Outdoor activities

Where can I find the best places for skiing in Europe?

Europe is a thrilling place in winter, full of amazing ski spots. Many places stand out for skiers, like France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. These countries offer perfect skiing weather, beautiful slopes, and great services.

You’ll find everything you need for a dreamy ski trip. From fresh powder to fun evenings after skiing and top-quality restaurants with stunning views, it’s all there. And the places you can stay in are both cozy and stylish.

The Iconic Alpine Resorts of Switzerland

Zermatt is famous for sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn peak. It is known for its vast Zermatt ski resort, offering 200 miles of ski trails and always having snow. Zermatt is unique because it’s car-free. You leave your car and continue your journey by train, taxi, or even a helicopter. If you fly into Zurich or Geneva, you can reach Zermatt by train in about eight hours. This takes away the hassle of renting a car or navigating European roads.

St. Moritz – The Birthplace of Alpine Tourism

St. Moritz stands out as a luxurious town in Switzerland, celebrated as “the birthplace of alpine winter tourism.” It attracts serious skiers with its high location and many sunny days, creating a beautiful skiing environment. The Engadin Airport is the closest, just five miles away. Or, you can choose to arrive at Zurich, Milan, or Munich by flying. From there, don’t miss the chance to experience the stunning Glacier Express or Bernina Express trains.

Legendary Ski Areas in France

Courchevel is a top pick for skiing in Europe. It’s part of Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys), the biggest linked ski area globally. This place is not just for skiing; it’s fun off the slopes too. You can explore six connected villages. Courchevel shines with Michelin-starred restaurants, a special spot for kids to ski, and many high-end shops. Its height and snowmaking ensure amazing snow. You can reach Courchevel easily from Chambéry Airport (1.5 hours away) or Geneva Airport (2.5 hours away).

Chamonix – World-Class Off-Piste Skiing

Chamonix is famous for its off-piste skiing in the stunning French Alps. It offers expert terrains more than anything else. Despite this, there are runs for new skiers and families, too. Different ski spots are connected by bus at Chamonix. Arriving at Geneva Airport, it’s just over an hour’s drive away.

Austrian Gems for Skiing Enthusiasts

Lech, a favorite of royalty, still holds its authentic alpine charm. It’s a top pick for intermediate skiers and families. They enjoy the wide, snowy slopes and the peaceful Lech river.

Lunch here is a big deal. The Rud-Alpe serves great Schnitzel and warm apple strudels. And in town, you’ll find comforting meats and cheese fondues at cosy taverns.

Lech – The Restrained Royal Retreat

Innsbruck is perfect for those who love the mountains but also crave city life. It has hosted the Olympics twice and has 13 nearby ski resorts. Each has its own vibe.

The Olympia Ski World pass lets you explore a huge area. This includes non-ski activities like tobogganing and bobsledding.

The Christmas markets in the villages are not to be missed.

Innsbruck – Urban Energy Meets Alpine Adventure

Italian Delights in the Dolomites

Alta Badia isn’t a typical resort. It’s a valley filled with charming villages in the Dolomites. This area is famous for its amazing food and rich culture, along with skiing in the Italian Alps. You can find top-notch restaurants, like the three-Michelin-star St Hubertus. But even the meals in simple places are delicious.

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Alta Badia‘s local culture comes from farming and a deep connection to the land. This means you will find dishes with locally sourced smoked pork and cheese on the menu. Here, your lift pass includes Dolimiti Superski access. It boasts over 700 miles of ski trails, including a glacier area and trendy Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Cortina d’Ampezzo – Host of the 2026 Winter Olympics

Cortina d’Ampezzo sits among the highest peaks in the Dolomites. It’s a high-end ski town with links to Dolomiti Superski, offering 12 ski areas under one pass. With 75 miles of ski terrain, this town offers plenty of fun. And it’s set to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. The best way to reach Cortina is by flying into Venice Marco Polo Airport, then driving two hours to the resort.

Skiing in the Italian Alps

Where can I find the best places for skiing in Europe?

Looking to ski in Europe? It’s key to pick a spot that meets your dreams. Do you prefer the Alps or Dolomites? Maybe a fancy resort or a quiet village suits you better. Countries like France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy shine for their ski spots. Places like St. Moritz in Switzerland and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy have been drawing skiers for ages. These areas offer more than just skiing – think fun after-ski events, top-notch dining with great views, and cozy yet fancy lodges.

Scandinavia’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Skiing

The Alps are usually the top pick for skiing in Europe. However, Scandinavia has its own charm for skiers who seek something different. One standout place is Riksgränsen in Sweden. It’s a dream come true for lovers of fresh powder snow.

Riksgränsen, Sweden – A Heli-Skiing Hotspot

In the 1990s, Riksgränsen gained fame through snowboard videos. It sits near Norway in the far north of Sweden. Back in 1903, it was a stop for trains moving iron ore. These trains passed from Kiruna to Narvik, Norway.

Those near the train station found themselves surrounded by amazing mountains. But it wasn’t until 1984 that a road made these peaks accessible. Since then, Riksgränsen has been known among Europe’s top skiers and snowboarders for its deep snow.

Now, it’s a hub for those who love to ski off the marked trails. The area around the red barns by Vassijaure Lake is especially popular. Here, heli-skiing is a must-try for adventure seekers, making it more open for exciting ski runs than other spots.

