Best European Ski Resorts

The best European ski resorts, as is true of the best ski resorts in North America, are known for the variety of their terrain, the beauty of their settings, and their ample dining and lodging options. As you might imagine, most Europe ski packages include time in the Alps, as this lofty mountain range features hundreds of great ski areas. While most of these ski areas offer considerable charm and some enticing slopes, there are some standouts that you might keep in mind when looking for European ski vacation packages that fit your needs, in terms of accommodations and ski equipment.

France is a good place to start when searching for the best European ski resorts. This country is home to a bunch of great ski resorts, with Val d'Isere being one of the top spot candidates. This lively French ski resort has universal appeal, as is evidenced by its visitors, who come from all over. Great off-piste runs help to make Val d'Isere such a joy to visit, and the selection of bars and clubs in town could hardly be better. When you're not enjoying some time at Val d'Isere during your winter vacation in France, you might venture over to Chamonix or Alpe d'Huez. These famed resorts have long figured among the best European ski resorts, which has a lot to do with the fact that they offer some of the longest ski runs in Europe.

Another French resort that many skiers have in mind when looking to book Europe ski packages is Courchevel. This upscale skiing destination is part of the Les Trois Vallees area, which you might be interested to know is the world's largest linked ski area. World-class ski resorts abound in this area, as do tantalizing accommodations and stunning views of the French Alps.

Another country that offers some of the best European ski resorts is Switzerland. While you could include a number of Swiss ski resorts on a list of bests, there are a few that deserve special nods. One of them is Zermatt, which is a lovely ski village set beneath the majestic Matterhorn. Especially ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers, Zermatt offers plenty of long, steep runs, and if you like nightlife, the village has a rather raucous scene on most nights. An overall air of exclusivity characterizes Zermatt, though you don't have to break the bank on food and lodging if you don't want to.

When searching for Europe ski packages that include trips to the continent's best ski resorts, other resorts in Switzerland that are not to be overlooked are Verbier and St. Moritz. Verbier is French-speaking Switzerland's best overall ski resort and is known for its unpretentious atmosphere. Once again, a thriving nightlife scene helps to attract skiers to Verbier, as do the gourmet restaurants. Verbier offers some of the best off-piste skiing in the world, not to mention plenty of technical runs that keep world-class athletes coming back for more year after year. As for St. Moritz, it is eastern Switzerland's premier ski resort. The fact that it has hosted the Winter Olympics on two occasions and the Alpine Skiing World Championships on three occasions should tell you everything that you need to know.

Europe ski packages feature all the top destinations. There are packages for Italy's Cortina d'Ampezzo, for example, and Austria's Lech. Two of the other top ski resorts in Europe, these destinations are sure to please. Lech, it should be noted, is among the best European ski resorts for families, partly because of its excellent ski school. Plenty of English-speaking instructors are at Lech. As for Cortina d'Amprezzo, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and is known for its beauty. Surrounded by the stunningly beautiful Dolomite peaks, it's a great place to hang out even if you don't ski.

Getting back to Austria, those who like stunning mountain scenes are likely to enjoy ski vacations in Kitzbuhel. Rugged mountains frame this king of the Austrian ski resorts, though the skiing doesn't come cheap. Kitzbuhel has a very glamorous appeal, though you don't have to be a millionaire or a celebrity to enjoy a visit. Relatively affordable accommodations that can help you free up funds for some lift tickets are found in and around town.

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