Ski destinations reviewed and explained
Where to Ski in the Pyrenees
Ski resorts in the Pyrenees are less famous than their Alpine counterparts, but they also tend to be less expensive and less crowded. So here is our pick of the best ski resorts in Spain, Andorra and the French Pyrenees for every standard of skier; and advice on where to go on holiday for the après-ski and nightlife, or for the mountain scenery and views, or for a ski weekend.
Arc 2000 and Arc 1950: ski resorts with a purpose
Arc 2000 and Arc 1950 are separated by just 240 metres but also by 24 years. Ideas of what a purpose-built ski resort should look like changed radically in that period, so the two villages appear very different. But the reasons why they were built, and why skiers keep on returning to them decades later, are very similar.
The Best of Aspen Snowmass
For many skiers, Aspen is an intimidating place with an extreme reputation. I was deep into my list of “places I’ve skied” before I even considered going to Aspen, and boy, what a mistake that was. Looking back, I should never have waited so long. Going forward, I will likely never miss a season without a trip back to the Roaring Fork Valley. In short, Aspen is a world-class town, with world-class skiing.
Where to stay and ski in the 3 Valleys
No other ski area gives you so much choice. Les 3 Vallées has 600km (about 375 miles) of runs and over 160 lifts, connecting Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, San Martin de Belleville, Orelle and Brides les Bains. But with so much to choose from, it’s easy to get distracted, so here’s our guide to getting the most out of your ski holiday.
Visit Park City
How can it be that I hadn’t been to Park City in so long? There’s no more convenient destination in North America and yet it had been since the late ’00s that my skis had slid on the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” With so many new, direct ski flights popping up out of the NYC metro area, I had satisfied my wanderlust over the past decade or so – with mixed results. In my quest for the new, I had forsaken the obvious.
Where to ski in January in the Alps
Ski holidays are cheaper in January because there are plenty of January deals and special offers; the snow is crispier and the slopes are less crowded. But some ski resorts only get into their stride later in the season, so choose your destination carefully.
Best French, Swiss and Italian ski resorts near Geneva Airport
If the roads are good you can be on your skis within an hour of leaving Geneva airport. But which resorts have the shortest transfers? And which are the best for families, for high snowsure runs, for beginners, for off-piste or for a romantic weekend?
Family Ski Resorts in Europe
A key factor in making a family skiing holiday effortless is the choice of resort; pick wisely and everything will fall into place. Here are 10 great ski resorts in Europe for you to consider when planning a family skiing holiday.
Best Off-Piste Skiing in the Alps
Whether you call it “off-piste”, “freeriding”, “piste hors”, or “backcountry skiing”, more and more skiers and snowboarders are venturing onto the ungroomed slopes beyond the safety of a ski resort’s piste markers. Here’s our pick of 12 of the best ski areas in the Alps.
Extreme Off-Piste Descents
Here is our choice of twelve classic extreme off-piste descents in Europe and North America. But we recommend you do not attempt these descents without safety equipment or unaccompanied by a recognized local mountain guide.
First ski trip from USA to the French Alps
Which ski destinations in France offer the best skiing and the most fun early season over Christmas and New Year: the Espace Killy, the Three Valleys or Chamonix Mont-Blanc? Will it be truly memorable and how does skiing in France compare to skiing in the USA? Jules Gansl was determined to find out for herself…
Carinthia’s Hohe Tauern National Park
Carinthia’s Hohe Tauern National Park offers great skiing on uncrowded slopes, more than 30 peaks above 3,000m and spectacular panoramic views including Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner at 3,798m. You can ski here in summer too: the Molltaler Glacier is open for skiing 330 days each year.
Budget Ski Resorts
Taking a skiing or snowboarding holiday needn’t cost the earth. We’ve chosen ten ski resorts for their high proportion of self-catering apartments or good value hotels, and also for their reasonably priced lift passes.
Luxury Ski & Spa Hotels
Nothing beats skiing hard all day then treating your aching muscles to all the massage and hydrotherapy they can take. Here is a selection of some of the most stylish and luxurious spas the mountains have to offer.
