Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice to the slopes, everyone can enjoy the winter wonderland escape of a ski holiday. Majestic mountains, snowy ski schools, hot chocolates in cosy chalets and lively après ski scenes - a ski holiday has it all, whether you want a glamorous getaway or a fun family holiday.
We’ve rounded up the closest airport to fly to from East Midlands Airport if you’re hitting the ski slopes this season.
With flights to Geneva
In the film version of these destinations, the French and Swiss Alps would be a sell-out blockbuster, with cinematic mountainscapes of glistening snow cascading from chiselled peaks, and picture-book forests, chic chalets and bustling bars and restaurants where people are feasting on fondue, drinking hot chocolate and sipping champagne. While part of the holiday pull may be joining the merry mayhem of fellow snow skiing enthusiasts, if you’re seeking a quieter winter escape then avoid peak season at Christmas and February school holidays, when accommodation and transport prices skyrocket.
Val d'Isère near Chambery is considered to be a skier’s paradise, and while it’s known for its snow-sure slopes, it’s also the largest artificial snow-making plant in Europe - so if the weather doesn’t deliver, the region has a foolproof backup. This mega resort is also known as a hotspot for its après ski scene, with multiple uber-cool bars and restaurants featuring expansive terraces for DJ sets. For a more rustic skiing experience, head to Châtel, which straddles the border between France and Switzerland, making it easy to reach from Geneva. The village is a working farming community and bursting with charm and alpine authenticity, and the terrain is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers.
And of course, there’s St. Moritz - the oldest winter holiday resort in the world, and the celebrity of the Swiss ski slopes. Here, the combination of the almost-eternal sunshine (the sun shines 322 days a year) and dry air has led people to refer to the St Moritz weather as a “champagne climate” - which may be one of the reasons, along with the endless luxury hotels, restaurants and off-piste slopes, that the region attracts the rich and famous, and those wanting to live the winter high life.
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With flights to Salzburg
Blessed with a long and lavish snow season, it’s no surprise that Austria is known as one of the best skiing destinations in the world. The snow on the ground is generally powdery and fluffy long into springtime, and there are over 400 resorts catering to all skill levels and ages, with over 100,000 people taking to the slopes for Austria ski holidays each year.
Venture 60 miles south-west of Salzburg and you’ll reach Zell am See-Kaprun, which wows its guests with panoramic views of Lake Zell. The Salzburg skiing resort includes sun-blessed Schmittenhöhe, with excellent ski schools, fun slopes and snow parks for families, as well as Kitzsteinhorn - Salzburg’s only glacier ski resort, and the ultimate destination for free riders and ski tour enthusiasts.
If you want to combine picture-perfect peaks with urban energy, visit Innsbruck. The capital of Tirol has hosted the Olympics twice, and is surrounded by 13 ski resorts, each with its own personality. Collectively they’re known as Olympia Ski World, and the enormous area can all be explored with just one ticket, the Ski Plus City Pass, which also includes activities like tobogganing and bobsledding an Olympic run. Over the festive season it’s also a tourist trap for its Christmas markets in the surrounding villages.
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