Web-page Under Construction -always will be - this version  Dec. 2017

Apartment 10, Bettina, Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Information for friends & family

A one bedroom apartment, comfortably sleeping 4 in 2 separate rooms, in the skiing and walking resort village of Saas-Fee in the Valais, southern Switzerland

Bettina Mar09



One of the most famous alpine villages, set at 1800m within  a ring of 4000m+ peaks, 9 of which are in plain view from the village.

"Few alpine villages have a more dramatic setting" -
Kev Reynolds - " Walking in the Valais".

Essentially free of conventional road traffic, almost all vehicles are electric - conventional vehicles must be left at car-parks  at the edge of the village.

You may have seen it on the Wham video for 'Last Christmas'.

Video of Last Xmas

Spoof video made recently - it's really very good

The main skiing season is from mid-December to mid-April and the summer season including summer skiing from early June to mid-October although some hotels, restaurants, shops and cable-cars may be closed at the extremes of these dates.

Video of mountains from Bettina's balcony

Cable-car timetable

Saas-Fee Map     (Bettina is House No. 152D in square U4)







World Travel Guides - Saas-Fee

Panorama showing village and 7 of the 4000m peaks  - click image for huge version

Saas-Fee Webcams & links

Live webcams





                  New - Live Mittleallalin panorama

Our apartment in Bettina

Built in approximately 1983 Bettina is typical of the chalet-style apartments of Fee with extensive use of wood in a building that has just 11 apartments on 3 main floors. Bettina is situated on the northern edge of  Fee in the district known as 'Wildi' with a superb view of the mountains from the balcony or lounge of our apartment as shown below (Oct 2008).

Bettina - lounge view .

The apartment consists of an open-plan living-dining room with kitchen area  and a balcony outside the dining-area. Within the lounge area 2 extremely comfortable single beds can be hinged down from the wall  - this area can be closed off by a ceiling-hung concertina wooden partition for privacy. A hallway leads to a twin-bedded room,  bathroom with  shower over bath with screen and the apartment door. Total area is ~50 square metres.

Moonlit view from balcony (Oct 2017) Floodlit Alallin on left


Fridge with freezer compartment, 3-ring electric hob and electric oven, filter coffee maker, kettle, stainless sink, cooker hood, microwave, small breadmaker. Extensive range of cupboards, crockery, pans, utensils, glasses.  Range of condiments, spices, herbs, tea, coffee. 'Emergency pack' of pasta, sauces, rosti, beer, wine etc. for late arrivals.

Thermostatic electric griddle/raclette maker  for use on balcony - think of it as an electric barbecue

Kitchen                      area

Thermostatic griddle

Dining area

Table & 4 chairs, also balcony table and 2 folding fabric chairs and 2 folding dining chairs. Large window and door to balcony (sunrise & sunset views below).


Bettina - apartment



Lounge area

Two new (2009)   sofas, coffee table, computer(2010) & monitor, speakers and amplifier for mp3 player etc. Also wardrobes, cupboards, board games.  Two pull-down wall beds that have the same type of mattresses as the main beds. Duvets, pillows and bedding. Main electrical storage heater in this area with thermostatic fan boost and override. Folding wooden partition wall for night-time privacy. Three windows including panoramic mountain view.




Twin single beds, tables, wardrobes (1 private) and window. Wall mounted heater.  Duvets, pillows and bedding.



Hallway & Bathroom

Short hallway with cupboard, hanging space, boot space and mirror. Bathroom, fully tiled, with sink, toilet, bath with shower over, cupboard, shaver point, heater





Due to the extensive glacier at ~3500 m skiing is possible throughout the year although there are certain periods when the cable-car system is restricted or closed. Many national ski teams spend extended periods training here outside the competition season, including the summer months. The altitude of the resort means guaranteed snow in the winter season (mid December-mid April) with nursery slopes at the southern edge of the village. Further skiing areas are to be found above the neighbouring villages of Saas-Grund & Saas-Almagell. Free ski-buses circulate around Fee taking skiers to the lift systems. One of the main stops is immediately outside Bettina. Cable cars run from the village to Plattjen (~2580m), MittelAllalin (~3460m) , Langfluh (~2830m), Hannig (~2400m) with intermediate stops and many lifts & tows.

