Looking for the best ski resorts in Europe? This comprehensive guide features the top 8 European skiing, snowboarding, and winter sports destinations. Discover the best ski resorts in Europe for an unforgettable adventure on the slopes!
There are only a few truths in the world, and one of them is this: where there’s a great powder and great slopes, there’s great skiing.
Incidentally, Europe has all three in spades, offering unparalleled ski experiences for skiers of all levels. From the majestic mountains of the Alps to the stunning peaks of the Pyrenees, Europe’s ski resorts boast breathtaking landscapes, world-class skiing facilities, and of course, top-notch après-ski activities!
Of course, ski resorts aren’t just about skiing–some boast top-notch wellness facilities, while some feature charming Alpine architecture that makes for a more cultural skiing experience. With that in mind, we’ve listed below some of the best ski resorts in Europe for all types of winter sports enthusiasts.
8 Best Ski Resorts In Europe
Discover the ultimate winter wonderland with our handpicked selection of the best ski resorts in Europe. Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced skier, traveling with family or seeking vibrant nightlife and après-ski experiences, or simply looking for non-skiing activities, our comprehensive list has got you covered!
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
Known as the highest ski resort in Europe, Zermatt is located at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn, at around 1,600m. The resort boasts a vast network of ski lifts, pistes (a whopping 360 km), and off-piste areas.
While the sheer size and altitude of Zermatt’s ski area can be daunting, it does have three main ‘Learning Zones’ for complete beginners–making it one of the ideal ski resorts for those still learning how to ski.
With that said, Zermatt isn’t all about skiing. Guests here can partake in a wide variety of alpine and winter sports, such as winter hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, curling, ice hockey, ice climbing, and even electronic clay pigeon shooting!
Complementing its impressive ski terrain and breathtaking scenery, the resort also offers an extensive range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to cozy chalets, top-notch restaurants, bars, and après-ski activities!
2. Kitzbühel, Austria
Located at the southern foot of the Kitzbüheler Horn, the alpine town of Kitzbühel has been a popular winter destination for more than a century, not only because of its incredible skiing opportunities but also for its medieval charm.
Kitzbühel features cobblestone streets, vibrantly colored houses, and old churches. Moreover, the town is surrounded on all sides by nature–guests here are treated to breathtaking views of the Kitzbüheler Horn and the Wilder Kaiser mountain range.
Said to be the birthplace of alpine skiing, Kitzbühel has a long history of hosting international skiing events, including the famous Hahnenkamm race.
Kitzbühel has over 200 km of slopes, which cater to all skill levels. With that said, most of the slopes here do have a reputation for being more challenging than those found in other ski resorts, so it’s best to keep that in mind if you plan on skiing here.
If you’re a non-skier, or if you’re not yet confident with your skiing, you can always go on a winter hike to explore the area or try your hand at tobogganing or sledding. If you prefer something less physically demanding, Kitzbühel is also famous for its diverse nightlife and après-ski scene and hosts many events throughout the winter season.
3. St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria
Another Austrian gem on this list is St. Anton am Arlberg. Among the largest ski resorts in the world, St. Anton am Arlberg features over 300 kilometers of slopes, 190 miles of pistes, over 34 square miles of off-piste terrain, and 88 lifts.
This ski resort lies within one of the best skiing regions in the world and is near other popular ski resorts such as St. Christoph, Stuben, Zurs, and Lech.
The main drawback of St. Anton am Arlberg is that while it has a spacious and diverse ski area, it’s not particularly beginner-friendly. In fact, this ski resort is known for its challenging terrain and deep powder–making it ideal for intermediate and expert skiers.
With that said, beginner skiers and non-skiers alike can definitely still find plenty of things to enjoy here.
Guests here can enjoy other winter activities like tobogganing, exploring St. Anton on a horse-drawn carriage, and climbing the Arlberger Winter Climbing trail. There are also over 40 miles of specially groomed trails for hikers that offer stunning views of the area.
Moreover, St. Anton am Arlberg is known as a party ski resort and is famous for its nightlife and culinary scene, so guests are spoiled for choice if they want to unwind.
4. St. Moritz, Switzerland
Situated in the Engadin Valley close to the Italian border, at an altitude of 1,856 meters above sea level, St. Moritz is known as one of the most exclusive ski destinations in the world.
This legendary resort has hosted two Winter Olympics and is among the few ski resorts in the world with a skiing season from early December to late April.
The resort offers spectacular alpine scenery–snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and picturesque villages; and has a total ski area of around 350 kilometers, spread across three main sectors.
