Best European Ski Escapes
Getting away from it all is not always just about chasing the sun. For many people, winter resorts and the chance to escape and do some skiing are high on the list of priorities. There is something beautiful about ski resorts, with freshly laid white snow and breath-taking landscape. If you are looking for something slightly different, then there are smaller calmer less touristy areas that are accessible by private jet making the perfect getaway. Europe has some fantastic ski escape locations, with Alpine villages, and resorts that are popular with celebrities right across the globe. So just what are the best European ski escapes this winter?
Of course, it's natural to want to go where everything is taken care of for you. The lift systems in some areas are better than others, and you can take a single trip and access several mountains. Depending on how experienced you are, a single ski run can last for a few hours starting high up in the mountain tops and dropping right down to the amazing villages scattered below. Most resorts have a wide variety of cross-country and downhill tracks, as well as some beginner slopes and dedicated lifts for those who do not have much experience. Whether you are looking for the challenge of off-piste terrain, tree studied steps and narrow corridors or are just headed out to learn how to take your first few steps on skis there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in all of these amazing locations.
When you finish the long day skiing, it is essential to know that you are headed back to luxury and warmth within your resort accommodation. It is natural to expect crackling log fires, local cuisine, and general comfort and luxury to rest until the next day. Many hotels and guest houses have extra bonuses for those staying including hot tubs and spas, the perfect way to relax your muscles at the end of a long day skiing. There is plenty of character on offer, whether you had two resorts in Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria or Germany there is certainly enough to offer that you want to return year after year.
Kristiania Lech, Austria
Located at the bottom of a stunning mountain slope in Austria this hotel has a record of being opulent and luxurious, welcoming guests who can't wait to stay there. It is a small and intimate style hotel making it feel like you are the only people there. As well as the gorgeous lounge and cocktail area, the Ala carte dining menu will impress even the biggest foodie. You can also take advantage of the spa facilities and indulge in a message treatment. When you're ready to hit the slopes, you can either walk the 10 minutes to the ski lift or take advantage of the shuttle service that runs from the hotel. Outdoor sports are prominent in the area, and you can also try your hand at paragliding Commerce snowshoe hiking, heli-skiing and cross-country skiing as well as the more traditional downhill version.
Nestled at the base of the Matterhorn, and boasting the highest vertical drop, Switzerland's Zermatt resort has plenty to offer both experienced and beginner skiers. This is an excellent place for those skiers who enjoy long runs, and many of these finish right in the center of the village, meaning you can ski straight back to your accommodation. Also, on offer is the Matterhorn glacier ride which has been open for about a year and is the highest 3S cable way in the world. It is capable of taking 2000 skiers an hour up to the glacier which is at an altitude of 3883 meters. For something a little tamer, if you don't have much experience the Sunnegga funicular will take you to a gentler slope that boasts impressive views.
Within the three valleys region, this is the largest and most famous of the ski resorts on offer. It can get jam-packed as this is the most significant ski area in Europe. There is plenty to do and a variety of different runs to suit all levels of skiers. Experienced skiers love the site because it has some fantastic off-piste terrain, as well as tree skiing and mogul-studded steps so that a beginner may feel a little out of place, but that's not to say there is nothing for you there. You can choose from a wide variety of accommodation, and there are some family-friendly hotels and several free lifts which are able to take you straight to the beginner slopes and have magnetic safety vests to ensure children are safe on the ski lift. When it comes to dining out, you have your choice of Michelin-starred restaurants, and the after-hours scene is glamorous and famous.