Where are the most festive ski resorts for Christmas? With a guaranteed white Christmas, skiing is magical during the festive period. Spend all day in the snow before cosying up by an open-log fire with a glass of red or a hot chocolate. These Christmassy resorts have enormous Christmas trees, children can visit Santa and you can squeeze a sing-a-long at après, in town or church.
Our experts recommend these festive ski resorts for Christmas this year.
The glamorous French ski resort of Megève looks like a Christmas card, with an ice-sculpted nativity set, streets lit up with Christmas lights and charming horse-drawn sleighs. The village was built around a quaint medieval church that has a huge Christmas tree, adorned with Swarovski crystal ornaments. Even Father Christmas himself has been known to make an appearance!
Megève has particularly scenic ski runs past wooden chalets and cosy mountain restaurants. Non-skiers can peruse the boutique shops, indulge in a spa treatment or learn how to pirouette stylishly across the ice skating rink. Renowned for its fine dining, choose from over 80 restaurants for your Christmas meal – making sure you’ve booked in advance.
Lit up like a nativity play, the centre of Zell Am See is alive with Christmas festivity. Running from the end of November, the star-advent market is laden with woodwork made by local craftsmen, baked Austrian sweets and plenty of Gluhwein to go around. The pretty town is surrounded by towering mountains and has 138km of slopes where you can burn off the minces pies and Christmas pudding.
Situated by Lake Zell, a walk around the lake provides and alternative to skiing after your indulgent Christmas meal. Leave the oven gloves at home, and enjoy a stress-free Christmas meal courtesy of one of Zell’s fabulous restaurants.
A particularly child-friendly town year-round, Les Gets pulls out all the stops at Christmas. Turning into a winter wonderland, it is a prime contender for a festive Christmas ski holiday. Children love the guided tours of the ‘enchanted forest’ where Father Christmas lives with his elves. He tells magical stories here and children can join in workshops with the elves like face painting and chocolate making.
Father Christmas is often spotted around the village and on the slopes, so children should be on the look out at all times. On Christmas Eve there is a torchlit ski descent with fireworks that is a great spectacle for the whole family. While the Les Gets’ Christmas market showcases local goods and is great for last minute presents. As you walk around the picturesque resort, you will also notice intricately designed ice sculptures dotted here and there.
As one of the higher resorts in the French Alps, Les Arcs is snow-sure over Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the torchlight descent and fireworks display see crowds of cheering spectators warming their hands on a cup of vin chaud. Wake up on Christmas day with guaranteed snow and a great day on the slopes in Europe’s third largest ski area.
Although the resort is comparatively modern, Les Arcs has traditional Alpine architecture that adds to the festive feel, as does the outdoor cauldrons for toasting marshmallows – a firm favourite with kids. The Christmas village will get you in the spirit with free hot chocolate and wine, while the children pose for a photo with Santa.
Our final recommendation for a festive ski resort for Christmas is Alpe d’Huez. Celebrations start at the beginning of December when the Christmas lights are turned on amidst carols, hot chocolate and vin chaud. At an altitude of 1,860m, the resorts 250km of slopes offer great skiing for learners, intermediates and advanced skiers.
Even though the resort is snow-sure, snow canons keep the south-facing slopes topped up with fresh snow when the suns out. Over the holidays, you can expect an busy programme of events in Alpe d’Huez, such as Christmas walks, ice shows and Christmas carols.
To find out more about festive ski resorts for Christmas, speak to one of our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.