The resort consistently tops international lists for the best apres ski and for good reason. Add to these superlative statistics the fact that the resorts get an annual snowfall of four meters and have state-of-the-art grooming to keep their runs in top condition. One of the largest ski resorts in France and Europe Serre Chevalier covers 410 acres and sits at altitudes between 1200 and 2800 metres. Soon to be hosting the Winter Olympics for the second time in 2026, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a sophisticated and expansive ski resort. There are plenty of things to do besides skiing: ice skating, tobogganing, Nordic skiing, bobsledding, and kite skiing. The 10-person Kumme gondola to the Unterrothorn area begins operating in December 2020, the first gondola in Switzerland that can run without staff. Of the two ski resorts which make up France’s third biggest domain, Paradiski, Les Arcs has a distinct advantage over La Plagne. Austria is the birthplace of skiing and St Anton is the king of slopeside parties. Madonna di Campiglio, Italy: Resorts in the Brenta Dolomites, north of Verona, are less known than eastern Dolomite resorts, but Madonna di Campiglio offers some of Italy's best-groomed trails with the chic vibe of Cortina d'Ampezzo. The long, pretty Ötztal valley is best known as the home to Solden, a ski resort that famously hosted both James Bond and the World Cup. Ischgl may be best known as the Ibiza of the Alps for its raucous après scene, but the resort also boasts some of Europe’s best intermediate-level skiing. With Switzerland's greatest vertical drop and skiable terrain at altitudes as high as 3,900... 3. The Winter Olympics were held here in 1928 and 1948, and St. Moritz hosts the biennial Alpine World Ski Championship. Chamonix is a classic ski town, home to expert skiers. Youngsters can ride covered magic-carpet lifts to gentle downhill slopes, and ski instruction here is among the best. With over 168 mi to explore in the Skicircus, there’s no better place to base yourself than at Saalbach or Hinterglemm. Along with ample natural snow and state-of-the art grooming. Its large and varied ski terrain, coupled with its often-excellent snow conditions, has made this one of the best ski resorts in Europe. This includes smaller, more intimate resorts like Val Gardena, one of the several ski towns in adjacent valleys between the peaks known as the Gruppo del Sella. The total number of ski resorts in Europe is staggering, and even the number of full-service, international-class resorts is impressive, so the list above is not to suggest that these are the only places to find fantastic skiing and great winter vacation experiences. Val d’Isere is one of the most iconic ski resorts in the world. Some of the best family ski resorts in Europe are: Bof Hotel Uludag Ski & Convention Resort - Traveler rating: 5.0/5 Gradonna Mountain Resort Chalets & Hotel - Traveler rating: 4.5/5 Slopes close to the Alpine town of Wengen are good for beginning skiers and intermediates, while freestylers will find thrills at the Grindelwald-First superpipe and off-piste terrain. From the top of the lifts, you can ski the glacier, 2,700 meters above sea level - so high that it is often above clouds that cover the valley skies. Generally speaking, the lowest villages are prettier and quieter places to stay, while the higher outposts have some brutal architecture but quicker access to the slopes. For that reason, crowds can be an issue and worse here than anywhere else in the 4 Valles. The scene will be more subdued this year, with most or all après-ski venues closed. Spectacular seems an inadequate description of the scenery, and lift systems at many of them make access between several mountains possible on a single trip - often in a single day. Two terrain parks are designed for different skill levels. Partying is a lifestyle here with the piste-side bars kicking off well before the lifts close. A new Travelator, an enclosed magic-carpet from the top of a gondola, accesses a gentle high-altitude slope, so even beginning skiers can enjoy the thrill - and the views - of high-altitude skiing. Are you looking to find the best family ski resorts in Europe? It is the largest of the four villages, complete with luxury accommodation, impressive fine dining and a wealth of other activities. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride, which opened for the 2019 season, is the world's highest 3S cableway and carries 2,000 skiers an hour to the glacier. Both offer tons of long intermediate runs and occupy central positions in the impressive ski area: sizeable, real valley towns a couple of miles apart. Europe reviews rank ski areas on a scale of one to five stars in the following categories: Overall Rating, All-Mountain … From friendly resort atmosphere to non-ski facilities and piste difficulty, there are … Being part of the largest lift-linked ski area is another major drawcard here and there is certainly more than enough for weeks of fun. But even the red-marked pistes here are well above the difficulty of other Alpine resorts. