Mother Nature has been generous this year for all the fans of winter sports. Dotted with valleys, peaks, rugged terrain or oasis of peace, the Alps range that crosses the heart of Europe have a diverse offer of winter resorts.Just choose the perfect destination and get ready for an active vacation, which means not only fabulous food and meeting with VIPs and admire unique alpine landscape but also remember that “It’s all about skiing.”
Ischgl, this resort with a name impossible to pronounce, is very good for those who do not have the patience to wait for peak season to reach the slopes. With the onset of cold weather in Ischgl people begin to gather. Don’t miss the free admission annual concert taking place in town and have everything done while accompanied by the sound of music.
Snow is found in abundance on any slopes with a total length of 210 km, which rises to an altitude of 2870 meters. After sports, at night you can enjoy some activities involving bars, parties and dances on the table.
Hintertux has one of the best glaciers in Europe, with a special section called Gefrorene stairs Wand (frozen wall). It is one of the favorite destinations of those who do not give up skiing in any season. If you love endless winter sensations, you can come to ski here also during summer or fall.
In early season, visitors are rewarded with not only the glacier gets under their feet, but also the northern slopes, away from sunlight. And if the season starts well, there will be available other potential tracks that span an area of 157 kilometers. Nightlife in Hintertux is quite lively even out of season, and hotels in the area are high European standards regardless of weather.
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
That now are coming more and more tourists who want Slovenia more than of famous countries for skiing like France, Switzerland and Italy, can be easily explained by service quality, decent prices and of course … special magic of the place.
Near the border with Italy and Austria, Kranjska Gora is what might be called “pearl” of Slovenia in terms of winter resorts. Some of the merit belongs to the Alpine Ski World Cup, hosted by Kranjska Gora. One thing less known is that the village is the birthplace of another wintry sport “ski jumping”. Like any self-respecting European resort, Kranjska Gora has slopes for beginners and advanced, but other equally tempting proposals could be : “country skiing ‘, snowmobiles, ice climbing and climbing.
In essence, this eclectic resort, located above the Rhone valley, combines architecture generally associated with the eastern Alps mountains and challenging tracks that define the western Alps. Peaks as Les Attelas, Les Ruinettes and especially Mont-Fort, are recognized for good tracks dedicated to professional and intermediary skiers. Those who choose snowboarding will have a pleasant surprise too. All winter sports related acivities available in Verbier and are designed to please the professional, the amateur and the nonconformist tourists.
One of the “hottest” destinations for “cold sports” in Sweden, Kiruna, which boasts with Jukkasjarvi Hotel, built entirely of ice. And it is not hard to imagine why this hotel walls are never melting. Services of the famous Swedish resort are designed to please every visitor, from those for the whole family to visit tours on snowmobile or sleighs with reindeer.
In addition to the snowy slopes, in Kiruna one can find other attractive activities and even less common in other mountain resorts such as ice fishing. Those who come here at the right time, can enjoy the aurora borealis, a show truly unrivaled.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Cortina or “Curtain”, short name of the famous Italian resorts is undoubtedly “crème de la crème” in the top resorts of Italy. Stylish, chic and located in an area whose magnificent mountain peaks are crowned by dramatic rock formations, the old village soon turned into one of the finest European resorts. Cortina hosts a variety of slopes for all athletes, combined with plenty of related activities, and creates a perfect destination for guests who want to see a lot and be seen by many.
Unlike other destinations, Cortina exhibitionism is at home. And we are talking about not only displaying talent on the ski slope, but also about a real taste for fashion waving passers eyes: Ferrari and Maserati cars, expensive furs and accessories, a real heaven for fashionistas and elegant men. Snow lovers should not be afraid of this picture. Even if the city is so crowded , the slopes are quite free. Many people who choose to spend their holiday in Cortina, do it for sunbathing and fresh air.
In town, dinner at fancy restaurants, shopping, long walks through the center or idleness in front of a cup of Lavazza are so intensive activities for some just like skiing or snowboarding for others. The advantage is the athletes who will have less people on the slopes to avoid. Nature of the land of the Dolomites makes its slopes in winter sports activities to be rather limited. Beyond this minor obstacle, it is a pleasure to slip on the mountain slopes, surrounded by the beautiful authentic atmosphere they create. The most famous ski slope is Tofana, that reaches a height of 3,200 meters, the ground speed at the top and best track for the beginner at the bottom.
