From the incredible Portes du Soleil ski area in France to the Dolomites ski area in Italy, there really are some incredible ski areas to experience. Our ski experts are here to help you select the best ski areas for your groups needs. Whether you are looking for a ski area with extensive terrain or perhaps one with the best scenery we can help. Here’s our pick of the best ski areas in Europe including some of the best places to ski in Italy and France.
The ski areas in Italy are amongst the best in Europe. From the sunny slopes of the Aosta Valley to the Milky Way, the country has long been popular for its fantastic skiing, delicious mountain food and beautiful scenery. You’ll find some of Europe’s biggest ski areas in Italy, with the Dolomites alone boasting over 1,200km of pistes across twelve resorts. Read on to discover our pick of the best places to ski in Italy.
The Aosta Valley ski area is home to three of Europe’s highest peaks: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. These towering mountains offer high-altitude skiing, snow-sure slopes and provide a stunning backdrop to any ski day.
This really is one of the best places to ski in Italy. The key ski resorts making up this fantastic ski area in Italy are Cervinia, Champoluc, Courmayeur, Gressoney, La Thuile and Pila. You’ll find a wide variety of skiing, with opportunities for all abilities. Beginners and families will love La Thuile. There are plenty of easy runs here and a dedicated children’s ski area. For intermediates, Champoluc and Courmayeur are great all-rounders with a good mix of slopes and plenty of bars and restaurants. For more advanced skiers, we recommend Gressoney, which is the home of Italian off-piste skiing and has some great challenges to tackle.
The Milky Way ski area sits on the French-Italian border and boasts over 400km of pistes between a number of linked ski resorts. The ski area played host to the 2006 Winter Olympics which brought investment and speedier lifts to the area.
Key resorts in the Milky Way include Claviere, Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere. As with other ski areas in Italy, each resort brings something different to the table. Claviere is the oldest, most traditional of the resorts and a family-friendly option which caters for beginners. Sauze d’Oulx is a great choice for those looking for a lively atmosphere and a wide choice of bars. For keen skiers looking to make the most of the large ski area, we recommend basing yourself in Sestriére. This high-altitude resort is well-suited to intermediates and experts and is an excellent base to explore the Milky Way.
The Dolomites ski area is one of the most famous ski areas in Italy. The area is made up of 12 resorts with over 1,200km of pistes between them, backed by the most jaw-dropping of landscapes. The Dolomites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its pale mountains and unique rock formations. This really is one of the best places to ski in Italy.
One of the main draws to the area is the Sellaronda. This circular loop offers 26km of scenic skiing around the Sella Massif area and makes for a fantastic ski day. For adventurous off-piste skiers, the Marmolada glacier is a big attraction. The descents off the Sella Massif over Piz Boè are unlike anything you’ll have experienced elsewhere. The Dolomiti region is known for its gourmet food, so make sure to build in time for long lunches in the sunshine. Notable resorts here include Cortina, Colfosco, Corvara, San Cassiano and Madonna. The interlinked nature of the ski area, along with a good local bus system, makes it easy to explore this vast area.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the ski areas in Italy and the best places to ski in Italy, get in touch with our experts on 020 7471 7700.
France is certainly not short on options for the avid skier but powdery pistes and challenging runs aren’t all that the Alps have to offer. Here’s a quick rundown of the four best ski areas in France. Some include many of the ski resorts in the Alps we all know and love.
One of the best ski areas in France, the Espace Killy has two resorts Tignes and Val d’Isère. Both offer excellent skiing that’s naturally linked so there’s no need to waste valuable snow time on lifts or connecting trails. Thanks to its high altitude, the area has one of the longest seasons in the Alps, running from November to May. The terrain is incredibly varied with two glaciers, nine slalom courses and 300km of ski runs. If you fancy a break from the piste, head to La Folie Douce, a quirky on-mountain bar popular for its large open terrace and open air cabaret shows.
The Three Valleys is the largest ski area in the world. Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens are just three of the eight world-class ski resorts packed into this one area. It’s a great choice if your ski party is made up of different skiing personalities and levels. Families can try out sledging, hang gliding and snowmobile rides in Courchevel, while more advanced skiers can take on the challenging black runs of Val Thorens. After a long day on the slopes of Méribel, head to popular restaurant Aux Petits Oignons for restorative French cuisine.
One of the best ski areas in France, Paradiski is in the Tarentaise valley. This region includes the ski resorts Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry. The area is home to 425km of piste, with plenty of variety for even the most experienced skier. Skiing is possible up to an altitude of 3250m, ensuring good snow conditions throughout the season. The Paradiski area is also home to the engineering phenomenon that is the Vanoise Express, a double-decker, pylon-free cable car that links Les Arcs and La Plagne.
One of the best ski areas in Europe, Portes du Soleil literally means ‘doors of the sun’. Many popular ski resorts such as Avoriaz and Morzine are situated here. The area hosts a popular annual free concert, ‘Rock the Pistes’. You’ll enjoy some of the best French and international pop and rock here. Avoriaz is a car-free resort, so while here you may find yourself hitching a lift on a horse-drawn sledge. One of the highlights of the Portes du Soleil ski calendar, is the day-long circuit that criss-crosses the valley between France and Switzerland. For thrill seekers, the region is home to La Chavanette, also known as La Mur Suisse, or ‘The Swiss Wall’.
To find out more about the best ski areas in France call our ski experts for more information. Alternatively, click here for all ski areas