Self-drive ski resorts in the Alps
Driving to the Alps can be cost effective and gives you freedom once you’re in resort. Many resorts are less than 1,000km from Calais – under 10 hours on the road. We’ve chosen 10 great ski resorts in Europe easily reached by car.
Ski Resorts for Weekends & Short Breaks
When planning a weekend ski break key factors include convenient flight times, short transfers and the availability of accommodation for 3 nights. Rebecca Miles selects ten ski resorts in Europe for weekend ski holidays.
Getting to Ski Resorts by Rail
Relaxing, enjoyable and a good way of reducing your carbon footprint, getting to your ski resort by train can be comparable in door to door time with flying. Daniel Elkan selects 12 resorts in Europe that you can reach easily by train.
Val D’Anniviers – Switzerland’s hidden jewel resorts
Due to its proximity to some of Switzerland’s most illustrious ski resorts, Val d’Anniviers has managed to stay under the radar, but with five traditional Swiss resorts – St Luc, Chandolin, Vercorin, Zinal and Grimentz – and a total of 220km of marked pistes, this hidden jewel is well worth visiting. Read more >>>
Ski Juwel, Austria
Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau – Austria’s premier ski resort is gearing up for an exciting season ahead with a large number of new attractions for families, skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Read more >>>
Serfaus-Fiss Ladis – award winning family ski resort
Families love the award-winning Serfaus-Fiss Ladis! Among the best ski resorts in Tyrol, these three historic mountain villages are also a popular destination for freeriders, freestylers and après ski fans. Read more >>>
Unmissable Ski Destinations in Austria
Austria’s outstanding slopes, unique charm and excellent entertainment, make it a great choice for winter skiing. We’ve chosen eight great destinations to consider when planning a ski holiday this season. Read more >>>
Best of the Alps – twelve classic Alpine resorts
The Best of the Alps is an association of twelve of the most prestigious mountain resorts in the Alps. Internationally renowned and instantly recognizable to skiers and non-skiers alike, the Best of the Alps resorts set standards that many other resorts aspire to reach.
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Brandnertal, Austria – great for families and short breaks
Take the early morning SWISS flight from Heathrow to Zurich uncrowded Brandnertal slopes by lunchtime. Modern and speedy lifts, uncrowded slopes, an excellent variety of pit stops for eating and drinking at fair prices and glorious views all round make Brandnertal a fantastic ski destination. Read more >>>
Graubunden, Switzerland – something for everyone
Davos Klosters, Laax and Engadine St Moritz in the Graubünden region of Switzerland have something for everyone. And not just on the mountain. Families will feel right at home with special ski areas for the kids and even a children’s cinema.
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Jasper, Canada – it’s pretty wild out here
Jasper is a full-body experience. Rub elbows with wildlife in the park or the human wild life in town. Let your eyes feast on jaw dropping ice fields and glaciers as you traverse the glistening peaks of Marmot Basin. Real adventure and untamed excitement is yours for the taking in Jasper. Read more >>>
Nevada, USA – Lake Tahoe & Las Vegas – just Heavenly!
Experience the amazing sensation of skiing high above the sapphire blue waters of Lake Tahoe followed by the ultimate après-ski party in the ‘entertainment capital of the world’, Las Vegas. Your definitive winter sports holiday of a lifetime is waiting for you in Nevada!
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Park City, Utah, USA – the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’
Park City consists of three resorts; Park City Mountain, Deer Valley and Canyons. They boast 58 lifts, 426 named runs and over 9,600 skiable acres of what Utah has trademarked as the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’.
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Stowe, Vermont, USA – a world class ski resort
Stowe has been welcoming skiers for over 75 years and offers skiing for all ability levels The ski slopes are spread across Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak which linked by a two minute ride on the Over Easy Gondola lift. Stowe is a one of a kind ski resort.
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St Moritz, Switzerland – the birthplace of winter tourism
When it comes to snow, high-alpine south facing Engadin St. Moritz has it all: a beautiful landscape, glamour, and a balance of nature and tradition. According to the legend it was here that winter tourism was born some 150 years ago.
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