Best Ski Resorts in Europe
By Steffi Joseph on Jul 22, 2016
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Bode Miller once said, "Sometimes it’s all about the win, sometimes it’s about the skiing”. Rightly said, skiing is one of those activities that you need to indulge in at least once in a lifetime. Imagine it guys, you’re on the top of a snow-covered terrain with your gear on, all set to ski down those slopes amidst the almost endearingly beautiful landscape. One hell of a time!
We’ve listed the best ski resorts in Europe for you and would love for you to make this fragment of imagination come to life.
Val Thorens, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France
Image Source: Richard Allaway/Flickr
Thanks to the perfectly groomed, powder snow fields and up-to-the-minute ski lifts, Val Thorens is nothing short of snow sports paradise. The place offers ski touring, télémark skiing, off-piste skiing, carving and a snow park making it an ideal place for everyone. Thousands of skiers, beginners and experienced alike visit Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe to enjoy the beautiful Belleville Valley and soak in what could be "the most beautiful view of the Alps".
Best Time to Visit: December and January
Gstaad, Promenade 41, Gstaad, Switzerland
The recent years have seen Gstaad transform from just another ski location to one of the world’s most famous ski location, owing to the visits of many famous celebrities. Though known to be a luxury winter vacation destination, Gstaad can also be done on a budget with the right planning. The place is a delight for skiers and the floodlit slopes, extended lift pass, off-pistes, piste basher experience, and family terrain park, make it a must-visit.
Best Time to Visit: December to April
Baqueira Beret, Salardú, Spain
Image Source: Javier sastre/Flickr
Ideal for beginners and families, Baqueira Beret is divided into three main areas: Beret, Baqueira and Bonaigua and is known for its beautiful terrain. While the long runs will keep you enthralled by their beauty, it’s the humble, yet electrifying, off-piste alternatives that add to the thrill. Though most of the skiing here is restricted to the intermediary level, Esconacrabes is where experts can confront the challenges.
Kitzbühel, Tyrol, Austria
Skiing and Kitzbühel have a legendary and eternal connection. The 170 kms of flawlessly groomed slopes, super cable cars and lifts, the reputable Streif ride and the possibilities of free rides make Kitzbühel one of the best places to ski in the world. Adding to the reputation of the resort is the celebrated Hahnenkamm slope that interests many expert skiers. Find yourself lost between countryside guesthouses and boutique hotels and indulge in activities like snowboarding and ice-skating at the natural ice lake at Schwarzsee.
Best Time to Visit: between last week of January and third week of February.
Verbier, Valais, Switzerland
Image Source: pixabay.com
Exciting terrain, scenic location and a dynamic nightlife attract lively youthful clientele, all of it teamed with easy access and delightful food options, makes Verbier one of the best Ski resorts in Switzerland. Snow-sure slopes, approximately 100 lifts and 400 kms of runs makes the place extremely popular among the Scandinavian, the Dutch, the Brit and importantly the Swizz audience.
Best Time to Visit: January
Are, Jämtland, Sweden
One of Scandinavia’s largest ski resorts, Are is known to be one of the most assorted mountainous sports resorts in Europe. Besides the five Ski areas, the resort has many high perplexing off-pistes, some breathtaking black pistes and an abundance of options for new learners. You can also spend your time indulging in activities like telemark, snowboarding and carving while at Are. Those looking for a more powerful adventure can also explore heli-skiing.
Sölden, Ötztal valley of Tyrol, Austria
Image Source: pixabay.com
Well known for its Big 3: the Gaislachkogl, the Tiefenbachkogl, and the Schwarze Schneid connected by state-of-the-art cable car lifts, Sölden has managed to join this list courtesy the filming of James Bond movie Spectre. Skiers at intermediate and beginner level are known to have a gala time at the Ötz Valley exploring the terrain and nightlife alike. Enjoy the Austrian cuisine at Aprs Ski Philipp or dance the night away at Mogul Bar and Music; Sölden will not disappoint you.
Best Time to Visit: November
Tinges, Tarentaise Valley, Rhne-Alpes region, France
Tinges is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world all thanks to the unmatched amounts of off-piste, and pisted runs and the almost year around accessible snow cover. The enormous Espace Killy is also accessible by Tinges, thus, offering 300km of pistes for all abilities served by 91 lifts. Besides snowboarding and mountain biking Tinges also offers adventure sports activities like paragliding and heli-skiing. For those interested in splurging a little more, the helicopter sightseeing tour is a must-take.
Best Time to Visit: throughout the year except the 10 months in summer when the Grand Motte glacier is closed
Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
One of the highest ski resorts in Europe, Zermatt is known to be covered by snow 365 days of the year. Though ranked on the list of one of the most expensive ski resorts, this place is filled with cautiously groomed pistes for all skill levels. Adding to the merry-making are 56 cuddled up crag restaurants (serving everything from local cuisine to McDonald’s) most of which is accessible by foot.
P.S.: Young families (with under 10’s) get a bonus of some free skis.
Best Time to Visit: November to February
Alpe d’Huez, Huez, France
Known for its well-balanced terrains Alpe d’Huez is an absolute delight for beginners as well as expert skiers. The main ski area called Alpe d’Huez grand domanine Ski, is a stone’s throw away from the resort village of La Garde, Ozen-Oisans, Auris-en-Oisans, Le Freney and Huez among others that also offer activities like mountain biking, hiking and climbing. While you’re there explore Pic Blanc and be mesmerized by the incomparable panorama extending over huge parts of the French territory.
Best Time to Visit: between December
These astounding snowy terrain, beautiful piste lengths, and cutting-edge cars and lifts deserve a visit. If you’re looking for a new family vacation or wanting to spend some adventure infused time with your friends, get your bookings and start packing, already!