It’s that time of year again. Winter is fast approaching, and as the bitter air nips you to alertness on your morning commute, you picture being a little bit chilly in an altogether more exciting environment. And you think to yourself: ‘let’s go skiing’.
Your joints have just about recovered from last year’s trip, and you recall the adrenaline- or vin chaud-fuelled daring you showed when accidentally taking a black run in your eagerness for an après ski ‘demi’ or three. You fish out your oversized, ultra-coloured attire from the back of the wardrobe, the snood and the gloves and the goggles that only have a few scratches, not enough to cause concern. And then you think: ‘where to this year?’
There are so many high quality ski resorts in Europe that sifting through the information in order to pick your perfect winter snow destination can be as daunting as a night run after only two days on the nursery slopes. So read on for help in deciding the best ski resort in Europe to match your particular needs.
First thing’s first, though. What are your needs? Pristine snow? Snowboarder-friendly runs? Banging après ski? Plenty of English / French / German speakers? Childcare facilities? (Let’s face it, the little darlings would rather stay out of the cold while you’re hurtling around the mountains, right?)
Best European ski resorts for the snow
Snow, of course, is what any ski or snowboarding trip is all about. While there is obviously no guarantee of perfect snow in any particular resort, it is safe to say that more ‘fresh powder’ appears in some places than in others.
For instance, Alpe d’Huez has a top station at 3,300m, which not only offers fantastic views of the Alps, including Mont Blanc, but the resort also commits to opening between December and April due to its glacial pistes. Add to that many of the runs are south facing, and even if snow is a few days old it should soften in the sun by late morning.
Another glacial option with plenty of slopes above the 2500m mark is Tignes, and sister resort Val d’Isère. Both offer kilometre upon kilometre of top-class pistes for all levels. Val d’Isère is the archetypal Alpine resort for those who appreciate aesthetic beauty and style, and have the wallet to match. Tignes has a wider