Europe’s winter resorts spread across the Alps and Dolomites are renowned for their superb skiing, picturesque alpine villages and lively (some might say rowdy) resort towns. Each destination has its own unique character and style, but all are surrounded by impressive snowy peaks.
You’ll need to decide what you’re looking for in a ski holiday. Which ski resort has the best snow is going to be on the list, but maybe also what ski resorts are best for families, which resorts have plenty of après-ski, or what resort is going to offer some serious ski holiday glamour.
You want to have an unforgettable skiing or snowboarding experience, but there are a lot of resorts and regions to choose from. Narrowing down a specific resort can be a daunting prospect because there’s so much to consider: the skiing, scenery, snow, culture, convenience and let’s not forget winter sports insurance
If you’re wondering where to book your European ski holiday, read on. Whether you are looking for ski runs that can last for hours or slopes that are more suited to the novice skier or snowboarder, you’ll need some guidance.
To help you make the right choice, here are five top ski resorts in Europe that tick all the right boxes.
Best for clocking up the ski run miles: Courcheval, France
Courcheval is the biggest and most famous of Les Trois Vallées (a network of interlinked ski resorts forming the largest ski domain in Europe). Skiers in Courcheval can access a total of 600km of ski runs and four glaciers – far more than anyone could hope to cover in a month, let alone a week. The entire area is spread across ten summits which reach altitudes of more than 2,500 metres.
On top of that, the resort generally gets an annual snowfall of four metres and has all the technology in place to ensure the slopes are immaculately groomed each night. If you’re looking for an adrenaline fix, Courcheval is a great option. Having winter sports insurance will cover you
however many ski-miles you clock up.
Further down the mountain, heated pavements connect the four villages that make up this glittering resort. Visitors come to ski, unwind and shop at more than 100 boutiques. An added advantage is that there is often still snow in March, so you can ski in the sunshine.
Best for breath-taking scenery: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
The 1,000-year-old town of Cortina d’Ampezzo grew in popularity after it hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics (it’s to hold them again in 2026, with Milan). High in the Italian Dolomites, the five peaks of the Cinque Torri create a beautiful setting for downhill skiing and miles of scenic cross-country ski trails.
There are runs for every ability, but intermediates who are happy to explore the slopes will get the most out of this resort. More advanced skiers might be interested in the Dolomiti Superski Pass, which gives access to the lifts and trails of a dozen resorts and 400km of interconnected skiing. The entire area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Off the slopes, Cortina is Italy’s most upmarket ski resort and is packed with chic boutiques and galleries. The central car-free Corsa Italia and Piazza Venezia area is perfect for an evening stroll and for a spot of window shopping.
Best for beginners and families: Les Deux Alpes, France
Les Deux Alpes is a top choice for beginners and families largely because of the resort design. Whereas beginners can be confined to the lower slopes in some resorts at Les Deux Alpes, novice skiers can enjoy skiing easy slopes way up the mountain. Three of the beginner zones are low level, but the fourth ‘Les Crêtes’ is at 2,100m, accessible by the Jandri Express 1 lift. Five of the 13 ski lifts are free, so complete beginners can practice the basics before buying a lift pass.
As well as the four beginner zones, the resort also has 17 green and 45 blue pistes, so if you are going as a group of mixed abilities there is something for everyone. You can get winter sports insurance for the whole family
, whatever their level of experience..
Best for après-ski: St Anton, Austria
St Anton’s reputation as the ski world’s party capital dates back to the 1960s. The town’s heady après-ski atmosphere is largely fuelled by the oompah-loving Mooserwirt (the self-proclaimed ‘world’s baddest’ après bar) and Krazy Kanguruh (offering a slightly hipper vibe). They take partying very seriously in St Anton, with things kicking off mid-afternoon and going on until 2am or later. All-nighters tend to end with breakfast on the mountain.
When it comes to the snow, serious skiers and snowboarders will love the no-nonsense high-challenge runs St Anton offers. Choose from more than a dozen super-expert runs (the longest being the 10km Valluga), 200 off-piste options, and mega moguls (especially on Schindler Kar). Some of these runs are only accessible in the company of a guide and you’ll probably want to make sure you have winter sports insurance
in place before you start your descent.
Best for spotting celebrities: Verbier, Switzerland
Back in 2008, Verbier reinvented itself as the most glamorous resort in the Alps. And where there’s glamour, there’s celebrities. If you’re keen to do a bit of celeb spotting as you speed down the mountainside, Verbier is a good choice of destination. The resort has hosted the likes of Pippa Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Madonna, Richard Branson, Bear Grylls, Ed Sheeran, James Blunt, Pixie Lott and Lawrence Dallaglio. We could go on…
Verbier tends to attract a youthful, sporty clientele, with its backcountry terrain and wide range of quality runs that suit everyone from winter sport beginners to pros.
A ski holiday is a great way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or heli-skiing, you’ll love the adrenaline rush you get on the slopes.
If you would like to discuss you options on winter sports insurance
for your next European skiing holiday, get in touch with the team at Insurance Choice today. We can tailor cover to suit your needs, including medical expenses, cancellation, equipment rental, and piste closure.