For beginners or the most seasoned of ski pros, we choose our top ski holidays Europe. Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
Les Deux Alpes and La Grave Ski Resort, France
A great choice for experienced (and beginner) skiers, these are two practically tailor made just for you. Les Deux Alpes lies alongside the main pistes – so you are never far from one of the many lifts – which extend on both sides of the valley and finish in the village. Beyond these, high altitude skiing and magnificent scenery can be enjoyed from the top of the glacier. With the Grande Galaxie pass also offering a day’s skiing in neighbouring resorts.
Turning to la Grave, there are two things that you have to keep in mind apart from the couple of drag lifts at the top; it is an off-piste ski domain and a lot of the skiing is on glaciated terrain. You may have skied glaciers over the hill for example at les Deux Alpes or elsewhere and think, “so what?” Well those ski areas were secured by the pisteurs, not like here. However, crevasses are filled and dangers are marked with signposts and fences, so long as you stick to the pistes you are pretty much safe.
Bansko Ski Resort, Bulgaria
The mountains in Bansko are perfectly shaped for snowsports and the resort has a long season that usually runs from mid-December until mid-May, and the good news is that it had excellent snow cover last season. The gondola takes you up to the mid mountain area at 1725m, where a small network of lifts takes you on to the highest point at 2560m. At present Bansko has a vertical drop of 1100m – or 1600m if you include the long, gentle coast-and-pole back to town. The final 7km is floodlit and covered by snow cannon.
Borovets Ski Resort, Bulgaria
Situated on the northern slopes of Mount Moussala-the highest mountain in Bulgaria, Bansko is Bulgaria’s oldest ski resort, dating from the 19th century and it has now developed into the largest and most modern ski resort in Bulgaria. The majority of the runs are rated medium to difficult. With marked ski runs totalling 58km, there are also 35km of cross-country ski runs, plus biathlon and ski jumping facilities.
Zell am See Kaprun Ski Resort, Austria
Zell am See is one of Austria’s most significant ski resorts. Its three parts: the all year glacial resort Kitzsteinhorn in Kaprun, the Maiskogel in Kaprun and the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See, together make up the Europa Sports Region. Zell am See’s slopes have a lot of variety and some slightly challenging terrain, but possibly not enough to keep a keen intermediate or expert happy for long.
The views are even better if you take off from there attached to a paraglider. Or you can head below sea level – into a 40km limestone cave system. There is of course skating on the lake, along with cross-country skiing, ice sailing and snowkiting, horseriding, ice driving, tobogganing and even try the rifle range.