Many of us have been missing our usual package holiday in a hot country, and have spent the last summer daydreaming about lounging about on a deck chair, but all hope is not lost! You can still see the sights and enjoy a holiday in 2020 – you just might want to swap your bikini out for a cosy jumper!
Why not mix it up and swap out the sandy shores for the snowy slopes this winter? Beautiful mountains with scenic landscapes, villages with cosy accommodations and delicious restaurants mean you’ll never be missing out on true relaxation!
There’s no need to worry about soaking up the sunshine either, as blue skies and bright sunshine are plenty when you’re way above sea level, in fact most people pack sun cream to avoid the dreaded ‘goggle tan’.
You might be wondering why you’d want to work out on your holiday, but this is very different to a cross trainer at the gym! Stunning scenery, fresh air and clearing your mind can be just the thing you need to relieve all the stress of the last year; leave those 2020 worries behind as you fly down a mountain!
But, when you’re trying to book your ski holiday, the amount of resorts and the variety that are on offer can become overwhelming, making it nearly impossible to pick just one!
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most beautiful and luxurious ski resorts Europe has to offer, alongside their neighbouring resorts, so you don’t have to miss out on any of the picturesque mountains and their panoramic views.
We had a look at the top rated resorts across Europe, that are guaranteed to give a skier of any experience a holiday to remember. Taking into consideration the quality of the snow, the variety of pistes and the extra special features that make a resort one to go back to!
But it’s not just about the quality of the skiing, it’s also about the beautiful views that you’re surrounded by as well!
We even delved into the hashtags of Instagram, to find out which locations are the most picturesque, so you’ll have guaranteed views whilst you’re cruising along the mountain!
Soelden in Austria is home to three mountains, 144km of slopes and 31 mountain lifts, so you can be sure you’ll never be bored at this resort. Situated in the Austrian state of Tyrol, the top of the mountains offer breathtakingly sweeping views of the Otztal Alps.
56,097 people have tagged a stunning picture of this location on Instagram!
Just over an hour’s drive away is St Anton am Arlberg, known as the gateway to Alrberg ski region. It has been referred to the “cradle of alpine skiing” as historians believe it to be the place the sport was invented. What better place to ski than where the first person in history took to the slopes?
The historic site includes 340km of pistes and 200km of deep snow runes. There is a huge range of routes to choose from as a beginner or someone who’s spent some more time on skis.
59,146 people have snapped a picture of this beautiful resort on Instagram.
But if you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, you might want to hop back in the car and head to Zugspitze.
A quick hour and half drive away from St Anton am Alrberg is Germany’s Zugspitze. At 2962m above sea level, it is the highest peak in the Wetterstein Mountains, as well as the highest in the whole of Germany. Being as high as it is, ensures some of the most snow sure slopes for skiers, as well as an extra long skiing season. There is a huge variety of slopes for different levels of skiers, so if you didn’t feel like you challenged yourself at the previous two resorts, there are over 20km of slopes to put yourself to the test on here!
Zugspitze has been tagged on Instagram 396,819 times! So you are guaranteed to get that picture perfect photo!
In Northern Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo is part of the legendary Dolomiti Superski area. It even has downhill runs on the Falzarego Pass, one of the most beautiful passes that links the territory of Agordo and Cortina d’Ampezzo!
It’s also known in the history books, as it has hosted the 1956 Winter Games and is known for its stunning cross country skiing pistes. Cortina is renowned for its guaranteed snow cover too, so you are sure to have a smooth and enjoyable time cruising along it’s beautiful viewpoints; including Lagazuoi at 2,800 metres, Tofana di Rozes at 3,225 metres and Monte Cristallo at 3,221 metres.
This stunning resort has been tagged 295,238 times on Instagram!
Under a two hour drive away is Val Gardena, is also situated in the Dolomites and was named Italy’s ski resort in 2017. If you feel like testing your endurance skills, the Sellarona circuit goes right through the heart of this resort, but if you’re not so much into pushing your body to the limit there is a huge ‘fun slope’ on Piz Sella, where you can practice your technique or take a cute picture for the memory books. Nevertheless, this resort still ticks all the boxes for a fantastic skiing experience, with 1200km of pistes and a wide variety to keep all skiers entertained.
Val Gardena is definitely going to be perfect for your Insta feed, as 306,126 people have tagged a stunning photo on the app.
This one is a bit more of a journey, but we’re confident it’s definitely worth the trip! Courchevel is one of the world’s most prestigious ski resorts, and for good reason.
Known to be incredibly exclusive and in a premium location, it offers visitors the world’s largest ski area. It’s Northern facing slopes also mean some of the best snow conditions available in the Three Valleys entire 6000km.
The resort is also perfect for beginners, as 80% of its pistes are situated at 1800m or higher, so the snow conditions are absolutely perfect.
400,853 people have tagged a stunning picture of this location on Instagram!
