Jetting off this winter for some serious time on the slopes? We’ve broken down five of the top ski resorts in Europe for the winter season this year.
When it comes to Austria’s top ski resorts, Lechs is up there as number one. As well as attracting a fair number of celebrity skiers, it also boasts some of the best runs and conditions for skiers of all levels of ability, both on and off-piste, with some of the best records for snow in the Alps. You don’t have to stay in one of the many luxurious 5 star hotels here to have an enjoyable stay, either.
For those who want to venture off-piste, the mountain tracks are navigable with the help of a guide. The runs are avalanche controlled but not patrolled, so as always when going off-piste, make sure you have your avalanche safety gear with you at all times. The off-piste runs are the best options for expert skiers.
For those at an intermediate level, there are plenty of varied, wide-runs that will suit both the confident and the less so, while beginners can find both easy runs on the slopes, as well as the areas dedicated to beginners to tackle.
For boarders, Lech is also home to one of Austria’s more famous board parks, as well as a cross-country trail for Nordic skiers.
St Anton is known as being a haven for snowboarders, with both several terrain parks and countless runs for boarders of all abilities to try out. It is known for being an excellent resort for freeriding and attracts boarders of all levels from across the world. For beginners, the highly reputable Arlberg Snowboard Academy is also based here.
When it comes to skiing in St Anton, this resort is better suited to the more experienced, with very few runs suited to beginners. For the experts though, it’s a hard resort to beat, with several challenging runs, as well as a number of off-piste tracks to try. For skiers of intermediate ability, there are easier runs as well as the harder tracks for a more challenging experience.
As with St Anton, Chamonix is known for being the ideal location for the more experienced skiers, with its combination of steep runs and plenty of deep snow. As well as its numerous on piste routes, there is also the backcountry to navigate. To explore the resort more fully and to get the most out of your stay here, it’s advisable to hire a local guide to take you out.
For intermediate and beginner skiers, Chamonix is not the best resort, with limited runs for both. More confident intermediate skiers can tackle some of the more challenging runs and there are nursery slopes for beginners to learn on, but other resorts offer plenty more better suited for both groups.
Chamonix stands out as the ideal location for snowboarders, renowned for being one of the best resorts for freeriding.
There are also a number of challenging trails for cross country skiers, but the conditions vary throughout the year.
Skiers and boarders of all abilities can enjoy time spent on the slopes at this French resort, with a wide variety of runs differing in difficulty. For beginners, while there are no green slopes, there are plenty of more gentle blue slopes as well as other nursery areas to tackle. Intermediate skiers of all levels of ability will find a number of varied slopes that offer everything from a gentle ski to a more challenging run. Experts will find the most available to them, however, both on and off-piste.
Les Arcs has been a favourite resort for boarders since the early 80s, with plenty of varying runs to suit everyone from the experienced to beginners.
For beginners, there’s plenty to do in Val d’Isere, with a number of nursery runs to try out before graduating to some of the more challenging slopes. Be warned though, some of the slopes can be trickier than they may be labelled, so it’s worth finding out before you head out which are the best for your level of ability.
Intermediate and expert skiers will find the best conditions here though, with a number of different slopes, in varying degrees of difficulty here.
Snowboarders can try out the different terrain parks and beginners will be well suited on the easier runs.