European ski resorts can vary vastly in a number of ways. From fashionable, high-end resorts where you may end up sitting next to a member of a European Royal family on a chair lift to wilder party resorts which are famed for their lively après ski events and all night parties. Resorts also differ in skiing ability with some better equipped for beginners while others are renowned for their vast off-piste areas or high altitude, snow sure runs. We’ve compiled a list of our top European Ski resorts based on different factors. Take a read of them below.
Best for Beginners
New to skiing? Get the most out of your trip and find your snow feet as quickly as possible in a resort that caters well for less experienced skiers. Fortunately, Europe has plenty of resorts which are perfect for less experienced skiers with their own designated beginners ski areas and a large number of green and blue runs. La Plagne in France is one of these resorts which offers novice skiers plenty of areas to learn and improve their skiing. There are some excellent, English speaking ski schools located in the town as well as gentle nursery slope areas. A large number of green and blue runs surrounding the resort gives newer skiers the opportunity to get out and explore without feeling overly challenged.
Best for Advanced Skiers
For advanced skiers, there are some resorts which provide endless off-piste opportunities as well as long, steep black runs to quench advances skiers thirst for adventure. Verbier in Switzerland is one such resort. With some of the best-advanced slopes in the world and legendary off-piste zones, if you can afford the Swiss prices then this is the ideal resort, advanced skiers. For lower prices but equally as good skiing, the French resort of Tignes is famed for some of the best downhill skiing in the world. Part of the huge Espace Killy ski area, there are endless opportunities to venture off-piste as well as challenging blacks, the most famous of which being the infamous Le Face run located near Val d’Isere, a rite of passage for any experienced skier visiting the town.
Best for Families
Ski trips are a great family holiday. There’s no need to worry about keeping the kids occupied while adults can enjoy some time together when the kids are at the ski school. While all resorts have ski schools and other necessities for family holidays, there are certain resorts which go above and beyond the norm to create a resort which is family friendly. Passo Tonale in Italy with its gentle slopes and excellent nursery area is one of these resorts. The town also has a great selection of amenities in the town for the evenings including a large selection of restaurants, spas and leisure centres. For family ski holidays, British tour operator Mark Warner head to some resorts throughout Europe and provide excellent amenities for families including free childcare from British trained nannies.
Best for Nightlife
For most, part of the allure of the mountains is what happens off the slopes once you’ve kicked off your skis for the day. European resorts are renowned for their lively nightlife which starts at three with après ski and lasts until the small hours. St. Anton in Austria is one of the most famous resorts for nightlife in the Alps. Located in the region with the highest snowfall in the Alps, St Anton attracts a crowd who ski hard and party harder. With most bars still packed until 3 am, and some clubs are open until 7 am, St Anton takes partying seriously. Other lively resorts include the French town of Val d’Isere, home to the first Folie Douce mountain bar where you can expect to see table top dancing and champagne showers all afternoon.