Get your passport—we’re taking a trip to some of Europe’s best ski resorts. Whether you’re an Olympic pro or a novice looking for your first challenge, these five winter destinations will lift you to new heights and send you hurtling toward new depths during this year’s ski season:
One of the world’s oldest but most stylish ski resorts, Cortina D’Ampezzo is located just three hours from Venice. The town is located in a valley that sits high at 4,000 feet and is surrounded by slopes on all sides. While the cliffs and terrain of the Dolomite Mountains are best suited for advanced skiers, Cortina’s food and couture attract visitors from around the world, regardless of their skill level. To get more out of your trip, purchase the Dolomiti Super Ski Pass, which includes access to more than 50 resorts in the surrounding area.
The jagged peaks and glaciers that rise 12,500 feet above the valley of Chamonix attract some of the world’s best skiers. Chamonix is on many skiers’ bucket lists and is the oldest ski resort in France. This popular mountain destination is more down to earth, trading glitz and glamour for a more alpine, local flair. Chamonix has five main ski areas and 50 lifts to transport you to the resort’s famed slopes.
Located in the Arlberg region of Tirol in Austria, St. Anton is a premier ski destination for advanced skiers, in particular. The off-slope runs and tight chutes in the Valluga summit area will give even the most seasoned skier a challenge they won’t soon forget. Even the beginners runs are challenging but crowded. One thing that won’t give you a scare is the price. From a range of accommodations to a spread of bars and restaurants, this Austrian winter getaway is busy but worth the trip.
Known as the world’s northernmost ski resort, Riksgränsen is ideal for off-piste skiing and heli-skiing. Thousands of winter sports aficionados flock here each year because of the record amounts of snow. The picturesque landscapes, pristine wilderness, and wide open spaces make this the perfect escape from drab city life. If you’re an experience skier, try Rimfors, Nordalsfjäll or Uffes vägg.
At the foot of Switzerland’s famous mountain, the Matterhorn, sits Zermatt ski resort. This popular holiday destination is considered to be one of the world’s ultimate ski resorts, offering an enjoyable mixture of old-world charm, comfortable hotels, and friendly locals. The skiing area stretch from 1,620 to 3,882 meters. For those traveling with a family, Zermatt also has a number of ski clubs to help children and beginners become more comfortable with the world of skiing.
If you like the cold, check out these ice palaces.