We know not everyone has the ability to get out of the office for more than a week here and there, so we’ve made sure to include some resorts that you can fit into a long weekend away!
The first resort being the famous Gstaad, one of the most luxurious resorts in all of Europe, you might struggle to get yourself to leave. It’s situated in the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps and is known for its stunning cross country slopes and winter hiking tails.
Whether you’ve never put on a pair of skis before or you’ve spent hours on the slopes already, there’s so much to do here, as the terrain is spectacular.
If that doesn’t impress you enough, Gstaad also boasts one of the few remaining glacier ski areas (Glacier 3000). In between all of this, you should keep an eye out to see if you spot any A-Listers wandering around as in the past, Gstaad has been host to Elton John, Sean Connery, Diana Ross and even former US President Jimmy Carter!
241,911 people have snapped a picture of this beautiful resort on Instagram.
Val-d’Isere might be a bit of a longer drive than the other resorts, but we promise you won’t be disappointed! Just over four hours away lies the scenic resort in the French Alps, right on the edge of the Italian border. Lifts take skiers up Face de Bellevarde, where the pistes are more suited to those who are more intermediate or advanced in their skills. But if you get practicing in the star studded luxury in Gstaad, you’ll be more than ready to face the extensive range of terrain Val-d’Isere has to offer.
You’re bound to come back with sore legs, some bruises from falling over and much more confidence in yourself as a skier after coasting along the high altitude, glacial zones with super-steep couloirs!
Val-d’Isere is perfect for the camera, as 324,602 people have tagged a stunning photo on Instagram.
Jasna in Slovakia offers something a bit different, as an all year mountain tourism resort, it is the largest ski resort in Central Europe. You’re much less likely to have heard of it before, but it is perfect for intermediate skiers and those who love off-piste skiing routes. There are plenty of off slope activities too, including wellness spas, an aquapark and endless pubs, bars and restaurants!
104,294 people have snapped a picture of this beautiful resort on Instagram.
Zakopane is located in the extreme south of Poland and is a quick two hour drive away from Jasna, just enough time to rest your legs before getting back onto the slopes! Known as the ‘winter capital of Poland’ it has 16 individual pistes, all varying in difficulty, and not to worry if you fancy skiing under the stars, the slopes are lit up at night so you can ski long after the sun sets behind the mountains!
Zakopane has had an incredible 1,439,744 photos tagged on Instagram, so if you’re out to impress your followers, this is the place to be it seems!
If you’ve ever been skiing before, you’ll have heard of Zermatt! Located right in the heart of the Alps, Zermatt lies right at the bottom of the iconic Matterhorn peak (think Toblerone packaging!) The town itself has preserved its original character, keeping it’s beautiful quaint pathways car free! The ski resort itself has over 360km of pistes and 400km of hiking trails, so you’ll never run out of new ways to see the spectacular view of the mountain tops.
Even if you’ve never been skiing before, the vast amount of pistes to choose from means you can slowly build up your confidence, until you’re tackling even the trickiest of terrain!
With 875,527 hashtagged pictures on Instagram, Zermatt certainly lives up to its reputation as a scenic resort.
A relaxing two hour drive away, through the scenic Alps is Verbier, a resort that is perfect for those who want a more challenging skiing experience! Verbier has four valleys and over 400km of pistes, not to mention their classic off piste routes of Tortin, the Vallon d’Arbi, Mont Fort and Mont Gele. The perfectly groomed snow sure slopes are wide and steep, keeping most skiers entertained. By the time you’ve exhausted your legs, traversing the mountain and soaking in the views, you’ll be ready to relax in the scenic village and the luxury chalets!
There are 364,471 tagged pictures of Verbier’s breathtaking landscape on Instagram!
Winterberg Skiliftkarussel in Germany is home to just under 30km of slopes to cover all skill levels, and also lays claim to the steepest slope north of the Alps, perfect if you have a need for speed! It is absolutely perfect for families and would be perfect for a quick warm up, getting the younger ones ready for the big slopes! There are also other fun winter activities such as the toboggan lift and the mountain coaster!
Winterberg is the perfect backdrop for your family Christmas card this year and 2,219 people on Instagram would agree.
Lech is quite a fair journey away, but we promise, it is definitely worth it! It is the most glamorous and expensive resort in Austria, but that’s not to say it’s undeserved! The traditional Alpine village is perfect to relax in after a heavy day on the slopes, especially as some of them are quite challenging. With 81 miles of ‘easy slopes’, 76 miles of intermediate and 31 of advanced, you will never be bored here. It is also linked to St Anton and Stuben, making it the largest linked ski area in Austria.
249,882 people took the opportunity to document their trip to this luxurious and traditional resort for their Instagram!
We’ve listed 14 of the most prestigious ski destinations in Europe for you to choose from, with the most impressive ones nearby so you can really sink your teeth, or should we say skis, into the slopes this year!
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