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Courchevel. Recently added lifts link St. Anton to ski pistes on the other side of the Flexen Pass, uniting it to the main resorts in the Arlberg: Lech, St. Christoph, Zürs, Stuben, and others for a combined total of 340 kilometers of pistes. Regardless, expect to party all afternoon and well into the night at the slopeside bars and in town at Saalbach-Hinterglemm. Best Family Ski Resorts in Europe. With high altitude slopes and almost guaranteed snow, it’s no wonder why Val-d'isere in the Espace Killy ski area is so popular. In our opinion, this is more of an atmospheric place to stay than neighboring Tignes, and you have the advantage of a few local tree runs. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Official site: https://www.dolomiti.org/en/cortina/. In nearby Dolonne are slopes suitable for beginners, but this region is better suited to experienced skiers. Après ski in Europe is the best & can be vibrant or relaxing like at Hinterglemm Austria. There is a lot of competition when it comes to Europe’s best place for freeride skiing, with arguments to be made for heli hotspots such as Italy’s Monte Rosa and Riksgränsen in northern Sweden. St Anton has an excellent lift system, reliable snow and its slopes are generally tougher than those in Lech so you can see why this resort is so popular. Consisting of 3 Vallées, and another four unique luxury villages, The iconic Matterhorn scenery as a backdrop to the massive ski area, World class slopes for intermediates and experts, almost universally at high altitude, Famous mountain town with a lively apres scene and legendary off-piste, Sophisticated alpine town boasting exquisite piste skiing and gourmet on-mountain dining, Powder and partying in the snowiest corner of the Alps in Ski Arlberg, Its status as a freeride mecca thanks to its intense terrain, High altitiude village and interconnected with La Plagne to form an enormous ski area, Attractive village with Europe’s flashiest lift system, Being one of France's snowiest resorts, great for families and friends. Rising to 2,962 meters, Zugspitze is Germany's highest mountain, and its popularity with skiers is enhanced by the beautiful Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen at its foot. The best ski resorts in Europe are an eclectic mix of remote hangout, high-altitude hotspots, and some of the absolute most stunning resorts in the entire world. As the situation changes, so will the guidelines, so the best advice is to check the resort's website frequently before making plans. You can board lifts right from the village, a traffic-free cluster of traditional Tyrolean lodges and inns, normally known for its lively après-ski scene. Argentire, Le Tour and several other hamlets are quieter alternatives, but aren’t really any more convenient for getting around the different ski areas. Several resort bases vie for attention, but only Verbier is well-known to the English-speaking market. The 50 Best ski resorts in Europe Le Grand Bornand “The ‘real France’, 50 minutes from Geneva, Grand Bornand has family-friendly skiing and great Reblochon cheese,” says Patrick. For extreme challenges, there's the famed Kandahar Downhill and other courses that were used in the 1936 Winter Olympics and since then for the International Alpine Skiing Championships. The entire area is spread across 10 summits, with altitudes above 2,500 meters. Zermatt is an iconic ski destination with slopes that serve something for everyone from beginners to freeriders; but that’s not the only reason why we love Zermatt. Not only does the Matterhorn give the town the most scenic setting of any in Europe, its distinctive profile is visible from much of the 350-kilometer trail system connected to Zermatt. Sitting on the French side, Avoriaz offers easy access to Portes du Soleil, one of the world's largest ski areas and provides relaxed, cross-border cruising. For all its Olympic-grade steeps and high-altitude snowfields, about half the skiable terrain is intermediate, and there is plenty of snow for beginners, too. The steep slopes and high-altitude valleys offer skiers and boarders a combined total of 206 kilometers of ski runs, with idyllic little Alpine villages of chalets and lodges to come home to after a day in the snow. Furthermore, Chamonix is spread across several separate ski areas, linked only by buses and not by lifts so you’ll need to hop on a bus (or bring a car) to reach the other areas on the lift pass. It is a good choice for those travelling in groups or with families who have different individual levels. Many measures are the same: masks required in all indoor areas and on closed lifts, restricted après-ski