Walking/Mountain biking

Many kilometers of marked trails include easy, moderate, strenuous walks of  lengths varying from a few kilometers to long distance and international trails. Height gain/loss can be epic with the most extreme example being the Mischabelhut path which rises ~1500m in  an horizontal distance of  ~3000m from the centre of the village. Several  relatively easy glacier crossings are possible particularly from the top Felskinn cable-car station to the Britanniahut, although local advice should always be obtained about current conditions. More extensive mountain and ice climbing is supported by the Fee mountain guide office.

Sports/Activities around the village (apart from the obvious !)





Saas-Fee is ~580 miles from Calais by the shortest reasonable route (Calais-Reims-Dijon-Besancon-Pontalier-Lausanne-Sion-Visp). Most of this route is motorway except 50 miles from Besancon to Val Orbe (near Lausanne) and 30 miles from  Sierre to Saas-Fee although the Rhone valley motorway is steadily progressing from Sierre to Visp. We typically leave Cheshire at ~2.00am and stop mid-afternoon near Besancon and complete the journey next morning reaching Fee before lunchtime.
Please be aware that use of Swiss motorways requires a 'vignette' valid for the current year costing CHF 40 which can be obtained at most border crossings.

The mountain road from Visp to Saas-Fee rises by ~1200m in ~24 km but is generally of good standard and is used by regular bus services, coaches etc. . The road has numerous avalanche shelters where the width or visibility can be restricted. On passing through Saas-Grund the road to Fee bears sharp right at the point where the valley road to Saas-Almagell joins and climbs in several long sweeps up to the entrance to the village.

Although this road has many avalanche shelters and is used by regular postbus services it must be made clear that it is the only practicable way in and out of the area and as such can be closed by heavy snow fall and avalanche risk. Although great efforts are made to minimize any delays, in exceptional winters the road can be closed for several days with subsequent disruption to travel plans.

As Fee is car-free,vehicles need to be parked in the extensive surface and multi-storey municipal car-park at the entrance to the village. This varies  in cost depending on length of stay and time of year  but is approx. 10 CHF per day for stays of a week or so with a discount obtained by having a SaasPass - Bettina has 2 spare that are changeable each year to named individuals  . The system is intelligent so multiple exits/entrances can be made without losing the time discount using the original ticket.  The best parking area when staying at Bettina is the north end of the surface car park reached by entering the multi-storey, climbing 2 levels and turning out right into the open air, across a bridge and then  right to the end of the  car-park. Bettina is approx. 600m from here. The picture (left) below is taken from approx. the northern end looking south. This was mid-October - it's usually
much busier. For contrast the same car park is shown  in the other 2 photos mid-March !

Bettina is numbered 152D on square U4 on the town map  and is approx. 1km from the  postbus  station
Saas-Fee Map

From the postbus the Tourist Office is across the roundabout.     They can hire you a luggage trolley - a taxi is ~25 CHF.  To reach Betttina go left from the office up onto the main open-air car-park and along it's length  to its northern end, turn left after ~50m and carry on for ~200m, turn right and Bettina is on this road after  ~300m

SaasPass/BurgerPass/Citizen's Pass 

These are cards which provide a range of advantages  such free cable-car travel, free postbus travel within the Saas villages ( Saas-Fee, Grund, Almagell and Balan and includes the Mattmark dam). Discounts are given on a range of other services and activities esp. parking.  Bettina has 2 spare that are changeable each year to named individuals.and 4 transferable cards which give lesser discounts.





Fee is approx. 140 miles from Geneva airport with motorway for the first ~110 miles.

