There is no such thing as a ski holiday without snow. Beds of fresh, fluffy powder, snowy glaciers and rows of chalets blanketed in white are the ingredients for an unforgettable trip. Our expert-recommended selection of the best snow-sure ski resorts offer some of the finest snowy conditions, with high-altitude locations, impressive historic snow records and generous offerings of glaciers that can grant skiing all year round.
As the highest ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens offers terrain that reaches all the way up to a staggering 3,230m – with over 99% of the total terrain situated above 2,000m. Skiers are welcomed by not one but two skiable glaciers – Péclet and Thorens, which can remain open during the summer months thanks to their wonderfully snowy pistes. The jewel in Val Thorens’ crown is the dominant summit of the Pointe du Bouchet mountain, which is the highest point in the whole of the 3 Vallées, complete with incredible panoramic vistas. A combination of Val Thorens’ high-altitude situation and its north facing slopes mean the resort can typically open as early as mid-November, and cater for skiers all the way through to May. Have your fill of 600km of snow-sure runs, before returning with blissful ease to one of a huge number of ski-in ski-out accommodation options. Purpose-built, Val Thorens has been created to offer its skiers immediate access to some of Europe’s best snow, so you certainly will not be left disappointed.
Stay at: Fahrenheit Seven a modern ski-in ski-out hotel with its own ski hire shop, restaurant and spa.
Lech is undoubtedly one of the best snow-sure ski resorts in Europe, with a historic snow record of up to 10m of fresh powder every season. The resort is renowned for having its own micro-climate, which is to thank for its incredibly high volumes of snow in comparison to the rest of Austria. Lech also stands out from other Austrian resorts as the only location to allow heli-skiing, which means its visitors can tuck into incredible high-altitude beds of untouched powder on an exhilarating freeride adventure. Down at the lift-accessed ski terrain, there is some 305km of pistes on offer across the Arlberg ski area, with plenty of choice to suit intermediate and advanced skiers. Lech’s investment in new, state-of-the-art ski lifts means that skiers can enjoy seamless access to endless snowy pistes, before retiring to the boutique town for evenings spent dining on Michelin-starred cuisine and planning the next day on the mountain.
Stay at: Chalet 1597, a unique and enchanting property located in the Stubenbach area of Lech.
As part of the British Columbia ski area, Whistler benefits from a prime position along the Pacific coast that serves to take advantage of high-pressure storms out at sea and reward its ski towns with plenty of glorious powder days. This world-renowned resort lives up to its reputation, offering skiers 200km of skiing across two mountains and a rich variety of slopes, trails, and off-piste terrain. Why not venture up to the Horstman glacier, where snow-sure pistes greet skiers all year round. If these vast quantities of natural snow weren’t quite enough, Whistler has also invested in a 7.5 megawatt hydroelectric dam, which powers the ski resort’s extensive snowmaking operations. Whistler can offer the longest ski season in North America, which when paired with its exclusive, modern village makes for the ultimate snowy holiday across the pond. Tuck into the international gourmet dining scene in resort before resting your head in a boutique mountain hotel and setting your alarm for first lifts and endless untouched powder.
Stay at: Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel, a quirky colourful mountain base in a prime location just moments from the slopes.
One of the best snow sure ski resorts in Switzerland, Saas Fee is the ultimate high-altitude mountain escape. The resort is nestled among thirteen 4,000m high summits that lie on a plateau of the Saas Valley and encircle this boutique Alpine town. Its towering position, with skiing reaching up to 3,500m, grants its skiers some of the most splendid and dramatic vistas in Europe, filled with sparkling blue glaciers and peaks that disappear into the clouds. Amongst these you will find the Dom Mountain, which is the second highest in Switzerland at an impressive 4,545m. Almost all of Saas Fee’s skiing sits above 2,000m, meaning that fresh powder can be found here as late on in the season as April. Not only is this one of the best snow-sure ski resorts in Switzerland, it is also incredibly varied, meaning that beginner skiers should not be put off by the high-altitude glacial and freeride skiing that draws in those who are more advanced. Beginners and intermediates will enjoy the flat, sunny pistes lower down in resort, which still receive their fair share of powder.
Stay at: Hotel Schweizerhof, a modern wellness hotel with an emphasis on nutritious cuisine and excellent spa facilities.
One of the best snow sure ski resorts in Italy, Cervinia sits at a heady 2,050m and offers its skiers 200km of skiing between the local slopes and those that connect with the neighbouring resort of Zermatt. Snow is virtually guaranteed between early December and late April, thanks to the high-reaching ski terrain that goes all the way up to 3,820m. Paired with southerly facing slopes, skiers really are treated to the best of both worlds, and can enjoy blissful days making fresh tracks through the powder and stopping for apéritifs in the sunshine. The lower slopes are well-catered for too, with artificial snowmaking facilities on hand to top up the snowy offering where necessary. Once skiers have enjoyed the Italian side they can cross over into Zermatt to enjoy even more high-altitude descents, such as the run down from the top of the Klein Matterhorn, which starts at 3,820m and unfolds 21km down in one interrupted go.
Stay at: Hotel Breuil, an iconic property located right on the piste in a perfect ski-in ski-out position.
This charming town enjoys not only a bustling and cosmopolitan atmosphere but also a vast ski terrain and snow-sure record. Just two hours from three major airports, intermediate and advanced skiers alike will be delighted by over 340km of pistes serviced by 90 lifts. Situated at an altitude of up to 2,811m, you can be sure to find fantastic skiing all season long, which is complemented by no shortage of legendary slopeside après ski bars.
Sitting just a one hour drive from Grenoble at an elevation of over 3,500m, Les Deux Alpes is the perfect location for an early or late snow-sure ski weekend. This charming village is a long, narrow development, with modern architecture and amenities making it the perfect spot for families. The resort itself benefits from varied slopes perfect for all abilities, and a vast glacier which means lifts can open from December and close late April every year.
Just a one hour transfer from Malaga, Sierra Nevada is one of Europe’s highest resorts with lifts going up to an impressive 3,300m. Skiing here you’ll enjoy fabulous views and long hours of winter sunshine. Despite being in the south of Spain, Sierra Nevada is one of the most snow sure resorts in Europe, in fact Sierra Nevada translates as ‘snowy mountain range’.
To find out more about the best snow sure ski resorts in Europe and North America, speak to our ski experts or click here to start planning your next ski holiday.