For the common man, snow is made up of water; but for an adventurer who loves to be on mountain terrain, the soft white stuff is much more like 75% adrenalin. Awe-inspiring drops, soaring trees whizzing by and life threatening cliffs are more than enough to challenge your skiing or boarding skills. If you are fit and keen enough and think you can defy the force of gravity on some spine-chilling ski runs, then here are our top 10 ski runs to explore on your next ski holiday.
In Eastern Canada, this resort is easily accessible. Within an hour from Montreal, Tremblant is one of the oldest ski resorts in this part of Canada. It offers four different mountain sides with 94 runs and 19 lifts. With over 600 acres of varied terrain there is lots on offer for thrill seekers. Try the Dynamite run, a double diamond on the north side of the mountain. With a 42 degree slope this is not for the faint hearted.
The four mountains of this area are popular all around the world, especially due to the terrain that welcomes skiers and boarders of all abilities. Notably, the real experts are impressed because of the presence of hundreds of attractive acres stretching off the mountain’s backside where free riding in the backcountry is just endless. The pros head for the Aspen Highlands area. The vertical rise here is one of the highest in Colorado and from the top of Loge Peak there are just acres of off piste trails to enjoy.
Famous as the host of the Olympic Games in 1956, Cortina is flanked by the rocky Dolomite Mountains. It is the main destination of any thrill seeker who is on a winter itinerary in Italy. Apart from 52 lifts and 87 miles of groomed runs in central town, the area offers bobsledding, high-speed tobogganing, and snow rafting. Often considered one of Italy’s and indeed Europe’s most stylish ski resorts you will not find too many hard core off-pisters here. Some of Cortina's best skiing is on the Tofana mountain which include the infamous Stratofana descent, introduced for the 1956 Olympics. The Forcella Rossa, or the Staunies run in the Cristallo area are also very enjoyable.
This one needs guts! Combined with cliffs and crevices at around 4,000 meters on the mighty and striking La Meije glacier, La Grave is among the hardest ski runs in the region. The run is unmarked and unpatrolled and undoubtedly one of the hardest run in Europe. You are likely to need crampons to keep your footing so I think that says enough. You get to experience extreme wild skiing with a mountain guide of course.
Dare to hit one of the scariest ski runs on Earth? If the answer is yes, then Black Hole in Smuggler’s Notch is for you! With mostly glade forest on the run, you will need to pick your way through branches while gliding down at 53 degrees angle. Regarded as a triple black diamond run, it challenges you to keep from falling as well as from smashing into a pine tree. So, avoid looking at the trees; focus on the white space between them !!!
Welcome to the home of most breathtaking Alpine scenery! Skiing in the Italian Alps is just awe-inspiring here! Soaked in limestone cliffs converting into pink as sun moves into the west over the calm pastures, Sella Ronda is a huge network of approximately 40 km of runs interconnected by 11 km of lifts, jovial mountain huts, and innumerable villages along the way. The route was originally a means for the locals to get from village to village. The skiing is not that difficult but thoroughly enjoyable. Start early to explore it easily in a day.
Located in Davos and accessible through the first true skiers' funicular rail, this is the hometown of Alpine skiing. The railway will quickly take you up to Weissfluhjoch at 2,662 metres. From there it is like boarding on an epic trip through pine trees and forest, passing by the cheerful mountain huts that are often kitted out as ski chalets and bars, and then down to the valley. The Parsenn, which links the Davos and Klosters ski resorts, really is the cradle of skiing in Switzerland and home to some epic on and offpiste skiing. The longest run is a 12km drop into Küblis.
Dare to challenge death? Then, try this one! Nestled in St. Anton, this one is the origin of modern ski technique that attracts advanced skiers mostly due to vast powder-filled bowls stretching down from 2,811 metres. Scariest is the descent that mandatorily requires an experienced guide. The guide is even needed for carrying the gear into the coffin-like standing cable car. The run can be reached from either the Schindlergrat chair lift or the last leg of the Valluga cable car. The steep gullies can be called a number of things – difficult, exhilarating, terrifying, or simply crazy—depending on your opinion. There plentiful mogul fields and the extreme Schindlerkar gully or Mattun run will certainly make the hairs stand on your neck. Watch out of the south facing parts of Valluga, the snow can melt leaving you with spine tingling sheets of ice and slush.
Situated in Jackson Hole, this one is the most notorious runs, starting with a leap from a steep cornice. Some of the scariest features are a free-fall of 20 feet, steep landings that call for quick turning and narrow chutes dropped on 55 degrees slopes. Few manage to say on their skies for the whole of the run. This one is only for the best skiers !!!
