With expansive resorts, world-renowned dining, and accommodation for every type of adventurer, skiing in Europe is a near unbeatable experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll be able to find the best ski resort for your needs in Europe. Home to the largest ski area in the world – the Three Valleys – but also to smaller emerging resorts, the skiing in Europe is varied and diverse.
In the Pocket Wanderings Europe Ski Edit, you’ll find useful information and adventure inspiration to help you plan your next trip, or simply refine the details. From tried and tested packing lists and practical information to hand-picked hotel guides and restaurant recommendations.
With so many exceptional ski resorts in Europe, choosing where to go can seem overwhelming. Most seasoned skiers or snowboarders will have their personal favourites. But if you’re looking to try somewhere new, or this is your first time skiing in Europe, then browse these resort highlights. Whether you’re in it for powder skiing or the après, for the beginner slopes or the snow parks, you’ll find it here.
The Europe ski season generally runs from late November until mid-late April. The exact dates will of course depend on the ski resort and it can vary from year to year depending on snow conditions.
If you can, it’s best to avoid school holidays in both the UK and the destination country. Generally the most affordable weeks are in mid-January, although the weather is usually a little colder. March brings the perfect harmony of nicer weather and good snow conditions. April can be wonderful if you’re lucky with the snow conditions. Think bluebird days and t-shirt skiing!
If you’re travelling near the start or end of the season, it’s best to head to one of the more snow sure resorts. This usually means higher altitudes or a glacier. The best snow sure resorts include Val Thorens, Tignes/Val d’Isère and Les Deux Alpes in France, Obergurgl, Ischgl and Lech in Austria, Zermatt and Saas-Fee in Switzerland, or Cervinia in Italy.
The two most popular ways of getting to the European ski resorts are by air or by road. There are a number of airports which provide a gateway to the Alps and beyond, including Geneva, Chambery, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Milan, and many more. Bear in mind that transfer times can be quite long. This is partly because of their location in the mountains, but also because heavy snow can cause significant disruption if you’re unlucky.
Driving tends to be a more popular option for those who have a place in the mountains (lucky things!) or intend to spend longer out there. Taking a car in the winter doesn’t really bring many benefits.
It is possible to get the train to a number of European ski resorts from some of the main airports or towns. Check the specific resort you’re visiting before you travel to find out whether the train is a viable option.
Going on your first ever ski holiday can seem like a daunting task. From accommodation and equipment to lift passes and tuition, there’s a lot more to book and plan compared to your usual holiday.
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