Look, I love a good ski trip and I’m always keen to show off what I believe to be pretty epic ski skills though from looking back at videos of myself, perhaps I look more like a crab on ice than the former! 🤣
What I lack in finesse though, I more than make up for in enthusiasm and what Yaya would most likely describe as a deluded sense of self confidence (which is brilliant from progressing when you first learn to ski, I reckon… 😆).
Long story short, skiing is one of my favourite sports and something I love to do every winter!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering how many layers to wear (so you don’t look like you’re dressed in your own portable sauna), if you need to have a ‘brush up’ lesson (my answer is always, yes – even if its just for you to get used to the slopes for the first time) and where in the world you should actually go?
Choosing where to go skilling can be a tricky old thing – after all, it’s fundamentally snow and mountains… plus there are just soooooo many places to choose from! The more you ski though, the more you start to pick up on the subtle difference between the different types of ski resorts and start to realise that some actually are more suited to certain people/travellers/skiers than other.
Whether you’re looking for wild après ski, adrenaline-inducing off-piste runs *gulp* or gentle beginner slopes (more my style), have a gander at some of the best spots you should ski this year. Snow permitting, naturally. ⛄️
1.) Val d’Isère, France
Val d’Isère probably needs little introduction. It’s a firm favourite for its epic slopes and apres ski opportunities that make this French hideout a perfect place to ski right next to the Italian border. If you’re looking for some challenging runs, head up to the Face de Bellevarde which is a black run and around 3km, or so, long.
it’s still one of the most popular ski resort in the world for British skiers. Why? Most likely, its because it has something for everyone. From great beginner slopes to challenging off-piste, it has the rare ability to keep whole families happy. You can even rent your own log cabin on places like Airbnb.
If all that skiing leaves you parched, head over to Dick’s Tea Bar for an epic and lively night out!
2.) Zell am See, Austria
Zell am See was the first place I learned to ski… and loved it! Make sure to head into the mountains, there’s a whole heap of slopes for every ability. Best yet, you can wander into the town, explore Lake Zell and grab some tasty schnitzel (you are in Austria, after all).
3.) Montgenèvre, France
Right on the border of Italy, Montgenèvre has become known as the place for ‘good snowfall’. Due to its position, you’re almost guaranteed snow. We headed to Montgenèvre last season and it was such a great place to ski, especially with the stunning towns of Briançon that you should definitely visit when you’re not on the slopes.
4) Verbier, Switzerland
As the main ski resort in Four Valleys, Switzerland’s largest ski area, Verbier is a lively and picturesque place to hit the snow. If you’re a young and confident skier looking for challenging slopes and an exciting nightlife, Verbier is ideal. It has lifts up to some of the best off-piste slopes in the Alps, and the views are spectacular. On a clear day, you can see as far as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
5) St Anton, Austria
If your idea of a ski trip is a party with a side of skiing, St Anton could be the resort for you. It’s famous for its crazy après ski parties and revered by daredevil skiers for its wild expert terrain. It’s landed a firm spot on most ‘top five’ lists of ski resorts in the Alps, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to its 349km of pistes and 55km² off-piste playground, St Anton is a fatastic town with bags of comfortable accommodation.
6) Megève, France
Megève is one of France’s most glamorous resorts, seen by some as France’s answer to Swiss St Moritz. It’s a decent spot for French-speaking ski enthusiasts looking to mix with the natives, as most of its guests are affluent French. Mount Blanc forms an impressive backdrop for many of Megève’s slopes, and the others are prettily lined with forest.
7) Breuil-Cervinia, Italy
A far cry from the sunny beaches of Puglia, the snowy Aosta Valley of Northwest Italy draws crowds for a totally different reason. Leaning on the Swiss border, Breuil-Cervinia is largely regarded as Italy’s most snow-sure ski destination.
The biggest bonus is that it offers you access to 360km of slopes at a much lower price than if you opt to stay on the Swiss side of the border. Who doesn’t love to save a pretty penny, right?
8) Tignes, France
If you’re looking to book a ski trip slightly outside of the main season, Tignes is the place to go. It has decent snow cover all year round, and even opens for six weeks during the summer. Tignes boasts 300km of pistes, shared with the neighbouring and well-linked Val d’Isère so it might be worth skiing both if you’re in the region as they’re interconnected by many runs.
9.) Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland
Depending on the year, the Cairngorms can be a great little weekend break of skiing, especially if you’re already in the UK. With a range of slopes, this area holds the snow well in the winter months and is well worth a visit.
If you want a little time away from the lifts and the crowds, head out ‘off piste’, just remember to always be safe and check for avalanche warnings that might be in the area before heading out off-piste (which is just generally good advise to bear in mind for any of the other ski resorts really).
10.) Pamporovo, Bulgaria
There’s a whole heap of amazing skiing destinations that are outside of the French Alps, with Pamporovo being one of them – especially if you’re looking for a lively resort that has a fair few easier slopes and some pretty challenging ones too!
Perched in Southern Bulgaria, it’s one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts that’s well worth a visit. Don’t forget to head up Snezhanka Tower and grab a bite to eat at Panorama.
11.) Méribel, France
Méribel is one of France’s most iconic ski resorts. With its crazy straight-off-the-slope après ski parties, its beautiful scenery, and over 600km of pistes, it’s a brilliant all-rounder. What makes it even better is that this pretty village ski resort bang in the middle of France’s Trois Vallées ski area, so it’s really well-linked to the resorts of Val Thorens, Courchevel, and La Tania.
12.) Zakopane, Poland
Much cheaper than resorts in the French Alps, Zakopane in Poland is a great place to visit if you want great slopes without a hefty price tag. One thing to note, don’t assume that the cheaper prices mean that the slopes are ‘worse’ than others in Western Europe, it’s just that the area is much less off-the-skiers-track, especially for international visitors.
Don’t forget to head up to Kasprowy Wierch and ski the whole run down – it’s an exhilarating run that gets a bit hair-raising at times (if you’re a beginner) but well worth it.
13.) Morzine, France
The beauty of Morzine as a ski resort is that it is not just a ski resort. If you love skiing but want more than just a ski break, Morzine is perfect. It has a whole heap of other activities such as snowmobiling, tobogganing and even ice-diving!
14.) Trentino, Italy
Head to Madonna di Campiglio in Trentino for some incredible slopes that are amazing in winter. There’s a whole heap of trails, it’s the largest ski area in the whole of Trentino. If you’re looking for a longer run, head onto DoloMitica that is an incredible 6km long. You won’t be disappointed.
15.) Courchevel, France
If your wanting to splurge and enjoy a little slice of luxury, Courchevel is the place to go – especially with its Michelin star restaurants and sumptuous hotels, Courchevel is your destination. It’s the perfect location to combine some serious skiing with some of the finer things in life.
16.) Chamonix, France
Chamonix rose to prominence as a well-known ski resort when it hosted the world’s first Winter Olympics back in 1924. Now, it’s a popular snow sports and mountaineering crossover, and a bucket list favourite for daring skiers. It has slopes for all abilities, but what people really come here for is the ultra steep-sided valley and rocky spires (Which I daren’t even try).
It’s the ultimate challenge resort for anybody who wants to consider themselves a pro. Just remember to always listen to local advice on conditions, slopes and routes.
17.) Riksgränsen, Sweden
Located 200km inside the Arctic Circle, Riksgränsen deserves a place on this list for its longevity and novelty value. Dragging the ski season out well into June, Riksgränsen offers the incredible experience of skiing in the eerie light of one of the Arctic’s biggest phenomena: the midnight sun.