From the months of September to April each year, those who really want to experience winter will either go in search of the northern lights or venture out on a ski holiday. Recently, we wrote a piece on the best places to witness the Northern lights and got a great response to it from our audience. This week however, we’ll be looking at some of Europe’s best ski resorts where you can indulge in an active winter sports holiday. Whether you’re an adrenaline obsessed family, a couple on a romantic getaway or a group of young people more interested in the Apres Ski side of things, there’s a wealth of resorts you can choose from. We’ve scoured the net to find you 5 of these resorts that all offer their own unique ski holiday experience.
Val Thorens, France
Quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Europe for enthusiastic skiers, Val Thorens is perhaps known best for its Family friendly atmosphere. The accommodation options focus mainly on apartment living making it perfect for smaller families and there’s a range of ski classes that tailor to even the youngest children. The many dining options around the resort also cater towards young families while being reasonably priced. Even better news for stressed out parents is that the area boasts a giant sports centre housing a 600 square metre play area with trampolines and bouncy castles.
St Anton, Austria
St Anton has access to a massive 350km network of slopes. Each with varying difficulty, there really is plenty on offer for every level of snow sports enthusiast. Where Anton really shines however is in its more challenging runs. Some of these slopes are incredibly steep and so you should bear this in mind when you’re deciding which routes to take. Once you’ve survived the high intensity of the slopes, you can totally unwind in the famous Arlberg-Well Saunas.
Cortina d’ampezzo, Italy
Located just over two hours north of Venice, this resort is one for the fashion lovers. Its main centre has a diverse range of Italian and international fashion, accessories and home furnishing stores as well as artisan shops. It’s perhaps no surprise that Celebrities flock to the quiet resort to escape the hustle and bustle each winter. You’re also more likely to find couples peacefully exploring the towns charm at night than you are Apres Ski groups moving from bar to bar.
Pas De La Casa, Andorra
Unlike Cortina in Italy, if you’re looking for a quiet time then you won’t find it at Pas De La Casa. The place is known by the European skiing community as one of the best spots for Apres Ski. Ski destinations usually begin their Apres Ski from as early as 2pm and end around midnight. The venues at Pas De La Casa however, only really begin to get going later in the day with a variety of clubs that host some of Ibiza’s biggest DJ’s during its peak season. It’s not just about the Apres ski though as there are many great beginner classes which offer a high level of teaching that will have even nervous skiers making progress from day one.
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective ski trip than the usual glamorous affairs you will find in alpine ski resorts, then going somewhere like Bulgaria will mean you can benefit from cheaper accommodation, ski passes and spend less on day to day items. Bansko, located next to Pirin National park, a Unesco Heritage site, is not just stunning but is one of the major winter resorts in Bulgaria. This beautiful destination mixes the mountainous terrain with its urban centre to create a unique destination from December to March each year.
If you’re seriously considering a winter sports holiday this year and are still undecided as where to go, then we hope these options have shed some light on the different types of resorts you can find in Europe. What you should also consider is the type of insurance cover you may need for your trip. To help with this, we’ve also put together this infographic on what you will need to be covered for. All that’s left to do then is to make sure you get a great value travel insurance quote with us.