Do you still remember in which European countries you can spend an excellent ski vacation? Let us remind you for the post-covid future.
The independent principality is located between France and Spain on the Iberian Ridge. This place guarantees cold winters with lots of snow as well as low summer temperatures. These characteristics make Andorra an ideal holiday destination all year round, and 90% of the principality's territory is occupied by nature.
In Andorra, ski areas such as Grandvalira, Ordino Arcalís and Vallnord - Pal Arinsal offer you more than 300 kilometers of slopes served by 103 lifts. There are usually 2 main ski areas: Grandvalira and Vallnord. Grandvalira is the largest ski area in the Pyrenees and was the destination of choice for the Boston ski club's trip to Andorra. Vallnord is smaller but great for families and newbies. The Ordino-Arcalis section of Vallnord is considered by many to be the best off-piste destination in Andorra.
The principality offers a wide variety of cultural, recreational and sports activities, making it an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts. And don't forget that Barcelona and other interesting day trips are not very far away.
When we think of France, we think of croissants, baguettes, snails and wine. But France also has amazing ski resorts. Almost 400 ski resorts with 8000 km of pistes, and about 30% of the world's ski resorts are located in France. Also, France is home to the world's largest connected ski areas, which means you can ski in numerous resorts with a single pass. Due to the high altitude of the resorts, the season usually lasts from December to May, and some of them are open even in summer.
It is not surprising that with such a large number of trails in the French regions, many records have been set. Trois Vallées are at the forefront of the race for the world's largest interconnected ski area, offering an incredible 650 km of slopes (including pistes), as well as the 650 km Les Portes du Soleil cross-border region. (plus 50 km of freeride zone). The longest piste in Europe is the La Sarene piste, 16 km long, which runs through the Alpe d'Huez ski resort. The Peak Blanc glacier region is especially famous for its long and steep runs. The largest cable car in the world is the Vanoise Express, which connects the ski resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne with Paradiski. The gondola accommodates 200 people on two floors and lifts them to a height of 1,824 meters in just 4 minutes. This makes it the largest and fastest cable car in the world.
Skiing in France is also financially recommended. Compared to destinations such as Austria or Switzerland, there are often much cheaper deals in France that will save you money. Families with children or large companies are especially happy about this.
What do you imagine when you think about the ski season in Switzerland? Majestic mountains, vast ski terrain, partying with the rich and famous, diverse culture, picturesque Swiss alpine villages, endless cheese tasting and the best chocolate in the world? Well, you are not mistaken! :)
Swiss resorts have a reputation for being the highest quality ski resorts around the world. Highest winter sports area in the Alps, with skiing terrain ranging from 2,500 to 3,900 meters and a vertical drop of over 2,133 meters. And the ski season in Switzerland begins in November at high-altitude resorts such as Verbier and Saas-Fee and lasts until the end of April. Whichever resort you choose, great snow is guaranteed from mid-January to mid-March.
But summer can also be spent on the slopes! There are several different options to choose from, including Saas Fee and Zermatt on the Matterhorn Glacier, which operates over 300 days a year.
Comfortable hotel rooms, fast and efficient ski lifts, great restaurants, well-groomed trails and professional instructors await you. And the Swiss landscapes are breathtaking.
Many Swiss ski resorts are car-free (including Saas Fee and Wengen), making your ski holiday special. Imagine spending your time in a resort without the noisy engines spoiling the perfect, relaxing atmosphere.
One of the many highlights of skiing in Italy is the breathtaking scenery. Most of the country's resorts are clustered around the Dolomites, which shine pink at sunrise and sunset. The proximity of Italian resorts to international borders also lends them a rich cosmopolitan atmosphere: Cervinia, Courmayeur and La Thuile share the slopes with resorts in neighboring countries.
In addition, accommodation, ski passes, training, and equipment rentals in Italian ski resorts are generally cheaper than their neighbors. The resorts boast good snowmaking conditions, Italians have mastered impeccable piste maintenance and offer acres of skiing terrain that is ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers.
While off-piste rules vary from region to region (this is prohibited in some resorts, while others impose fines if you are caught off-piste without an avalanche sensor, probe, and shovel), in resorts where you can take risks, you you will find unspoiled, difficult terrain.
Other benefits of skiing in Italy include great food and wine, and the fact that the locals are friendly and take winter holidays less seriously than most of their European compatriots, leaving the slopes virtually deserted while they enjoy a leisurely breakfast, extended lunches and afternoon sunbathing.
Austria, with a long tradition in skiing, has one of the best winter sports infrastructure in Europe and seamlessly blends modernity with tradition. Coming to Austria comes with an abundance of perfectly groomed pistes, first-class snowmaking equipment and ski rentals, impressive viewpoints and modern lifts. Millions of euros are invested annually in the continuous improvement and modernization of the already impressive network of lifts and gondolas in the country.
The Austrian Alps are blessed with a long and plentiful snow season, and the country is widely regarded as one of the world's best guaranteed snow skiing destinations. All resorts in Austria have first-class snowmaking equipment, ensuring perfectly groomed pistes throughout the winter season. And the high altitude of many mountains creates ideal snow conditions. Tyrol alone has 5 glaciers - for example, the Hintertux Glacier, which offers 365 days of skiing a year.
Mountain resorts in Austria not only meet the best standards, but often exceed them in terms of cost and level of service. Most four or five star hotels in Austria have their own spa. As is customary in Austria, service and gratuities are always included. You can ski right into the village, and the ski lifts are usually within walking distance of your hotel. Beautiful, picturesque hotels with fluffy duvets and cozy rooms await you. And all this is in real villages that have been formed over the centuries. The result is a historic setting for your perfect winter wonderland.