EasyJet cost £48 return ( March 2009 - booked well in advance ) leaving Liverpool at 0700 and arriving Geneva by 1000 (local time). By train Saas-Fee can be reached by 14:30


From the arrivals lounge at Geneva the in-building station is ~100m. Here 2 trains / hour leave directly for Visp/Brig. The journey takes a rather slow 2
1/2 hours but links with the twice-hourly Saas-Fee postbus which leaves from outside Visp station  to Saas-Fee. Tickets can be booked manually or by machine at Geneva directly to Saas-Fee. Cost (March 2009) was ~75 CHF per person single.


The time-table can be seen at :

Swiss Train & Postbus

Return postbus journeys from Saas-Fee to Visp need to be reserved several hours or preferably the day before  to be sure of a seat esp. late in the day. This can be done before purchasing a ticket and is just a guide to the operators to ensure no-one is left stranded having, for example, walked into Fee.


Fee has a number of bread-shops, 4 supermarkets, 2 butchers and a specialist cheese shop as well as a range of sport, gift & jewellery shops.


Although Bettina is on the edge of the village a bread shop is ~800m away although a small supermarket ~500m away has a range of breads.  Outside the main seasons any particular breadshop may close on certain days or entirely but there will always be a certain number open.

The shops sell basic breakfast items such as jam, butter, juice, milk & coffee as well as a range of breads. Some of them are cafes serving breakfast early in the day and/or sandwiches and cold-drinks for early walkers.


Most are in the village centre but a small supermarket is closer -   The 2 largest  (Migros - no alcohol  - &  Coop) are located a little below the main square.

Please note that the larger supermarkets, like many continental supermarkets,  expect you  to weigh items such as fruit and veg. into the provided bags and then price them by selecting the appropriate button on the scales and attaching the barcoded label the scales produce

Arriving by car it can be convenient to shop at Coop Saas-Grund which has parking outside the shop.


A considerable number of sports shops including hire of  skiing, snowboarding, ice-climbing equipment & mountain-bikes



Restaurants  -  a few suggestions with indicative prices

Note :  Rosti - Swiss "fast food". If you've never eaten this Swiss method of serving potatoes then you'll probably need to, as various sorts are served at almost every restaurant.  Essentially grated potatoes  pan-fried or oven baked but with lots of variety from a complete meal to a simple additionIn this area it's often pronounced like 'reschti'

Mountain -style cafe/restaurants

Cafe Alpenblick

Set in pine forest  at ~2050m, overlooking the village and with a stupendous view this little alpine restaurant is open during the daytime period for drinks, snacks and hot food. Depending on the route the cafe (closed Sat. in the summer season)  can be reached in ~45 mins. from several points in the village and is extensively signposted from various paths around Hannig.  Most of the seating is outside so preferably choose a good day to either walk-up or ride the Hannig cable-car and walk down to it.

  It's a favourite spot of ours especially when arriving in Fee before lunch. Food is Valasian & Swiss alpine. We usually have a mixed salad each and a simple main course such as rosti with Bratwurst  or vegetarian rosti but soups, sandwiches, Valasian cold plates with cheese & dried meats are available as well as a good range of beers, wines and non-alcoholic drinks

2 salads, 2 mains courses, 2 beers and 2 glasses of open wine cost ~75CHF

Alp Hitta

This  (very)  rustic restaurant is only ~50m from Bettina at the extreme northern edge of Fee. Menu similar to Alpenblick but open in the evenings.  Some outdoor tables but most inside.

Cafe Gletchergrotte

Changed recently to a more up-market menu. This cafe, with a large terrace, is  located on the the southern moraine rim of the glacier, just off the path up to Speilboden.

Restaurant Alpina at Furggstalden

A little further afield. The small hamlet of Furggstalden is on an alp above Saas Almagell.  Walk across the new bridge over the Fee gorge, branch left and follow the wide track down to Saas Almagell (~3km), cross the main road and follow the path to the Almagellertal - part way up the steep climb a path branches right to Furggstalden (~1920m). After a time  you can cross a tarmac road with the path climbing past the old houses, barns and chapel of Furggstalden.  Restaurant Alpina is on the left just beyond the main cluster.  A sunny, south-facing terrace with views up to the Mattmark dam and the Italian border.  Similar, though more extensive menus.  Return by the same route or take the path near Almagell that leads to the north end of the village. Here is a fine waterfall, cross over the river and head for Saas Grund and eventually climb back to Fee by the chapel way which starts just after a campsite on the west bank of the river  on the outskirts of Grund.  An alternative may be to take the chairlift from the edge of Saas Almagell straight up to Furggstalden - where you'll see both Alpina and Restaurant Furggstalden ... so, a choice of refreshment!

