While I am a self-confessed beach bum, I love all kinds of boardsports which is why I have an endless fascination with skiing and snowboarding. Understandably, coming from the Philippines, I didn’t grow up with a lot of snow which is why I jump at every chance to read or even just write about Winter destinations.
Our original plan this year was to stay on and spend Winter in Europe so both my partner Tom and I could spend some time snowboarding. Unfortunately, given my recent ankle surgery, a season of skiing and snowboarding is out of the questions. With that in mind, I am still sharing this list that I compiled with the hopes of visiting a few once my injury has fully healed.
If you’re out looking for the best powder white snowcapped resorts, look no further as I have put together this guide featuring the best ski resorts in Europe to help you plan out your next holiday. Filled with picture perfect chalets and villages set amongst beautiful snow-capped mountains, Europe is full of incredible Winter destinations that are worth exploring.
While there are tons of places in Switzerland that fit the description for the best ski resorts, Zermatt in particular offers both incredible scenery and fun skiing trails. Surrounded by the tallest peaks of the Alps, this village is set at the foot of Switzerland’s Matterhorn mountain.
Home to crazy vertical drops, it is usually the setting for the highest winter sports in Europe (set at 3,900,). People flock to this picture perfect town not just for the extreme skiing conditions and top of the line lift systems, but also because of the high-quality resorts and chalets that you can stay at.
While you’re in the area, consider dropping by Interlaken which is one of our favorite places in Europe due to the many adventure filled activities. Skydiving over the Swiss Alps is still definitely one of the best things in Europe.
La Plagne, France
Due to its easy access from London thanks to the high-speed railway service, La Plagne in France is a great option for those looking for a quick Winter getaway. In total, La Plagne is spread over 225 kilometers and has over 134 slopes. Every year, La Plagne gets about 2.5 million visitors a year and is growing in size due to the fact that they have activities for the whole family. While there are tons of resorts to choose from, make sure you compare around to help you find the best ski deals.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
In 2015, when we first visited Europe, we spent some time in the Dolomite mountains and although it was Summer at that time, all everyone could talk about was the epic skiing in Cortina d’ Ampezzo. Popularized by the Winter Olypics held in the 50’s this place has since become a popular area for both professional and beginner Winter enthusiasts.
Home to both Olympic grade hills and beginner terrains, this is a place that is ideal to visit if you’re traveling with people who have different skiing levels. As proof of the popularity of this place, it has around 400km of interconnected skiing making it an incredible playground for skiing fans.
For those that are looking to do more adventurous stuff than just skiing, Chamonix in France is the perfect destination as it is home to both mountaineering and Winter boardsports. Located at the foot of the Mont Blanc, the facilities in the area include rappeling, adventure skiing, and incredible glacier runs that are bound to get your heart pumping.
There are various resorts in the area making it an ideal place to explore during both Summer and Winter time due to the wide variety of things to do. As a big fan of outdoor adventures, Chamonix was high up on our list of places to visit!
In fact, after we had partnered up with one of our favorite sunglasses brand, Sungod (who also have winter Googles), we were super close to booking a trip here. Filled to the brim with adrenaline pumping activities, this place is a must visit for adrenaline junkies.
St. Anton, Austria
Sankt Anton am Arlberg or commonly called St. Anton is a village located in the Tyrolean Alps. This place gets busy during the peak season which runs from December to April but is pretty much a popular destination all year round.
Aside from great skiing trails that are perfect for both intermediate to expert skiers, their hiking trails are also top notch which is ideal for those that want to take a break from the slopes. During our time in Innsbruck, a trip to St. Anton was something we were planning on doing but unfortunately just ran out of time.
Historically speaking, St. Anton is also home to the world’s first ski school and is even dubbed as the birthplace of modern day skiing which ads to the places appeal for people who opt to go here year after year. Oh, and did I mention that it is also a widely popular party area?
Val d’Isère, France
Located near the Italian border, this popular ski resort has been around for more than 80 years and is home to over 300km of ski runs. Filled to the brim with exciting trails and various things to do, it is no surprise that this resort has made it to a lot of the top skiing lists in Europe.
While people come here primarily for the snow, the quality of resorts, nightlife, and food scene is par to none. If you’re looking for a place with both variety and continuous snow, Val d’Isère is your spot.
I will be the first to admit that I only recently heard about this destination. As mentioned, I have never really spent a lot of time skiing and snowboarding but after an acquaintance mentioned it to me once, I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing this place looked.
For beginners, they have a 300m long beginner park where you can learn the basics without having to interfere with the pros. For those that are looking for an adrenaline thrill, they also have Europe’s biggest half-pipe which is why it is frequented by many year after year.
For snowboarding enthusiasts, they also have a wide range of kickers, table tops, and rails making it the ultimate adventure playground. If the conditions aren’t ideal outside (although it is rarely the case), they also have a large indoor Freestyle Academy where you can get your adrenaline fill from.
Hopefully, this article has given you some inspiration on some incredible destinations in Europe for this year. Between the amazing weather, beautiful villages, and picturesque mountain towns, it is no wonder that Europe is considered as a skiing mecca. Although I didn’t get to make my snowboarding (and skiing) dreams come true this year, I will no doubt revisit this list in the years to come.
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