This was where the Winter Olympic Games took place for the first time in 1924. Located at the foot of Mont-Blanc the highest Alpine peak, it ranks second in the list of highest ski areas in Europe. The resort town is admired for its lifts that serve up a vertical drop of 2,809 meters and one of the planet’s longest ski runs at 21km known as Vallee Blanche. The Vallée Blanche starts at the top of the Aiguille du Midi and depending on the time of year run right down into Chamonix town centre. It is unmarked, not pisted, covered with hidden crevices and unpatrolled but this high mountain off-piste ski route offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the French Alps. Take a guide of course.
One of the top ski holiday destinations in the French Alps has got to be The Three Valleys. Known locally as Les Trois Vallees it is without doubt one of the biggest and most exclusive ski areas in the world. Simply calling it a ski resort would not be right because it is in fact a combination of 8 ski resorts all linked with fast ski lifts to create a super ski domain. One of the most popular and indeed exclusive resorts in the 3 Valleys is the cute alpine village of Meribel. Meribel is a picturesque and lively village with a typical alpine atmosphere, attractive skiing chalets in stone and wood, extensive ski runs, a buzzing nightlife and of course the neighboring ski resorts which offer unlimited ski terrain options. Although Meribel is probably not as crazy as Val d'Isere or St Anton, its lively nightlife with varied nightclubs and pubs is enough for the most enthusiastic skiers and boarders. There is a diverse mix of après ski with on-piste bars, alpine taverns, British run bars soaked in live music and of course several nightclubs. Here is a quick heads up on the après ski in Meribel.
This is a unique nightclub split into two areas with unique atmosphere. The largest area is the busy dance floor, while the other area is at the back of the bar with comfortable lunge furnishings. So, you have two options: relax or go crazy dancing. The club is at Parc Olympique and is admired for a mix of famous dance hits and good DJs.
Nestled in the centre, this is a restaurant and bar featuring big sofas and chilled atmosphere. After being refurbished recently, it has become a comfier, more chilled, and more spacious zone than the upstairs Pub. You can expect funky live bands, pool table, and hip music.
This one is a very lively bar for those staying in ski chalets close to the village. Nestled in the town centre and close to the bakery, Barometer is an elegant and sophisticated bar offering great music, pool tables, and relaxed atmosphere. You get to enjoy the latest beers as well as a variety of coffees and wines. The Mutzig Old Lager is one of the favourites here. There are even plasma screens to watch the live sporting events.
This bar is perfect for Meribel après ski being close to all the chalets and accommodation. Touted as ‘your friendly local’, this is a busy bar offering pub snacks, a pool table, ski-surf videos, satellite TV showing football games, and good music. Being a very famous après-ski venue, the bar is usually crowded in the evenings.
Situated besides the Jacks Bar, this one is a trendy bar with sun terrace, good food, and no-smoking policy. There’s also an Internet cafe and a chill-out zone with Wi-Fi. Just grab a computer to download digital pictures and prepare a CD or simply chat with your friend. The breakfast served here is ideal to combat your hangover after late night partying in Jacks Bar.
This is the one of the French bars in the area. Nestled in Meribel village centre, the bar is a 'posh' relaxing hub that is popular amidst locals and skiers alike. Come here if you wish to have Champagne and mix with the locals. The bar is famous for its cocktails and live music and events throughout winter.
This restuarant/bar is centrally located so is easily accessed from your chalet or as you come of the slopes. La Tavern caters to all moods and tastes, irrespective of the kind of meal you are looking for! There’s an Internet cafe to offer 10 high speed terminals and Wi-Fi spots for chatting. Après-ski entertainment is guaranteed with happy hours, live music, and big screen sporting events.
Another centrally located British run bar. In fact this is one of the liveliest spots in Meribel. The attractions here are spacious layout with plenty of seats, lively atmosphere, live music, special promotion nights, and happy hours. There is also the pool game, spots to watch live sporting event, and a sun terrace for a relaxing après-ski drink.
If you do not like the louder bars in the downtown, this one is for you! It is a great restaurant and bar nestled in the Morel area. The main draws here are a big central fire, welcoming staff, typical French atmosphere, delicious home-cooked food, and warm atmosphere. Choose this one if you need a calm evening or want to pop out for a quick night cap before heading back to your chalet or apartment.
Nestled above the Meribel centre and below the Rhodos bubble lift, this is the most popular venue for après ski in Meribel. This is where you can enjoy drinks on the sun terrace with live music and wild dancing. Crowd starts gathering from the happy hour at 16:00 daily. Do try the infamous toffee vodka.