activities, competitions and festivals cancelled or curtailed, reduced capacity in lodges and on lifts. You can usually be sure of skiing on the Glacier du Pisaillas into June or July. Bansko is top of the list of world-leading modern ski resorts followed by Pamporovo, Borovetz, and Vitosha. Instead, you'll find a relaxing and friendly atmosphere of authentic Alpine hospitality, as well as small lodges and traditional inns serving local cuisine. The multiple 400-meter-plus peaks of the Jungfrau massif can depend on reliably deep snow, and the ski resorts here are famed for their long runs. Nordic skiers, however will love the 20-kilometer network of cross-country trails beginning in Val Ferret, just outside Courmayeur. North American skiers will find some differences in the trail rankings. All it took was a couple of gondolas to link the slopes of St Anton, Lech, Zürs, Warth and Schröcken, to propel Ski Arlberg to the top in terms of size. Val Gardena's 160 kilometers of trails and lifts connect with those in several adjacent valleys between the peaks of the Gruppo del Sella, creating nearly 400 kilometers of interconnected skiing that includes the Marmolada Glacier. At an altitude of 3,883 meters, the glacier makes year-round skiing possible. The town of St Anton has some of the best apres ski and nightlife in Ski Arlberg whilst retaining plenty of genuine charm. Each resort has its own character and style, not to mention incomparable views of snowcapped peaks. But having the iconic landmark of the Matterhorn as a backdrop puts Zermatt and the mountainsides behind it on the top of most skiers' wish lists. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Zermatt: Best Areas & Hotels. Written by Barbara Radcliffe RogersNov 17, 2020, We may earn a commission from affiliate links (). Part of the largest lift-linked ski area in the world. The winter resorts of Europe's Alps and Dolomites are legendary, not only for their superb skiing, but for the postcard Alpine villages and celebrity-studded resort towns at their bases. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Courmayeur. The hotel is a comfy place with some lovely places to chill out and relax. High in the Italian Dolomites, the five ragged peaks of the Cinque Torri provide the chic town of Cortina D'Ampezzo a beautiful setting, as well as superb ski terrain. All levels of skiers will find plenty of choices in the 40 kilometers of trails at the Garmisch-Classic ski area, interlinked across three mountains: Hausberg, Kreuzeck, and Alpspitze. But pass by the resort’s superlative lift system (the fastest in the world), leave the crowds behind, and head south to Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. If you’re up for some exploring, there’s no better place to experience it all than at Courchevel. 13 best luxury ski resorts in Europe Superb natural snowfall and a variety of terrain give it plenty to attract even expert skiers, who get their thrills on a challenging 1,000-meter descent from Mont Vallon, through unparalleled Alpine scenery. You have... 3. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kitzbühel, Cable car at Diavolezza, St. Moritz, Switzerland. To help you out, we’ve teamed up with our local experts including Leo and Heather to pick out the best ski resort to base at. If you’re not the type to hit the après ski early, Hinterglemm is home to night skiing and a night park. For a rundown of Europe’s best resorts for off-piste action here are our Top 10 of the best party ski resorts in Europe… Zermatt, Switzerland – one of the most fun and famous ski resorts in Europe. It's dark location in a gorge is a superb spot for deeps and steeps however it lacks relaxing intermediate runs, and even fewer beginner slopes. The best ski resorts in Europe From the best for a quick weekend getaway, to the best for Heli skiing and the powder hungry, this is our pick of the best European ski resorts … In addition to the 150 kilometers of alpine runs you can reach from Courchevel's own 60 lifts, these link into access to a total of 600 kilometers of interconnected ski runs, plus four glaciers. Being in Switzerland, you don’t have to have bottomless pockets, but it certainly helps. Kitzbuhel is considered the best resort in the alps by some, due to the Tyrolean laid-backness, friendliness and hospitality. But really, ‘Cham’ has always been the one: where ski and mountaineering guides come to get the serious qualifications, and where the vast terrain keeps drawing them back, even after epic trips to Kamchatka … Ideally situated on the Bellecôte ski slope, the hotel is a lively home of glowing warmth, a stroll from the epicentre of one of Europe’s most fashionable and exclusive resorts, Courchevel 1850, with access to some of the most exceptional skiing in Europe … directly from the front door. Changes for the 2020/2021 Ski Season in Europe: Throughout Alpine Europe, significant changes