Belle Epoque Charm in Austria

Bad Gastein – The ‘Wes Anderson’ Alpine Town

In Austria, you’ll find a special Belle Epoque town called Bad Gastein. It’s nestled in the Hohe Tauern mountains. Just a 90-minute train ride from Salzburg, it was once compared to Monte Carlo. It enjoyed fame before facing tough times.

Now, Bad Gastein is taking steps towards a big comeback. It’s attracting creatives, mainly from Berlin, who are breathing new life into old hotels. They’re also creating unique events like the sommer.frische.kunst art festival. The valley is often covered in beautiful snow, making it a Kreuzkogel peak a great spot for skiers.

When it comes to accommodations, choose from various options. You can stay at the grand Salzburger Hof, painted in canary yellow. Or, opt for modern and sleek places like the Miramonte, which used to be a 1950s bank. It was transformed by local hotelier Ike Ikrath, the same talent behind the trendy Haus Hirt.

The top choice, though, is The Comodo. Known for its clean styles and vibes of the 1950s, it could be the most buzzworthy Alpine place in 2023.

French Alpine Elegance

Megève is a snow-covered gem just over an hour from Geneva. Its car-free, cobblestone streets make wandering easy. You can enjoy the stunning Mont Blanc views and find yourself surrounded by ski slopes at every level.

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This place’s history is quite fascinating. It was started as a ski resort in 1916 by a Baroness, who had a dream inspired by St Moritz. When she visited Megève, it’s said the area’s views and quaint medieval style won her heart. That’s when she decided to make her dream a reality here.

Megève isn’t just about the incredible views. When you’re not amazed by them, you could be dining at the famous Flocons de Sel. Or maybe you’re in the mood for another helping of raclette at l’Alpage. This Megève ski resort truly stands out as a top choice for luxury in the French Alps.

Thanks to the Rothschild family, Megève has grown into an elegant Alpine spot. It’s popular among skiers who love skiing, good food, and beautiful places. This ski resort in France perfectly blends historic charm with modern ski and dining experiences.

Megève ski resort

Purpose-Built Ski Resorts in Europe

Avoriaz, France – Jacques Labro’s Modernist Vision

Looking for the classic Alpine look? Avoriaz is quite the opposite. With modern buildings that seem more suited for a scary movie than a holiday film. This purpose-built ski resort in Europe stands at 3,500ft high. It uses a smart system to allow skiing everywhere in town. The design comes from architect Jacques Labro’s inspiration by Le Corbusier during the 1960s. Despite being controversial, people now see its ahead-of-its-time green approach. This is because it’s designed for no cars and respects the environment. Labro, now old, still advises on town developments. The skiing up high offers great views and is good for all skiers.

Legendary Après-Ski and Nightlife

If St Moritz is the glamourous aunt and Klosters an outdoorsy uncle, think of Verbier as the Sloaney niece. She likes to party but also rises early for skiing. Known as the ‘Alpine Ibiza’, this area offers legendary après-ski in Europe.

The area boasts famous powder fields like the Stairway to Heaven. Getting there includes a tight couloir. Here, you’ll find serious skiers like Pippa Middleton, Bear Grylls, and James Blunt.

Together, they make up a crowd known for their ski skills. While Verbier has over 250 miles of slopes for intermediates, its black runs and off-piste are famous. The powder remains deep into the season, perfect for events like Xtreme Verbier in March.

Verbier, Switzerland – The Social Skiing Capital

Verbier stands out as a vibrant ski town nightlife spot. It’s a top choice for serious skiers and those who love to party. The town offers legendary après-ski and challenging off-piste areas.

It’s the perfect place for adventurous skiers who also love the social side. Here, you can enjoy thrilling slopes and lively evenings in town.

Scenic Splendor in the Italian Alps

Courmayeur is an Italian ski town across Mont Blanc from Chamonix. When Chamonix is all snowed in, the sun shines on Courmayeur because of Mont Blanc. Apart from skiers, many people visit this Ski resorts in the Italian Alps town. They ride the Skyway Monte Bianco to see the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. Also, they enjoy the great food and fun nightlife. To get there, you can fly to Geneva or Turin Airport and then drive for about an hour, 45 minutes.

Courmayeur Mont Blanc – Panoramic Views of Alpine Giants

Mount Blanc and other stunning peaks of the Italian Alps can be seen from the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car. This place is top for skiing and just looking around. If you like skiing or just love beautiful views, Courmayeur is perfect. It’s a must-see spot for anyone who enjoys the beauty of the Italian Alps.

St. Anton am Arlberg – Austria’s Largest Interconnected Ski Area

Finding the best skiing in Austria? Look no further than St. Anton am Arlberg. It sits in the heart of Ski Arlberg, home to Austria’s largest linked ski area. There, you’ll find nearly 200 miles of skiing on the slopes, plus 120 miles of wild terrain off the path. It’s a dream for anyone who loves winter sports, no matter their skill level.

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Getting to St. Anton am Arlberg is easy because it’s close to major airports. You can land at Innsbruck Airport, only 80 miles away. Or, choose Zurich Airport for a slightly longer but scenic drive, of around 2 hours. Soon after, you’ll be smoothly moving across the vast ski area, thanks to its outstanding lifts and gondolas.

What sets St. Anton am Arlberg apart is its incredible off-slope activities. The place is famous for its fun après-ski and lively alpine culture. After your time on the mountain, relax in the cozy village. Enjoy traditional Austrian food and discover the area’s deep-rooted history and customs. It’s an experience that promises endless winter fun, whether you’re a pro or a rookie.

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