Winter’s arrival means it is time to dig out the ski gear and hit the slopes. There are so many fantastic skiing destinations around Europe to choose from, why not make this the season to try somewhere new.

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Telling your friends and family that you are skiing in the Swiss Alps incites the same kind of jealousy that plans to go yachting in Croatia, or sightseeing in New Zealand does. It is an iconic skiing destination for a reason. With an après-ski scene that is almost as revered as the snow itself, the slopes open with Christmas Cheer early to late December. With ski-in/ski-out resorts tucked away in every nook and cranny of the Alps, it is only a matter of choosing which snow-dusted gingerbread house takes your fancy.

Zermatt is talked about for a good reason - it has picture-perfect chalets and stunning views of the Matterhorn. But you don’t have to shell out thousands to experience the Alps. Smaller towns like Andermatt, Champéry and Moléson are friendlier on the wallet and offer views and runs that rival some of the more popular spots.

swiss alps

Les Trois Vallées, France

Stretching across four different valleys in France is the world’s largest linked ski area - Les Trois Vallées. The ski area consists of pistes that run between 8 different resorts and over 160 lifts. The high altitude means that the snow is safe, the runs are long, and even the most competent skiers will be exhausted by the end of the day. Like most of France, there are fire-warmed chalet stays suitable for every budget - from tens of thousands of euros per night for complete luxury to affordable family resorts with babysitters and BYO croissants.

You can stay in the thick of it in places like Courchevel or Meribél, where the good-looking and well-dressed go to be seen. Or you could stay in one of the 'satellite' villages. A good rule of thumb is that the further you go downhill, the cheaper it is.


Lake Bled area, Slovenia

With frequent snowfall, well-groomed slopes, and prices that won’t have you eating chip sandwiches for months post-ski, Slovenia is fast becoming a popular ski destination. Tucked away just a short drive from the famous Lake Bled, you will find three unique ski resorts all accessible by one ski pass. Drawing in the most skiers and snowboarders is Vogel – it’s a ski resort reached by a stunning cable car ride with around 36 km of runs. Kranjska Gora and Krvavec are the - slightly unpronounceable - names of the two other ski fields. The former being famous for being one of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe.

Regardless of which ski resort you choose, thanks to the unassuming nature of the host country, there’s a good chance you’ll find the runs beautifully groomed and uncrowded. When you’re done with your ski day, there’s always beautiful Lake Bled to explore.

lake bled

Saalbach, Austria

Made up of clusters of traditional farming villages dotted with onion-domed churches, the ski scene in Austria isn’t as developed as neighbouring France - but what it lacks in infrastructure, it makes up in charm. While many of the ski resorts in Austria are nestled at lower altitudes, lousy snow quality is improved by most ski areas having extensive snowmaking equipment. With more people coming to ski in Austria, lifts and gondola systems have also gotten an upgrade.

You’ll also have plenty of choice in Austria, but it’s well known that Saalbach is an excellent choice for beginners and intermediates. In fact, it has the most extensive intermediate ski area in Austria. For those that like to end their day with something rowdier than a quiet hot chocolate in front of a fire, Saalbach also boasts a lively nightlife scene.

With so many amazing ski resorts just a short flight away, we won’t blame you for taking more than one holiday this winter. See you on the slopes!