Winter is coming and that means one thing, it’s time to dig out your ski gear and head to the mountains. With so much choice and variation in ski resorts, it can be hard to know which resort is best for you. While some are known for their challenging slopes and vast, off-piste areas, others are renowned for their wild après ski parties or impressive scenery. Taking into consideration a number of factors, we’ve created a list of our top European ski resorts which should help make your decision of where to go this winter a little easier. Is this your first time hitting the slopes? Here are some tips from my first time.
Check Out The Best Places to Ski in Europe
With the best scenery in the whole of the Alps, the Swiss resort of Zermatt is nestled beneath the world’s most photogenic mountain peak, the Matterhorn. The car-free resort encapsulates all of the best qualities of European ski resorts into one to create a highly sought after place to ski. With high altitude slopes, the resort is guaranteed to have snow all season while the outstanding bars and restaurants in both the town and the mountainside ensures there is plenty to do in the evenings. The only negative attribute of Zermatt is that all of these positive qualities don’t come cheap with the resort consistently ranking as one of the most expensive resorts in the Alps.
Val d’Isere, France
One of the world’s premier ski resorts, Val d’Isere is a highly popular ski resort. With a vast ski area to explore, excellent facilities in the town and a number of airports close by, it’s not hard to see why people love Val d’Isere so much. An excellent resort for those with a taste for adventure, the slopes around Val d’Isere are renowned for their challenging off-piste terrain. For beginner skiers, there are two nursery slopes as well as a host of blue and green runs. The town itself is quaint with traditional chalet-style architecture and few high rise buildings. For holidays to Val d’Isere, Mark Warner has two superb hotels in the area, located in the center of the resort and close to the main lifts.
St Anton, Austria
Ski hard, party harder is the unofficial motto of St Anton. Located in the snowiest area of the Alps, the resort is guaranteed to have snow all season, perfect if you are looking to visit at the start or the end of the winter. The high octane resort is known as one of the best places in the Alps for advanced skiers with over 200km of off-piste and steep red and black runs. After a long day tearing up the slopes hit up the mountain bars for a serious party. With clubs open until 7 am, party until the early morning before hitting the slopes and doing it all again. The resort is mainly suited to intermediate and advanced skiers so if you are new to skiing, St Anton is not necessarily the best place to go.
The picture-perfect resort of Meribel has perhaps the best location in the Alps, right at the heart of the largest ski area in the world, the 3 Valleys. With access to over 600km of piste, Meribel is the ideal base for exploring the 3 Valleys, and the other villages within in it including Courchevel, La Tania, and Val Thorens. Founded in 1938, the village is composed mainly of chalets and does not permit the building of high rise accommodation which allows the town to maintain much of its 20th-century charm. Meribel makes it onto our list because of its excellent range of pistes for to suit all abilities. Beginner skiers thrive in Meribel with two newly established beginners zones as well as superb ski schools like Magic, which comes highly acclaimed as one of the best ski schools in France. There are endless opportunities for intermediate and advanced skiers with the whole of the 3 Valleys to explore.
First Time On the Slopes?
Your first time on the slopes can be a bit intimidating. For me, I really wanted to get out there and make it happen, but it took all of 37 seconds for me to realize that was a pipedream. It did a lot better when I had an instructor like Freedom Snow Sports. She gave me so many practical pointers, and before I knew it I was at the bottom of the run and feeling empowered.
You will easily find the best places to ski in Europe. If you’re looking for a new thrill and a cozy winter gathering, hands down a ski trip is the best to take. Have fun and be safe!