Skiing holidays in the Alps: Which resort to choose?
Breathtaking scenery, a variety of slopes and guaranteed snow – that’s the Alps. Whether you’re a pro on the white stuff, just starting out, or tagging along for the après-ski fun, there’s an Alpine resort for you. But which one?
If you’re thinking of visiting the Alps any time from autumn through to spring, you’re no doubt interested in snow sports. Let’s face it, Europe’s highest and most extensive mountain range has a lot to offer skiers, snowboarders, sledders, snowmobilers, snowkiters… you get the idea.
That said, Alpine towns have much more in store for couples, families and groups of friends than just activities on the slopes, so don’t be afraid to bring along those who aren’t born skiers, or those who have no intention of pretending to be.
Skiing holidays near Salzburg
Bad Gastein for you and your friends
Bad Gastein is a beautiful resort and natural spa, tucked away in Salzburg‘s Gastein Valley. There are amazing pistes there, snow is guaranteed, of course, and there’s great scope for après-ski.
The skiing facilities in Bad Gastein are among the finest in the world and are a favourite for snow sports enthusiasts from all over Europe. The slopes offer a wealth of opportunity and you can ski for days on end, maybe even a whole week, and still find new trails and ski runs to follow.
Nightlife and hot springs
Bad Gastein is also popular because it has lots more to offer than just skiing. You’ll find small, charming restaurants and there are hot springs, too.
Just a stone’s throw away from the ski slopes you can immerse yourself in the Felsentherme, one of the public thermal baths. The Felsentherme is a large centre with dozens of different pools and baths. After a long day on the slopes, it’s the perfect way to soak your weary muscles, either indoors or out.
The hills are alive
Feeling nostalgic after all that mountain air? Before returning to Salzburg, a trip to the filming locations used in ‘The Sound of Music’ might prove an exciting option. You’ll relive scenes from one of the most popular movies of all time, and the trip will take you around Salzburg and to some of the countryside locations used.
Or why not try the unique experience of a boat trip on a subterranean lake in the Salzkammergut salt mines?
Budget or better
Skiing holidays near Geneva
Mont Blanc & Chamonix for the whole family
If you’re looking for ski slopes and incredible views, not many places can match the French gem of Chamonix.
Geneva is a good starting point in this respect, and Chamonix is only a couple of hours drive away. The bottom of the valley lies at an altitude of about 2,000 metres above sea level, and the ski lifts will take you to summits of over 3,000 metres.
Against a backdrop of Europe’s tallest mountain, Mont Blanc, you can frolic among a wide variety of slopes, with or without prepared pistes.
Le Tour for rookies
The Chamonix Valley offers a wide range of slopes, and intermediate, slightly challenging and advanced-level pistes can be found all over the valley. If you’re a beginner, you should aim for Le Tour, the perfect spot for rookies.
If you’re in good shape, though, you might like to try the more advanced slopes like those at Grand Montets, which are local favourites because they’re steep and demanding.
Geneva is the most international city in Switzerland and if you have the chance, a guided tour of the city is time well spent.
And once in this beautiful country, you should most definitely try some of the famous sweet treats on offer. How about tasting your way through Geneva on an award-winning Swiss chocolate and baking tour?
Great places to stay in Chamonix
In Chamonix town centre you’ll find an abundance of places to spend the night, with options for every budget such as the four-star Alpina Eclectic Hotel, or the charming yet wallet-friendly, Hôtel de l’Arve.
Skiing holidays near Grenoble
Les Deux Alpes for a family stay
Only 70km from Grenoble and easily accessible by train, you’ll find the resort of Les Deux Alpes. This is an all-in-one resort, specially adapted to families, and a paradise for skiing enthusiasts.
The dedicated freestyle area at Les Deux Alpes is absolutely fantastic for those who like to spend time at resort snowparks, and here you’re guaranteed a wealth of snow throughout the entire season, thanks to the glacier that stretches up to 3,600 metres above sea level.
An award-winning resort
Les Deux Alpes offers a variety of festivals and events for the whole family throughout the entire skiing season and has, for this reason, won a number of awards including ‘Best European Ski Resort’.
Avoriaz – skiing for the whole family
Two hours’ drive from Grenoble lies the Alpine village of Avoriaz. This is a car-free area and you’ll be taken by horse and sleigh from the car park up to the hotel village. The Alpine idyll is thereby complete.
This resort is perhaps more for beginners than the more proficient skiers, but even so, there is more than enough scope for off-piste skiing for those in need of a challenge.
Accommodation on the slopes
Avoriaz is a 100% ski-in, ski-out resort, a blessing for the family holiday. The kids will love the Village des Enfants, offering something for every age group and every level of skill, from the smallest to the biggest and toughest of kids. If your children want to learn snowboarding, this is the place, no doubt about it.
After a long day on the slopes and trails, there’s plenty of scope for even more family activities, both indoors and out.
One great après-ski activity is a trip to the Aquariaz Water Park, where you can relax in a tropical climate while looking out across the snow-covered Alps. A unique, but very enjoyable combination.
Skiing holidays near Milan
All-round skiing in Cortina d’Ampezzo
The view overlooking the Dolomites is renowned all over the world, and the mountains are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The Cortina d’Ampezzo resort can be found around a four-and-a-half hour drive outside Milan, and boasts the greatest number of downhill runs in the Dolomites. That’s a well-known fact. But did you know that you’ll also find amazing ski trails here for those who prefer the cross-country variety? There’s an abundance of wonderful, long, skiing tours through absolutely delightful countryside here, and you might also like to try bob-sleighing or the skating rink while you’re at it.
The ski lifts will take you more or less from your hotel door right up to the five summits that surround the town.
Cortina d’Ampezzo for the whole family
Cortina d’Ampezzo offers a wide range of pistes for families with both beginners and more advanced skiers. And the more proficient among them will by no means find it boring here.
After the skiing, there’s plenty of places to shop, dine out and relax, with many spas to choose from. If you’re looking for jet-set glamour, you’ll find it here.
Skiing holidays near Munich
Garmisch-Partenkirchen for you and your mates
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is probably the best known of all German skiing resorts. It consists of two mountain towns southwest of Munich, close to the border with Switzerland.
This is a great resort if some of your party love to go skiing or snowboarding, while others prefer to stay in the cabin and have a nice drink while enjoying the view. And there are plenty of activities that are not all about snow – how about trying your hand at Bavarian curling?
Book space for your skis
Don’t forget when booking your ski trip flights, that snow sports equipment is classed as special baggage. Make sure you book space for your skis or snowboard as early as possible to ensure that there’s room for them on the flight you’re taking.
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