Top 5 European Ski Holidays
Why visit: Wide choice of runs
Although a Spanish holiday brings to mind sun, Sangria and sandy beaches, the Pyrenees mountain range has some great skiing. The Baqueira-Beret resort is split into three areas, Beret, Baqueira and Bonaigua, with a variety of runs to suit any level of expertise. The positioning of the resort means that it’s a safe bet for good snow levels throughout the season, although the peak time to visit would be February and March, with around two metres on the upper slopes on average.
Hotel: Hotel Chalet Val de Ruda
Why visit: Cosy hotel with excellent location
The Val de Ruda Hotel offers a charming and cosy chalet-style space to rest at the end of a days skiing. An authentic mountain hotel full of personality, you’ll find Mediterranean-style, healthy food provided in the hotel’s restaurant, perfect for restoring your energy after a long day. You’ll be on the slopes in no time with the Bosque chair lift just a few minutes away from the hotel, and, as an added bonus, rooms start from a very reasonable £115 a night for bed and breakfast.
Why visit: Perfect for adventure
For those who know their skiing, Chamonix needs no introduction. Based at the foot of Mont-Blanc, this lively town is full of activity. Oh, and the Alps are there too. Although Chamonix does offer plenty of beginner areas and intermediate runs, more advanced skiers will find plenty here to test their skills. Situated between the altitudes of 1235 metres and 3300 metres, the Grands Montets area provides some of the greatest slopes in the world, perfect for putting your skills to a serious, adrenaline inducing, test. We suggest visiting in January or late March, as February can be incredibly busy here. A huge bonus of this resort is that skiing is not your only option — there’s hiking, paragliding, ice-climbing and a whole town full of entertainment at your fingertips.
Hotel: Rockypop Hotel
Why visit: Quirky, vibrant and fun
The Rockypop Hotel is a quirky, bright and inviting space. With a distinctive 80s theme you’ll find R2D2, C3PO, Pacman, and many other gaming and pop-culture references dotted around the hotel which adds to the fun-and-games vibe. Rates start from around £40 a night at Rockypop — bargain!
Why visit: Relaxed resort, perfect for learning
Find wonderfully wide and open slopes at Myrkdalen. Twenty-two varied slopes and plenty of off-piste options mean you can truly work on your slope skills. Being a more relaxed area, Myrkdalen offers a perfect space for beginners and intermediates to improve their skills, which is essential for those who haven’t quite taken to skiing like a fish to water (which, when you consider you’re essentially throwing yourself down a mountain on skis designed to cause no friction, is understandable). The best time to visit Myrkdalen is between January and April, but be wary that the slopes can be busy depending on school holidays in February and March.
Hotel: Myrkdalen Hotel
Why visit: Ski in - ski out access to resort
Myrkdalen Hotel is a super-chic space with multiple bars and restaurants. From just £93 a night it’s a tempting offer for such a stunning location. With large windows and the mountainous terrain surrounding the hotel, you might be tempted to sit in the warmth and just gaze out at the snow-laden peaks. Ski in - ski out access is available from the hotel to the resort, so no long treks from the lifts to your room are necessary.
Hohe Tauern Mountains, Austria
Resort: Bad Gastein
Why visit: Spa town with brilliant intermediate runs
Bad Gastein has it all; breathtaking views, fantastic runs, and spas to soothe the aches and pains away after a long day skiing. Over 200km of groomed pistes await you with a huge variety of runs available for all levels of experience. Intermediate skiers are catered for with long red runs that will test both ones legs and abilities. For those more on the expert end of the spectrum, the black runs and off-piste areas are brilliant, surrounded by the most gorgeous natural scenery.
Why visit: Soothing spa
Miramonte Hotel is a haven to return to at the end of the day. The spa focuses on essentials for healing such as yoga and thermal waters, plus a sauna and relaxation lounge for those who either feel like a day off the slopes, or are in need of a boost after a day on them. Prices start as low as £124 a night, a steal for the level of comfort found here.
Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
Why visit: Great all-round resort
These slopes offer spectacular runs for beginners all the way through to professionals. With deep snow and ample off-piste space the more experienced can really have some fun. The Snowboard World Cup will visit Bansko in the last week of January, demonstrating the quality of the facilities here. Without a crystal ball it’s hard to predict when the perfect time to visit would be, but with ample snow cannons to top up the pistes we think you’ll be safe most of the season. A quieter period (without sacrificing the quality of the snow) is late February through March.
Hotel: Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena
Why visit: Luxury at a modest price
The Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena is a luxury hotel without the devastating price tag. With Alpine-style rooms and suites available, enjoy comfort and tranquility, an in house spa, saunas, swimming pools and a unique Snow Room for those in need of some relaxation. From £146 a night this hotel provides a great-value venue exceptionally close to the Bansko resort.