Ski season has officially arrived, and we’ve reviewed some of the best European ski resort destinations. Carve down fresh powder snow slopes, enjoy dining in some of the finest eateries and take part in some of the most exhilarating winter sporting activities available. Whether you’re travelling with friends or family, these resorts are perfect for groups of mixed-ability skiers. With first-class facilities, luxurious accommodation options and some après ski delights, it’s the perfect time to plan your next alpine adventure.
Famous for its top-tier skiing facilities and lavish amenities, the French Alps have long been the winter hub for skiing and winter sports in Europe. Visitors can expect a variety of accommodations to choose from to spend their stay, including traditional ski chalets, family-friendly lodges and classy hotels and resorts. France provides visitors with one of the finest skiing experiences around, as well as showcasing the iconic panoramic views of the French Alps.
Courchevel is a resort based in the largest of the Les Trois Vallées at around 2500 meters high, and its 60 ski lifts give guests access to over 150 kilometres of slopes and runs, with transport links to a further 600 kilometres across the Three Valleys. The slopes are kept in the best conditions for skiing with the help of a generous annual snowfall of around 4 meters and some specialist grooming from its caretakers. 23% of the slopes in Courchevel are marked green for beginners, making this resort the perfect destination for a group of mixed-ability skiers. More well-versed skiers can also expect to take on some fantastic off-piste terrain - head over to the Jean Blanc and clock in your time on the famous World Cup downhill run. The resort is also well-known for its glamourous atmosphere and fine dining, including seven Michelin-starred eateries.
Featuring the iconic Mont Blanc that stands 4,807 meters high, the charming ski resort, Charmonix is a must-stay for anyone wanting to experience the true magnificence of the French Alps. Hailed as a reputable destination for expert skiers due to its off-piste skiing, it still maintains an accommodating atmosphere for rookies, and due to its high altitude, it has some of the best snow conditions across the Alps. If you are travelling with beginners or are a novice yourself, make sure you visit Le Tour, it has the most excellent terrain for beginners and its slopes twist through the forest at Les Houches which are perfect winter fun for the whole family. However, if you’re wanting to test your skills a little further, Charmonix also offers some fantastic off-piste terrain, head over to Grand Montets where you’ll find slopes that offer the world’s biggest height variance, from 3,300 meters to 1,253 meters in a breathtakingly short space of time. The Verte Piste is a 3.5-kilometre run of jumps that serves as the perfect run for those wanting to get their hearts racing. There are also some very helpful transport links in the resort with regular bus and train services that will take you anywhere in the valley, giving visitors access to all terrain and amenities. First-class skiing also welcomes a first-class experience off the slopes . Why not treat yourself and book a stay at the luxurious Grand Hotel des Alpes or the enchanting Hotel de l’Arve? If you’re wanting a more authentic experience, don’t miss out on the chalet-style rooms at Auberge du Manoir. No matter how you want to spend your ski season, you’re guaranteed an exquisite stay.
Nearest airport: Geneva
The Swiss alps are one of the most ideal destinations for groups of mixed ability skiers. Most resorts in Switzerland have dedicated slopes that are marked for beginners and rookies so you can have a worry-free ski session. The Swiss Alps also have one of the longest ski seasons in the Alps due to the high altitude of the peaks. This means that most of the slopes are open from November to April, giving guests good time frame to get their ski season getaway booked in. The resorts in this destination are a hub for avid skiers worldwide, wanting to carve through the fresh powder tracks and take in the stunning panoramic views.
Zermatt is a resort where size does matter! The altitudes range from 2,500 to 3,900 with one of the Alps’ most iconic peaks towering over the resort; the Matterhorn. Due to the high altitude of the peak, you can ski around the Matterhorn at most times of the year as the snowfall is plentiful and makes for perfect skiing conditions even during the Spring season The resort’s ski lift system provides visitors with access to 360 kilometres of ski runs, making Zermatt one of the most welcoming and accommodating winter sporting destinations in Europe. It’s ideal if you’re travelling with family, in particular, Wolli’s Park features some beginner runs that are perfect for youngsters learning to ski. For the more advanced skiers, the runs at Rothorn and Gornergrat offer more of an exhilarating experience, paired with picturesque views of the Matterhorn.
For travellers seeking out a luxurious skiing holiday, look no further than the glamourous St. Moritz resort. Earning its spot on the map as a top ski destination for being the host of the Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948, it’s one of the most well-equipped resorts for those wanting to experience a well-rounded and varied trip. Aside from skiing, there is a surplus of winter sporting activities to sign up for during your visit. These include an outdoor Olympic ice-skating rink, kite skiing, bobsledding, polo, cricket and even horseracing across the frozen Lake Moritz! Don’t let the Olympic heritage of this resort intimidate you though as you don’t have to be an Olympic skier to enjoy the slopes at St. Moritz. The resort has many slopes dedicated to those wishing to enjoy a gentler run. Or you can head over to Corviglia Snow Park and face around 30 obstacles to weave through. Make sure to enjoy the most pristine alpine landscapes whilst you’re there! The luxurious reputation of this resort carries through to the town where visitors can expect to enjoy a vibrant social scene with some fine places to eat, drink and shop, as well as some stunning accommodation.
Nearest airport: Geneva