Zermatt has become famous not for its great ski slopes, but rather due to the unique atmosphere that surrounds its visitors. For those accustomed to luxury resorts, Zermatt can be a big surprise. An unpretentious resort located at the end of a long valley, is an invitation to a dialogue with nature. Zermatt is the resort where cars were not accepted, which means that guests arrive by train, then are led to their hotels with traditional horse drawn sleigh or, more recently, with modern electric sleighs.
Ski trails are divided into several sectors, and some of them are interconnected. There is also the underground funicular, which facilitates the transport of trail for beginners to intermediate or advanced. In Zermatt is not all about skiing. It is worth making a trip along old Gornergrat railway, which will take you into endless fields of snow or if you are not very adventurous, you can admire the incredible view from the balcony of the secure and warm hotel room.
The most fascinating and challenging section is called Schwarzsee-Trockner Steg-Klein Matterhorn. The cable-car that goes to great height reveals a complete 360 degree view from which the famous Matterhorn peak is just a part. Zermatt is a place that invites you to stay as long as the snow lasts, whether you practice descent or want to improve your photographic skills.
One of the biggest attractions of the resort, especially dedicated to the great lovers of skiing, is access to Plateau Rosa, where you can ski over a distance of 1,400 meters to Cervinia in Italy. You can ski in the Alps, the two countries within the same experiences, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gifts that a resort can offer to any keen skier.
Chamonix is one of the best, if not ranked first in terms of French ski resorts. Simple mountain settlement turned when locals realized that nature gave them something better than a life of farmers. Since then, the site has not ceased to grow.
The sport that has placed Chamonix on the map of winter destinations was not skiing, but escalating. Given the importance that skiing has now, it’s hard to believe that when Chamonix hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics, alpine skiing had not become an Olympic sport yet.
As a local aesthetic, Chamonix is more a crowded resort than a mound of architectural beauty. However, this is of secondary importance, since the city visitors do not go there for reasons of design, but rather practical reasons and sports. More than any other European resort, Chamonix is addressed to adventurous skiers seeking long runways, reliable snow, rocks and any other form of challenge. Extreme terrain in Chamonix made the set perfect for directors and films that are in searching for a perfect winter atmosphere.
Accommodation is for all budgets, street house shops and sports equipment covering a wide variety of needs. For a taste of authentic French atmosphere do not avoid bars and pubs with their delicious and aromatic temptations.
Among the popular ski slopes, Le Brivent is closest to the center, while at Flighre offers one of the best places in France dedicated to intermediate practitioners. Grands Montets is recognized as one of the most challenging ski areas. Cable-car can reach 3000 meters, furthermore, if you are in good shape, you can venture into climbing the 121 steps of metal, which and the end you’ll find of one of the most beautiful views of the Alps. Other tracks on the other hand, such as Les Houches and Le Tour are known for their land more friendly to winter sports practitioners.
Val d’Isere / Tignes, France
Reputation Val d’Isere and Tignes regions is forever linked with the name of French skier Jean-Claude Killy. Although born in a suburb of Paris, Killy grew up in Val D’Isere, the place that gave him the opportunity to develop their talent and improve sporting. In his honor, the Val D’Isere – Tignes is currently promoted as the Space Killy, incorporating all the services and conditions that have made France to become one of the main destinations for winter sports lovers.
In this area you will find the center of an old rural settlement, called Val Village, around which were built new buildings and hotels, always getting their numerous guests. Whether you choose Val D’Isere, or you prefer Tignes, Killy Space is open to all skiers and winter sports fans, regardless of experience. In both localities there are arranged tracks for beginners, part with a higher degree of difficulty or long steeps dedicated to adrenalin fans.
Abundant mountain restaurants serve delicious food dishes, even if the initial atmosphere may be too rustic for some luxury lovers. The entire alpine area is dedicated to winter sports, and quality services are available also in the summer. Why choose the seaside if you are a great enthusiast of the mountain? In Glaciers Pissaillas you can ski in summer too.
In the area there are three main ski areas. The first one is Bellevarde, where it is annual race called OK, and which connects to Tignes by a ridge called Col de Fresa. La Solaire is one of the sunniest , yet one of the smoothest slopes. Col d’Iseran is a kind of Mecca of altitude in Val D’Isere. The most difficult tracks come with a guide because they are areas with a high degree of danger, which include rocks and avalanches.
Author: Yemliha Toker