Accessible ski holiday in the heart of Switzerland
Find the best sit-ski holiday in one of Switzerland’s most beautiful regions
Interlaken and its surrounding area is world famous for its beautiful panoramic views, especially those from the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Fortunately, two top sit-ski schools in Switzerland call it home! In this article, you get some tips for sit-ski holidays in the heart of Switzerland.
What is sit-skiing?
Depending on arm and hand function, balance, and stability of the body, there are many ways to ski from a seated position: monoski, dualski, bi-ski, tandem ski, just to name a few. There are options where a partner assists with steering and options which allow to ski independently. In this case, short poles with small ski-style blades at the ends, called outriggers, are used to maintain balance.
The French company Tessier is the “worldwide market leader for sitskiing equipment”. On their website you may find more information about the different ways of sit-skiing as well as images and videos of their equipment in action.
Here you can get an impression of what (advanced) sit-skiing is like:
Where to go?
The ski school of Rollstuhlsport Schweiz is associated with the Swiss Paraplegics Association (SPA). As the SPA is the most important organisation for people with SCI in Switzerland, they offer top tailored service and very experienced teachers.
Based at the Sörenberg ski resort, with this school you can have an amazing view on the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Group lessons are available as well as private lessons, even for only half a day. Since group lessons are held in German, private lessons may be your best bet if you don’t speak the language.
For additional costs, they even come to other locations for private lessons. Of course you can also rent ski equipment from them. If you are a member of the SPA, you get discounted rates.
The following video shows what it is like to ski with Rollstuhlsport Schweiz:
ActiveMotion is led by Reinhard Linder and his team. They are certified snow sports instructors and have additional education in adaptive snow sports. The school is located in Interlaken, the starting point to the famous ski resorts of Wengen and Grindelwald. There, you can ski directly below the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau!
Do you have another ski resort in mind? No problem. ActiveMotion can come to you, whether that means another ski resort within Switzerland or even in foreign countries. For more details and for the price list, please contact ActiveMotion directly.
If you are looking for other sit-ski schools in Switzerland, check this link by PluSport, the Swiss umbrella organisation for disabled sports. For ski course offers for Germany, Austria and South Tyrol see this link.
When to go?
Avoid the two weeks around Christmas as well as the sport holidays which can range from end of January to the first week of March, depending on the school region. The best time to book a ski holiday is after the Christmas break or in spring.
If you have to book during the school holidays, be sure to do it a year in advance! The availability of instructors and equipment in each area is limited, as is the number of accessible accommodations.
Where to stay?
3, 4, or 5-star hotel? Have you ever considered a hostel? The Interlaken Youth Hostel places accessibility at the forefront of their mission.
If hostel isn’t your thing, no worries. There are many accessible hotels in the region to suit everyone’s taste. Here are some for your choice in Interlaken:
- Hotel Artos Interlaken (3-star)
- Carlton-Europe Hotel (3-star)
- Seehotel Bönigen (3-star) (but no roll-in shower)
- Hotel Seiler au Lac (4-star) (but no wheelchair accessible toilet and roll-in shower)
- Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa (5-star)
… and with the following links you can find accessible accommodations directly in the towns of the ski resorts:
The accessibility of the hotels has been reviewed by either the Claire and George Foundation or Ski 2 Freedom. These two foundations offer accessibility information in order to help people with disabilities enjoy individual (ski) holidays. To find other options, simply contact the accommodation provider or Ski 2 Freedom.
What is your experience with sit-skiing? Which places can you recommend? Share with us!
[Source cover image: SPS / E.T. Studhalter, www.studhalter.org]