All the cable-cars have restaurants/cafes at their top station - our particular favourite being Hannig having  a large south-facing terrace with superb views of the mountains from Mittagshorn round to the Mischabel ridge. Menu is varied and quality good.

Fee restaurants (there are  lots! - check out the gastronomy part of the  SF web-site )


Excellent  Italian restaurant  on  the main street  -  owners are  great people.

Essstube    Essstube web-site

Very friendly restaurant  on the way to Hannig cable-car. Variety of   food - all good

Hotel Tenne   Tenne web-site

Near Essstube but on the main street. Traditional Valaisian food.   Friendly

Del Ponte

An Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the old Walliserhof hotel - now called Ferienart Resort & Spa. Wide range of Italian food and what is claimed to be the largest salad buffet in Switzerland - it's certainly enormous. Vast wine list which is rather pricy and mostly Italian.  Salad starter, main course, cheapish wine and drinks to start will cost ~130CHF for 2 but can easily be higher.

Some short walks

Village tour - "ring road" (NB not possible to do the whole circuit in winter without crossing the piste!)

Leave Bettina and head along the main road to Fee then turn to walk the length of the car-park to the postbus station.
From the postbus station head downhill, fork left after  the sports centre and cross the new bridge with its grand view of the village and mountains, fork left on the track to Almagell and after a  short distance follow the path on the right that runs along a small bisse (artificial waterway).  This runs along above the east side of Fee in pine forest passing through the adventure park and the Fee Blitz toboggan run.  Continuing under the Plattjen cable-car it runs across open slopes and eventually reaches the old Felskinn cable car.  Pass under the wires close to the station and a path leads down to  a bridge over the river and then along the moraine.  A number of possible paths can be found - your aim is to reach the highest path that runs along the meadows/nursery slopes to the south-west of the village - this joins a track that leads upwards  to the small hamlet of Hohenegg.  A path leads off on the right approx. under the wires of the Hannig cable-car and heads in the direction of Bettina, level at first but becoming steeper as you head down towards the edge of Fee, eventually you can turn right off this path after a house called Fee Katz and in a short distance will be on a paved road.  Turn left and follow the road and Bettina will be seen after a short distance.

Hannig   Panorama from Hannig

Lowest of the cable-car stations, the ascent to Hannig is a relatively easy walk  (~5-6 km)  through larch woods and alpside  from Fee rising about 550 metres.  Several routes are possible. From Bettina pass the 'Alp Hitta' and follow the road until several tracks diverge & follow the 'Carl Zuckmayer' path which heads north through forest with fine views to the right to Weissmiess & Lagginhorn. At a junction of paths turn sharp left and ascend on a path which eventually joins a track at an area called Melchboden.  This track can be followed to Hannig but there are several paths that provide short cuts.  Once above the trees the zig-zag track to Hannig can be followed which sweeps out to the north. At Hannig there is a large sun terrace with mag. views and a good mountain restaurant & toilets at the cable-car station.

A further ascent from Hannig can be made to the ridges above called Mellig, the first part over a wide  well-marked path then giving way to a narrower path with some exposure at times until the highest point is reached at ~2750m.  Fine views of everywhere esp. the Mischabel ridge.  A path descends from here to join the Grachen long-distance path, otherwise retrace your steps.

There are several routes of descent.  Carry on past the cable-car and the main route down departs to the left over bare mountainside in zig-zags until after passing a goat-farm and some abandoned buildings it drops below the tree line above Cafe Alpenblick.  From here several obvious paths lead to Fee.

