This article will help you find the best places to ski in Europe to suit your needs and experience.
Best Skiing In Europe: For Beginners
If you’re just starting out with the whole skiing thing, jumping straight into the expert resorts probably won’t be your best option. Some resorts and set-ups cater exclusively for beginners. Most will provide at least some help and guidance for those who aren’t very comfortable with two stretches of wood strapped to their feet.
First things first, invest in some decent ski wear. We’re not just talking glamorous here, but actually functional and sturdy. If the resort you’re attending sells it’s own, consider buying from them, as they’ll know the best skis and ski wear for their slopes.
For beginners, Les Arcs in France is probably your best option for skiing in Europe. In the North-East of France, set in Les Arcs mountains, the highest run is around 1250m high; but don’t let that put you off if you’re just starting out.
It is also home to around 136 beginner runs of varying difficulty and height, along with a smaller number of intermediate and expert runs once you pluck up the courage. They also offer a wide variety of renowned tutoring and teaching, with enthusiastic and competent instructors to make sure that you get the teaching experience that you need to get the most from your visit. They have a dedicated, free beginner’s lift for newbies, and plenty of cheap chalets on offer, as well as week-long ski passes.
Basically, if you want to try your hand at the sport without embarrassing yourself in front of pros, Les Arcs is probably the best ski resort for you.
Best Skiing in Europe: For Kids
When it comes to best skiing in Europe with a family, you will want to make sure that you’re choosing the perfect location for your kids.
Passo Tonale, in Italy, is famous for more than just it’s year-round snow and beautiful mountains. The staff are famously warm and welcoming towards children and families in general, and the small, shallow-inclined slopes won’t scare off any nervous kids. There’s also a kindergarten where children can go to learn to ski safely and take part in other piste-related activities, with tailored lessons specially for children that treat skiing as a game, and as something to be approached without fear.
But that’s not to say that there’s only fun for the kids to be had in Passo Tonale- there are some pretty spectacular slopes for the adults, and the resort offers a number of different styles of skiing- cross-country, alpine, and ski mountaineering are all possible if you want to try something more adventurous. But don’t worry, you’ll find a place for lessons too, even if you’re just a parent beginner!
As far as best skiing in Europe goes, Passo Tonale is the place to come if you really want to inspire your children with a love of the sport.
Best Skiing in Europe: For Experts
So we’ve covered what to do if you’re inexperienced (or if you’re likely to have inexperienced people in tow when you go skiing), but what if you’re going skiing in Europe as a bonafide expert?
If you don’t want to bother with any ski schools and practice slopes and just want to head straight on to the serious slopes Verbier in Switzerland is unmissable. It’s home to several big skiing competitions every year, and the sprawling complex takes up around four hundred kilometres of the local mountain areas. It’s definitely a grown-up skiing resort. With legendary nightlife filled with clubs and bars that means your apres-ski can consist of more that hot coca and a roaring fireplace (although you can book chalets with hot tubs for a more authentic experience).
But what about the actual skiing? Verbier is home to some particularly well-known and notorious runs, such as Stairway to Heaven and Rock Garden, and you can catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc from the top of the higher peaks. It’s home to some of the best salons for expert skiers looking to up their game, too, with very short hikes from lifts to challenging and breath-taking runs that expert skiers will be able to savour.
Verbier offers the best skiing in Europe for those looking for a real test of their abilities, and maybe a bit of a chance to show off too.