We asked our team of ski experts’ opinion on the best ski runs in Europe. It transpires we’re all extremely in favour of long, scenic and cruisy runs with rollers and a chance of powder. Read on to find out more about the best ski pistes in the world.
Starting at the ridge between Méribel-Mottaret and St. Martin, this wide red run tends to be quite empty, so you can pick up some speed and cruise over the fun, natural rollers. Slowing before the corner at the end, you can continue down the Biolley run, which is a blue piste leading into St. Martin at the bottom of the valley. After a good snowfall, there is also fantastic powder either side of the run, without veering too far off the piste.
This 24km off-piste run has to be one of the best ski runs in Europe. The route takes you down from the Aiguille du Midi glacier at 3,842m with a vertical of 2,700m. The views of the Mont Blanc massif are spectacular; pause at the Requin Hut en route for lunch or a drink with a sweeping vista. The area is best explored with a local guide as there are several variations, some with steeper, more difficult terrain. When there is good snow cover you can ski back into Chamonix, otherwise the route ends in ice caves and you can get the funicular back to town, which drops you at the Chamonix microbrewery.
Recommended by Steve
Skiing between the snow-covered fir trees, it’s a great first run of the day, especially after a snowfall. Take the La Tania bubble to the top of the ski area, then ski past the Dou des Lanches lift to this rolling blue run. The first section is quite steep on the left-hand side but then evens out, with a wide, winding path through the trees. There are often small natural jumps on the left-hand side that are good fun, and those searching for powder can weave through the trees. The slope then filters into a nursery slope in the centre of resort.
Recommended by Sophie
Take the funicular from Tignes Val Claret to the Grand Motte glacier; the snow conditions are reliable, and you have a variety of slopes, including Génépy. On a clear day, the views are spectacular as you ski down into Val Claret. For me, this is one of the best ski pistes in Europe – I love the natural rollers on the winding piste and it’s great fun with some speed. If you peel off halfway down you can also tackle the Fridge, an off-piste run that joins the Prariond run into Val Claret. To lengthen the run, you can take the cable car up to the top of Grand Motte and ski the red Glacier run first.
Recommended by Andy
This is one of the best ski runs in Europe. Take the journey to the Klein Matterhorn in Europe’s highest cable car. Walk through the fairly long tunnel at the top (there’s no rush – take it easy as you adjust to the altitude – 12,530 ft) and when you emerge you’re poised for the big adventure. As you leave the Plateau Rosa you’re already crossing into Italy, and from now on there’s a choice of gloriously long, sweeping runs all the way to the Cervinia. Even reasonably experienced beginners can make it down, pausing perhaps for refreshments half way down at Plan Maison.
This is a real rip-roaring roller coaster of a descent and one of the best ski runs in the world. Unless you’re an expert, don’t try to access it from the top of the Tram (cable car) because that would mean first negotiating Rendezvous Bowl, a steep ungroomed section leading into Rendezvous Trail. Instead work your way down from the top of the Bridger Gondola to the Sublette quad chair. From the top, you can let rip all the way down to Teton Village. The best part of 4,000 vertical feet. While lower intermediates will want to stick to the main scenic race-track of a trail. Stronger skiers will be tempted to dive off to the left to make a detour into Bivouac Woods.
This makes it on to our list for the best ski runs in the world. For dramatic scenery combined with an exhilarating descent, few runs can compete with the Armentarola ‘Hidden Valley’ in the Dolomites. Located between the Sella Ronda and Cortina. Ideally, you start the descent after a night in the mountain refuge at the top of Lagazuoi. A craggy, 2762m/9084ft peak accessible by cable car from the Passo Falzarego. The five-mile run takes you past close-up views of towering Dolomite cliff faces and a huge frozen waterfall of blue ice down to Val Badia. At the bottom, groups of skiers, hanging on to ropes, are towed back to the main pistes of San Cassiano by a pair of horses.
It may seem odd to ski away from the extensive and impressive ski circus of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, but the long, flowing run down to neighbouring Leogang is sadly neglected by visiting skiers. From Saalbach you need to get yourself up to Wildenkarkogel (1910m/6,282 ft) and then down to the lifts to skier’s left: Grosser Asitz or Kleine Asitz (both serving only red runs). From here it’s a wonderful long north-facing run all the way down to Leogang. Worth a quick pit stop at the rustic Kraller Alm chalet.
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