favorable pricing.
Saas-Grund is not as well known as Saas-Fee but appeals to visitors in other ways. It is more budget-friendly, has the same picturesque views, and provides a peaceful, less crowded atmosphere. The decision ultimately comes down to your preferences and budget.
No matter what you choose, you won’t regret it. They’re both gorgeous, with majestic mountains and natural landscapes. Whether you decide to stay in Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund, I’m sure that you will have a good time.
- How to Spend 1 Day in Saas-Fee
- Saas-Fee Parking: Tips and Information for Saas-Fee Visitors
- Saas-Fee Murmeli Trail: Feeding Marmots in Spielboden
- 12 Charming Car-Free Villages in Switzerland
- Best Zermatt Alternatives to Choose From
- Top 10 Car-Free Ski Resorts in the Swiss Alps
- Top 15 Highest Ski Resorts in Switzerland
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.