For more information about Meribel or the Three Valleys check this site http://www.les3vallees.com. If you need to book ski accommodation for your next holiday in Meribel we can offer a selection of chalets and ski apartments in the Meribel and 3 Valleys ski resorts. Click here for our ski accommodation in Meribel .
Are you looking for the best off-piste skiing in the world? Want to sample the real back country or enjoy the ultimate vertical drop? We have picked some of our favourite off piste ski resorts from Europe and North America. If you are planning your next ski holiday and want to try some extreme free riding we recommend you try the resorts below.
A word of warning before you go. Always carry the right safety gear if you are skiing off piste. I know you have heard it all before but I had a very scary moment in Verbier a couple of years back. While traversing across a pretty innocuous looking powder bowl the snow pack detached and 2 of the group got trapped in the ensuing avalanche. They were without transponders and the situation was looking bleak. By a stroke of luck two very experienced guides had been skiing nearby, noticed what happened and were able to locate our friends with their avalanche probes. Without their help and experience I fear the outcome would be been tragic. So my advice is don’t skimp on avalanche safety gear. Get the best gear and make sure you have proper training and know how to use the equipment. If you are unsure about anything just take a qualified guide with you. For the sake of a couple of quid you can hire a top quality mountain guide and the whole experience because a lot safer and a whole lot more enjoyable.
Anyway enough about safety, here are some of my favourite off piste resorts. Get out there, take the right precautions and enjoy and explore them on your next ski holiday.
This is the biggest skiing region in North America. It is known for its marvelous high bowls and chutes that will intrigue you on the higher areas of its two linked mountains: Blackcomb and Whistler. Even for the best off-piste skiers, the abundant steep powder chutes and taxing mogul fields pose a stiff challenge. Other attractions here are the easy access to heli-skiing and of course Spanky's Ladder which is accessible via hiking on Blackcomb. From Spanky’s Ladder there are several routes that you can consider depending on how brave you are feeling.
If you love the combination of luxury ski chalets and difficult off-piste runs then Verbier's 400 km makes for an ideal resort. Offering a big range of off-piste options, this Swiss ski resort offers some of the most difficult routes in the Alps: From the easy Stairway to more adventurous runs at the rear of the Mont Fort. The Verbier off piste areas are easily accessible, without spending hours hiking.
This is a favorable option for skiers with all kinds of abilities. As a part of the vast ‘Paradiski’ area, Les Arcs offers several options for off-piste skiers; more notable is the popular 7 km black run from the top of Aiguille Rouge and stretching up to an unbelievable vertical drop of 2000m. If you are more daring, ‘Flying K’ the Olympic high speed run will test you!
This small but remote ski area is known for its untracked powder, ideal pitch of the slopes, and welcoming locals. I have only been there once but on a powdery day, the resort is no less than a heaven on Earth for an off-piste beginner. With very few large towns nearby and with the experienced skiers distracted to the nearby much larger and more famous Jackson Hole ski resort, the place gives you the feeling of skiing in your own private resort.
Tignes at 2,100m is one of the most snow sure resorts in the Alps and one of the best places for off piste skiing in Europe. It offers several off-piste runs, along with the odd vertical drop; mind-blowing scenery; hard core descents, mid-sized bowls, and “Naturides” which refers to the ungroomed pistes that follow the natural terrain. Tignes is also a good option if you want to get some tuition as they have very competent off piste ski instructors.
One of North Americas most popular off piste destinations, this is where you will come across infinite off-piste adventures, a famous terrain park, and mountain playgrounds like the popular Powder Bowl. With a great mixture of powder terrain including a lot of tree runs Lake Louise is like an outdoor amusement park for off piste boarders and skiers.
Host of the Alpine World Championships in 2001, St. Anton is one of the most popular skiing resorts in Europe. It has 180km of pisted runs but also plenty of off piste free riding opportunities. One of the most fascinating is the scary descent from the Valluga Peak. Among all the runs, those in the huge bowls beneath Valluga are famous for powder runs. The après ski here is also pretty lively so there is always something to after a tough day off piste.
Linked with Tignes, Val d'Isère in France has some of the best lift-served off-piste runs in Europe. Some of the best spots are Col Pers from atop Le Fornet and Vallons that goes down to Tignes Les Brévières. With lift access to a lot of the areas there is no need for hours of hiking to reach the perfect powder. Heli-skiing can also be arranged locally.
