Flying down slopes on a snowboard or skiers – holidays in the mountains can be magical. Europe offers many fantastic places to go skiing – so many that the choice can be hard.
Here is a guide on what you need to know if you are searching for a ski resort in Europe and advice on what you need to pack.
Choose the Right Location
Your choice of a ski resort very much depends on how much you want to spend on your holiday since some places can look very beautiful but are also very expensive. To give you an idea of your options, here are some of the most beautiful places to go skiing and cheaper alternatives which are worth a visit.
Dreamy small villages at the bottom of the mountain or even on top of it – Especially the Alps have many places like that full of glamour and luxury.
1 – St. Moritz
If you want to experience a luxurious skiing holiday, then this ski resort in Switzerland is best for you. This place has been known among royals and celebrities for quite a while - Brigitte Bardot even liked to spend her winter holidays in the Swiss wonderland. With its breath-taking mountains and over 300 days of sunshine each year, the region hosted the Winter Olympics twice and was featured in many movies. Its luxurious reputation makes St. Moritz the most expensive skiing resort in Europe.
2 – Alpe d’Huez
This French ski resort is perfect for all different kind of levels – it has many different slopes for beginners and experts. It is also one of the top regions guaranteed to have snow – so you can look forward to excellent conditions. If you are traveling by plane, then this resort is a good option for you since the airport is nearby.
3 – Kitzbühel
Although its low altitude prevents this resort from having great snow all season long, it is one of the best ski resorts in the world. If you want to test your ski skills, you can try the “Hahnenkamm”, a mountain on which the world cup race takes part every year. It has the world’s most challenging and dangerous slope, so you must be experienced enough to approach it.
Not all ski resorts need to cost you a fortune – there are ski resorts which are not necessarily the Alps but still have excellent slopes to ski on.
1 – Bansko
Bulgaria is not only a secret spot for summer holidays on a budget, but also for skiing. The accommodation and the lift systems have improved a lot so that Bansko can compete with some skiing destinations in the Alps. Together with low hotel prices and affordable ski passes, the town offers great affordable bars and Après ski parties.
2 – Jasna - Demänovská Dolina
Certainly one of the least known places to ski, this is, in fact, Slovakia’s biggest ski resort. Closely located to an airport, one of Europe’s cheapest winter destinations is easy to reach. Although there are slopes for beginners, this resort is more attractive to intermediates.
3 – Serre-Chevalier-Briançon
Yes, you read it right – this is a French skiing resort. Although France might be not known for cheap winter holidays, this resort is a secret getaway for those on a low budget. It’s perfect if you don’t necessarily need an Après ski party but don’t want to miss out long slopes and panorama.
What to Organise Before You Leave
If this is your first skiing trip, it makes sense to take a look at different ski schools and their ratings before you arrive at the destination. Although you can usually book a ski course on short notice, it will save you time if you already know beforehand which school suits you.
Ski holidays are generally quite expensive, so you don’t want to waste any time before you can go on the slopes.
Next to the ski school, you need to look out for accommodation in advance as well. Only on rare occasions, ski hotels have rooms free when you arrive. The general rule for ski holidays is the earlier, the better.
Some hotels even have a direct connection to the slope so that you just need to jump on your skiers or snowboard, and you are ready to go. Especially those hotels are often booked out a year in advance, and if you don’t want to walk up steep streets to the slopes, it is worth planning your holiday early.
Essentials That You Need To Pack
It is needless to say that you will need to have skies or a snowboard – you can either bring them yourself or rent them as the transport can be quite tricky. Next, there are some essentials that even long-experienced people like to forget when it comes to planning a ski holiday.
In terms of clothes, it is essential to bring long pairs of thermal socks and base layers for each day. They can get very smelly, and you won’t regret bringing a lot of them. Also, a hat that fits under the helmet, a scarf and gloves are necessary to keep the cold out.
Besides, you will need to bring sunglasses – those that are made for skiing not only protect you against the sun but also from snow and dirt coming into your face. Although you are going on a winter holiday, it is often very sunny in the mountains, and you will likely get a sunburn if you don’t bring sunscreen.
The list of essentials may not be exhaustive as you also need to check your travel insurance, medication, and a lot of other things, but it gives you a good overview of what is most important for a trip into the mountains.
And with the hints of the best European skiing destinations, you might just have found some inspiration that suits your budget!