The advice from our experts is to take the piste less skied in order to maximise time on the slopes. We have put together our top tips for alternative ski resorts. These ski resorts guarantee great conditions, empty slopes and small lift queues. We recommend one of these alternative ski destinations if you are looking for something a bit different this winter.
1. Warth, Austria
WHY GO? A hidden gem with plenty of powder
This is one of our favourite alternative ski destinations. The little known village of Warth is thought to be the snowiest resort in the Alps. It has something for skiers of all abilities. There are plenty of slopes suitable for both beginners and intermediates. Whereas, advanced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy exploring the off-piste terrain. Over recent years, the village has become linked with the nearby Lech–Zürs ski area. This has opened up a further 180km of pistes. The family-friendly village is very small, with a steepled church at its centre. Due to there being just 150 residents, many of the local businesses are family-run and owned.
2. Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
WHY GO? Spectacular mountain scenery | Snow-sure | Excellent cuisine
Madonna di Campiglio has both a high altitude and snowy conditions, alongside world-class facilities. The snow-sure uncrowded slopes are best suited to intermediates. However, there’s plenty to do for all abilities across 150km of the best groomed pistes. The resort is connected to nearby Pinzolo and Folgarida-Marilleva. Advanced skiers will also enjoy the challenging black runs. On top of this, there are also plenty of off-piste areas. The traffic-free resort centre is situated in a picturesque wooded valley surrounded by the iconic peaks of the Dolomites. Madonna di Campiglio is one of our favourite alternative ski destinations.
3. Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada
WHY GO? Powder heavy | Heli-skiing | Longest run in North America
This powder heavy resort is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. It features the longest skiable vertical in North America. The terrain in Revelstoke ski resort is vast with something to suit all abilities. For more adventurous skiers wanting to go off-piste, the resort also offers excellent heli-skiing and cat-skiing. Traditional buildings make up the charming mountain village. Developers are bringing more modern hotels to the resort, as it becomes more popular each year.
4. Charlevoix, Canada
WHY GO? Great for all abilities | Breathtaking views | Great for Families
Only an hour away from Quebec, Charlevoix is a great alternative ski resort. There are stunning views of Saint Lawrence River on and off the slopes. There is 39km of slopes great for all abilities, with some great tree skiing available. The foot of the main lift is great for beginners to enjoy the basics. Advanced skiers will love the mogul fields and great off-piste opportunities. In addition, it is also the home of Club Med’s first all-inclusive Canadian resort.
5. St Martin de Belleville, France
Why Go? Has a traditional Alpine charm | Great access to Three Valleys Slopes | A peaceful alternative ski resort
A hidden gem of the Three Valleys, St Martin de Belleville is one of the best alternative ski resorts. The quiet village takes you away from the crowds but also give you access to 600km of pistes within minutes. The eight seater gondola will take you to nearby resorts Les Menuires and Meribel pretty quickly. The Val Thorens slopes are only a few lifts away too. In addition, there are great restaurants and bars to enjoy in the village after a day on the slopes. A great alternative ski destination for the Three Valleys.
6. Alpbach, Austria
Why go? Beautiful scenery | Friendly atmosphere | Fantastic for families
Just one hour away from Innsbruck Airport, Alpbach is a fantastic alternative ski resorts option. The scenery alone is superb, and it has real alpine mountain town charm. You can explore 109km of pistes in the area with great links to neighbouring ski resort Niederau. The ski resort has brilliant ski schools in the area and great childcare facilities too. As the resort isn’t big, it’s a great destination for families as it doesn’t feel as daunting as other major ski resorts in Europe.
7. Arinsal, Andorra
Why go? Value for money | Lively nightlife | Snow-sure slopes
Arinsal has a lively atmosphere with a great selection of bars to visit after a day on the slopes. The area is virtually tax-free, which means you do get value for money. You can ski 92km of slopes in the area with a brilliant lift system that connects to Pal and Ordino-Arcalis. The Andorran ski resort is near the border of Spain and has an altitude of 1,550m – 2,560m. Despite it having a lively nightlife the ski area is great for families because of the choice of ski schools, childcare and places to stay and eat.
8. Alta, USA
Why go? Excellent snow record | Diverse terrain | Relaxed atmosphere
The snow record in Alta is very impressive with a lot of powder skiing throughout the season each year. The US resort has some fantastic diverse terrain to explore. If you buy a full lift pass you can explore 112km of slopes in the area. Whether you’re a first-time skier or an advanced skier looking for a challenge, Alta has something for everyone on the mountain. The nightlife is very low key but there are plenty of delicious restaurants to visit in the town.
9. Baqueira, Spain
Why go? Terrain for all levels | Brilliant off-piste | Stunning views
Baqueira is a great alternative ski resort to the big names in the Alps. Located in the Pyrenees, you can access 160km of slopes linking to neighbouring ski resorts Beret and Bonaigua. The Spanish ski resort has terrain suitable for all levels of skier or snowboarder. If you’re an advanced skier that loves powder skiing, here is great off-piste opportunities in the area. In addition, there is also a heli-ski service if you’re feeling adventurous with a local mountain guide.
10. Engelberg, Switzerland
Why go? Incredible off-piste | Snow-sure | Beautiful scenery
Considered one of the best off-piste destinations in Europe, Engelberg is a hidden gem of Switzerland. The snow record of the area is superb and has a high altitude of 1,050m-3,020m, guaranteeing great conditions during your stay. The views are truly stunning with a mixture of mountain and glacier backdrop. On piste, you can ski 89km of slopes with a good array of steepness. There are also superb restaurant choices on and off the mountain too.
Call our ski experts to find out more about the best alternative ski resorts in Europe and North America.