We are rapidly heading towards the winter again, meaning our winter travels are nearly upon us. And through the past few weeks, we have been sorting Schengen Visas (for Fanfan), we have already received our Eurail/Interrail passes, and we have booked a 10-day winter itinerary in Europe. An itinerary which would obviously include some ski resorts. So, having researched, an ultimately booked one of these destinations, I thought I would share the final 5 for consideration, to put to use our ski resort research. And I can say, after weeks of deliberation, we chose Zermatt, and we will be travelling on the 12th of January from St. Moritz on the rather fantastic Glacier Express. Anyway, here are 5 Ultimate Ski Trips in Europe.
St. Anton, Austria
This ski resort has the backdrop of stunning snow-covered mountains. It’s a bustling, lively resort for people who want to have a good time. St. Anton is known for its nightlife, so you’ll have plenty of places to keep you up until the small hours once you’re done with skiing for the day. It’s also a great place for people who aren’t skiers or who just want to take a day out – there are lots of lovely little shops to explore and great food too. The slopes here are usually a place for experienced skiers and snowboarders, but there are nursery slopes if you are just starting out.
I don’t think there’s any skier who hasn’t heard of Courchevel. It’s the ultimate luxury ski destination and is full of glamour and excess. If you want to do a ski trip the best way possible, this is the resort for you. You do need a lot of money to be able to holiday here, as it’s full of Michelin-starred restaurants and super-swanky bars and clubs for uber-luxe nights out. There are so many ski runs in Courchevel for varying abilities, and you can also go cross-country skiing. I wouldn’t go on the slopes with anything less than the perfect ski outfit though.
Who wouldn’t want a ski holiday with the Matterhorn as your scenic backdrop? Yes, Zermatt is luxurious, but it’s not nearly as brassy with it as Courcheval is. Zermatt also has a cool music festival every April – Zermatt Unplugged – which features a lot of lesser-known European bands and musicians. There are 200km of pistes to ski your heart out on too. This place is cool, but it still has all the quaint Swiss charm that you would expect, and with over 100 restaurants here, so it’s a place for real foodies. Fun fact, the Matterhorn inspired the shape of one of the best chocolates in Switrzerland known as the Toblerone.
Val d’Isere, France
If you like skiing off-piste and discovering those untouched blankets of snow, this might be the resort for you. It’s one of the best off-piste skiing areas in the Alps that you can reach by lift. There are 2471 acres of skiing available, so you can spend your entire holiday finding new routes and pistes if you want to. At night, Val d’Isere has a great variety of French restaurants to suit everyone’s budget, and there are some great watering-holes where you can just rock up in your casual clothes. This is definitely a rebel skier’s resort.
Val Thorens, France
This cool resort is nestled in the middle of glorious glaciers. It’s the highest ski resort in Europe, so you are guaranteed good snow even at the end of the season. As well as skiing, there’s a lot of emphasis on food here. You do need to fuel yourself for those ski sessions after all! The snow quality here is superb, and there are runs and snowfields for even the earliest of beginners. If you visit Val Thorens, you need to stop for lunch at one of the chalets on the slopes – the food is creative and hearty, and the views are spectacular.