If you are a keen skier, then you are spoilt for choice in Europe, with a considerable amount of high-quality resorts that are never too far away. However, with such a vast array of opportunities for excellent skiing right on our doorstep, it can be hard to decide where to go. To help you make up your mind, here is a roundup of some of our favourite ski destinations that are just a short flight away.
Our closest neighbour has much to offer when it comes to skiing. Here are some of our favourites.
Courchevel is one of the interlinked resorts that are collectively known as Les Trois Vallees. This makes it part of the largest ski destination in Europe. You can enjoy 150 km of runs accessible from a choice of 60 lifts within Courchevel as well as making the most of an additional 600 km and 4 glaciers as part of the whole network. Les Trois Vallees consists of 10 alpine summits and skiers can enjoy altitudes of over 2500m. The resort is always beautifully cared for, meaning that the ski runs are always in tip-top condition. More experienced skiers will enjoy the excellent off-piste routes and tree skiing, but there are also fantastic opportunities for beginners and those less confident. In Courchevel, you will find high quality, luxury accommodation and a glitzy apres ski. Foodies will enjoy the wealth of Michelin starred restaurants.
More info: https://www.courchevel.com/en
Chamonix is located on Mont Blanc – Europe’s highest mountain. This alone makes it an unmissable destination for skiers, but the beautiful alpine village is also an irresistible draw. The snow in Chamonix is some of the best that you will find in France, and also lasts the longest. There is some particularly challenging skiing located at a choice of heights for those seeking adventure. Alternatively, the Brevent-Flegere area is perfect for those who are less experienced. Whichever you choose, you can be sure of some of the most spectacular views in the area when visiting Chamonix. When it comes to apres-ski, Chamonix has a vast range of choices both at the base of the ski areas and in the centre of town.
For those seeking a slightly more laid-back ski experience, Megeve has the answer. It is an affordable resort, and while the apres-ski is lively, it doesn’t have the hard-partying reputation of St Moritz. The slopes are also quieter than many of France’s other resorts. From Megeve, you can enjoy views of Mont Blanc while skiing the beautiful slopes as well as enjoying the medieval town centre, which is delightful for wandering in the evenings. The slopes are always well maintained, making it the perfect place for beginners and intermediates to enjoy the snow.
Switzerland is home to some of the most iconic mountain scenery in Europe and boasts some fabulous ski resorts. Here are two of our favourites:
- St Moritz
St Moritz is world renowned for offering world-class skiing. Many ski championships take place here thanks to the stunning opportunities for high-level skiing. However, St Moritz is also ideal for intermediate skiers. There are over 20 lifts and pistes for every level. St Moritz was one of the first ski resorts ever founded and still maintains the same air of luxury that it did in the early days. Apres ski is glamorous so dress smartly and prepare to be impressed. St Moritz is also famous for hosting the Snow Polo World Cup and the White Turf horse races, both of which take place on the frozen lake.
More info: https://www.stmoritz.com/en/ski-alpine/
Daredevil skiers can enjoy the best vertical drop in Switzerland in Zermatt. You can ski as high as 3900 m and make the most of some hugely long runs, some of which will take you right back into the village. This year marks the grand opening of the world’s highest cable car. The Matterhorn Glacier ride can carry 2000 people per hour right up to the glacier to enable skiing all year round. Due to the vastness and altitude of the ski trails around Zermatt, you can download an app to access GPS, up-to-the-minute weather conditions and opening times of ski lifts to ensure your safety. An exhilarating ski experience, Zermatt will delight and excite visitors.
More info: https://www.zermatt.ch/en
Italy is home to some seriously stylish ski resorts and combined with legendary apres ski and delicious food, you’re onto a winner if you choose Italy as a ski destination.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo
Visitors to Cortina d’Ampezzo high up in the Dolomites can enjoy the mountains of Cinque Torri for some fantastic skiing. A jet setting location for both glamorous and serious skiers, you will find shopping and eating opportunities aplenty as well as a wide choice of ski terrain for everyone’s needs. Cortina d’Ampezzo offers Olympic grade pistes as well as beginners trails. Cortina d’Ampezzo’s many cross-country trails join up with some of the smaller towns and resorts nearby to provide many different opportunities for skiing and apres ski. The whole area has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its unique beauty.
More info: https://www.dolomiti.org/en/cortina/
Cervinia is located at the foot of the Matterhorn. It is one of the highest ski resorts in Europe meaning long lasting and great quality snow. Cervinia offers 16 miles worth of glacial trails, and from Cervinia, it is possible to visit Zermatt via lifts or the fantastic interconnected cross border trails. Eating out in Cervinia is kinder to the wallet than other resorts nearby, and there is a wide selection of places to fully enjoy a brilliant apres ski experience. The pistes in Cervinia work for all levels of skiers right through from beginners to endurance athletes.
More info: http://www.cervinia.it/en/inverno/home
Fabulous skiing combined with picture perfect mountain villages makes Austria another superb choice for a winter holiday.
- St Anton
St Anton attracts the really serious skiers looking for a challenge as it offers a number of super expert runs. St Anton is not for the faint-hearted with even the red pistes being more challenging than other similar resorts. There are also around 200 options to ski off-piste with or without a guide. Thanks to the new ski lifts installed in St Anton you can also access some of the other prestigious resorts in Austria enabling a link up of 340 km of quality runs. The village of St Anton does not allow traffic, making it easy to move around on foot, it also boasts a particularly lively apres ski!
More info: https://www.stantonamarlberg.com/en
With so many options as to where to go, you’re sure to find a European ski destination to suit you – the only trouble is; you might be a little spoilt for choice!