Chamonix has got to be the ultimate extreme skiing destination on the planet. Certainly in Europe it is the home of extreme free riding. The Chamonix Valleys offers plenty of corries, chutes and powder fields with lots of the off piste areas accessible from ski lifts. One of the biggest attractions has got to be the Vallee Blanche descent going from above the Aiguille du Midi and skiing down the glacier fields to the Mer de Glace. There are a whole selection of possible routes down the valley and it goes without saying that a guide is a must as there are a lot of tricky crevasse areas. Aside from the Valle Blanche the Grand Montets’ area also offers some classic off piste descents.
Skiing holidays aren’t all about the best pistes and the most luxurious ski chalets. Even if you like to tear it up on the slopes all day there is always time after the lifts close to head out and explore the local bars and nightclubs. So, if you are in St. Anton, you should not miss an opportunity to enjoy live DJ music, exotic cocktails, party clubs and lots lots more. Of course a smattering of the best Austrian beers, wines and aperitifs always helps to get the après ski kicked off. Recognized as one of the top party resorts of Europe, St. Anton really is fascinating both on the slopes and in the nightclubs. The town is a veritable haven of cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. You can enjoy everything from traditional Austrian taverns and English pubs, to trendy wine bars, on-piste bistros and of course cordeau bleu restaurants. Of course after all that you can head to the myriad of late night bars and nightclubs that dot the pedestrianized part of St Anton. The selection is such that you are very unlikely to be able to frequent them all during you ski holiday so here are our top10 favourite bars in St Anton am Arlberg.
Nestled at the bottom of the Galzigbahn piste, this is a perfect bar to watch the people passing while drinking. The sheepskin on the outside seats adds to the overall coziness and mountain feeling. It is a fine place to enjoy an après ski drink. Cheap beers attract even the ski instructors so the place is usually lively at the end of the ski day.
If you want to dance until 6.00 in the morning, this is the place to be! Watch out though, the bar is quite expensive for drinks. Located in the Sankt Anton pedestrian zone, the bar regularly features popular international DJs such as Tim Sheridan.
Situated next to Piccadilly, this nightclub offers live music from 9 pm onwards to ensure an explosive atmosphere daily. While Piccadilly is more like a bar, Post Keller is a real nightclub. You will get to dance the night away with DJ Andi Joseph who is the in house Australian DJ. However be warned, there’s an entrance fee – of course ladies enter for free.
This is a cocktail bar offering Tex Mex food and live music 3 times a week. Its’ lively atmosphere attracts people making it one of the most crowded watering holes in town. Probably, it is also one of the cheaper bars in the pedestrian zone. So, instead of the Kandahar, you can explore this one and give your wallet an easier time.
With a happy hour from 4 to 5pm and a lively atmosphere in the evenings, you are definitely going to enjoy this laid back après-ski bar. The other draws of this groovy bar are tasty snacks, good music, and welcoming staff. It is a unique place, and you can watch sport matches very nicely as they have a good sports TV setup. This means that it gets a little crowded here during the big matches. Therefore, plan to get in early if you want to grab a good spot.
This is from the handful of après ski bars in the town centre as most are on the slopes or at the bottom of the Galzigbahn cable car. It is a British-style pub that offers a terrific atmosphere and live music from 4 pm by Gunar who is in his 16th season entertaining the guests as they come off the slopes for some after ski relaxation.
Located just close to the famous Krazy Kangaruh, this is a bar that has been famous amongst the locals and ski instructors for many years. Interestingly it is an early closing bar opening only until 8 pm but visitors can still linger here until 11pm. Do try the famous local drink called Schnapps that is consumed in big quantities here.
Contrasting with its name, the bar just before the Galzigbahn is an ideal place to watch all sports. Adorned with great après ski atmosphere, the bar features live music in afternoons along with happy hours from 3 to 6 pm. Run by an eccentric Australian lady, Underground is such that you can find a table always to enjoy and relax even with kids.
This one is probably the most popular après ski bar with hundreds of skiers and snowboarders, plentiful schnapps, DJ Euro remixes, and rocking tunes. Nestled just feet away from the main pistes and town center, the bar is very famous on the St Anton party scene. The place always remains packed. Just take care! Those schnapps can creep up on you !!!
If you have a family, then this is the best bar to choose. This one is more family friendly and calmer than other bars. Interestingly, all après ski competitions starts from here, which you see as you go down Blue 1. While weekdays rock with live music, Sundays are more entertaining due to live DJs. There is also a big terrace for relaxing in the sun with a cool drink.
So if you are planning a trip to St Anton we recommend you try some of the options above. Of course these are just a few of the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs in St Anton. Also, if you need some accommodation for your stay you should check out our St Anton chalets and apartments.
