Time to dig out the hat and scarf and hit the hills for some magical moments in the snow. Here’s our round up of the best ski resorts in Europe.
Tucked away at the base of the Eiger mountains, Grindelwald is one of the most strikingly beautiful villages in Switzerland. The largest in the Jungfrau region with over 155 kilometres of pistes and 27 lifts, the skiing here is endless. After a long day conquering the slopes, head for hot chocolate in the picturesque historic village and stretch out your legs with a scenic walk in the snow before dinner.
Flights to Basel
In the valley between the Tatra Mountains and Gubalowka Hill, Zakopane is Poland’s winter capital and by far one of the best ski resorts in Europe. Operating 20 ski lifts over 16 pistes, this is the ideal resort for a group of beginners with its well-groomed runs and affordable price tag. Boasting a unique culture, the village itself is just a two hour drive from Krakow airport.
Flights to Krakow
Divided into six ski areas, the slopes of Sierra Nevada make up the most southerly ski resort in Europe and sit in the Penibaetic Mountain Range. Located in the province of Granada, take a break from the slopes and venture into the historical city where you can tour the Alhambra palace and experience the local culture. Sitting at an altitude of 2100 metres, the area has a long season so you can enjoy the snow from late November until early May.
Flights to Malaga
Boasting impressive conditions throughout the season, this resort in the Hautes-Pyrenees is the ideal location to spend a week hurtling down snowy mountains. Suitable for skiers of all levels, the alpine resort offers 20 kilometres of piste and panoramic views of the natural, unspoilt landscape from every angle.
Flights to Lourdes
Just a stone’s throw from Sofia, Vitosha mountain sits 1800 metres above sea level and is the highest ski resort in Bulgaria. A great one for families, this range offers many slopes and ski schools to keep the kids happy while you tackle some of the steeper drops across the pistes. Stay in mountain side chalets and hotels or venture down into the nearby Simeonoro and Dragalevtsi area for more accommodation options.
Flights to Sofia
Located south east of Grenoble, Alp d’Huez boasts the world’s highest drop and without a doubt, some of the best skiing in Europe. Linked with most of the ranges nearby, the resort has plenty of options for skiers of all levels and is the fifth largest ski area in France. Sitting on a sunny plateau, the village overlooks the valley town of Bourg d’Oisans and is only a 90- minute drive from the airport in Grenoble.
Flights to Grenoble
One for the intermediates, the Predeal mountains are home to some of the most famous runs in the country. Due to its location on Valea Prahovei, a ski trip can be easily combined with a tour of the nearby Sinaia’s Peles Castle and the scenic Brasov. Romania’s highest town, Predeal is an ideal base to explore the neighbouring slopes of Azufan and Poiana Brasov once you’ve completed the plethora of pistes already on your doorstep.
Flights to Bucharest
Comprising of three stellar ski areas, Zell am See is a budget travellers paradise with plenty of cheap eats, accommodation and slope passes with price tags that won’t blow your budget. The Austrian town sits on Lake Zell and is home to the spectacular Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Linked with the award winning resort of Saalbach by gondola, here you get real bang for your buck with access to some of the best skiing in Europe without burning too big a hole in your bank account.
Flights to Salzburg
Best suited to more experienced skiers and snowboarders, the resort nestled in the Trentino region offers a spellbinding 1300 metres vertical descent. Advanced skiers will enjoy taking on the 20 kilometres of cross country trails surrounded by breath taking views of alpine mountains of the Brenta Group. For non-skiers, the picturesque town of Pinzolo has plenty to keep you busy with its churches, quaint boutiques and traditional eateries.
Flights to Milan Bergamo
Offering 49 kilometres of marked trails, Jasna is Slovakia’s largest ski resort and is the second highest peak of the Low Tatras mountain range. Popular for both alpine skiing and regular slopes, this place is perfect for all difficulty levels and even has a little something for the freestylers with its snow parks and freeride zones. Used regularly for world class competitions, this scenic spot is well-worth a visit and easily one of the best places for skiing in Europe.
Flights to Krakow
A ski experience unlike any other, descend the slopes with a view over the Mediterranean at Auron resort near Nice. The mountain side village offers comfort and tradition against the stunning backdrop of the Alps Maritimes. Located just above the Tinee Valley, the resort offers as many non-ski alternatives as it does slopes so there’s guaranteed to be something to keep everyone happy.
Flights to Nice
Whisking yourself away on a winter ski break soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of the best ski resorts in Europe using the hashtag #ryanairstories for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media channels.
- Lucy Norris