When organising a group ski trip, there are already plenty of components to take into consideration. Choosing a snow-sure ski resort that suits a group of mixed ability skiers is the first challenge. Our ski expert’s knowledge can help you with this. We have chosen the best ski resorts for groups of friends or family. We’ve taken into account slopes with varying difficulties, including wide quiet runs and challenging terrain. After a day’s skiing, it’s just as important for the group to reconvene at après and have fun off the slopes together.
Les Arcs, France
The variety of skiing, apartment-led accommodation and high-speed lifts makes Les Arcs a great choice for a group ski trip. The ski resort has four purpose-built villages that have spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Nancroix valley. Part of the Paradiski area, there are 425km of slopes thanks to the gondola connecting Les Arcs to La Plagne.
Arc 1950 has a quiet nightlife and is better suited to families. Whilst Les Arcs 1800 is popular for its après and nightlife. Those looking for a challenge should try the vertical seven km Aiguille Rouge in Arc 2000. The run starts as a black, then peels off into a red at the top of the Lanchettes chairlift.
Experts can tackle the steep runs to Pré Saint Esprit, while intermediates can play in the woods at lower levels and the Edelweiss and Renard cruisy blues. Take the Vanoise Express over to La Plagne where there are gentle pistes for beginners and younger children. La Plagne also has an Olympic bobsleigh run and Europe’s longest funslope that has rollers, tunnels and slalom posts.
A group ski trip to Les Arcs © Aigal Studio
As the largest resort in North America, Whistler caters for all abilities with 200km of varied ski slopes. Collecting around 12m of snowfall per year, Whistler is a snow trap catching weather spells from the Pacific Ocean. The season runs from mid-November through to April and has a reliable snowfall throughout.
A great spot for beginners to learn, there are plenty of nursery slopes and proficient ski schools with English-speaking instructors. Intermediates will enjoy the turning space on Blue Line and flying into the powder-filled Lakeside Bowl black run. While experienced skiers should head to the steep couloir, Surf’s Up, which is said to have the highest quality snow on the mountains. There are also five terrain parks – three on Blackcomb and two on Whistler – a half-pipe, 150 features and more than 40 jumps.
Whistler village is partly pedestrianised, which is great if you have little ones running around. Après isn’t as lively as Europe’s, with skiers tending to have one or two drinks after skiing. This allows you the whole evening to try the winter activities, including the kilometre-long zip line, helicopter rides, concerts and spa treatments. Dining options are numerous with plenty of international cuisine and world-class restaurants.
Ski lessons on a group skiing trip in Whistler, Canada
Méribel has a reputation for its lively après bars and fantastic restaurants, making it one of the best ski resorts for groups looking to ski and socialize. Each afternoon and evening, the bars in the village have live music, starting with the mountainside Folie Douce and the Rond Point, affectionately nicknamed ‘the Ronnie’. In the village, taste premium craft beer at The Brewer’s Den, sip on cocktails at Copiña Tapas Bar or dine at the contemporary Barometer.
Part of the extensive Three Valleys ski area, there is an incredible 600km of slopes. At an elevation of 2,952m, Mont Vallon is Meribel’s highest point and usually has good snow coverage. Runs around the resort are wide blue runs, which are fun for those looking to improve their technique and those practising slalom turns or tricks.
Those who aren’t avid skiers can find plenty of off-piste activities including swimming, climbing and ice skating at the Olympic Centre. There are also hotel spas that you can visit for a treatment and a bi-weekly farmers’ market on Route de la Montee where you can buy local cheese and charcuterie.
Group ski trip to Meribel © LES 3 VALLÉES / DAVID ANDRÉ
Ski in Norway’s untamed wilderness in Myrkdalen, the ski resort has an amazing snowfall record, wide pistes and impressive off-piste terrain. Just two hours from Bergen, it is the largest ski resort in western Norway. It caters for all levels with a beginner’s ski area, snow park with four sections and a ski cross slope. In total there are 21 slopes, without accounting for the slopes that are accessible in the backcountry.
Beginners can learn the ropes in ski school on the wide, open runs, while intermediates are well catered for with long, cruisy blues. At the base of resort, there is a dedicated area for young and beginner skiers made up of four green slopes and a magic carpet. With more powder than many of the European resorts, you can access off piste from the top of chairlifts at the top of resort, or between the tree lines lower down.
Accommodation consists of four-star Myrkdalen hotel and two four-star apartments. There are several off-piste Scandinavian adventures that include horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding and our top pick, a trip to the fjords.