It’s not often that I get to cross the Atlantic to indulge in my love of skiing so when my wife and I finally arranged the time (and the funds) for an European ski holiday I had my heart set on picking one of the best resorts in the Alps. Nestled in the magnificent French Alps, Val d'Isere is truly one of the most incredible skiing destinations on the planet. I regularly ski the big American and Canadian resorts so believe me when I tell you that Val d’Isere can easily match the best of North American powder and pistes. Linked with the adjacent resort for Tignes, to form the huge Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isere is the chief contender with the Trois Vallées in terms of superior French skiing. The resort offers well over 300km of pistes along with infinite off-piste skiing, which makes for a combination that is perfect for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Non-skiers aren’t left out either but I will talk about that later.
Geneva is the best airport for access and there are plenty of direct routes serving North America. From Geneva, it takes less than 3 hours by car to reach the town. Alternatively, a train runs from Bourg St Maurice to drop you in 40 minutes at the Val d'Isère ski resort. The ski season runs from late November to end of April but if you are a total powder hound the locals recommend end of February or start of March for perfect skiing conditions. This is the mountains of course so don’t forget that the weather can be fickle.
Popular amongst British and French snow fans, the ski resort is full of charm and typical alpine style chalets and apartments. The village it is flanked by the soaring mountains on both sides and the Isère River passes through it in the Manchet Valley. This once small farming village is now a modern Alpine ski village packed with shops, restaurants, excusive boutiques and plenty of non-skiing activities for all ages. Don’t forget to bring your stamina and wallet !!! We stayed in Le Fornet a little village just above Val d’Isere. My wife had searched online with allChalets and found a really cute chalet style apartment that was just perfect. We could ski to the door and the main ski lift was just 50m downhill. It is worth noting that the resort offers a complimentary bus service from morning until late night which runs the full length of the valley from Le Fornet, through central Val d’Isere and on to La Daille at the bottom of the valley. I say bottom but La Daille is still 1850m high. In terms of ski accommodation there are both budget and luxury ski chalets to suit all price levels. The best part is that you can pick pretty much any location in the village and select any chalet because all of them are easily accessible on the highly efficient ski bus system.
A majority of the skiing occurs above 2300 metres where the resort has an unparalleled snow record. If you are an expert, start your day by hitting the Espace Killy’s legendary 300km of pistes (La Face, Ok, and Orange) and more than 10,000ha of lift-served off-pistes. The trees in Le Fornet, the Tour de Charvet, and the Cols du Pers are a challenge for the very best skiers and boarders. Cols du Pers is not for the faint hearted and I have to say a guide is always recommended.
For an easier ski experience, try out the wide and gentle slopes at the foot of Solaise before returning on the gondola. Careful intermediates should explore the edges of the piste map, above Le Fornet, and the Glacier Express lift.
It wasn’t all about skiing of course. There is plenty of après ski action in Val d’Isere. The night can be easily spent in exploring the lively apres ski scene with Dick's Tea Bar known for the best laser show and live DJs and the Moris Pub for a lively band atmosphere. We didn’t have time to try the myriad of activities in Val d’Isere but for non-skiers and entertainment fans, Val d’Isere offers plenty of options such as skidooing, ice driving, sleigh rides, and helicopter rides. My wife tried the ice driving and all I can say is I’m glad it wasn’t my car.
For tasting some high-quality original cuisine, I would recommend Pier Paul Jack over three courses, each with special menu, especially the white chocolate foie gras; Les Marmottes for good lunches on the mountain, La Grande Ourse for typical French dishes, and La Becca for Michelin-starred dishes. You will simply not forget what your buds will taste here!
Genuinely Val d’Isere is perfect for all levels of skiers. The village has that traditional French mountain charm combined with a shot of adrenalin fueled madness if that’s what your looking for. You choose which you want and you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to Simon and Louise for the rundown on their week skiing in Val d’Isere. For any of you who are thinking of giving Val d’Isere a try, you can check out our Val d’Isere chalets . We have a selection of accommodation in Val d’Isere including catered chalets and self-catering apartments.
If you love skiing and have never been to Morzine, you are missing out on the experience of a lifetime. I had listed Morzine skiing on my to-do list for the longest time and finally managed to make that long awaited trip with my family. Travelling to Europe for a family ski holiday was a big treat for us and with the express involved we wanted to be sure that we picked the right ski resort.
Morzine has one of the most breathtaking views I have ever witnesses: their ski facilities are certainly all they are claimed to be. This is not only a great destination for expert skiers but those who are just learning how to ski as well. There are wonderful and if I may add, very patient ski instructors who will have you gliding around the Portes du Soleil ski area in no time.
