2016 is around the corner and so why not give yourself something to look forward to after the Christmas rush. Whether you intend to get away for some quality time with the family, or live the high life in one of Europe’s most luxurious resorts, here are our top ski destinations for the new season in 2016.
Family skiing – Lech, Austria
Head to the traditional alpine village of Lech in the Austrian Arlberg region for the ultimate family ski trip. Lech’s microclimate gives it a superb snow record, with more snow here than almost anywhere else in Austria. The resort enjoys a reputation for attracting royalty and celebrities alike – scenes from the second Bridget Jones film were filmed here – but the resort is also particularly well suited to families. Gentle nursery slopes in both Lech and Zurs are ideal for kids still finding their snow legs, and a cable car service takes guests two hundred metres to the satellite resort of Oberlech, which has its own ski kindergarten. The skiing above the resort is also well suited to children who are starting to build their skills and confidence. After a day on the slopes, head back to one of the friendliest hotels in the Alps – the family-run Chalet Hotel Elisabeth Lech, located just five minutes from the Rufikopf gondola, and close to the picturesque village centre.
Group skiing – Meribel, France
Gather together a group of friends and head to the largest ski area in the world – the Trois Vallées, located in the Savoie region of France. Meribel makes a great base from which to explore this gigantic sprawl of ski terrain, which is easily accessible to all ability levels. Surrounded by more than 1,000 Alpine peaks – including Mont Blanc and the Grande Casse – the views here are nothing short of spectacular. Modern, high-speed chair lifts get you out on the piste with the minimum amount of fuss, and there’s more than 33km of cross-country skiing available in the Meribel Valley. Chalet Matterhorn, located in the ‘Plan du Moulin’ area, is the ideal property for groups, with eight bedrooms sleeping up to 20 guests. The hot tub on the terrace is the prime spot for taking in the views across the valley.
Luxury skiing – Cortina, Italy
For the ultimate luxury getaway, the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’ in Italy takes some beating. Not only is Cortina one of the most glamorous resorts in the world, but it’s also surrounded by some of the most legendary peaks in the Dolomites, including the Tofane and the Crystal. Visitors come here for the shopping, wining and dining as much as for the skiing, meaning that slopes stay relatively uncrowded. The broad cruising pistes on the south facing side will suit intermediate skiers, whilst beginners will find some excellent nursery slopes here. Stay in one of the oldest hotels in Cortina, the Hotel Ambra Cortina, which is lusciously decorated with Persian rugs, precious statues and 20th century paintings. The town’s historic bell tower is just a stone’s throw away, while the Faloria cableway is within 200 metres.