Skiing used to be an elite exclusive sport which only the very wealthy could afford but today it is accessible to everyone with a varied mix of travel options to suit all budgets. Some resorts, especially in the European Alps remain exclusive, luxurious and expensive and here we feature our top 10 ski resorts in Europe which combine luxury and alpine charm together with top class ski.
St Moritz, Switzerland
If you are asked what the most exclusive ski resort in the world is, most people would say St Moritz. Glamorous, chic and naturally expensive, St Moritz is understandably exclusive and preserved as a haven for the rich and famous. The skiing is varied and extensive with an excellent snow record, and because many visitors enjoy relaxing in the sunshine, the slopes are often nice and quiet.
Nestled high up in the beautiful dolomite mountains, Cortina is renowned as Italy’s most upmarket and fashionable ski resort.
The skiing area is large enough to keep the most active happy and the restaurants on and off the mountain are good enough to keep the less active occupied for weeks.
Possibly, one of the worlds most well known ski destinations. Kitzbühel is the home of the Hahnenkamm Mountain which hosts the toughest downhill race on the world cup circuit.
It also has some great hotels and restaurants if skiing 100mph down a steep and icy slope isn’t for you.
Famed for its tough ski runs and trendy après ski, Verbier also has some of the most luxurious chalets in The Alps and attracts celebrities and royalty from all over Europe.
The ambience is one of charm and sophistication that also attracts some of the world’s best skiers.
Tucked away at the end of a valley accessible only by train (unless you have a residents permit and you can drive most of the way) Zermatt is arguably the most iconic ski resort in the world. The scenery is dominated by the Matterhorn which is a stark reminder of the towns mountaineering history. Today, countless luxury hotels and chalets blend naturally in with the charming and traditional town. The skiing is also pretty good too!
Once dubbed the Paris of The Alps, Megève retains its name for luxury, good food and good skiing. Situated in the Northern French Alps, close to Mt Blanc, the scenery is fantastic and the skiing varied and suitable for all abilities.
There are many accommodation options including many privately owned chalets which provide a more upmarket approach than is found in many other resorts.
Saalbach & Hinterglemm
Saalbach is set in the province of Salzburg, Austria. Saalbach ski holidays are famous for their excellent range of pistes and efficient lift system, connecting Saalbach to Hinterglemm and Leogang. On powder days you'll also find tremendous off piste through the trees. Saalbach itself is a superb ski resort with an attractive village centre, many luxury hotels and a lively, traditional atmosphere. The area has an excellent snow record as well as some wonderful sun traps where you can sit out on the terraces of rustic mountain restaurants, relax and enjoy the views on your ski holidays in Saalbach.
Val d’Isère, France
A young and vibrant resort which offers serious skiing and sophisticated accommodation. Val d’Isère has developed as a luxury destination that attracts the well heeled who take their skiing seriously.
The nightlife is no slouch either with an abundance of bars and clubs that keep going into the very small hours.
Lech and Zurs are situated in the Arlberg region of Austria and although close to the famous resort of St Anton, you won’t find the powder hounds and party animals hanging out here. Instead you get quieter slopes, gourmet mountain restaurants, spa hotels and upmarket pensions.
St Christoph, Austria
Another Arlberg resort that links into the St Anton ski area. St Christoph is a tiny hamlet sitting high up in a treeless valley with a handful of hotels offering high quality accommodation.
It’s a perfect destination for combining relaxed luxury with off piste skiing opportunities.
In Top 10 Luxury, In Top 10 Ski, In Top 10 Travel
Thursday, 6 October 2011
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