While we are slowly leaving the long summer days behind us, we can start to look forward to an amazing skiing season. In just a few short months, resorts worldwide will start prepping their slopes for all skiers and snowboarders to come. If you are keen on joining your fellow winter sports enthusiasts, have a read through this comprehensive guide as we discuss some amazing ski and snowboard holiday destinations from around the globe:
Méribel had to be included in this list and this is why; due to its link with surrounding ski resorts, you will have access to one of the largest linked ski areas in the world. Together, these resorts have over 600km of slopes. Combine the endless miles of pistes with Méribel’s village feel and atmosphere, and you are in for one amazing week of skiing or snowboarding.
As far as accommodation goes, you will have a choice between chalets, hotels, or self-catered apartments. What suits you best is entirely dependent on your travel companions. Are you away with your friends for a week and you are planning on enjoying the great après ski scene, then try to find a hotel or self-catered apartment where you will not be surrounded with families with younger kids. If you are travelling with children, consider booking your family ski holidays with an operator like Mark Warner. Although they do have adult-only chalets, they also cater towards family as some of their hotels offer excellent child-minding services. This means you can enjoy a day or even the full week of skiing knowing that the youngest members of your family are well-looked after.
The resort has a wide range of dining options available, from more expensive restaurants to budget cafés for a laid-back meal out. For example, grab a delicious curry at Tsaretta Spice. You can even order some dishes for take-away, ideal if you really cannot be bothered to cook one evening. To get a taste of the après ski scene, make a stop at La FolieDouce at the mid-station of La Saulire. You will see enormous crowds of skiers and snowboarders going crazy from 3-5pm every day.
Although, Cervinia cannot quite boast of endless miles of slopes, snow is pretty much guaranteed from December to April due to its altitude. This resort has over 160km of piste, a good mix between blue, red, and black runs. The area is better known as Matterhorn and the glacier is even open to summer skiing and snowboarding. The resort is more suited to beginners and intermediates, as there are less black pistes available for the more experienced skiers and snowboarders. Many people even say that most red runs would have been classed as blue elsewhere, so this is truly a great place to practise your skills. For those looking for something more challenging, you can purchase an international ski pass, giving you access to the Zermatt resort. As expected, the international ski pass is a little pricier, but definitely worth the investment if you’re looking for more thrilling slopes.
What this resort also offers is amazingly long runs. How does an 11km descend sound? The Ventina run goes all the way down to the resort and is said to even turn the strongest legs to jelly if done without any stops! It is not recommended for beginners to tackle this long descend on one of the first days. Instead, make it a goal for the end of the week, as it can take you a while.
Cervinia is not exactly the most charming resort in the Alps, but you will have a choice between a range of budget to more expensive hotels and B&Bs for your accommodation. There is a very attractive and eco-friendly B&B with just a few rooms called Hosquet Lodge. It is a charming wooden chalet, with modern rooms. As they only have six rooms, it is advised to book early to avoid disappointment.
Alpbach is a picture-perfect resort with nursery slopes right in the village. It has traditional wooden chalets, all set around a local church. Its main slopes are a short ride away with a shuttle bus. Since 2012, the region has become part of the Ski Juwel area, as it is now linked to other ski areas. A total of 145km of runs make it one of the largest areas in Tyrol.The Alpbach Valley is often dubbed the most beautiful in Tyrol. As soon as you set foot in this ski resort, you will know it to be true. The village just oozes charm, with its many farms and wooden chalets. Do not be surprised if your ski instructor is actually a milk farmer in summer, as Alpbach is very much a working village with many farms.
The Ski Juwel area is one of the most varied ski areas and will suit skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The resort is exceptionally suited for families as well. There is a total of 32km of blue runs, ideal for beginners who are only just starting out. Once you are a bit more experienced, there is a total of 78km red pistes at your disposal.
Whether this is your first week skiing or you want to brush up on your skills, there are six ski and snowboard schools in the region. Some offer private lessons as well as group lessons. What lesson set-up suits you most is entirely dependent on your goal. If you do not speak any German, do your research to ensure you end up with an instructor who can speak a few words of English.