Best Ski Resorts in Europe
Europe has some of the most highly rated ski destinations in the world and it is easy to see why thousands of people head to the slopes here every year.
Skiing in Europe is a lot of fun with some of the most picturesque resorts on the planet.
Combining skiing with staying in a really amazing location can really help enhance the experience especially when you have the choice of world class accommodation, restaurants, entertainment and extraordinary views.
All resorts are different and most have slopes and runs for complete beginners right up to advanced skiers. There are resorts for all ability levels and budgets but with so many ski resorts to choose from, deciding where to go can be a tough decision.
Our list of amazing resorts to visit includes world famous names like Chamonix, Courchevel or Val d’Isere but we have also included lesser known destinations which are less touristy and cheaper.
You can choose to do everything independently like using Booking.com for resorts and EasyJet for flights or you could use a travel agency. We recommend using a website like Ski Addict to help narrow down your search and get latest snow information.
View our list of the best European ski resorts below.
1. Avoriaz, France and Switzerland
Avoriaz is located in the center of Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s largest ski areas in the territory of the commune of Morzine. Avoriaz is the highest altitude resort in Portes du Soleil and offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas in the Alps.
There are lots of tree-lined slopes ranging from easy for beginners to difficult perfect for experiences pros. Even though Avoriaz has a low alltitude level compared to similar locations in Europe it is one of the best places for snow in region.
Getting here is also easy, there are fast and cheap airport transfers from the nearest airport Geneva.
2. Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria
Saalbach is an Austrian Alpine resort town, southwest of the city of Salzburg. This resort boasts a sizeable ski area of more than 125km area and the slopes are easily accessible from the network of lifts providing access to the main ski circuits of the Skicircus.
Saalbach is a great value destination for skiing and there are lots of places to stay, shops and a lively nightlife. Hundreds of international staff apply for winter jobs here every season and it is easy to see why.
Saalbach is ideal for beginner and intermediate ski levels due to the amount of runs here, there is also a really quick lift system with over 20 gondolas and high-speed chairs connecting the slopes.
3. Les Arcs, France
Les Arcs is a ski resort located in Savoie, France, in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Les Arcs is popular because of its high-altitude slopes and amazing runs.
The scenery here is beautiful with high, slopes surrounded by wooded areas. Les Arcs is ideal for all ski levels and there are runs for beginners right up to difficult black runs for pros. There are also lots of off-piste areas.
4. Verbier, Switzerland
Verbier is one of the more well known ski destinations in Europe and it has the biggest ski area in Switzerland. Verbier is famous for impressive mountain scenery, great slopes for all levels and lively nightlife. The scenery and views are unbelievable and there are a wide range of resorts, chalets, and hotels. There are also lots of places to eat and drink in Verbier.
Beenfits of choosing Verbier as your next ski destination include the stunning scenery, lots of runs for all levels and also off-piste areas to explore. Verbier is also home to the Freeride World Tour Finals, so you know this destination is amazing.
5. Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
Chamonix is a ski resort near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. Located near the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, Chamonix is world famous for its amazing ski slopes. There are also quick and cheap airport transfers available which are great value compared to similar resorts in the Alps.
Chamonix is spectacular with glaciers, 13,000 ft peaks and panoramic views,of Aiguille du Midi, and Pointe Helbronner, across vast glacier fields on the Italian border. For experienced skiers it doesn't get much better as there are so many black runs.
Chamonix is also where the Fédération Internationale de Ski is the world's highest governing body for international winter sports was founded.
6. Val D'isère, France
Val d’Isère is a ski resort in the French Alps, near the Italian border. With nearby Tignes, it’s part of the Espace Killy ski area. Here, ski lifts give access to sites like the steep Face de Bellevarde, a black-rated piste, and the Grande Motte glacier, known for summer ski runs.
Val d’Isère is one of the more well known resorts in the Alps with lots of amazing trails and runs. The Col de l’Iseran mountain pass is a popular cycle route in summer. In town, bars and restaurants cluster around Avenue Olympique.
The high altitude makes this resort one of the best early and late season ski destinations and the town is also very lively.
7. St Anton, Austria
St. Anton am Arlberg is an Austrian village in the Tyrolean Alps. It's known as a gateway to the Arlberg ski region and is often called the “cradle of alpine skiing” for its role in inventing the sport.
There is one of Austria's biggest lift and cable car transport system providing access to the slopes of Valluga and Rendl. You can find lots of runs here, some very steep and lots of off-piste designated ski areas.
St. Anton is also great for its lively après-ski scene and there are lots of places to visit including the Museum St. Anton am Arlberg which chronicles local ski history in a traditional chalet.
8. Alpe d'Huez
L'Alpe d'Huez is a ski resort at 1,250 to 3,330 metres. It is a mountain pasture in the Central French Western Alps, in the commune of Huez, which is part of the department of Isère in the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is part of the Grandes Rousses massif, over the Oisans, and is 59 kilometres from Grenoble.
9. Méribel, France
Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. This is a great place for beginners or anyone wanting to take ski instructor courses.
10. SkiWelt, Austria
The SkiWelt is Austria's largest interconnected ski area. It has 90 Cable car lifts and Ski lifts, 280 Kilometers of Ski Pistes, and 77 Ski Huts. The member villages are: Brixen im Thale, Ellmau, Going, Hopfgarten, Itter, Kelchsau, Scheffau, Söll and Westendorf.
Other Places to Consider
These ski resorts are also very highly rated and almost made our top 10.
- 11. Kitzbühel
- 12. Crans-Montana
- 13. Courchevel, France
- 14. Zermatt, Switzerland
- 15. Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
- 16. Livigno, Italy
- 17. Zugspitze, Germany
- 18. St. Moritz, Switzerland
- 19. Courmayeur, Italy
- 20. Grindelwald — Wengen and the Jungfrau, Switzerland
- 21. Kitzbühel, Austria
- 22. Val Gardena, Italy
- 23. Saint-Sorlin d'Arves, France
Plan Your European Ski Break
Would you recommend the resorts on our list? Or have any other destinations which we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
Or if you are keen to be more than just a tourist and actually live and work in one of these amazing resorts check out our featured jobs abroad.