If you crave the adrenaline rush of a tricky red or a challenging black run, but yearn for the comfort of familiar greens and gentle blues at the end of the day, intermediate ski resorts are your best choice. From French and Austrian intermediate ski resorts with superb après ski to Italian and Swiss ski resorts with incredible scenery. Finding a ski resort that’s just right for your skiing skills can make all the difference to your trip. Here’s our pick of the best ski resorts for intermediates in Europe.
Located in the Alpine valley of Tarentaise, France, La Plagne is a family-friendly ski resort that offers lots of après-ski activities and accommodation. La Plagne is one of the world’s largest ski resorts and with over 200 intermediate runs together with the Paradiski ski area – which includes Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry – it’s one of the best ski resorts for intermediates. For accommodation, choose between self-catering chalets and apartments or three and four-star hotels.
The Portes du Soleil ski area is composed of 12 resorts over two countries, France and Switzerland, with over 250 slopes and 30 snow parks. Conveniently, you can access all of the resorts with just one pass. There are some excellent intermediate trails that run near Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets, and Morzine on the French side, and Les Crosets, Champoussin, and Morgins on the Swiss side. Les Gets is also a great place for the kids – it’s an accredited ‘Famille Plus Montagne’ resort. The first and only national tourism label to approve the facilities and services available to families with children staying in French tourist destinations.
One of the best French ski resorts for intermediates, Méribel is part of the Three Valleys ski area – the largest ski area in the world. With over 300 runs, 132 of which are blue, this is one of the best ski resorts for intermediates who’ll find there’s more than enough snow to sink their skis into. The main valleys are Méribel, home to the soaring Mont Du Vallon; Courchevel, where you’ll find stunning Mont Blanc; and Val Thorens, which usually has near-perfect snow conditions thanks to its height. Méribel also has two snow parks if you’re in the mood for freestyle frolics. Accommodation wise, it’s equipped with apartments, chalets and hotel options – many with ski-in, ski-out access.
Morzine is a brilliant skiing commune and part of the grand Portes du Soleil ski area, just over an hour from Geneva airport. Out of the rest of the Portes du Soleil ski resorts, Morzine is one of the best French ski resorts for intermediate skiers. There are brilliant modern chairlifts and plenty of wide cruisey slopes to keep you busy over a weekend of skiing.
An excellent intermediate resort, Courchevel is part of the massive Three Valleys ski area and a popular spot for a ski weekend. The ski resort is filled with blues and reds. The best intermediate slopes can be found around Saulaire and Courchevel 1650. With access to the Three Valleys, skiers can also take advantage of the entire 600km of great skiing terrain.
Megève is an intermediate skiers dream and one of the best ski resorts for intermediates in France. The slopes are made up of gentle, wide blues and a few tricky reds. They are also tree-lined and extremely scenic. The areas around The Rochebrune and Mont d’Arbois are the best for intermediate skiers. Megève is only an hour from Geneva airport making it a prime short break destination.
Chamonix is one of Europe’s skiing capitals and the area is well suited to intermediates. Almost 50% of Chamonix’s slopes are blues, with the best areas being around Flégère and Brévent. Chamonix is also in a prime location, only an hour from Geneva airport, making it a popular destination for those looking for a ski weekend.
One of the best Austrian ski resorts for intermediates, Lech is luxurious, exclusive, and packed with powder. Its ‘White Ring’ ski area is composed of a balanced mix of red and blue runs. It’s perfect for intermediate skiers looking for a more leisurely pace. The focus here is on taking in the sights. You can stop off at one of the many cosy Alpine huts for a bubbling beer and wood-fired pizza. Skiing isn’t the only attraction here – food is a major draw for Lech, and for good reason. Some of Austria’s finest cuisine can be sampled at restaurants such as Aurelio’s, which offers mouth-watering modern and traditional dishes and an impressive range of aged brandies.
St. Anton is one of the best ski resorts in Austria for intermediates. The ski resort is part of the incredibly varied Arlberg ski area, which is perfect for both intermediate and advanced skiers. St. Anton is also located on a train line and only 90 minutes from Innsbruck airport; making it very convenient for a ski weekend.
Italy’s appropriately named ‘Pale Mountains’, the Dolomites ski area, has over 1,200km of gleaming, snowy pistes. The best Italian ski resorts for intermediates in the Dolomites are Cortina d’Ampezzo and Alta Badia. All in all, you’ll find a good mix of runs all over the range. The whole of the Dolomite mountain area is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. There’s no better way to experience the sheer beauty of this area than on a pair of skis.
Only an hour and a half from Geneva airport, Courmayeur is the perfect Italian ski resort for intermediate skiers. The ski area has a well-balanced level of difficulty with plenty of blue and red runs. You can look forward to weaving through tree-lined runs and enjoying the spectacular views of Mont Blanc.
Named after the second tallest mountain in the Alps, the Monterosa ski area links three valleys: Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna. Home to off-piste skiing, it is popular with both weekenders and powder hounds looking for challenging terrain and fresh lines. The ski area covers 180km of scenic pistes that are usually quiet during the week. Heli-skiing is available for intermediates and experts, which unlocks plenty of terrain further afield. A rustic trio of Italian ski resorts, they have a friendly, unspoilt village feel that awakens on the weekends.
Above the old Roman town of Aosta, you can take the 20-minute gondola to the slopes. The tree-lined pistes offer pretty runs and powder opportunities within the trees, perfect for intermediates. Those looking for some competition could race their friends against the clock on the timed slalom run. The majority of the slopes are north-facing, and as a result, the snow quality doesn’t deteriorate. Après ski is family-friendly in Pila, and if you are staying in Aosta you have a wealth of restaurants and bars available.
Engelberg is a jewel in the Swiss Alps. It is just over an hour from Zurich airport and is a perfect Swiss ski resort for intermediates. There are 82km of slopes with the majority blues and reds. The best runs for intermediates are around Jochstock. Engelberg also has great off-piste areas and is perfect for intermediates wanting to improve their off-piste skiing.
Part of the massive 4 Vallées ski area, Verbier is a brilliant Swiss ski resort with over 300km of blue and red runs to keep intermediate skiers occupied. The slopes are extremely diverse and impeccably maintained. They will keep even the most seasoned skiers entertained. Verbier is also only a short transfer from Sion, making it great for short breaks.
To find out more about the best ski resorts for intermediates in Europe, call our ski experts today on 0207 471 7700.