Best Ski Resorts in Europe
Looking for top ski resorts in Europe can take some research. The continent is one of the world’s top destinations for skiing, especially Austria, Switzerland, and France which all share the beautiful mountains of the Alps. These mountains provide unique backdrops and slopes to all of the resorts and guests who use them.
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Where to Ski in Europe
From the perfect beginner slopes, to resorts who cater more towards the side of the thrill-seekers, and even an 80,000 square km ski park for kids, you will find something for everyone on the slopes of the Alps.
So here is your guide to finding the perfect ski resorts in Europe, no matter your skill level, or who you are traveling with.
Skiing in Switzerland
Ski Resort Laax
Laax, also known as Flims or Falera, is located in Eastern Switzerland and has over 230 kilometers of slopes, making it one of the country’s largest.
Its size means it can offer something for everyone. Those who will be taking to the slopes for the first time can attend the LAAX for beginners school, while the more experienced can enjoy the advanced routes.
The resort doesn’t only offer outdoor activities. Its indoor facilities, terrain parks, 4 snowparks, and the Olympic super-pipe make it a firm favorite for those who like to try a bit of everything.
Laax also hosts snowboard competitions for a large variety of snowsports, so be sure to check their event schedule so you can see what might be going on when you plan your trip.
Where to Stay Near Laax
When looking for somewhere to stay, Waldhaus Flims boasts upscale hotels hidden away among the mountains. The architecture is what dreams are made of, with floor-to-ceiling windows so you can swim with the snow-covered mountains in the backdrop.
Add to that the steep roofs and cozy features of a typical chalet and you’ll feel right at home.
Laax is even doing its bit for the environment. It’s working to reduce CO2 emissions and increase renewable energy. This will make it the first fully sustainable ski resort in the world!
Best Ski Resorts in Austria
Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is exactly how you imagine a winter wonderland. Very deserving of its place as one of the best ski resorts in Austria!
At night, the buildings create a warm glow around the snowy mountains that surround them.
Despite being set at an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,900 feet), accessibility isn’t an issue. It’s the only ski resort in the world to be serviced by an underground railway that connects the car park below with the gondola. It stops at a couple of hotels in between, so it’s a great way to get around.
No matter what time of the season you visit, you’re guaranteed great snow. Several of the gondolas have snow-making machines that service the slopes to keep them fresh.
Serfaus Fiss Ladis is especially family-friendly, offering plenty of beginner terrain and entertainment for kids.
They even have “Berta’s Kinderland”, an 80,000 square-meter area dedicated to kids’ activities, ski coaching, and the “Fairy Tale Express”. Parents can drop their children off, and hit the higher slopes, or relax and take a break.
Where to Stay near Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis
There are several properties nearby that we would recommend. Check out Schlosshotel Ischgl, Puitalm Aparthotel, or Relais & Chateaux Chasa Montana.
St Anton am Arlberg
St Anton is rated as one of the best ski resort in Europe, one of the top five in the Alps to be exact.
Located in Austria’s Arlberg region, it has 340km of slopes. With over half of them covering off-the-slope itineraries and terrain, this resort is most appealing to the more experienced who are looking for a luxury getaway.
Getting to the resort is simple. Zurich, Innsbruck, and Friedrichshafen airports are all less than 200km drive from the resort. You can also take the train from Zurich to St. Anton, which takes around three hours.
Where to Stay in St Anton am Arlberg
The hotels in Sankt Anton am Arlberg have snow-covered roofs and beautiful balconies from which you can admire the steep mountains they sit on.
You can find catered chalets that feature wooden beams, plush sofas, and large windows for that genuine Austrian experience. Some of the properties we recommend are: Arlen Lodge Hotel, Skihotel Galzig, and Hotel Sonnenheim.
France Ski Resorts
Chamonix has been a favorite place to ski in Europe since the early 1900s and has grown in popularity since it hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics.
A resort for the experienced, mountain guides and instructors come to Chamonix to qualify on the expert slopes. Chamonix offers exciting challenges for the seasoned skier and snowboarder, including the scenic 20k Vallée Blanche off-piste run, which is the longest in Europe.
Mont Blanc provides a stunning backdrop for the thrill-seekers who take to the slopes, and then the cocktail bars in the lively town below.
The town is quite large and is spread out over four areas which require a bus for transport. However, it’s just one hour from Geneva airport, allowing easy access for those who want to travel elsewhere.
Although there are many hotel options available, there aren’t many chalets to choose from. When choosing a hotel, there’s everything from the five-star Hameau Albert 1er to B&Bs. All of these are likely to be more flexible when you are booking due to the competition in the area.
Alpe d’Huez is a top ski resort in Europe and a great choice for groups who have a range of abilities, there are few other resorts that offer options for all.
The resort covers 250km and slopes range from 1,135m to over 3,000 meters. Based at the foot of Pic Blanc, the quality of the black slopes will get hearts racing.
Access to the mountain takes a bit of time. You need to take the Telepherique des Grandes Rousses (a very large gondola), and then a cable car. Once at the top, you will find the Sarenne run. At 16km, this is the longest black run you’ll find skiing in the Alps.
Although the Sarenne run isn’t extremely difficult, it is quite long, so it’s more of a challenge of endurance. For half of its length, it runs gently down a riverside path and through a gorge, making it one of the more scenic in the resort.
Though luxury hotels such as Club Med are available, the most popular accommodation for Alpe d’Huez is the self-catered apartments.
The resort is split into eight districts, Cognet has the best transport links to the slopes and contains all of the nightlife.
Club Med is located in the Savoie area and offers an all-inclusive package. This includes kids’ clubs, an open bar, passes and lessons by ESF professionals, and free wifi.
There you have five of the best ski resorts in the Alps to suit any group. You can conquer some of the terrains on every ski enthusiast’s bucket list, learn to ski in a beginner’s school, and even kick back and relax at Club Med.
About the author: Sian is a London-based writer and travel enthusiast who runs @sianemma92 on Instagram. She works as a Digital Marketing Manager in the fitness industry, and eats, sleeps and breaths travel in her spare time.
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If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Expedia.com and Hotels.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service.
When traveling in Europe, we use AutoEurope to make our bookings. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. Europcar is another option.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Both are worthwhile investments.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours.
One of our favorite things to do annually is taking photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master to find the best policy for your group.