With Christmas well and truly on the horizon you can vow to do one of two things when the change in weather sets in: confine yourself to the house and make the most of cosy evenings in by the fire, or get out and embrace the weather! And the best way to do the latter is to head to one of Europe’s finest skiing destinations.
The perfect place to enjoy all that the coldest season of the year has to throw at us – including, quite possibly, snow balls – is undoubtedly a ski resort. With that in mind, we’re bringing you our top three destinations for a festive season spent on the slopes. Read on.
- Cervinia, Italy – A temporary home-from-home for thousands of skiers each and every week, Cervinia is situated at the crossing between Italy and Switzerland and offers the fantastic ‘Ventina’ run and a large network of lift systems. You don’t need to take a car to this resort; instead, take the ‘snow-cats’, or try ski touring and snow shoes if you’re feeling more adventurous. Ventina, with its 3,500 metres of Plateau Rosa and the beautiful balcony of the Alps, is simply stunning – and with a height of 4,478 metres it seems magnificently close. So close, in fact, you’d feel as if you could almost reach out and touch the peak. An ideal spot to travel with friends, family or in a couple, this Italian resort offers all the amenities you’d expect from a popular skiing destination, amidst beautiful scenery.
- Tignes, France – Thanks to plenty of opportunities to enjoy high-altitude skiing, Tignes le Lac is one of Europe’s most popular resorts. Not only can you enjoy exceptional world-class ski slopes, but the area is an absolute buzz of activity, too. If that wasn’t enough, the snow season lasts most of the year at Tignes, which means you could travel there in a month other than December. But if you’re really looking to embrace all thing skiing, the best time to go is during the busier festive period. Pack warm, comfy, ski-appropriate clothes and look forward to a glass of wine and some delicious food as you toast your toes by the fire, or head to the slopes to give those new skiing boots a good go. Sharing the huge Espace Killy ski area with the neighbouring Val d’Isère, there are over 300km of pistes on offer – perfect for all abilities.
- Obertauern, Austria – With a top lift of 2,313m and pistes and lifts of 100km, the gorgeously picturesque resort of Obertauern – as featured in this well-thought-out online ski resort guide – is a mere 90-minute journey via car from Salzburg airport. Attracting more snow than anywhere else in Salzburgerland, the winter season here begins mid-November and continues until May – ideal if you’re struggling to find time to visit during the cooler UK months. Shop around for a great deal at this resort; there’s a host of hotel and travel packages available online and it’s just a case of looking for them. Book today, though, and you could be raising a glass with friends via your cosy chalet in just a couple of months’ time. If Christmas at home doesn’t appeal, it may well be an idea to jet off and enjoy it from your snug ski accommodation, glass of wine in hand and fire notched up to high.
If you’re thinking about jetting off to colder climes this winter, take a look online for some last-minute deals on flights and ski accommodation. You could well be taking advantage of the bitterly cold temperatures by snuggling up in a beautiful ski chalet, or hitting the slopes in a bid to warm those cockles – and fast!
Photos: Tom Driscol, Leo Seta, kmichiels, Benjamin Vander Steen, Arian Kriesch, Stefan Haubold.