Take the hassle out of organising a group ski holiday – check our recommendations
Are you a group of skiers, maybe friends, maybe colleagues all looking for that perfect ski resort that can cater for everyone’s individual expertise level? Lots of people organizing group ski holidays scratch their head when posed with the question “where is the best place to bring a big group skiing?” Well you should stop worrying about the selection of resort as there are a number of places in Europe where you can find plenty of terrain for all levels be they off-piste gurus, intermediate riders or never-even-seen-a-mountain-before sort of novices – and the best thing is that in most cases you can all ski together or at the very least organise meeting spots that are accessible by all the group.
One of the best French ski resorts, Alpe d’Huez, located in the Central French Alps and spanning altitudes from 1,250m to 3,330m, is ideal for intermediates who can ski miles of high altitude snowy terrain, mixed up with a few black and gentle off-pistes. The resort is perfect for those who want to chew up the miles with carving turns on perfectly pisted runs.
For beginners they can get the grips with their first snow experience on the many wide nursery slopes in the center of the resort and for the crazies of the group Alpe d’Huez offers the longest black run in Europe so don’t say the resort doesn’t offer a challenge. La Sarenne as the run is called starts with a pretty challenging mogul field so be sure to get those knees moving.
Val ThorensThe highest resort in the Alps, what more can you say!!! Val Thorens offers some of the most snow sure skiing in Europe with lots of choice for all types of skiers and boarders.
As part of the Three Valleys, the biggest domain of linked pistes in the world, there is almost limitless on piste and off piste options. Due to its 2300m altitude, the resort has one of the longest ski seasons and is still enjoyable even in the spring sunshine.
For those who love to free ride, Val Thorens is a paradise of virgin powder and offers one of the best terrain parks in the Alps. Both beginners and powder hounds will find plenty to entertain them here with lots of snow, powder, parks and après ski.
One of the greatest off-piste ski resorts, Tignes is perfect for first-timers who can be lured by its free nursery run coupled with plenty of easy gentle greens. Offering links into Val d’Isere, the Espace killy ski area offers almost limitless skiing from valley to valley. Both Tignes and Val d’Isere were recently offering free instruction for beginner skiers which is a nice attraction is you are on your first ski holiday. Of course Val d’Isere village also offers lots of ski accommodation with just as easy access to the Espace Killy. Accommodation wise you will find more chalets in Val d’Isere and apartments in Tignes but both villages have plenty of larger properties to cater for group ski holidays.
Les Arcs boasts a lot of woodland trails, forest runs and plenty of challenging couloirs. Such is the level of extreme skiing available here that it might appear to be a resort for experts only. But don’t be fooled, in reality Les Arcs also offers lots of well groomed cruising runs, several specific zones for novice skiers and of course by linking into La Plagne you benefit from the blue and easy red runs that are just perfect for intermediates.
For skiers of mixed abilities, Soldeu in Andorra is an ideal resort. Recently linked with Pas de la Casa, these days the resort offers a very substantial amount of skiing. Probably not the best of resorts for those looking for the ultimate adrenalin rush it still has plenty of tricky blacks and some very gnarly off piste areas. It caters perfectly for beginners and intermediates with a good mix of novice areas and lots of mixed blue, red and black runs.
Best of all, Soldeu is a tax-free ski resort so you will find that prices are considerably cheaper than the Alpine ski resorts. Just what you need to keep all the group happy.
On a budget? Borovets in Bulgaria is worth a look. Ideal as a beginner and intermediate type ski resort it offers very reasonable ski accommodation and the ski passes and local food and drink are also good value. I would recommend February or March as the best months to ski in Borovets as they have the most reliable snow then. For family groups the resort is also a good choice with cost effective ski tuition a big plus for the kids. Intermediates will find the Yastrebets ski area the most interesting while beginners can enjoy learning on the Rila slopes which are right in the center of the resort and close to the bars and restaurants. The highest runs in the Markujik ski area offer lots of open bowl skiing and plenty of zig-zagging in between the pines trees. Everyone should try the marvelous Musala pathway which is a cruisy blue that runs for 8km from the top of the mountain right back to the village.
Breck, as it is known by its many admirers, is one of the most famous North America ski resorts. Located high in the Rockies and not far from Vail, the town is known as a destination for all types of powder seeking fun lovers. Having everything from chutes and double diamonds to plain old reds and easy nursery slopes the whole group will be happy here. The terrain park is one of the most impressive we have seen with 25 acres of kickers, tricky rails and bruising tabletops to test even the most seasoned free stylers.
So where to choose??? Well that’s a tricky question and definitely one that depends on budget and the type of accommodation and flying time that your group is open to.
In Europe it is hard to fault Les Arcs or Alp d’Huez but which ever resort you choose you are sure to have a great time. It might be just me but group ski holidays are definitely amongst the best holidays I have ever enjoyed. In between the laughing, falling, aching and hopefully finally skiing you can make some great friends that you will end up skiing with long into the future.