You will find a huge choice of ski resorts across Europe. Whether you’re looking for big challenges, booming après ski, or a gentle experience for beginners, you will find it. Recreational downhill skiing was born here, so there are plethora of legendary big-name Europe ski resorts, as well as some up-and-coming names that might surprise you.
The Alps are the focus for most of the Europe ski action (though by no means all of it). Switzerland and France in particular are packed with big-name resorts. They tend to offer plenty of glitzy nightlife, alongside some superb skiing. Chamonix, in the shadow of Mont Blanc and part of the enormous Mont Blanc ski area, offers some seriously impressive skiing particularly off piste. The nearby Paradski area, includes the big purpose built resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne.
Over the Swiss border, St Moritz is the place to be seen….but it also offers some incredible, challenging skiing. Zermatt, in the shadow of the Matterhorn, has the Alps highest, and often steepest, slopes.
Austria and Italy are often more affordable options, with skiing that is just as good. There are some big lift systems, such as friendly Saalbach-Hinterglemm. St Anton is the Austrian resort of choice for serious skiers, with plenty to challenge even the best. In Italy, Cervinia gives you access to Zermatt, and is a good beginners’ choice while the resorts in the Dolomites should not be forgotten.
Away from the Alps, Andorra offers some great value skiing in the Pyrenees. Soldeu and El Tarter together form the GrandValira lift system, which rivals many in the Alps. Further south in Spain the Sierra Nevada mountains provide the ski resort with both the most sunshine and the highest annual snowfall and are a short hop from the Costa Del Sol.
The best value skiing in Europe is to be found further east in Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria. The largest of the resorts in the East are Bansko and Borovets in Bulgaria. They’re ideal for beginners and families wanting an economical introduction to skiing.
Last but not least the Scandinavia offers many great resorts. In Norway Lillehammer was the host of the 1994 winter Olympics and there are a number of ski resorts very close together. Sweden’s most famous resort is Are and in Finland you can ski within the Arctic circle and pay a visit to Father Christmas in Lapland.
If you want a great choice of historic resorts, plenty of culture and big lift systems it’s a Europe ski holiday you need.