How we long for a carefree winter holiday again! Especially after a period in which we had to miss the ski season. Fortunately, the outlook for this winter is good. To make the choice a little easier, we’ll give you our top 25 winter sports destinations so you are sure of a fantastic week in the snow in one of the following ski regions.
Top 25 winter sports destinations in Europe
Every ski area is unique, but as far as we are concerned, these are the regions that belong in the top 25 winter sports destinations in Europe. We’ll list them by country. The order is random.
For years, Austria has been the most popular winter sports country for many Europeans. That is why this country is in the top 25 of winter sports destinations with ten resorts.
This winter sports area offers 140 kilometres of skiing fun in Vorarlberg. The relative quietness of the area is remarkable. The Montafon valley is quite easily accessed. This makes the skiing area much closer than most other areas in Austria.
This winter sports destination is known and loved. The big advantage is the vastness of the area. You can go on fantastic trips here. The slopes are varied and what’s more, after skiing it is enchanting in the villages.
In Tyrol you will find the winter sports area of Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis. The ski area has almost 200 kilometres of slopes and is one of the largest ski areas in Austria. The three villages are situated on a sunny plateau at an altitude of 1,400 metres. Fiss and Ladis in particular are still authentic villages.
4. SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental
This is one of the largest interconnected skiing areas of Austria. The slopes here are very suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. The SkiWelt Tour is the showpiece of the area. On easy slopes you can make it a wonderful day out. The view of the Kitzbühel Alps is phenomenal.
5. Ski Arlberg
This is not only a royal ski resort as the Dutch King and his family have been guests there for years. Thanks to its vastness, size, the fantastic skiing and off-piste possibilities and charming villages, it deserves the predicate “royal” for that reason, as well.
6. Salzburg Sports World
The Salzburg Sports World consists of eight different skiing areas. Each area has its own atmosphere. You can choose from areas with challenging slopes. If you prefer relaxed descents, go to the area around Flachau. This is a lovely little village. On the slopes, you will find many traditional mountain huts.
7. Silvretta Arena
For pampered winter sportsmen and women, looking for a challenging skiing area, the Silvretta Arena is a good choice. Silvretta Arena is the skiing area of the world-famous Ischgl and the taxing paradise Samnaun in Switzerland. Even after skiing you will not be bored in Ischgl. The après-ski here is of an unprecedented high level.
8. Ski resort Dorfgastein Großarltal
This ski resort has a wide variety of slopes. There is enough of a challenge for every level of skier. The nicest village in the ski area is Großarl. This is where you’ll find the charm to which Austria owes its popularity. From the village you can get to the skiing area in no time.
For a few years now, the city of Innsbruck has the Ski + City Pass. This lets you visit 13 ski areas such as the Stubai Glacier and Axamer Lizum. In addition, you have access to no fewer than 22 attractions in the delightful city of Innsbruck. Ideal if you wish to combine winter sports with culture and relaxation in a beautiful, ancient city.
10. Zillertal Arena
Zillertal Arena is a popular skiing area. The combination of a large skiing area with many possibilities and a cosy après-ski attracts many visitors from Europe. The skiing area connects the towns of Zell am Ziller, Gerlos and Königsleiten.
Germany also offers skiing opportunities.
Although it can be busy in Sauerland at the weekend, you can find plenty of quiet slopes in Winterberg and its surroundings. Wonderful to get back to that skiing feeling at the beginning of the ski season.
The most famous winter sports resort in Germany is located a bit more to the south. And not only because of the ski jumping on New Year’s Day. The village lies at the foot of the impressive Zugspitze. With an altitude of almost 3,000 metres, you can enjoy wonderful winter sports around this mountain right up until May.
The size and the height of the skiing areas make France a popular winter sports destination. The following destinations cannot be missed in the top 25 winter sports destinations:
13. Les Sybelles
In this skiing area, you can choose from modern villages right next to the slopes. If you prefer to stay in an authentic village, this is also possible. The ski area Les Sybelles has a little bit more than 300 kilometres of slopes. It is nice and quiet and the slopes are suitable for all levels whilst being cheaper than most ski resorts in France.
