In addition to exceptional slopes, Europe’s top ski resorts combine snow-capped chalet charm with a welcoming atmosphere and a lively après-ski scene. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, a devoted skier or committed snowboarder, our pick of the top ski resorts in Europe offer both impressive winter sports facilities and plenty of character off the pistes, too.
Chamonix has long been a favourite resort among winter sports lovers – the first ever Winter Olympics took place here in 1924. Around an hour’s drive from Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva, the Chamonix valley attracts a discerning crowd of all skiing abilities and ages, thanks to its variety of family-friendly options and off-piste routes. The white-knuckle Vallée Blanche is the perfect challenge for thrill-seekers.
One of the most underrated ski resorts in Europe, Megève was the winter destination for established society in the 1920s and still retains much of its historical charm. Just an hour’s drive from Geneva, expect stunning ski routes with breath-taking views of Mont Blanc. Off the slopes, wander through charming cobbled streets to explore the immaculately preserved medieval town centre with its chic boutiques and charming pâtisseries.
One of Europe’s top ski resorts for British winter sports lovers since the early 20th century, Morzine is an idyllic village surrounded by an impressive 600km of spectacular slopes. Close to Geneva, visitors can reach the village from Geneva International Airport in 80 minutes by car. The skiing opportunities are second to none, with routes to suit nervous beginners as well as black runs that are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.
Reach Italy’s premier ski resort in a scenic 90-minute drive from Hotel d’Angleterre. Located on the other side of the Alps in the charming Aosta Valley, Courmayeur combines excellent skiing with indulgent Italian gastronomy. Along with a generous range of fantastic restaurants, the annual Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience - which features big-name chefs such as Marcus Wareing, Tom Kerridge and Heston Blumenthal dishing up a gourmet dinner at high altitude - offers a very refined take on the traditional après-ski.
Zell am See
Zell am See’s stunning Austrian lakeside location is reason enough to visit, but combine it with a fantastic ski resort and it’s nothing short of a winter wonderland. Advanced skiers can head to nearby Kaprun to tackle its Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, while the less athletically inclined can sample a hearty plate of Kasnocken, an addictive local speciality in the shape of cheese dumplings. Be sure to pay a visit to the impossibly picturesque petit Elisabeth Chapel at the top of Schmittenhöhe mountain.
Snap a selfie at the Montague Ski Lodge at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Montague on the Gardens in London this winter and you could win a six-night stay for two the Hotel Stadt Wien, Zell am See, on a half-board basis including ski passes and airport transfers.
Image credits: lead image iStock/fbxx. Skier above the clouds iStock/cdbrphotography. Megève iStock/anshar73. Zell am See iStock/violinconcertonp3.