Myrkdalen is one of the best ski resorts for groups © Sverre F Hjrnevik
Alpe d’Huez, France
Alpe d’Huez has 250km of slopes that vary in difficulty. There are plenty of greens and blues as well as some more challenging reds and blacks. Nursery slopes can be found at Rif Nel and Les Jeux and there are 41 green runs to practise on. Advanced skiers can tackle one of the region’s most thrilling black pistes, Le Tunnel, which runs between two rocky outcrops. Sarenne is the longest black run in the Alps, at 16km long. It is accessible from the Pic Blanc summit at 3,300m, and can take between an hour and 90 minutes to descend.
The season runs from December to April, and the snow cover tends to be good on the glacier. Most of the resort is south facing and on a sunny plateau, with at least 300 days of sunshine a year. Vaujany is linked to the Alpe D’Huez ski area and offers attractive chalets that are suitable for families and groups looking for a relaxing stay. The village has a leisure complex with a large swimming pool, ice skating rink and bowling alley.
Alpe d’Huez has a variety of accommodation options that include self-catered apartments, chalets and hotels as well as a lively après and nightlife – great for a group ski trip. Watch live cabaret with drinks at the mountainside La Folie Douce, and don’t be surprised when people start dancing on tables! This is great fun for an afternoon together, even if you don’t ski all day, making Alp d’Huez one of our best ski resorts for groups.
Alpe d’Huez is a great ski resort for groups of friends
Les Deux Alpes, France
One of Europe’s highest ski resorts, Les Deux Alpes has it all. The snow-sure glacier offers something for everyone. From beginners looking for the open and gentle village runs, to the experts craving black runs and off-piste thrills.
The modern town has had plenty of regeneration over the years. It offers the perfect après opportunities for those on group ski holidays. You’ll find a wide-range of bars and restaurants, serving some of France’s best food, wines and beers. Smokey Joes is a particularly popular haven for groups looking for entertainment after a day on the slopes. It serves delicious Tex-Mex alongside a range of craft beers, cocktails and fresh smoothies.
Les Deux Alpes is a snow-sure destination for a group ski holiday
The all-American Breckenridge ski resort sits at the bottom of four large, interconnecting peaks. It’s a welcome retreat for those still finding their feet. The array of alpine bowls and chutes make this an intriguing prospect, while the tree-lined blue runs are picture-postcard perfection.
Away from the slopes, a strong bar culture exists, with the Breckenridge Brewery an ideal place to start your après. The Gold Pan Saloon is the oldest watering hole in Mississippi, and has swinging doors to finish the western vibe up in the mountains.
Breckenridge’s modern lift system
Tignes is one of the best ski resorts for groups. The French ski resort is comprised of five villages, with the highest situated at an altitude of 2,100m. It may not have the traditional charm of some European ski villages, but it makes up for this by having access to the Espace Killy ski area. Its 300km of pistes, 154 runs and 91 lifts cater for a wide range of abilities. The highest altitude is a lofty 3,450 metres, and generally snow-sure conditions mean you can ski here almost year-round.
Experts will relish the challenge of ungroomed black pistes such as Paquerettes and Epilobe, as well as off-piste options like the Tarentaise Tour. Beginners should head to the gentler slopes in Rosset and Lavachet, or Le Bollin in Val Claret. Meanwhile, intermediates will be spoiled for choice with the resort’s 38 blue and 17 red runs.
Group skiing in Tignes © Stephane Cande
Some of the highest skiing in Europe can be found in Switzerland’s iconic ski resort of Zermatt. The vast ski area consists of over 360km of terrain, connected by ultra-modern lifts. There are four beginner areas and plenty of reds for intermediates to push themselves on. For experienced skiers, there’s an incredible array of off-piste challenges on offer. Test yourself on the forest itineraries in the Schwarzsee and Rothorn areas or tackle the thrilling 25km descent from Klein Matterhorn.
The town is pedestrianised – perfect if you have younger children running around. Thanks to the efficient mountain railway system, non-skiers have easy access to the slopes to join the group for mountain lunches.
Zermatt is one of the best ski resorts for groups
Winter Park, USA
Located in Colorado, Winter Park is ideal for mixed-ability groups because the terrain has something for everyone. You can ski 143km of slopes and they’re mostly uncrowded throughout the season. There are 22 lifts in the area that are brilliantly linked, so you can break out and reconvene for lunch or end-of-day drinks. The transfer is only one hour and 45 minutes from Denver airport which is short for a North American ski resort.
Off the slopes, there’s plenty to do. Whether you want fine dining or a quick bite to eat there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy. There’s a great cinema and bowling alley. It also has the Grand Park recreation centre which has a hot tub, swimming pool, gym and climbing wall. On top of this, there are great options for ski accommodation to book.
For more information about the best ski resorts for groups, speak to our ski experts on 020 7471 7700.