Top Alpine Experiences
Posted by - Craig Burton on Thu 24th January 2013
There's plenty of choice for cosy chalet holidays and thrilling ski breaks this year, but what happens if you're not sure where to go? The range of options can be bewildering so, to help ease your decision-making burden, here's a list of some of the top Alpine experiences on offer. They could prove to be the highlight of your ski break.
The Best Panorama
The Sella Ronda tour route around the Sella massif in the Dolomiti Superski area (Italy) offers fantastic panoramic views. Base yourself in the Gardena Valley, at the Hotel Olympia for example, and discover the best scenery that the Dolomites (a UNESCO World Heritage site) has to offer. You can ski all day and never repeat the same run, all while enjoying the unique colours of the limestone rock, with its hues of ochre, brown and grey that glow in idyllic shades of pink in the sunset - the perfect backdrop to a relaxing ski break.
The Best Destination for Glamour
Kitzbuhel in Austria is one of the most glamourous ski resorts and is the perfect place for a luxury ski break. This glitzy and chic Alpine resort offers sensational skiing (it hosts the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill competition) as well as top quality shopping, restaurants and relaxation options. It's also a hot bed for events like Snow Polo and classical music concerts.
The Best Off-Piste Skiing
The French resort of Val d’Isère and Italy's Courmayeur are great for going off-piste on your chalet holiday. The former has one of the highest ski areas in the Alps (up to 3030m on the Grande Motte glacier) and a great snowfall record.
From Courmayeur, meanwhile, you can reach the Aiguille du Midi at the foot of Mont Blanc (the highest peak in Europe) and do the fantastic Vallée Blanche freeride route, which starts at the Gros Rognon station (3536m). You can also try the Cresta d’Arp off-piste tour, which features in the Freeride World Tour series.
The Best Shopping
Cortina d’Ampezzo is the queen of the Dolomites, catering for well-heeled ski enthusiasts from Milan, Rome and beyond. You’ll find luxury fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and delightful local artisan workshops. It's also home to some of Italy’s best art galleries, for both contemporary and classic art. It's the perfect place for a fashion-conscious skier's chalet holiday.
The Best Resort for a Family Vacation
Competition for this title is fierce, but we suggest heading to the Madonna di Campiglio in northeast Italy. This lovely village can comfortably be strolled around in about half an hour, and offers a selection of chic boutiques and welcoming coffee shops in its traffic-free central area. It also has a good range of chalets and hotels that cater for large families, and it even boasts two baby-skiing areas right in the centre of town. If you stay at the beautiful Hotel Hermitage on your family ski break, you’ll get the added bonus of fantastic panoramic views of the Dolomiti di Brenta.