Deciding on the most suitable ski destination for a long or short ski break with family or friends can prove to be quite a difficult task at the best of times.
While many skiers have favourite destinations to which they return time and time again, with so many ski resorts situated right across Europe, you’d be correct in thinking that limiting yourself to one ski resort, no matter how superb, would be a mistake.
This small and rather rustic ski resort rarely makes it on to any list of the top ski resorts in Europe, which is precisely why it’s been listed here – it’s something very different from the rest, and those who’ve been fortunate enough to holiday here rank it very highly because it offers a very different skiing holiday from the flashier resorts that most skiers focus their attentions on.
Snow-sure with a great range of skiing terrains, a great mix of chalets – book early to secure a great chalet with top views – and a charming town centre with some top dining choices, it isn’t everyone’s ideal ski break, but if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to spend time with family and friends, it’s a top choice.
Val Thorens, France
The highest ski resort in all of France, boasting a superb snow season with in resort snow depths of 90cm and 120cm at the top of the mountain. And as you can ski here comfortably from late November until early May, it offers what is hands-down one of the very best ski seasons to be found anywhere in all of Europe.
As a result, if you’re looking for a snow-sure ski resort in France, Val Thorens is hard to top, however, those looking for a more fashionable, high-class ski destination may prefer the far more exclusive Courchevel 1850 which is located a short distance away.
Serviced by a comprehensive network of lifts and part of the world-renowned Les Trois Vallees region, the highest lift is situated at 3,250m and there’s a fantastic range of ski terrains on offer, more than enough to keep a family of different ability levels in skiing heaven for the duration of their stay. Essential to book early.
One of the most snow-sure ski resorts in Switzerland with snow depths of 16cm in the resort and 80cm at the highest lift points at 3,300m, Verbier is considered the free ride capital of the Alps and attracts serious skiers from all four corners of the globe.
As one of the most attractive ski resorts in the country, the clientele here is suitably well-heeled and there are some exquisite luxury ski chalets on offer in the resort and just outside the town. Private transportation is easily arranged and the wining and dining options in the resort are splendid, making it the ideal destination for a luxury ski break.
This resort wouldn’t have come close to any Top 5 or Top 10 list just a few years ago, but now that it’s appeared in Spectre, the latest James Bond flick, and has been the recipient of one of the most remarkable makeovers in ski resort history, expect to hear a lot more about Sölden in years to come.
It’s becoming quite the playground for the world’s rich and famous, and with a remarkably snow-sure ski season – superb skiing can be enjoyed from as early as October – two glaciers and ten lifts, it’s proving quite the destination for powder hounds.
Accommodation options are excellent and they’re only going to get better over the next few years due to the attention it’s been receiving. Whilst it mightn’t be your first choice this year, wait a year or so and evaluate it again. Chances are you’ll see it in a very different light as it garners more infrastructure and more attention from holidaymakers.
Renowned as a serious skiers’ ideal destination, Kitzbuhel hosts one of the most exciting downhill skiing races on the World Cup ski racing circuit, the Hahnenkamm, which is held every January and attracts thousands of cheering skiing aficionados.
Fortunately, the mayhem lasts just a week, after which Kitzbuhel returns to its idyllic pace of life that’s seen it become one of the most popular of all the European luxury ski resorts and certainly one of its most charming.
Accommodation options in Kitzbuhel are excellent, so whether you’re looking for a sprawling luxury ski chalet that sleeps ten or more, or a cosy yet luxurious boutique hotel for two, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for in Austria’s most exquisite ski resort.
These are five of the top ski destinations in Europe, which means they can all be relied upon to deliver a fantastic skiing holiday this winter. Bearing in mind that everyone has different tastes and ideas as to what they’ll do on their upcoming ski break, you won’t go wrong with a skiing holiday at one of these superb European ski resorts.