If you are like me, you’ve seen images of Morzine and thought what a beautiful place in the heart of the Alps. Well, pictures don’t do Morzine much justice because the view is simply magnificent and the area gives off a genuine French mountain village atmosphere, despite the fact that a lot of the ski chalets and hotels are modern. One of the best things for me is that this is a real alpine village that is lively throughout the year. You can tell from the weekly markets packed with local produce and buzzing with local chatter that there is life in this village outside the regular ski season.
Things You’ll Love about Morzine
Everything is well put together from the transportation to the ski accommodation and ski facilities.
One of the two main things I loved about my stay here was:
Our first stop was Geneva Airport which has no shortage of transfer options to Morzine. We opted for the airport transfer service which has shared and private shuttles. Since we were a group of four we went with the private shuttles which cost us 38 each and took us straight to the Chalet Hotel Morzine. This is one of the coziest hotel’s I have been to so far and has the feel of a traditional mountain chalet with the services of a hotel.
Some of the major features for me were the games room, heated swimming pool, outdoor hot tub and the sauna. You will be impressed by the bar which is a great place to mingle with other skiers and tourists. The reason why we chose Morzine Chalet Hotel is because it is conveniently located. Only a five minute walk away is the Super Morzine gondola which provides a quick link to Avoriaz, from where you can explore the whole Portes du Soleil ski area.
Morzine is the place to be if you want to visit some of the best mountain restaurants and ski bars. The restaurants are superb and strangely I did not get sick of all the sea food which just shows that their cooking is refined. Some of the restaurants you might want to visit are L’Atelier, The Farmhouse (which is located in a farmstead and the oldest building in Morzine), Bistro La Taverne and La Grange Restaurant was a particular favourite. For good tapas and lively après ski you should try The Haka which is just at the bottom of the Pleney ski lift.
Our Skiing Adventure
Besides all the wonderful restaurants, Morzine is of course all about skiing and boarding if that takes your fancy. We had an interesting group of two great skiers and two beginners which made our trip all the more fun. Our ski classes by the Avoriaz Alpine Ski and Snowboard school were delightful and we had so much fun gliding or should I say falling around the pistes.
Morzine has 85 lifts to choose from and though it pays to have a guide if you want to see the real back country, you can still get by on your own especially if you speak French. The Morzine and Les Gets Piste map is well detailed and provides names of all lifts in the area and their connections.
There is really so much to say about our time at Morzine. The people are friendly and if like us you opt for a ski lesson, I would highly recommend the ski school we used. Should you decide to take a private ski adventure, you will not be limited on ski rentals. There are plenty of options in that regards! Morzine for us is truly the best ski resort in the world.
Thanks to Mark McWilliams for updating us on his family ski holiday in Morzine. If you are planning a ski holiday to Morzine then why not check out our selection of Morzine chalets and apartments, I'm sure you can find a luxury ski apartment or a catered chalet in Morzine.
It seems the ski resorts have realized that attracting families is the master key to their successful survival in the skiing industry. This is the reason why most of them have put in a lot of effort to create an enticing family-friendly environment. Irrespective of what you need such as ideal childcare, ski school, ski kindergarten, or piste-side accommodation; you will need to look for family ski resorts that cater to kids of all ages. So, here are our top 10 family ski resorts to help you chose while planning for your next ski holiday.
10. Arinsal - Andorra
This resort is ideal for families who do not want to spend much on winter sports but yet wish to enjoy good skiing or snowboarding. At a height of 4,950 ft, Arinsal offers some excellent ski holiday attractions such as confidence boosting cruisey runs, affordable ski apartments and restaurants, advanced ski schools, great instructors, and lively nightlife. The famous kids clubs and snow gardens are just exciting for small ones.
Snow Fun: Snowboarding, 30 km of piste runs, Ski school, Pic de Coma Pedrosa (highest mountain)
9. Whistler - Canada
Having been host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, this ski resort offers endless skiing with two mountains soaring from the village and providing several runs composed of ideal beginner slopes and slow speed regions, excellent intermediate bowls, and advanced off piste terrain. Ski down from 2,214 ft to explore the beautiful pedestrian village filled with affordable restaurants, hotels, and spas along with several other activities and adventures.
Snow Fun: 200 runs, snowboard school, lifts, heli-skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, ice hockey
8. Kranjska Gora - Slovenia
Tucked at 2,656 ft between the Italian and Austrian frontiers, this resort offers everything for memorable family ski holidays at affordable rates. The sunny slopes are conquered by the striking Julian Alps boasting spectacular scenery for skiing and boarding. Ski clubs for kids, childcare facilities and great ski tuition are some of the attractions that your little ones will enjoy.
