Top 10 ski destinations in Europe
Fancy a skiing holiday but have no idea where to go? Read on for our guide to the top ten ski resorts in Europe…
They say skiing is for everyone – whatever your age or fitness level – and it also makes for a fun and memorable family holiday. So whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned skier, here are the top ten places to ski as ranked by travel search engine GoEuro.
1 St Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Taking the top spot is St Anton am Arlberg, Austria, which ranked highly in terms of affordability, value for money, accessibility, après-ski and family activities on offer.
Not all resorts are easy to get to, that’s why it was included it as a key ranking criteria. St Anton was ranked the most accessible due to its easy transportation links.
2 Ischgl, Austria
The combination of exclusive hotels, spa facilities, Michelin-starred restaurants and, of course, ski slopes on offer has landed Ischgl in second place.
Ischgl has an impressive 238km of pistes served by 45 mainly modern lifts, which extend across the Swiss border to the Engadin resort of Samnaun. It’s also home to a 7km toboggan run that drops 950m and is open in the evening.
Ischgl’s famous seasonal Top of the Mountain concerts attract A-list stars that have so far included Elton John, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, and Kylie Minogue.
3 Val Gardena, Italy
Head here for winter fun in the Dolomites. From December to April each year, this marvellous region invites all winter sports enthusiasts to explore its innumerable pistes and descents for every level of ability, from beginners to world champions.
The resort boasts a Dolomiti Superski carousel with over 1,220km of pistes and modern lift facilities to ensure rapid access to the slopes. After an energetic day, you can enjoy food and drink in traditional mountain huts.
4 Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is a winter fairy tale. In the sun-drenched mountain area, the white-covered peaks lure visitors to go sledging or pay a visit to the igloo village. And what about a leisurely winter hike or a snowshoe excursion? Whether you want to be active or prefer to relax on the mountain restaurant’s sunny terrace, there’s something for everyone.
But be warned, Switzerland’s resorts make up the top five most expensive resorts in Europe with Zermatt as the most expensive – a day pass is priced at a whopping £54.40. However, despite its steep price, it does offer over 360km of slopes and a wide range of extreme skiing activities.
5 Zell am Ziller (Zillertal Arena), Austria
Enjoy winter to the fullest on the longest natural toboggan run, cross-country ski runs and winter hiking trails. A ride on the thrilling Arena Coaster guarantees the ultimate fun and action, while the Freizeitpark Zell (Leisure Park) provides a wide range of activities including an artificial ice rink, curling rink, indoor tennis courts, modern bowling alley and a welcoming restaurant.
6 Kitzbühel, Austria
Located in the Kitzbühel Alps, this resort has 170km of slopes along with 120km of cross-country ski trails and 170km of winter hiking trails in the region. There are also a number of action-packed snowboarding parks, which would go down a treat with young snowboarders. It’s also not too far from Innsbruck (95km), Salzburg (80km) and Munich (120km) so would act as a great base for additional sightseeing trips.
7 St Moritz, Switzerland
Famous for its mineral springs, St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort – it was the birthplace of Alpine winter holidays (1864) and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Here you’ll find top-class restaurants that satisfy gourmet demands at the side of the slopes, hotels of the highest standards, and events of international calibre.
8 Saalbach, Austria
Saalbach is Austria’s largest ski resort and is any keen skier’s dream. Nestled in the Austrian Alps, it features a 270km network of pistes, powder-like snow and 70 modern lifts. Whatever your sport – skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, winter walking or cross-country skiing – there are a wealth of things to do directly on your doorstep.
9 Schladming, Austria
Schladming lies within the beautiful Dachstein Mountain region in the southern Austrian province of Styria. Four linked mountains provide the main ski area, which includes 123km of piste.
The wider Schladming Dachstein region encompasses a number of smaller areas – including the Dachstein Glacier – so there’s guaranteed snow whatever the weather!
The resort invested heavily in new ski lifts when it hosted the World Ski Championships in 2013, meaning queues are kept short – the heated seats will keep your bottom cosy even on the chilliest of days!
10 Chamonix, France
Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. As the highest European mountain west of Russia, Mont Blanc attracts many mountain climbers – you can access the world famous off-piste ski run of the Vallée Blanche by taking a cable car lift to the Aiguille du Midi.
For the whole familiy
The Alps is home to the most family friendly resorts, with plenty of special amenities for children on offer. Adelboden, Switzerland (ranked 12th best resort) is the most family friendly resort due to its ski parks, sledge slopes, ice-skating rinks and cinemas.
Want to ski without breaking the bank?
Eastern Europe is home to the cheapest resorts with day passes to Bjelasnica, Bosnia and Herzogovina costing skiers just £12.70 per person. Eastern European resorts are growing in popularity among the skiing community, with travellers seeking new cultural experiences and world-class slopes at affordable prices.
Don’t want to travel too far?
For a trip closer to home, the Scottish resorts of Nevis Range, Glenshee and Glencoe just made it on the list at 97, 98 and 100 due to the accessibility and affordability of each resort.
To view the top 100 list of ski resorts in Europe, visit goeuro.co.uk/travel/ski-holidays