Winter is fast approaching! No more beach time; we are now dreaming of a good raclette or a fondue paired with mulled wine at a mountain chalet. But where to go? The possibilities are endless…
Luckily, this article reviews Europe’s best ski destinations, and all you have to do is choose one from our top 5. Easy enough, don’t you think?
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
Switzerland is known for its famous chocolate, but also for being an emblematic winter destination. Zermatt is ideal if you are looking for authenticity, with its wooden chalets and little shops. It’s the perfect place for skiing with its 3 ski resorts, making it one of Switzerland’s most popular ski destinations. Moreover, its snowy scenery makes it also suitable for those who prefer hiking or mountaineering.
One of the peculiarities of this destination is that vehicles are not allowed throughout the resort to preserve the natural environment. This enables travelers to wander around freely without having to worry about car drivers! Anecdotally, even the police abide by it, and they drive an electrical vehicle.
2. Les 3 Vallées, France
The 3 Vallées in the French Alps is an unavoidable destination, and especially so because it is the largest ski area in the world with over 330 slopes. This is a unique area accessible to all: it is suitable for all levels of skiing, from beginner to advanced. Evening sessions of night skiing have also been planned, as well as many other activities (some of them free of charge) that will be taking place throughout the entire season.
This is the perfect destination to visit with friends or to go to for a family getaway. When visiting with the family, you’ll be delighted by the diversity of its landscapes and slopes. When with friends, you’ll have numerous trendy clubs and après-ski bars to choose from, as this area is also known for its lively night life.
3. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
One of the oldest ski resorts in the world, located in the heart of the Dolomites, in the Italian Alps. The scenery and its landscapes of great natural beauty will no doubt seduce you. And as for the town itself, the sharp contrast between its high-end boutiques and its handicrafts shops give it a special charm.
All features of the Dolce Vita in a single package: fashion, culture and cuisine. But Cortina d’Ampezzo is also host to important competitions and world championships. Obviously, one can also ski, though it is primarily intended for the more experienced skiers, and it is also a good place for hiking for its sumptuous surroundings.
4. Sölden, Austria
Austria also has a lot to offer to all fans of winter sports, and Tirol is one of the best places for a winter holiday. Known for being Austria’s best ski resort, Sölden is surrounded by 2 glaciers and 3 peaks linked to one another by a ski lift. Its charm resides not only in its slopes and the numerous international championships that take place there, but also in its festive atmosphere.
Sölden’s high-end status draws in the jet set and many wealthy families. A number of international celebrities such as Monica Bellucci, Roger Federer, or Daniel Craig (during the filming of James Bond 007: Spectre) are known to have chosen it as their preferred winter destination.
Sölden is particularly popular with experienced skiers. Its off-piste routes and numerous red and black slopes make it less suitable for beginners, as there are no green slopes.
5. Grandvalira, Andorra
Andorra has as much natural wealth as any of the previous destinations, with the diversity of its landscapes being among its main charms. It has a huge ski area, with over 210 km of slopes suitable for all levels (with wide slopes for beginners) and also for free skiing.
Another great advantage is the many services offered such as snowmobiles, a thermal spa (the largest in Europe), sled dogs… And in what relates to restaurants, there are several options for all budgets.
These destinations are all different, and each has its own unique features. Just find the one best-suited to your needs, and start traveling down the mountain!