With good snowfall from November to April, superb ski runs and world class resorts, the Alps are arguably the best mountain range for skiing in the world. Covering the four countries of Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy there is a distinct difference in resorts depending on the country you visit. Wherever you go in the Alps though, you are guaranteed great skiing, delicious food and plenty of fun. Here are our top picks of ski resorts in the Alps.
Tignes – France
Located in the Espace Killy ski area which it shares with the neighbouring resort of Val d’Isere, the purpose built ski resort of Tignes is known for its high altitude, great off piste areas and lively après ski. Made up of three connecting hamlets, Tignes sits at a pretty 2100m making it one of the highest resorts in the French Alps meaning that its slopes are guaranteed to have plenty of snow all season long, ideal if you are thinking of visiting at the start or end of the season. The runs in Tignes are up there with the best in the Alps, the crème de la crème being the almighty 1350m drop from the top of the Grande Motte Glacier to the highest point of Tignes village, Val Claret.
Once the sun disappears behind the mountains, Tignes really comes to life with a number of après ski bars starting the party from 3pm onwards. There are a range of delicious restaurants for dinner options. If you are a cheese lover, be sure to try some traditional raclette, a cheesy delight served with meat and salad. In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options to choose from depending on your situation. British tour operator, Mark Warner, have a selection of properties in the area which come with free child care while other hotels are adult only.
St Anton – Austria
The snowiest resort in the Alps, St Anton is jewel in the crown of the Alberg region of Austria. Renowned for its locations close to some of the best off piste zones in the world as well as its lively après ski bars, St Anton is all about skiing hard and partying harder. The resort suits intermediate and advanced skiers however has worked hard over the years to create good beginners zones. Visually, the town resembles a quintessential Austrian ski resort with beautiful chalets and plenty of traditional bars and restaurants along the pedestrianized, Dorfstrasse. The resort is well connected with three nearby airports, Innsbruck, Zurich and Friedrichshafen all within a few hours’ drive of the resort. For accommodation, the popularity of the resort means that there has been a boom in the construction of new hotels and chalets in the town which range in price.
Verbier – Switzerland
Perhaps the most glamorous of the Alps’ resorts, the Swiss resort of Verbier is known for its effortlessly chic feel, exquisite runs and high altitude, scenic terrain. The largest resort in Switzerland’s largest ski area, the 4 valleys, visitors to Verbier have access to over 400km of piste as well as some incredible off piste areas. Like Tignes, Verbier is high altitude resort meaning that you are almost always guaranteed good snow throughout the season. The difficult terrain surrounding the resort attracts a number of events including the Patrouille des Glaciers, a gruelling starting in Zermatt and ending in Verbier. The closest airport to the resort is Geneva at just under a 2 hour drive away which has excellent connections to the UK and the rest of Europe.