Date Visited: May 2017
Engelberg draws a lot of tourist's attention being home to the glacier, Titlis. Titlis is around all year around due it's high altitudes, which means the resort stays open quite late in the season. It is great because a lot of the tourists come to see the glacier, which means the slopes were quite deserted. What is also pretty novel is the 360º spinning panorama gondola that takes you up to the top of Titlis. NOTE try not to get the last gondola down or you will be in a tidal wave of tourists!
Well as you can see from the map there are not that many pistes compared to other resorts we've visited. That is because first and foremost Engelberg is a free riders haven. If you are blessed with powder, which we were, there is not an untouched face of these mountains.
There are not many groomed pistes to offer - you could definitely cover the whole resort within a few days. The pistes that are on offer are a intermediate+ standard with majority red runs. There were a couple of blues that we didn’t get around to riding but overall there are easier resorts to visit if there are less confident/experienced riders in your group. However saying that we had an absolute blast in our 4 day trip and exploited the off-piste riding, which was immediately obvious that it is the real selling point of Engelberg.
Being >3000m at it’s highest, Engelberg has light fluffy powder to offer, even this late in the season *this was written May 2017. For a European resort it stays open quite late, with the resort closing near the end of May. We rode mostly in the Jochpass area; there is not too much to say as we had limited time in Engelberg but the pistes we did ride were good beginner/intermediate reds & we're a lot of fun to lap. Visiting in early May was a blessing because even though there were many tourists there to see Titlis- the mountain was relatively empty & covered in fluffy snow!
William had a day lapping the top of Klein Titlis, which had a lot of free riding spaces. You should note it is considerably harder up there so don't try as a beginner. It is also extremely high up so wrap up & enjoy.
The one real down side is that to get to the bottom gondola driving was the easiest option but parking was not free.
As I briefly mentioned, most of the tourists attracted to Engelberg come just to see the glacier, which means the town is actually quite large and has a lot to offer. Like the rest of Switzerland, it’s beautiful architecture/nature surrounded views are just a cherry on top of a great place. As for accommodation it has loads to offer but we’d recommend the cozy chalet Snoconnells - a great little gem!
As Engelberg is quite big, having a car was a big help. If you can get yourself a chalet there is a decent sized supermarket in the town which is great if youre trying to save a bit of money. We saw from tripadvisor that there are some options to eat out however we never did as the chalet was so cozy.
If you did have some members on your trip who wanted an afternoon off from boarding, the top of Titlis has a huge station which has an ice cave to walk through, a couple of shops & restaurants and the ability to walk out onto the glacier without the nerve of having to ride down.
To be honest I would recommend visiting it even if you'd rather ride down than take the gondola.
To briefly touch on this, the couple of times I've been to Engelberg we driven from the Netherlands. For us it's the best option as it takes around 10 hours & we can fill our car up.
I'm sure flying in & hiring a car/taking public transport is an option but as with most resort trips, it really is so convenient having a car. It gives you the freedom to stay a bit further out of town & explore more of the surrounding area.
As Engelberg is quite big, I'm sure that there is the option to have a shuttle to-and-from the airport, maybe even arranged by the hotel you stay at but as we didn't do that I can't comment on the ease.
Anyway to round up - we love Engelberg & made some great friends there even though the visit was so brief! We would 100% go back - especially if a storm is forecast!