14. La Plagne and Les Arcs
These winter sports destinations together offer the spoilt skier more than 400 kilometres of slopes. You can go on amazing tours. Every day, you can ski in a different part of the region. The views from the predominantly vast slopes are fabulous. In the lower parts of the area, you will find special forest trails.
15. Méribel in Les Trois Vallées
Snow-secure Méribel in the heart of Les Trois Vallées – the largest ski region in the Savoie Mont Blanc region with 600 kilometers of slopes – excels in versatility. There is so much more to do here than just skiing. Both active activities and relaxing in one of the many spas..
16. Evasion Mont Blanc
This ski resort is located at the foot of Mont Blanc. The view on the highest mountain of the Alps is already special. With the 450 kilometres of slopes, you will no doubt enjoy the views. The valley has several charming little villages, especially Megève, with its authentic city centre.
17. l’Alpe d’Huez
The Alpe d’Huez is mythical among cycling fanatics with the famous arrivals in the Tour de France. In winter, however, it is a vast ski resort with 250 kilometres of slopes. Enjoy the 16-kilometre-long “Sarenne” run. The villages around the area are charming and a delight.
The winter sports areas in Switzerland are often quieter than in Austria. Unfortunately, Switzerland has become an expensive winter sports country. Therefore, there are only three areas in the top 25 winter sports destinations.
18. Aletsch Arena
The Aletsch Arena is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You feel at one with nature here. The snow-sure ski area is virtually car-free and the mountain villages are really authentic. The views of the Aletsch Glacier are magnificent. In total, there are just over 100 kilometres of slopes here.
In the beautiful Bernese Oberland lies the ski resort of Adelboden and Lenk. There is plenty for sporty and advanced skiers to enjoy here as the slopes are sometimes quite tough. Around 185 kilometres of slopes offer plenty of challenges. The area is less suitable for complete beginners.
20. Jungfrau Region
This is a skiing area of about 200 kilometres. The beautiful view of the many mountain giants makes this one of the most beautiful winter sports destinations in Europe. Several trains provide a special connection between the spots. It gives an authentic atmosphere to this beautiful area.
A lesser-known winter sports destination, but we feel that is undeserved. Italy offers beautiful ski resorts in a phenomenally beautiful environment. Moreover, you can enjoy culinary delights in the lively restaurants along the slopes. These regions belong in the top 25 winter sports destinations.
21. Val Gardena
The ski resort Val Gardena has beautiful slopes and unsurpassed views of the imposing Dolomites. You can do the world-famous Sella Ronda here, which is manageable for the average skier. It is a big ski tour that takes you through four different interconnected ski areas. We are a bit biased, but as far as we are concerned, Val Gardena is on everyone’s list of top 25 winter sports destinations!
In the Aosta Valley, the village of Breuil-Cervinia is located at an altitude of 2,000 metres. The view of the imposing Matterhorn from the ski area is magnificent. It is an extensive area, where you can even ski to Zermatt in Switzerland. Many of the accommodations are located directly at the slopes.
Sandwiched between two beautiful national parks, Livigno is located at an altitude of 1,800 metres. This makes it a particularly snow-sure area. More than 115 kilometres of slopes are waiting for you on both sides of the village. What is special is that Livigno is still a tax haven.
24. Via Lattea
In Piedmont, on the border with France, you will find this immense ski area with no fewer than 400 ski kilometres. The right slopes for every level can be found here. Skiing to France is possible and makes winter sports even more fun.
For a unique winter sports experience go to Finland. Who knows, you might even see the magical Northern Lights! However, it is not only for this natural phenomenon that Finland is a great destination. The landscape is absolutely stunning. That is why Finland deserves a place in the top 25 winter sports destinations.
25. Finnish Lapland
In Finnish Lapland, you can do much more than just skiing. How about a trip through an enchanting white landscape with huskies or reindeer? Or go on an amazing journey on a snowmobile over frozen lakes. Ice fishing, cross-country skiing and an authentic Finnish sauna in a log cabin will make your winter holiday truly unforgettable.
If you do want to spend your holidays on the long skis, that too is possible in Finnish Lapland. Admittedly, the ski resorts there are a lot smaller than in the Alps. But the wonderfully quiet pistes and the many months of guaranteed snow make up for a lot. These are the best winter sports areas in Finnish Lapland.