As winter draws nearer and the first flakes of snow start to fall on the higher ground in Europe, thoughts turn towards the new ski season. Those who love the thrill of speeding down a mountainside will already be thinking about which slopes they would like to tackle in 2018 and we’re here to point you in the right direction.
But there’s no reason why you have to be a seasoned pro to enjoy one of these fantastic ski holidays. We’ve rounded up the best resorts for every kind of skier, so nobody has to miss out.
Chamonix is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe and also one of the most thrilling. Its treacherous downhills, littered with crevasses and sheer drops, attract a high number of experts, as well as experienced guides that offer their services to the most daring of thrill-seekers. The Grand Montets ski area has the highest number of black runs, many of which are bumpy and pose quite a challenge. If you really want to push yourself to the edge (literally), the Vallée Blanche route is famous for providing unrivalled thrills.
In Europe, red marks a route which is perfect for intermediate skiers and Austria’s SkiWelt has plenty of them. You will find this resort in the Wilder Kaiser mountain range and there are no less than nine different villages offering slopes, accommodation and plenty of entertainment. With over 90 ski lifts and runs that are both wide and long, the skiing here is easily accessible and perfect for anyone who hasn’t yet reached expert level. Plus, with so many runs to choose from, you won’t get bored of repeating the same experience.
Not only is this resort in the Dolomites the perfect place for you to start your journey to a virtuoso skier, it’s also where the rich and famous come to brush up on their skills. George Clooney and Naomi Campbell are amongst the past visitors and the area was also used during filming for the James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’. The atmosphere is very laid back, so you will never feel rushed on the slopes, and it’s also the setting for Italy’s first ever ski school. Plus, when you need to take a break, there are plenty of other winter activities to try.
One of the key things to look for in a resort that is great for families is a range of slopes of varying difficulties. This means that people can split up and find a run that suits them rather than having to stay together the whole time. Wengen, found in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, can offer this, along with childcare facilities where there will be plenty of other English-speaking children for your kids to make friends with. Children will also love the cogwheel railway that takes you up the mountain and even extends to reach Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. Finally, the village is practically car-free, offering a safe environment in which your little ones can play in the snow.
Another of Europe’s most popular destinations for ski holidays, St Anton is known for its lively entertainment scene for when you are done on the pistes. There’s a row of bars and restaurants alongside part of the course where many of the main slopes merge. These pump out music until 8 pm, at which time skiers gingerly make their way down the final stretch and back to the bottom. The party doesn’t stop there, though. Another group of bars and clubs in the village comes to life later in the evening to ensure you have somewhere to dance the night away or work your way through the cocktail menu.
Whilst most people immediately think of the Alps when planning their ski holiday, switching to the Pyrenees is a great way to save some money but still have a great time. This lesser-known French resort is almost guaranteed to offer heavy snowfall and has one of the longest seasons in the area. The Telecabine du Lyse cable car will take you to the top of the slopes and there is a range of different options to choose from - mainly blue and red runs for beginners or intermediates. One bonus of choosing Cauterets is that the town itself provides some amazing spa facilities, ideal for when your weary legs won’t carry you anymore.
Alternatively, if you are not too worried about après ski or a wide range of restaurants, you could save even more cash by heading to Slovenia. Although not the first country you think for skiing, the resort of Vogel boasts a good range of pistes and overlooks the beautiful Lake Bohinj.
So, there you have it, no matter what kind of ski holiday you are looking for, we have you covered at TravelQuest. If you would like to book any of these options (or any others), or you would like some more expert guidance on skiing, speak to our knowledgeable team on 0800 021 3237.
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