Even though I’m sweating out the winter in the sunny Mexican Riviera Maya, I can’t forget that there parts of the world that are still blanketed in snow and that the ski and snowboard season is still in full effect in Europe!
My European friends who have been vacationing here are going back to frigid temperatures, and dark, dreary days, but at least they get to trade the lazy days beach for active and awesome powder days on the slopes! This post is for you all of you stuck somewhere cold this winter – I hope you find some time to get out there and enjoy it!
Top 5 Ski and Snowboard Holiday destinations in Europe!
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Innsbruck and Igls, Austria
Some call Innsbruck, Austria “The Capital of the Alps” and for good reason. This place has some of the best skiing in Austria with slopes to suit every level and it has been the host of the Winter Olympic Games twice! The charming and beautiful village of Igls is literally surrounded by slopes and provides a perfect, picturesque home-base for skiers and snowboarders who want to experiences a little bit of everything that the area has to offer.
Beginners can can hit the easy lower slopes, those with more experience can try the runs in Igls, and advanced carvers can choose from the eight ski areas, all connected by a free bus!
Chamonix is probably the most famous ski resort in the French Alps, as it was host to the very First Winter Olympic games in 1924. In fact, Chamonix is the oldest ski resort in France! This skier’s paradise is located at the foot of Mont Blanc and offers some of the best ski slopes in Europe. There are 12 ski areas, so you’re sure to find a slope to suit your level and style. And when you’re not hitting the epic slopes, you’ll be constantly gawking at the post-card-perfect scenery in every direction.
As a cool (pun!) side trip, you might want to check out Mer de Glace (Ice Sea), one of the biggest glaciers in Europe. Just hop on the Montenvers rack railway for unforgatable views of the ice.
This one is for the beginners and the budget-minded. Borovets is a ski resort in Southwest Bulgaria, on the Rila mountain range. Prices are much cheaper than you’ll find in any of the main European hotspots, but the mountain is beautiful, and the skiing is great for beginners and intermediates! Beginners can take on of the two chairlifts for some of the easier runs, while those with more experience will want to take the Gondola to the larger area with long intermediate and expert runs.
Verbier is a resort town with access to an expansive network of trails for intermediate and expert skiers. Of course there are a few slopes for beginners to hone their skills as well, but this place is really well suited to the experienced skier. Many of the best runs are off-trail, and the huge ski area (the largest in Switzerland) is full of secret nooks and crannies, just waiting to be discovered! And after you’re done skiing, you can take a stroll through the lovely village of Verbier, which is easily accessible on foot and home to some great bars and restaurants for your apres-ski fix!
Lech and Zürs am Arlberg
Lech and Zürs am Arlberg is a ski resort in Austria, about a 3 hour drive, from Zurich, Switzerland. This resort always ranks among the best ski resorts in the world, and it has a lot to offer! When choosing where to stay, you’ve got a lot of options, ranging from quite and tranquil to all-night-party chaos. So if you’re looking for ski holidays to Austria you’re sure to be able to find what you’re looking for here! You can easily check out Lech, Oberlech, and Zürs by catching the free skibus, that runs all day.
But you don’t go to Lech and Zürs just for the towns – you’re going to want to hit the slopes here – and there are runs to suit every skill level. The best skiing is mostly in Zurs, and if you’re hardcore, you can check out the run known as Der Weisse Ringe (The White Ring), which is the world’s longest ski race!
Anything we missed? Yeah, there are countless ski and snowboard locations in Europe – What’s your favorite?