7 of Europe’s Best Skiing and Snowboard Destinations

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7 of Europe's Best Skiing and Snowboard Destinations main

By Richard Jones

Fresh snowfall, bar time, spa time and generally feeling on top of the world – yes, winter holidays are back.

With expansive resorts, world-renowned dining, and accommodation for every type of adventurer, skiing in Europe is an amazing experience.

But although planning a winter sports trip can be exciting, there is lots to think about to ensure you end up in the perfect destination.

The choice can be overwhelming, even for seasoned skiers or snowboarders with their personal favourites, so here we look at the best destinations, based on what you’re looking for.

Best for budget… Grandvalira, Andorra

It’s very rare that groups will have similar skiing abilities, and it’s just as unlikely that you’ll all have the same bank balance. If you are after a destination to suit all budgets, go for Andorra, the Pyrenees principality which is reachable with low-cost airlines and known for its party scene and affordable prices. This winter, Pierre & Vacances has introduced the 3* Hotel Austria into its portfolio. Just 1km from the Grandvalira ski area, home to 210km of slopes and three snowparks, the hotel has recently been renovated, offering 62 bedrooms that are functional and comfortable, sleeping from two to four people. A week’s stay in January costs from £323 pp for two people sharing a room on a half-board (buffet) basis.

For more information, go to: pierreetvacances.com

7 of Europe's Best Skiing and Snowboard Destinations la plagne

Best for beginners… La Plagne, France

Rookie skiers and snowboarders need an area with plenty of nursery slopes and green or blue runs. La Plagne is a renowned French ski resort made up of 11 unique villages, many of which are ski-in, ski-out. It’s also well known for its unique CoolSki Zones – specially designed pistes only open to beginners or those wanting to regain their confidence on skis. Guests of the Coolski Zones have a separate lift pass (€33 pp per day) and can choose from five Zones based in key parts of La Plagne. Ski France opened a number of Contactless Catered Chalets across popular French resorts last year, including in La Plagne.

A week’s stay, at Chalet Poppy in Plagne Soleil, costs from £4,299 total (for up to 8 people staying on a Contactless Catered basis).
Go to: skifrance-classic.co.uk

Best for off the beaten track… The Aurora Zone, Finland

Although Iso Syöte was named Best Ski Resort in Finland at the World Ski Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and is the home of Finland’s best Ski Hotel in 2021, it has stayed under the radar. Sitting adjacent to the Syöte National Park, 150km from the Arctic Circle, Iso Syöte has 17 pistes, linked by nine lifts, three snow parks, a parents-and-children section and a mogul field. As darkness descends, head into Syöte National Park with snowshoes and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.

A four-night Downhill Skiing and Aurora Adventure to Iso Syöte costs from £1,385 pp (two sharing) and includes return flights, transfers, accommodation at KIDE Hotel, a two-day lift pass and ski/snowboard hire.
Please see: theaurorazone.com

7 of Europe's Best Skiing and Snowboard Destinations kitzbuhel

Best for other activities… Kitzbühel, Austrian Tirol

Most famous for the iconic Hahnenkamm downhill and slalom races, which have been held annually since 1931, the medieval town of Kitzbühel is one of Austria’s more upmarket ski destinations. Home to luxury boutiques, chic cafés and stylish bars, it’s easy to see why it known as ‘Glitzy Kitz’. Although the resort is renowned for its skiing, there are plenty of non-ski activities too. Pull on a pair of winter boots and soak up the culture, or clip on a pair of snowshoes and explore the stunning landscapes. There is also husky sledding, tandem paragliding, helicopter tours, swimming, tobogganing, horse-drawn sleigh rides and ice skating.

A week’s stay at Hotel Edelweiss costs from £776 pp (two sharing) on a half-board basis. Price includes return flights from UK and transfers.
Go to skisolutions.com

Best for luxury… Verbier, Switzerland

The glamorous Verbier is regarded as one of the best ski resorts in Europe and a winter playground for the rich and famous. But be warned: this picture-perfect Swiss town dotted with traditional wooden chalets and framed by panoramic mountain vistas comes with a hefty price tag. With both a vibrant buzz and laid-back atmosphere, there is an impressive selection of gourmet restaurants, fantastic après bars and designer shops which appeal to well-heeled visitors. The ski resort is located in the centre of the Four Valleys and comprises a vast sun-drenched ski area of 410km. W Verbier is a luxurious hotel located next to the main lift.

A week’s stay here will set you back £5,581 for two people sharing including breakfast.
Go to: luxurychaletco.com

7 of Europe's Best Skiing and Snowboard Destinations morzine

Best for sustainability… Morzine, France

Skiers and snowboarders often witness the effects of climate change first-hand – winters getting shorter, avalanches and months of drought leading to bare slopes and closed lifts. So, what can we do about it? We can choose eco-friendly ski holidays at resorts that minimise their effect on the environment. Morzine, in the French Alps, is one of the places paving the way to become greener. Last year, bespoke accommodation provider AliKats achieved zero food waste and was carbon neutral and waste neutral. In 2023, they’re offering guests 20 per cent off their holiday when travelling by train, opting out of their Jacuzzi, and choosing to have a meat-free week.

A week’s stay at catered Chalet Ferme a Jules costs from €920pp (two sharing).
See: alikats.eu

Best for après ski: Val d’Isère, France

For many, one of the most important factors to consider when booking a winter trip, is what happens after skiing. Luckily for us Europeans, the best après is on our doorstep. Offering both world-class slops and renowned on-piste bars, live music and nightclubs, it’s easy to see why Val D’Isère has earned such a compelling party reputation. La Folie Douce’s cabaret kicks off from 1pm, while guests can join in with the dancing at Cocorico or Petit Danois, and Dick’s Tea Bar and Doudoune Club is for those who like late nights.

VIP SKI offers 17 luxury catered chalets in Val d’Isère, and week’s stay, at No.1 Aspen House, costs from £1,264 pp (two sharing), including coach transfers from Geneva. Flights extra.
See vip-chalets.com

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