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Best European Ski Resorts

Posted August 11, 2022 in Top Contenders - Last updated October 21, 2023

Europe is home to some of the world’s best skiing destinations, and in this article, you’ll learn about the top European ski resorts.

If you seek the thrill of adventure through skiing, there’s no better continent on this planet than Europe. In this article, you’ll learn about the best European ski resorts every skiing enthusiast must visit.

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1. Zermatt, Switzerland

The mountain resort of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps is the Alps’ most high-altitude winter sports area. From Zermatt, you can take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in the Alps.

The mountain resort is well-known for some of Europe’s most extended skiing runs, with The Matterhorn Glacier Ride being the pick of the bunch. Every hour, the highest 3S cableway in the world carries 2,000 skiers to the glacier. The best thing about it is that you can ski here any time of the year.

In terms of safety, the skiing resort offers the best features. For instance, you can download a free app for GPS-based information such as snow conditions, weather, and lift operations.

2. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a town in the Italian Dolomites, and it boasts one of the most spectacular skiing terrains in the world. The town is also famous for offering stunning views of the Cinque Torri rock formations.

In 1956, Cortina d’ Ampezzo played host to the Winter Olympics, and ever since then, the town has been frequented by winter sports enthusiasts, particularly skiers. As a result, beginners and intermediate-level skiers will find runs here that suit their respective levels.

Alongside downhill skiing, you can also explore some cross-country trails here. In addition, the town and surrounding areas have been clubbed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Courchevel, France

The Three Valleys, or Les Trois Vallees, consists of numerous interlinked ski resorts; Courchevel is the biggest attraction among them. The ski resort has 60 lifts, which give skiers access to alpine runs of 150 km. In addition, the lifts are linked to multiple glaciers and interconnected ski runs.

State-of-the-art grooming and consistent annual snowfall mean that the runs here are among the most well-maintained in the world. The ski resort comprises five villages. All offering runs for beginner and intermediate skiers.

It’s also one of the most family-friendly European ski resorts. From children’s safety vests to free chairlifts serving the areas for beginners – Courchevel is about as safe as it gets for skiing. Also, feel free to explore the incredible restaurants and accommodations here.

4. Lech, Austria

On the surface, it might seem like Lech doesn’t compare to Courchevel and Cortina d’Ampezzo. However, scratch the surface a bit, and Lech has much to offer.

The village receives a lot of snow and is also home to the White Ring circuit. The 14-mile circuit connects Lech to Austrian skiing hubs such as Zug and Zurs. Over the years, the circuit has developed numerous facilities to make it easier for skiers to access the slopes.

Lech is also part of Austria’s largest interlinked skiing area – the Arlberg. The area consists of backcountry runs spanning 124 miles and marked slopes spanning 190 miles, and you can access them via the 88 cable cars and lifts.

5. Crans-Montana, Switzerland

So far, almost all the skiing destinations covered see a fair amount of footfall during the peak skiing season. However, if you’d prefer European ski resorts that are more under the radar, you should consider Switzerland’s Crans-Montana.

The ski resort offers sun-soaked slopes spanning 90 miles in the Valais canton. It’s also home to one of Switzerland’s best snow parks, which features an Olympic-size halfpipe. All in all, skiers can choose from 61 runs here, and there are 24 lifts to access them.

In addition to skiing, Crans-Montana is also known for its on-mountain resorts, which offer some genuinely mesmerizing mountain views – perfect for soaking in the Alps atmosphere before you put on your skiing gear.

6. Avoriaz, France

Located above Morzine, one of France’s most ancient towns, Avoriaz is a reasonably modern ski resort in the skiing area known as the Portes du Soleil. Besides having links to other popular ski resorts in France, such as Chatel and Les Gets, Avoriaz is also connected to several Swiss ski resorts.

Its height and abundant snowfall make it into skiing heaven during the season. Also, skiers can explore more than 600 km of pistes here, which consist of many nursery slopes – perfect for beginner skiers.

It’s also home to the ‘Swiss Wall,’ one of the world’s most notoriously tricky skiing slopes. There are five terrain parks as well, with numerous opportunities for freestylers. No matter the location you decide to visit, check out some travel guides or do some travel research. Then plan your trip and get to skiing!

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