Snow Fun: 30 km of pisted runs, snowboard park, mountain restaurants, minimal lift queues
7. Scheffau - Austria
Set against a backdrop of the striking Wilder Kaiser Mountains, Scheffau is an excellent resort situated in the largest ski-area of Austria – the Ski Welt. Boasting a great family atmosphere, the resort ensures an interesting skiing experience with intermediate and advanced runs. It is also a great place to learn for both kids and adults. Attractions for kids include the Pepi Penguin Club and winter activities.
Snow Fun: 279 km of piste, tobogganing, and sleigh rides
6. Val di Fassa - Italy
This UNESCO World Heritage site features the exhilarating skiing experience of the Dolomites and a flawless Italian ambiance. Beginners can learn to ski or snowboard while the more experienced can explore the wide open runs on the mountain, including the high-speed World Cup run. For kids, clubs are simply the ideal hubs of alpine entertainment.
Snow Fun: 230km ski area, 9 linked ski resorts, ice skating, bowling, night skiing, snowshoe walking, paragliding, ice hockey
5. Alpe d’Huez – France
This resort offers a great range of family facilities along with first-class skiing for families and groups. Suitable for all skiers regards of ability, it is one of the largest alpine resorts boasting lively après ski and excellent family services. The main attractions here are the linked ski area of Les Grandes Rousses, large cable cars, Pepi Penguin Club for kids, and the affordable French cuisine.
Snow Fun: 249 km of piste, quick ski lifts, skating rink, sports centre, ice driving, sledging, ski-dooing
4. Claviere - Italy
Meant for all types of skiers, this one is tagged as the Milky Way ski area due to quality snow, traditional charm, and striking scenery. With several childcare and kids clubs, your kids will also tend to enjoy on its slopes. The Milky Way never fails to disappoint for excellent mixed ability skiing.
Snow Fun: 400 km of ski runs, easy chair lifts, natural ice rink
3. Tignes - France
With a wide selection of enticing and affordable ski chalets and hotels, this ski resort is ideal for family on all budgets. The main attractions here are the vast array of of slopes for experts and intermediates, the Grande Motte glacier, a link into Val d'Isère resort, and kid clubs with childcare options.
Snow Fun: Snow park and gardens, sports centre, spa, bowling alley, ice driving, ice climbing, ice karting
2. Zell Am See - Salzburg
Easy transport links, ski slopes for all abilities, quality low cost ski tuition for kids, and incredible views of the valley and glaciers make this resort an ideal destination for family ski holidays. Its worth going just to ski the runs with the amazing lake directly below you. Uniquely, it is open on all 365 days.
Snow Fun: 138 km of trails, special trails for kids, tobogganing, ice skating, Nordic walking
1. La Plagne - France
This is one of the most famous French ski resorts. Located at high altitude and offering varied slopes for all abilities and ski accommodation and chalets for all budgets in its cluster of villages. Your kids will also love to learn and entertain themselves at the various kids clubs and spas.
Snow Fun: Ice rink, paragliding, skidoos, Olympic bobsleigh, amazing off piste if you search it out.
So there you go. 10 ski resorts that are perfect for family ski holidays. Just take your pick and have a super ski break with your family. For more inspiration take a look at our chalet search page.
In breaking news, today a bus carrying UK ski holidaymakers has crashed and burst into flames on the road just below Alpe d'Huez. Tragically the bus driver has died but miraculously nobody else died as the bus crashed down the mountainside and burst into flames. Several people were reported as jumping from the bus while it moved. The injured have been taken to local hospitals but all are in a stable conditions.
The exact cause of the accident is unknown but reports suggest that the brakes on the bus may have failed. The steep road from Alpe d'Huez has over 20 sharp hairpin turns and it is not uncommon for vehicles to encounter problems with overheating or failed brakes.
Mayrhofen is one of the most popular skiing destinations in Austria. After a long day on the slopes you are sure to want to relax and enjoy some good food. Well Mayrhofen won’t disappoint it that respect as it has a fine selection of restaurants and bars. The delicious food, farm fresh products, the soothing atmosphere, warm hospitality, authentic Austrian ambience and spectacular view, makes dining at the restaurants here an experience to remember. Most of the Mayrhofen restaurants are not haute cuisine gourmet spots, but one expects this in a ski resort and the comprehensive menu and delicious food they serve at reasonable prices, make up for it in a delightful way. Due to it being one of the most visited ski holiday destinations, Mayrhofen has a vast array of choices when it comes to restaurants, but just to make sure we have a selected several restaurants that will not disappoint. The following is a list of our favourite 10 restaurants in Mayrhofen.
