Bivio is a small Swiss ski resort in Eastern Switzerland – known as the Pearl of the Julier, near St Moritz.
Bivio is a great example that its often better for young ski families to seek out smaller ski areas, for less money, less crowds, and a more personal ski vacation experience that you cannot get at the mega resorts.
This delightfully small Swiss ski area is a gem for families that want an affordable family-friendly and a safe small ski resort. The village of Bivio is so authentic, alpine, historic, with its church steeple and bells, one market, a ski shop, three hotels, three restaurants, sledding, and skiing! That’s Bivio!
Most have never heard of Bivio, which means “parting of the ways” as it is nestled on the way from Zurich to St. Moritz, the cross roads of two ancient mountain passes. Skiers drive through Bivio just before heading over the Julier Pass en route to glitzier St Moritz in their Audi or BMWs. Funny that the majority of skiers rush past this delightful village and skip its cool ski terrain – truly un-crowded, rustic but really fun skiing. Meanwhile St Moritz, 30 minutes up the twisty narrow Julier Pass, can be crowded on weekends and holidays, and way pricer when you finally arrive en masse!
Bivio is refreshingly unique, its the only traditionally Italian language village north of the continental divide, in Switzerland. You’ll hear Italian, German and Romanisch –which is a mélange of both, and English – thankfully! This confluence of cultures gives Bivio character, evidenced in the architecture and cuisine in the humble village of 3 hotels – The Post, Solaria, and Grishuna – and one après ski bar.
The skiing at Bivio is simple – 4 ski lifts, all T-Bars, accessing an astonishingly large and expansive area. 3 very long T-Bars and one learn to ski T-Bar. El Cant, Tua and Camon T-Bars get you to an impressive 2,595’ vertical, and 12 ski runs, named and numbered accordingly. With 80- kilometers of prepared, groomed and marked, ski runs in Bivio are ideal for young families. There’s a fun park, a ski school, and a relaxed vibe, with just one mid mountain lodge – Camon, and a Pizzeria at the base of Tua.
Adventurers and Freeriders will find Bivio to be a real gem of Bivio too as most stay away scared of the just 3 T-Bars. There is endless off-piste opportunity easily reached from each T-Bar, plus ski touring with a short hike. With fresh snow, you can explore low angle powder snowfields all day. We made laps and laps on a day with just 6 centimeters of soft snow, and matched only our own tracks each run. Fun!
Kite skiers were our only competition for first tracks as they also love Bivio’s wide open bowls. With a bit of wind, they glide and fly across snowy rolling peaks – quite a sight to see with their colorful kites and acrobatics.
One mom said “I loves Bivio because its quiet and simple – all surface lifts, no big busy trams, or hectic high-speed chairlifts.” Turns out she has a fear of heights and claustrophobia, so being in fresh air, on untracked snow was perfect for her. She also loves its small, manageable, family feel – including the Friday kids ski race that brings out locals, parents, even grandparents.
Lunch at Bivio, the mid mountain Camon lodge offers self-service style cappuccino or humble soup du hour or pasta and fabulous daily specials – rösti, lasagna. Its cafeteria style but homemade and friendlier than your average base lodge, with a fireplace, wood tables and a view from the comfy chalet, or the sunny deck.
Or ski to the base of the Tua T-Bar for the Pizzeria chalet serving delicious pastas and regional specials. The outdoor deck looks up at the slopes, often soaked in afternoon sunshine.
Riccola Café at Bivio’s main base in the village is the place for après ski outside on blankets and sheepskin or inside the small cozy bar. Their toast sandwiches, Gluhwein and warm drinks are all specialties. Watch skiers end their day, with an Aperol in hand in the sun.
Back in the 70s and 80s there were lots of bars, weekenders from Zürich would stop here to party Friday and spend the night before heading to St Moritz for their glitzy weekend. Now there’s just Solaria’s Hotel bar, and The Hotel Post. If you spend the night in the sleepy town of Bivio, the biggest raucous is the church bells that ring 179 times (yes, we counted) at 6am each morning. Not quite time to wake for skiing, so it’s a quirky centuries-old tradition.
Ski Bivio, on your way to St Moritz just up the street from the comfy Savognin, of just solo Bivio!
Bivio Ski Stats
Base Elevation: 1769M (5,892′)
Summit Lift Elevation 2,560M (8399’)
Base Village 1,769m (5,800’)
Vertical 791M (2,595’)
80 kilometers of prepared pistes on 12 trails, 4 T-Bars (including 1 Learn to Ski T-Bar)
Toboggan Sledding Run, Winter hiking trails are also groomed and designated within the ski area
Where to stay in Bivio:
Hotel Post Bivio has modest rooms a few hundred meters from the ski lift. Their meal plan includes breakfast and dinner. Dinner specialties include your choice of fondues – traditional Swiss cheese, or Chinoise and beef with broth and meat and veggies to dip.
Hotel Solaria is family owned and friendly, the locals love the cozy bar and pizzeria for homemade pasta and pie. Solaria is steps to the base TBar and the village’s Volg market.
Near St Moritz, Savognin, Laax Films and Davos Klosters ski resorts, 140 km to Zurich