Otherwise, from the cable-car keep on the main path which descends to cross a stream with glacier and snow above and joins the main path down from the Mischabel hut.

Fee - Saas Grund - Saas Almagell - Fee

A short day walk taking in the "Chapel Way" from Saas-Fee to the valley bottom  south of Saas Grund, along the river to Saas Almagell, and return up the wide track Saas-Fee.

From the Saas-Fee post office follow the signs to the Chapel Way. This starts  behind  the youth hostel near the Post Office. The path descends steeply passing the many small chapels that line the path.  (At the larger chapel/church a path can be taken down to the Fee gorge and then up to Waldhaus Bodmen on the Almagell-Fee track. Here is a cafe/restaurant and some unusual animals (photos below : top left/right), including a camel and alpacas) Otherwise head down the Chapel Way until it reaches the river at the valley bottom - a short walk to the left will take you to Saas Grund otherwise turn right and head past a campsite and into the small hamlet of Unter-den- Bodmen (cafe), carry on along the river and Saas-Almagell will be seen on the other  bank with a large waterfall dropping from the hanging valley of Almagellertal at the northern end of the village. Several paths on the east bank of the river lead to the base of this where there is a large 'plunge-pool'.(photos below : bottom left/right) and upwards to the Almagellertal itself. Saas Almagell is a small village with one or two cafes.  If you have stayed on the west bank of the river you will have passed the wide track that leads back to SF through pine woods, passing the Waldhaus Bodmen, over the new bridge and back to the  post office.






Drive or post-bus to the Mattmark dam (2200m) which is at the top end of the valley about 5km  beyond Saas Almagell. There is considerable parking here and a cafe/visitor centre. There is a good, mostly level path, ~7km, all round the lake including some tunnels on the west side.

At the far end the path branches off to the ancient foot pass of Monte Moro (~2850m)  which makes a fine walk of its own although quite strenuous.  Only go on a fine  day although then it will often be  busy.  Expect  some small amount of scrambling and some snow on the higher part.  From the top on the Swiss /Italian border  there is a stunning view of Monte Rosa massif with the east wall glaciers running down to the Macugnaga valley ~1650m below

The views from the east side of the lake provide a great view of the large glacial plateau and passes that separate Saas-Fee from Zermatt. This is the area where ice-climbing began.  From the dam crest in good visibility the view to the north shows the Saas valley and further away the  symmetrical  peak of the Bietschhorn with its graceful ridges on the north side of the Rhone valley

Mattmark (inset the Monte Moro pass with the monument "Madonna of the Snows")

Some more extensive walks

Cable Cars of Fee

Mittleallalin  - "Alpin Express & Metro Alpin"

This heavily-used system runs from close to the new Fee bridge in two stages using large continuous cars to "Morania" at ~2600m and then Felskinn at ~3000m. From here a short walk underground leads to the bottom of the Metro Alpin which is an underground funicular that travels to MittelAllalin at ~3500m. The summer ski area is accessible from here as well as staggering views in all direction. The non-climbing-non skier can exercise on a reasonable path that leads to the "Guides monument".  After traveling in the world's highest underground railway the world's highest rotating restaurant awaits.

At certain times of the year the Alpin Express is replaced by the old Felskinn cable-car whose valley station is beyond the meadows/nursery slope to the south of the village. - photos from August 2012




New - Panorama  north from Mittleallalin      The mountains to the north of the Rhone valley many  of them 30-40 miles away


Lowest of the cable-car stations at ~2340m Hannig - photo from March 2011.


Plattjen (~2570m)

Starting point for a walk that takes in a fair amount of exercise, a 650m ascent and a glacier crossing and finally a trip back by the Alpin Express.  Also gives access to a downhill walk to Berghaus Plattjen, an old stone hotel and restaurant at ~2400m

Spielboden & Langfluh

Spielboden is located on the moraines between the two arms of the glacier at ~2460m and is very popular for marmot spotting. The marmots here are quite tame but it is essential to only feed them the correct food - root veg., wholemeal bread etc. The cafe at Spielboden sells bags of this.  A further cable-car from here goes to the mountain hotel at Langfluh (~2870m), starting point for ascents of Alphubel and crossing of the glacier to Felskinn or Mittelallalin (2-3km).

