I think we are all in agreement when we say the UK needs to man the fuck up with the snow antics. A small flurry of the white stuff divides the country in two; half wanting to leave for warmer climates and the rest remaining to trawl through the house in search for something to slide on. Sounds like Brexit part 2; Snexit. Or not. Anyway, if the thought of waking up to a blanket of snow fills you with an intense desire to slide down a hill on said makeshift sled, it’s time to get out to a ski resort where the real stuff is. Plus you can witness how a town consisting of 90% snow functions without the need to close any schools or roads. Mind blown.
With some great resorts just a short flight away, there’s snow reason to keep putting off a holiday to the mountains. Whether you’re a snowboard virgin or a ski goddess there’s a resort to match. What you waiting for? The time is (s)now.
A very popular choice and even more so in Feburary when the french yut take to the slopes each week on half terms. If you’re mulling over the thought of all things French, the best times to go over are in January, March or April. The bigger French resorts have an array of pistes for all ability levels. The majority of resorts have access to a snow a park for when you’re ready for drop a 360. Where you’ll find pistes you’ll find apres. Some French resorts such as Deux Alpes and Alp D’Heuz have epic mountain bars with some serious apres. The French Alps contain some of the highest altitude and longest runs in Europe as well as quaint, charming, smaller resorts.
Flight time: Approx 1 hour 30
Highest resort: Val Thorens, 3,200m
Best Apres: Les Deux Alpes, Val Thoren
Italy is a top choice if you’re looking to have more of a relaxed week, yet still want to pack in plenty of skiing and boarding. The Italians take a more chilled approach to mountain life in comparison to their neighbours and enjoy the socialising just as much as the riding. There are some fantastic ski areas including ‘The Milky Way’ consisting of several resorts some of which were home to the Winter Olympics not so long ago and others which link to France. There’s ask the breathtakingly stunning Dolomites to ride down too. Some argue the mountains can be unreliable for snow, so best to go around January/ Feburary time. The Italian slopes have a reputation for providing some good bluebird days, full of wall to wall blue skies, so be sure to pack your sun cream.
Flight time: Approx 2 hours 15 mins
Highest resort: Piccolo Cervino, 3,883m
Best for Apres: Sauze D’Oulx
Nestled between Spain and France, Andorra is home to the Pyrenees mountainsand although small, it’s perfectly formed for snowsliding as well as Apres. There are two main ski areas: Grandvalira with around 210km of piste and Vallnord with offers 93km of terrain, plus it being virtually tax free mades Andorra a great choice.
Flight time: Approx 1 hour 45
Highest region: Grandvalira, 2,640m
Best for Apres: Pas de la Casa
Bulgaria is becoming more of a popular choice and it’s rapid development has seen more and more tourists flocking to its resorts than ever before. Bulgaira has four main resorts to chose from offering a variety of piste, parks as well as some great apres. For beginners and intermediates Bulgaria has plenty of challenging runs, mainly consisting of blues and reds but more advance riders may struggle to push themselves. #rideswitchallweek
Currency: Bulgarian Lev
Flight time: 3 hours 10 mins
Highest resort: Vitosha, 1800m
Best for Apres: Baskno
With vast ski areas, tree lined runs and low rolling mountains, Austria is a great pick if you’re searching for a picture postcard type holiday. Austria has some stunning scenery and many hotels continue with traditions run by families . Interconnected resorts such as the Zillertal Arean (Mayrhofen) host over 500km of piste which allows an insaine amount of riding.
Flight time: Approx 1 hour 50
Highest resort: Lech-Zuers, 2,444m
Best for apres: Mayrhofen, St Anton
Swizerland is home to 41 ski resorts smack bang in the middle of the Alps and has been a popular choice for us Brits since we ventured there way back in 1864. Jam packed with jaw dropping scenery, an array of piste and some great places to eat, it’s no wonder we can’t get enough. Resorts are generally high and are pretty much snow sure, if you’re looking for a late season snow fix head to the Aletsch which is Europes biggest glacier.
Currency: Swiss Franc
Flight time: Approx 1 hour 45
Highest resort: Zermatt, 3,899m
Best for Apres: Verbier