What Your Alpine Ski Resort Says About You
Not all ski vacations are created equal. Even casual skiers can easily tell the difference between a satisfyingly socked-in slope to thin, slushy pile on a flat terrain. Skiers want fast, efficient lifts, vast acres of skiable vertical, and layers upon layers of powdery snow. Plus, the après-ski amenities are just as important; tired skiers want delicious food, comfortable ambiance, and plenty of charm in their chosen ski resorts. That is why so many savvy skiers head straight to the Alps, and don’t look back.
The Alps are filled with top-quality resorts and unbeatable slopes. However, this makes choosing one destination among them so extremely difficult. If you are planning a world-class Alpine skiing adventure, here’s what you can expect in these outstanding resorts around the Alps.
1. Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy
Nestled comfortably in the Italian Alps just two hours north of Venice, Cortina D’Ampezzo offers four distinct ski areas to challenge various levels of skiers — but that isn’t why visitors come to this luxurious resort.
Instead, Cortina is a hot spot for socialites who like to see and be seen during their holidays. While the views are breathtaking, guests are more likely to catch their breath from spotting famous faces and fabulous fashion. In fact, Cortina offers some of the most esteemed clothing boutiques in Italy.
With a relaxed atmosphere and amazing amenities, Cortina is the place to go if you are more interested in socializing and shopping than skiing. So, even if you aren’t a passionate skier, you can use Momondo or Skyscanner to find inexpensive tickets to Italy to experience outstanding Cortina D’Ampezzo.
2. Grindelwald, Switzerland
Switzerland is full of world-class ski destinations, but none of them are quite as quaint as Grindelwald, located about two hours from Zurich. Featuring cog railways and rustic architecture, the region encourages visitors to feel transported in time to a simpler and more relaxing period. In fact, not many travelers have yet heard about this excellent ski destination, which allows for a more tranquil atmosphere.
The Alpine village looks out to the north faces of three imposing and infamous skiing mountains, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, and every year the town hosts the Lauberhorn downhill for the skiing World Cup. Thus, you’ll find that Grindelwald is a mixed bag of avid skiers and wholesome vacationers.
3. Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
If your ideal ski vacation consists of skiing — and nothing else — there is absolutely no better place to be than Chamonix. Mont-Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alpine range, and in its shadow, the Chamonix Valley offers more slopes than any one skier can count.
Most slopes are serviced by a line of lifts; one particular lift, the Aiguille de Midi cable car, takes passengers nearly 10,000 feet up. While the ride may induce nail biting, the convenience is worthwhile, as the snow at the top of Mont-Blanc is absolutely pristine.
Experienced skiers will love the almost excessive vertical elevation as well as the notorious off-track runs of the Vallee Blanche. However, it is advisable to bring a full backcountry kit when exploring the 13-mile valley, and even those comfortable in the outdoors might do better with a knowledgeable guide. Still, Chamonix is paradise for those who love their winter sports to be extreme.
4. Kitzbuhel, Austria
The skiing World Cup makes many stops for downhill ski races throughout the year, but none are more highly anticipated than that which takes place in Kitzbuhel in January. More than 80,000 skiing fanatics pack this tiny Alpine town every year to watch professional skiers navigate the harrowing Austrian slopes, which are filled with ice, air, pitches, and turns.
Even if you can’t make it for the event — tickets sell out around six months in advance — you can compete with skiing legends in spirit by attempting some of the most exhilarating runs in the world. Indeed, Kitzbuhel most often welcomes sports skiers looking for thrills.
5. Andermatt, Switzerland
Right in the middle of Switzerland, surrounded by four towering peaks, Andermatt is pummeled by dozens of snow storms each year, and its slopes are covered in layer after layer of fine, white powder. After even an average season, skiers can expect to find about 40 feet of pristine snow awaiting their track marks.
For a long time, Andermatt was a tiny, well-kept secret, but the development of a handful of chic Scandinavian hotels has transformed the region into a buzzing hot spot. You should choose this setting if you are adept at skiing but put off by major crowds at other popular skiing destinations.