Note - a colony of marmots has now established itself much lower,  just below the Felskinn cable-car station, on the west bank of the stream, adjacent to the short-hole  golf-course at the edge of the village.  The marmots are shy but can be  quite tame with humans (esp. with food)  but very wary of dogs. Very stale wholemeal/granary bread is accepted gratefully ! - Photo from May 2012


Cable-cars nearby

Kreuzboden & Hohsaas

From the cable-car station in Saas Grund, Kreuzboden  (~2400m) is reached in 1 cable-car stage. Fabulous views of the mountains around Fee and starting point for some walks.  A further stages ascends to Hohsaas (3100m) where the views are even better.  Photos from August 2012

Hossas view

  New -    Panorama from Hohsaas showing the mountains from Monte Rosa to Allalin  [*]

[* ] At the extreme left Monte Rosa, the highest mountain in Switzerland, located  on the Swiss -Italian border, is about 15 miles away in this picture. You might spot the Margherita hut which was built in 1893 right on the top of the Signalkuppe peak  at 4,554m , and is the highest mountain hut, and indeed building, in Europe ( Queen  Margherita of Savoie opened it in person ! ) At the extreme right is the Allalin (best viewed fullsize )


If you don't want to walk there is a small chair lift from the southern  end of Saas Almagell to the hamlet of Furggstalden where food and view may be your aim or the start of some seriously hard walks including several  long hauls into Italy. Fine views to Monte Moro.

Nearby places worth visiting

Zermatt (~40km by road)

Famous car-free neighbour in the adjoining  valley - shortest route is to walk over the Mischabel ridge!!  Otherwise take a postbus or coach or drive to Tasch, park in the the large terminal car park and ride up to Zermatt on the  train.  Zermatt is usually VERY busy although often much quieter off the main street.  Many people arrive on tours, walk the main street, take a snap of the Matterhorn and then depart.  They miss a LOT.  Zermatt is about 3-4 times larger than Fee  with a number of outlying  hamlets. LOTS of walking/climbing.  Too much to  describe here  but one or two musts are :

Gornergrat - situated on a ridge at ~3100m, overlooking an amazing view of peaks along the Swiss-Italian border with the glaciers all merging below Gornergrat.   Can be reached in an all-day walk or rather more easily by train from just outside Zermatt station.

Klein Matterhorn - The highest cable-car in Europe with a final unsupported span of ~3km takes you to  the side of the 'little Matterhorn' from where a tunnel leads to the ice of the Theodolerplateau and  a lift travels to the top of the peak itself. Very high (3900m) and with 360 degree views.

Schwarzsee - on the way to the Matterhorn - take the cable-car from Furi and walk down through Stafelalp  and Zmutt

Hamlets  - Wonderful little places like Zmutt, Findeln, Zum See - all with restaurants and cafes






Big Matt ( summer 2011)

Glaciers below Gornergrat.  Mountains from  left to right   Monte Rosa, Liskamm, Caster & Pollux. Breithorn ridge and Kleine Matterhorn. (Summer 2005, our wedding anniversary and a very long day -1500 m ascent)

Bettmeralp (~40km by road)

A small  car-free village set in a wonderful spot on the north side of the Rhone only accessible by walking or cable-car. Can be reached from Brig by road or  by train which stops at the large cable-car station where there is also extensive car-parking available. The main reason for visiting  to Bettmeralp is to climb or ride to the ridge above which has a stunning view in all directions of what seems to be most of Switzerland, but especially the regions around Fee, Zermatt and, to the north, the huge valley of the Aletsch glacier - the longest in Europe outside the Arctic, which runs from Jungfrau-Eiger-Monch ridge for ~20km to emerge near Brig

Other mountain areas  - in progress

Rhone glacier

       Inventory (pdf)