While it has a varied ski terrain, and its slopes are impeccably groomed, St. Moritz is more suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
With that said, there are plenty of activities here that cater to non-skiers. Other winter sports at St. Moritz include curling, ice skating, bobsledding, and tobogganing. Guests can also explore the area by going on a winter hike or taking the Glacier Express to admire the mountains, valleys, and gorges of the Swiss landscape.
Moreover, as St. Moritz is famous for its luxurious amenities, guests here can enjoy the area’s wide variety of high-end restaurants, and shopaholics can get their fix at the many designer shops in St. Moritz.
5. Chamonix, France
One of the oldest ski resorts in the world, Chamonix has been a popular destination for skiers and mountaineers for well over a century.
Located in the heart of the French Alps, Chamonix boasts spectacular views of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in Western Europe. Chamonix features a vast ski area that covers over 100 miles of ski runs, a total of 492 slopes, and 15,000 acres of off-piste skiing.
While Chamonix has some of the most challenging on and off-piste skiing in the world, the ski resort features a varied ski terrain that caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. As such, it is suitable for beginner and experienced skiers alike.
With that said Chamonix is more than just a world-renowned ski resort. Guests here can do some ice climbing and snowshoeing, go on helicopter rides over the Mont Blanc massif, take to the skies on a tandem paragliding flight, or enjoy riding on a sled pulled by huskies!
Moreover, Chamonix is a vibrant town with a thriving après ski and nightlife scene, so non-skiers can simply take in the scenery here while enjoying their drink of choice and mingling with other guests.
6. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Known for its scenic beauty, Cortina d’Ampezzo is nestled in a valley surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Dolomite Mountains–a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most popular ski resorts in Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo’s ski area is split across several different mountains and has over 120 km of slopes, with varying elevations of 1,217 to 2,828 meters.
While Cortina d’Ampezzo boasts extensive and varied ski terrain, the resort has a lot of nursery slopes for beginners–making it among the best ski resorts in the world for those still learning how to ski.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, guests here can try their hand at various other winter sports, such as snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, and ice skating.
However, this ski resort has more to offer than its ski runs and majestic scenery–it also has excellent après ski and nightlife, especially during peak season!
Moreover, the town is also known for its high-end fashion boutiques and designer shops. As such, Cortina d’Ampezzo has something for skiers and non-skiers alike!
7. Verbier, Switzerland
Part of the 4 Vallées ski area in the Swiss Alps, Verbier is known for its unique combination of high-altitude skiing, mountain views, and a lively après-ski scene.
The resort boasts over 80 lifts that give guests access to over 400 km of ski slopes. While the resort features a varied ski terrain, it is most famous for its thrilling off-piste terrain, with a number of marked and unmarked routes suitable for advanced and seasoned intermediate skiers.
While it is, as a whole, more suited for non-beginners, Verbier does have easily accessible nursery areas for beginners. Moreover, Verbier does offer a number of other winter activities for non-skiers, such as snowshoeing, riding on a sleigh drawn by horses or a team of huskies, and tandem paragliding!
Verbier is more than just a ski resort, however, and if you identify more as a party hound than a powderhound, then you’ve still come to the right place. Verbier is legendary for its parties and après-ski scene! With a seemingly endless variety of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, there’s never a dull moment here.
8. Val d’Isere, France
Boasting over 300 kilometers of pistes and around 25,000 skiable acres, Val d’Isere in the French Alps is among the world’s finest ski resorts. Situated at an altitude of 1,850 meters, Val d’Isere offers its guests outstanding snow conditions throughout the season.
While Val d’Isere has a reputation for having challenging terrain (which explains its long history of hosting international ski competitions), its ski terrain is varied enough that it is also perfect for beginners.
Although it’s renowned for its skiing, non-skiing guests at Val d’Isere can participate in snowshoe hikes, ice karting (for the uninitiated: driving on ice), and dog sled rides!
Apart from its reputation as a winter sports paradise, Val d’Isere is also known for its architecture and traditional Savoyard village charm–narrow streets, quaint buildings, and a wide variety of small shops, bars, and restaurants.
The ski resort also has a lively après-ski scene, with a range of late-night joints that cater to all tastes.
About The Author Of “8 Best Ski Resorts In Europe For Winter Sports Enthusiasts”
A Pilot, well-traveled consultant, businesswoman, and international speaker who has collected and shared countless pearls of travel wisdom over many years at Flyush.com.
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