If you are counting down the days until you are back in the mountains, then we know you’ll want to start skiing in early December. We’ve put together a handy guide outlining the best places to ski in December. These ski resorts offer the finest early season snow, alongside all of the festivities that will take place in resort. The mountains are a magical place to spend Christmas or New Year. There is nothing quite like an early ski on Christmas morning, or New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks. Read on to find out more about our experts’ top picks for where to ski in December.
If you are looking to take advantage of the school holidays and ski early in December, then the family-friendly ski resort of Kitzbühel will be the perfect option. The festive period is when this ski town comes to life. Its car-free streets are filled with twinkling lights and Christmas markets sell roasted almonds and glühwein. Highlights include the annual visit from St. Nicholas himself, and the festive carol services, attended by the whole town. Feast on hearty mountain fayre in traditional Alpine huts. Many of which will serve up traditional local dishes such as Tiroler Gröstl (roast potatoes with bacon, onion and egg).
Not only is Kitzbühel a haven for Alpine festivities, it is also one of the best places to ski in December. It’s north-facing slopes welcome plenty of snow as early as October, plus a skiable high-altitude glacier that is usually the first to open in Austria. What’s more, Kitzbühel has invested in excellent snowmaking facilities to offer top ups when needed, so skiers are covered whatever the weather.
Stay at: The family-run Sporthotel Austria for a central location, wonderful sun terrace and spa facilities.
If your priority for where to ski in December is plenty of fresh powder, then look no further than Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens. Standing tall at an impressive 2,300m, the highest slopes reach all the way up to 3,230m. These high-altitude slopes are typically covered in snow from late November until May making skiing in early December a prime time to visit. The ski resort is so confident in its snow record, that it even offers a unique ‘Snow Guarantee’, which assures skiers can book without worrying about snow cover. Skiers will be spoiled for choice when they head up the mountain. The whole Three Valleys ski area spans a massive 600km of terrain. This makes Val Thorens one of the best places to go skiing in December with masses of pistes and backcountry terrain to entertain skiers of all abilities.
Stay at: Hotel Koh-I Nor, one of our favourite luxury hotels made up of 63 rooms and three wonderful restaurants.
This cosy Italian ski town is one of the best places to ski in December. If you are looking for a traditional Alpine festive experience this ski resort is for you. The main square in Cortina is adorned with a towering sparkly tree. Whilst the surrounding streets are filled with horse-drawn carriages, wooden market stalls, and fairy-lit bars serving hearty mountain delicacies. The whole experience is made even more magical by the backdrop of the Dolomite mountains. Iconic jagged peaks define the landscape and make for some incredible sunsets as the rock turns bright pink and is lit up for the whole town to admire.
When it comes to an early morning ski on Christmas day, you can make your way up to nearly 3,000m to enjoy high-altitude skiing across wide-open pistes. Why not try the exhilarating 3.7 mile long descent towards Armentarola on the Alta Badia circuit. This route is best finished with a relaxing espresso or aperitif in a cosy mountain hut.
Stay at: Hotel Ambra Cortina, a traditional historic hotel within easy distance of the lifts.
Verbier is one of the best places to go skiing in December if you are looking for a resort that has high-altitude skiing in one of the most renowned Swiss ski towns in the world. Its gourmet dining scene and infamous parties guarantee to bring in the New Year in style. As the clock counts down to midnight, Place Centrale comes to life with DJs, fireworks and champagne showers. These can be enjoyed from either the streets or the comfort of your chalet or hotel. Take your pick from a choice of properties, including the W Hotel, or one of our ski-in ski-out apartments dotted around the Medran. December is undoubtedly one of Verbier’s most popular months of the season. It won’t take long to understand why once you experience the magical festive atmosphere that welcomes families, groups and couples alike.
Stay at: W Hotel Verbier, perfectly situated for easy access to the slopes and offering a host of five-star amenities.
If you are wondering where to ski in December with the whole family in tow, then Morzine might be the ideal ski resort for you. Situated just 90 minutes from the airport, the resort’s short transfer time makes it an ever-popular choice for families. If you are a group looking for easy access to the snow this ski resort is for you. Morzine puts on a show for its December visitors, with firework displays, Santa visits and carol singers. There’s also plenty of blissful tree-lined slopes offering sheltered routes that gather up plenty of early season snow.
Skiers can have their fill of the epic Portes du Soleil ski area which serves up 600km of terrain. There’s enough to keep you busy in between stop-offs at cosy mountain slopeside huts for cheese fondue and Vin Chaud. One of the best places to go skiing in December, Morzine offers a huge choice of accommodation. Whether you are looking for self-catered apartments or a ski hotel, our experts can help you.
Stay at: Chalet Lanterne, which has a private hot tub and a well-equipped kitchen, perfect for self-catering.
To find our more about the best places to ski in December, please call our ski experts.