At an elevation of 1,800m, near the bottom of Switzerland’s Dom and Allalinhorn glaciers, resides Saas Fee, one of the highest ski areas in the Alps. Historically, its lush alpine meadows were used predominantly for cattle grazing, for which you can still see the picturesque cowshed today. However, it expanded in the 1950s as a ski resort and now has a population of 1,597 (2017).
Saas Fee’s iconic, narrow streets weave through a mixture of old chalets and newer luxury hotels, while the 13 jagged peaks provide a stunning backdrop. Moreover, Saas Fee’s proximity to the alpine glaciers gives skiers a rare opportunity to ski in the summer.
If you are thinking of buying property in Saas Fee, whether as an investment or for pleasure, this traditional Swiss town can offer you a range of great choices.
Living in Saas Fee
Naturally, skiing is the main event in the Swiss winter. Saas Fee is not the largest resort, with 100km of pistes, however, the altitude should be its main attraction for skiers. The resort is north-facing and most slopes are above 2,500m, giving the skier very reliable powdery snow. Moreover, the groomed runs are more suited for beginners to intermediate, since about 60% of the runs are graded at an intermediate level. Off-piste skiing is limited due to rugged terrain, cliffs and crevasses; however, skiing touring is popular here as it attaches to the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route.
Saas Fee resort is part of the mountain, Hannig, and a gondola can take you to other activities lower down the mountain; so, aside from skiing, other snow sports and activities include snowshoeing, tobogganing or sledding. Although if you’re looking for some winter beauty, then the Ice Pavilion is built into the centre of the glacier. The Ice Pavilion was revamped in 2016 and offers you the chance to enter the beating heart of the Saas Fee glacier.
The town itself is traffic-free, so as to preserve its traditional village feel, with electric buses and taxis to ferry you around. With high-quality food, bars, and upmarket hotels, those looking for the full après ski experience are well catered for. Saas Fee offers anything from Portuguese to Swiss cuisine, and the town even boasts the highest revolving restaurant in the world, the Drehrestaurant Allalin (3,500m) – so you can enjoy “top of the world” dining.
Saas Fee Snow & Weather Report
Saas Fee has the luxury of being high enough up to the glacier there is adequate snow cover all-year round. The north-facing resort also protects snow cover from the sun in the early and late seasons, making sure your skiing is pure powder. The great snow conditions in Saas Fee attract professional and international ski teams throughout the summer. Peak snow depths appear in February and this depth can last until July. Check out our live snow reports by visiting our Saas Fee resort guide here.
Weather can be unpredictable in Saas Fee: some years, there will be 300 days of sunshine and others there will be large dumps of snow, but on average it enjoys a continental climate. However, if conditions aren’t perfect, the resort has 102 snow cannons to keep you skiing during the turbulent times. For full live weather reports take a look at our Saas Fee resort guide here.
Investment Potential in Saas Fee
Despite recent price rises, Saas Fee is still relatively affordable. When compared with larger resorts, like Verbier, prices hover at about one-third of the price. It offers a range of ski-in/ski-out apartments and also larger chalets.
Yet, due to the Weber law, no permits are being granted for new second homes, but local developers are finding it valuable to renovate older chalets. This gives buyers the chance to buy essentially new properties, but which still retain the traditional feel.
Transport to Saas Fee
The three main airports to fly into are Sion, Geneva and Zurich which are roughly 1 hour 15 minutes, 2 hours 45 minutes and 4 hours’ drive away, respectively. The most convenient way to get to Saas Fee is to book a private transfer, which varies from cars to coaches to accommodate any group size.
The cheapest option may be to take the train to Visp and from there take a Postbus directly to Saas Fee. However, there is no train from Sion airport to Visp, so a shuttle bus is your best option from this airport.
As mentioned before, Saas Fee is a pedestrian town and is traffic free, so if you have a car you’ll need to park it outside the town. From there, it is only a short walk or taxi to your Saas Fee property.