Winter is finally here, and it’s time to start planning your ski holidays and make the most of the white gold covering the mountains across Europe – there are literally thousands of ski resorts just in Europe, so which one do you choose?
Like with any trip, the destination, budget and your interests play a big role in how your ski holidays turn out. Here are five ski resorts that suits different tastes and will guide you to choosing the ski holidays that are right for you…
Budget Friendly Livigno, Italy
The ski resort that is on everyone’s lips this season is Livigno in Italy, having won several awards this year – the biggest award was the prize as Best European Resort at the World Snow Awards, which is a pretty big deal. One of the reasons for the award was its off-piste skiing, so if you’re into that then this is the ski resort for you.
However, Livigno is also famous as a duty free zone, making bars and clubs refreshingly free from overpriced beers, and gives way for some lively aprés ski.
If you buy a 6-day pass or longer, you get one free day of skiing in the Swiss Engadin region, which includes the luxury resort St. Moritz – it’s a great ski resort, but also very expensive so we definitely recommend taking advantage of this pass and ski for free!
Exclusive St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz is one of the world’s classic ski resorts for exclusive ski holidays, and is one of the most fun ski resorts we’ve been to. Surrounded by the rich and famous, and with paparazzi waiting at the top of the mountain – St. Moritz is indeed an unusual place to find yourself in. You will feel completely out of place, but nobody will actually treat you as such, so just sit back and enjoy the seat warmers in the ski lifts and the amazing views from the mountain.
The town is set by a frozen lake used for horse racing, Polo, golf and cricket, and famous for its crazy Cresta toboggan run – a traditional sport you have to try when in Switzerland!
The ski pass is a bit expensive, but if you ski in nearby resorts like Italy or another one in Switzerland you can often find deals and discounts (we did).
Aprés Ski in St. Anton, Austria
Many claim that St. Anton is the home of aprés ski, or more precisely the infamous bar The Krazy Kanguruh. The party gets going already at 3pm and continues until way after dark.
Another popular place is Mooserwirtz, which is rumored to sell more beer per square metre than any other bar in Austria.
While St. Anton does attract those who are more interested in partying than skiing, it’s a great ski resort for those looking for ski holidays that combine the best of both, as the skiing is also excellent. Which ski resorts would you recommend for ski holidays in Europe?
Unique Ski Resort Destinations
Is there anything more exciting than hearing someone shout the magic words: ‘it’s snowing, come look!’? – once we’ve been on a ski holiday, and the reason we all go back for more, is the allure of a snowfall.
We both love skiing and try to make sure we ski at least every second year, testing out different places every time, from smaller cheaper family resorts to fancy luxury resorts like St Moritz. Here is a list of luxury ski holidays that aren’t necessarily on most top lists but stand out from the rest in beauty and are truly unique places to visit.
With a 100 year old skiing heritage, this picturesque mountain town is the oldest ski resort in the country, blanketed in snow from November to April.
There are hardly ever queues, and there are over 40 alpine slopes for more experienced skiers to explore.
For those who want to practice their ice-climbing, there are stunning vertical waterfalls just waiting to be scaled.
It’s also host to a number of very unique experiences, including the Ice Music Festival, which offers the incredible experience of instruments made of ice being played to a fur-wrapped crowd.
Alyeska Resort, Alaska.
With a staggering 880 feet of snowfall recorded just last season, you can be sure to have a winter with an abundance of powder snow.
There are over 1400 skiable acres on the mountainside, with the option of night skiing to extend the area you choose to explore.
There’s also a handy ‘track your vertical’ system, which tells you how far you’ve come on every run down the trail.
There are terrain parks for snowboarders and skiers to hone their tricks, with an area friendly to beginners, and more challenging obstacles for those who want to test their limits.
Cervinia Resort, Italy.
From the heart of the Astra Valley, Cervinia beckons to those looking for the ultimate upmarket mountain retreat.
Just a stone’s throw away from the equally popular resort of Zermatt in Switzerland, Cervinia shares a view of the Matterhorn with neighbouring Switzerland.
As part of the Breuill-Cervinia Valtournenche Zermatt area, the resort is linked to a ski area covering 350 km of ski runs..!
For some thumping beats and a 400m run, the snowpark whisks boarders and skiers alike into the mood for showing off some skills, while the cross country area offers up a 3km track through the snowy landscape.
Beautiful Zermatt, Switzerland
For us, this was the hardest to pick, as it all comes down to perception – we love ski resorts with chocolate-box chalets, breathtaking views and car-free centers. Zermatt has all three, and besides, few mountain drops are as iconic as the Matterhorn…
Cervinia’s neighbouring resort, Zermatt, has just as much to offer. A spider web of black runs clings to every mountainside, making Zermatt alluring for some of the greatest skiers.
There’s a proliferation of family friendly memories to make, including tobogganing, ice-skating and even cheese making.
For a little après-ski fun, rack up and break in Bar 55 for a traditional pint accompanied by a game of pool, or soundtrack the cold winter nights in front of a roaring fire, with a hearty drink in hand and the chime of soothing live piano bar to warm the cockles of your heart.
Best Party Ski Resorts In France
A holiday is not a holiday for most skiers unless they find somewhere to run wild after the slopes have closed for the night.
Every season hundreds of thousands of tourists, a large amount being from the UK, go to France for a week or two to ski and party.
France has plenty of great ski resorts where the partying reminds you of a winter Ibiza, but there are also many family friendly resorts, so it’s important to know before booking your trip where the party is.
Here are three of the most popular ski resorts for partying in France…
Chamonix must be considered to be one of the best party towns for the après ski scene and it is consistently placed high on the list of favorite spots to party.
Not only does it have everything that the avid skier wants, from pretty ski chalets to perfect and reliable snow, it also hosts several bars of every description from wild party venues to more sophisticated establishments.
The cool thing about Chamonix though is that it is near enough to several cities or airports, making it a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Not many ski resorts are reached so easily so it means that après ski can be enjoyed several times per year.
Geneva airport is the closest airport to Chamonix, and is also the airport closest to a number of different ski fields in France.
But remember that Chamonix is a very popular destination, so if you want a good hotel in a central location for a good price, make sure you book your stay early!
Val d’Isere is another lively spot for the rich and famous. But it also is a firm favorite with skiers in their twenties too, attracting not only the French and Brits but a lot of Scandinavians too.
Apart from some attractive ski chalets set amongst the trees, this place also has some high class accommodation on offer, as the rich dictate of course.
Happy hour is usually between four and seven in the afternoon and gets everyone in the mood for a disco later on. Younger people tend to congregate at Perdrix Blanche while the older crowd prefers the Tavern d’Alsace.
Courchevel is also another favorite spot for skiers and party animals. It is situated in the Three Valleys and as such, it has a variety of runs to try out at different altitudes.
The same goes for the après ski and it is at 1850 where most of the action is. The Caves and Kalico seem to the ‘in’ places at the moment but there are quieter, more sophisticated venues for older people.
I hope this inspired you and helped with deciding which ski resort to visit next season!