are underway in response to public health concerns. When it comes to skiing, Europe is renowned for having the best ski resorts in the world. For a look at the top ski resorts, see our articles on Utah, Colorado, and Lake Tahoe. Les Arcs and La Plagne, France: La Plagne and neighboring Les Arcs are part of the Paradiski area, a linked ski domain offering 425 kilometers of high altitude runs. Although Courchevel is a favorite of experts for its superb off-piste terrain, tree skiing, couloirs, mogul-studded steeps, each of Courchevel's five separate villages has good terrain for beginners and intermediates; about one-fourth of Courchevel's pistes are for beginners and one-third for intermediates. Cortina is far from alone in the Dolomites, where a dozen resorts share a single Dolomiti Superski Pass that gives access to the lifts and trails of all of them. Sarikamis is a ski resort suitable for skiers of all levels, from beginner to professional. See our best-selling European ski resorts via the map below and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to one of our 65+ Mountain Travel Experts over the phone at (800) 299-0656 or request a … The layout of the lifts is very skier-friendly, connecting skiers to different areas without long, level catwalk trails. Everything here is expensive, from lift tickets and lodgings to dinner and drinks, but you definitely get what you pay for. Located in the heart of the Pyrenees in the Aran Valley, Baqueira/Beret is one of Spain’s most popular ski resorts and a favorite with the Spanish royal family. Every winter, Val Thorens and its teams of professional and passionate people, do their utmost... 2. Most resorts have easy and intermediate terrain, and many have dedicated slopes and lifts just for learners and beginners. In addition to its superlative skiing, Courchevel is renowned for its luxury accommodations and fine dining at several Michelin-starred restaurants. From Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, you can ride to the Kleine Scheidegg to take the Jungfraubahn railway to the highest railroad station in Europe at 3,454 meters, or ride the funicular and narrow-gauge railroad from Lauterbrunnen to the car-free little village of Mürren for the even more challenging terrain of the Schilthorn, best known for its black-diamond Inferno run. The small Bichlalm area is especially designed for riders and freestylers. The expert-only pistes from the Arp are unmarked and when they are open at all, you can only ski them with a guide; the same goes for Courmayeur's abundant off-piste ski terrain. Along with downhill skiing, Cortina offers miles of scenic cross-country ski trails, a bobsled run that is floodlit at night, and the Olympic rink for ice skaters. Dozens of cable cars and lifts will take you to runs as long as 12 kilometers. With trails across three ski areas and spectacular views of mountains like Cinque Torri, Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the best in Italy! Switzerland in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Zürich, 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Geneva, 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Switzerland, 11 Top Things to Do in Winter in Switzerland, 12 Best Places to Visit in Europe in Winter, 12 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Switzerland, 2021, 16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lucerne, Where to Stay in Lucerne: Best Areas & Hotels, 11 Top Tourist Attractions in Interlaken & Easy Day Trips, 10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Jungfrau Region, 18 Top Tourist Attractions in Bern & Easy Day Trips, 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Zürich, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World, Where to Stay in Zermatt: Best Areas & Hotels, Top Tourist Attractions in Zermatt & Easy Day Trips, Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Top Tourist Attractions in St. Moritz & Easy Day Trips, Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Jungfrau Region. © Copyright 2021 PlanetWare Inc. All rights reserved. Serre Chevalier, France Serre Chevalie, France Image: Serre Chevalier Briançon. The St. Moritz Ice Cricket event will be held as scheduled, February 18-20, 2021. Beginners will enjoy the gentle runs of the Balme - Vallorcine ski area, and families will find good learning facilities at Domaine Skiable des Planards or La Vormaine areas. St. Anton is especially known for its roughly 200 off-piste options for advanced skiers - many are places to go with a guide - and its mega-moguls, especially on Schindler Kar. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Val d'Isere. The setting - and skiing - on the flank of Mont Blanc, the Alps' highest mountain, is an undeniable draw. Keep in mind that accommodation can get expensive, especially if you head into Zürs. Val Thorens - France. Ski in Europe: Each of these countries has many more ski resorts, and you can learn about them in our articles on the best ski resorts in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. The entire area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Browse our collection of skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews for Europe ski resorts to see which mountains claimed the top spot in each category. Add to that the exceptional ski areas, and it’s clear luxurious European skiing holidays cater to discerning, deep pocketed skiers. Go to Cortina for that. The town itself is appealing, car-free, and known for its good restaurants. The southern face of the Matterhorn is in Italy, and experienced skiers can ski both countries in one day by skiing over the Theodul Pass and down into the Italian trail system. Courchevel is especially family-friendly: free chairlifts serve the beginner areas, and magnetic safety vests for children are provided on lifts. Part of the Ski Amadé network, one of Europe's most expansive skiing areas, Flachau is a favourite among Austrians that has been sheltered from a heavy influx of tourists thanks to buffering from Kitzbühel and St Anton. You can ski slopes with the world's greatest height differential at Grands Montets, one of the six different ski areas of Chamonix. From the Italian Dolomites to the French Alps and all the way over to the Matterhorn, we’ve got the lowdown on the best spots for skiing in Europe in 2020. If you’re seeking long greens or gentle cruises, you might want to … Die-hards can ski into the night on lighted trails, and the Ursus Snow Park is one of Europe's best for freestylers. The most exclusive chalets, best hotels, most Michelin starred restaurants, top champagne bars and boutique shops similar to Paris or Milan are located in ski resorts in Europe. People come here for the skiing experiences, such as skiing four runs used for the men's and women's downhill and giant slalom World Championship races, with average gradients of more than 25 percent. This is the site of the annual Inferno Race, the world's biggest amateur ski competition. Deciding where to ski in Europe is no easy task – the skiing, scenery, snow, and culture vary hugely by region and resort! Like many of the recommended resorts on this list, Zermatt's a special place with a bustling, historic centre and a thriving tourist economy year-round with no shortage of luxury stores and delicious dining options on and off the mountain. We understand that organising a family ski holiday can seem daunting when taking everyone’s needs into consideration. Kitzbühel and the SkiWelt are connected by bus, and both are part of the Kitzbühel Alps AllStarCard, which includes nine different ski areas in Austria. This comprises the vast Espace Killy, named for Olympic triple gold medal winner Jean-Claude Killy, a native of Val d'Isère. Its setting on snow-capped Mont Blanc, Europe's tallest peak at 4,807 meters, would make Chamonix a skiing icon, even without the quintessential French Alpine village that lies at its base. Morzine, France: For the fun of cross-border skiing, few domains match the 12 Portes du Soleil resorts, with seven in France and five in Switzerland, several of them interconnected by lifts and pistes and by a region-wide ticket that includes 660 kilometers of slopes and 197 ski lifts. Sharing a high valley surrounded by 3,000-meter peaks, Val d'Isère and neighboring Tignes offer 300 kilometers of skiable terrain served by more than 150 ski lifts. Lenzerheide in combination with Arosa is … The best skiing is often within the somewhat confusingly large ski areas with multiple resorts and miles of lift-linked slopes. We review the best Swiss, Austrian, French Ski areas for ski lodging accommodations, childrens programs, lessons, snow, terrain, things to do apres ski with the kids, and recommend the best European family ski holiday in the Alps. Each country has its own approach: Austria has national rules in place for all resorts; Italy has national rules that apply as needed to specific regions; Switzerland has only the most basic national rules, leaving the rest to its separate cantons. It offers some of the best ski resort prices in Austria. Although the world's best-known ski resorts are in Europe and North America, the 1998 Winter Olympics put Japan firmly on the ski map, and enthusiasts' quest for year-round snow has brought the Andes more attention. In France, the organization representing ski resorts and regions has established standard rules. Meanwhile, there are hardly any green runs, so near-beginners might do better in La Plagne. The surrounding scenery doesn't get much better. With or without skis, ride the Funivie Monte Bianco cable car to the ridgeline for views from the top of Europe. Courchevel, France. But skiing is still the big draw. Best ski resorts in Europe 2020-2021 1. 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