Wirtshaus zum Griena is four centuries old and if you want to taste the local authentic cuisines, there is no better place than Wirthaus in Mayrhofen. Range of sinful delights mixed with the very generous and brisk services at ultra reasonable prices (15-20 Euros), will make your experience in this famous restaurant worth remembering. They cook their dishes in the traditional Austrian style and leave it for the visitors to decide, what is best. It's ten minutes uphill from the town center and they accept credit cards.
Bruggerstube is a wonderful location to sit and watch the hang gliders while feasting on traditional Austrian cuisines. This restaurant is well known among the tourists as well as being popular with the locals. Order anything from the wonderful list of items on their menu and enjoy as the mouth watering aroma drifts in from the kitchen. Have a creamy coffee or go for a mug of beer while you wait. The place is real bargain (10-20 Euros) and ten minutes drive from the city center.
Centrally located and an in-house restaurant of Landhaus Carla, the food here is super reasonable and is a treat to your taste buds. Local bands perform regularly and you can end up getting more than you bargained for with live entertainment. Do not forget to taste their Cheese Fondue, Zillertaler Krapfen and Graukas, while you are there. This is a must visit restaurant whenever you are at Mayrhofen.
Located amidst picturesque surroundings in a well accessible location in Mayrhofen, Gasser boasts of having a few of the most mouthwatering traditional dishes, prepared to keep the contemporary taste buds delighted. Ridiculously cheap and mouthwatering dishes are its main attraction. If you are going down to the main Gondola, this is meat paradise and a cannot miss visiting. The Schnitzel and Gulashsoup as well as their ham hocks, chicken and ribs are a must try here.
For families with kids, Mo’s is the perfect food joint, serving American cuisine as well as drinks. Not exactly the cheapest establishment, but the quality of the food and large portions make up for it. Easily accessible with modern interiors along and quick services from attentive waiters are going to soothe your senses. Do not forget to drink beer and try their lovely cocktails when visiting.
From Pizzas to cheese, bacon and onion tart, The Schneekar has a lovely collection of items on their menu and since, it is located on the slope, the restaurant attracts huge numbers of tourist and ski boarders. Service is excellent as is view and food. The terrace has tables and you will love to sit and enjoy the view while feasting on the delicious dishes they have to offer.
The Kramerwirt is a hotel, where you may stay on during your visit, but its restaurant that provides one of the most incredible Austrian dishes you would have tasted. Amazing value for your money, attentive services, and awesome view, stopping by for a brunch is definitely a must.
Café Kostner needed its mention here even though it does not have one of the most comprehensive of menus. What is does have is an amazing view, friendly service and yes, their Apple Strudel and Coffee. Sit, relax and have your coffee with mouth your watering pastry. This is a perfect joint for families as the kids love it around here, especially the heated balcony with loads of toys.
Grillhofam is one of the most inexpensive restaurants around. If you want to keep up with the park action, you can sit and keep a watch, while eating a great quality food served here. It is a lovely place with bright surroundings and you will love to spend some time here with your spouse. It’s a favorite among the snowboarders.
If you are looking for a centrally located joint which serves good food and amazing value for money, while not compromising on the menu, Pizzeria Mamma Mia is the place to be. Their pizzas are famous throughout Mayrhofen and you can come here with your family and friends without hesitation. The ambience is lovely, warm and welcoming.
This list will give you a comprehensive view of the culinary experience you can have while at Mayrhofen, but there are a few other restaurants which need mentioning, including Neuhaus Restaurant, Singapore Restaurant, Zillergrund (popular among the locals), Fleishhauerei Perauer, Bergrast, Sunalm and Andrea are also worth the price. However, the top 10 are at the top for a reason as you will see when you come to visit. Depending on your personal preferences, you can make several changes to the list for sure and rest assured it is going to be a lot of fun feasting on the traditional Austrian dishes among the most amazing of ski locations Austria has to offer.
Despite a disappointing performance at the X Games in Tignes last weekend Woodsy has bounced back in style at the final Slopestyle event of the year in Sierra Nevada, Spain. The British rider completed the season with a win and picked up the champions Crystal globe for the best mens Ski Slopestyle in 2013.
With an impressive performance all season on the World Freestyle tour the young British rider is now setting his sights on the Olympics in Sochi next year where he is surely in the running for a gold.
The top 3 results were
James Wood (UK) – 226 pts, Johan Berg (NOR) – 140 pts and Oscar Wester (SWE) - 130 pts
Woodsy now heads to the British Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships, in Laax, Switzerland, from 20-27 March, where he will be defending his slopestyle crown