A Guide to the Top Five Ski Destinations in Europe - The Smiling Heart

A Guide to the Top Five Ski Destinations in Europe

Europe offers some of the best skiing in the world, with a range from extreme, challenging runs to bunny hills often available in the same location. The following is an overview of the top five such destinations.

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1. Chamonix, France

Located in the southeastern France close to the Austrian border, this multifaceted mountainous region offers a total of five skiing areas including a 13-mile glacial valley schuss and a 2,600-foot couloir accessible by rappel. Among these reasons for choosing ski holidays in France, there is a highly active town amidst it all, accommodation to suit various tastes and budgets, and professional guidance from long-term residents fluent in English. Some consider Chamonix the gold standard in European skiing.

2. Kitzbuehel, Austria

This premier ski location is near a storied medieval town in western Austria. Best known for what some regard as the most challenging race on the professional downhill circuit, which is attended by 80,000 fans every year, Kitzbuehel features a thrilling downhill run full of hairpins and other challenging reatures (and for which ski travel insurance might be recommended). There are also many places to relax and socialise with fellow skiing enthusiasts.

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3. Alagna, Italy

This unpretentious area 26 miles southwest of Milan is ideal for skiers looking for a full-featured skiing experience off the beaten path. It offers a variety of off-bounds downhill and cross-country runs in a small-community setting. Its best feature is two backcountry lines that are among the best in the world.

4. Verbier, Switzerland

Home to one of the world’s largest holiday resorts, this large skiing area in the Swiss Alps in western Switzerland features what might be the best amenities and nightlife for luxury-oriented and gregarious skiers. It has 254 miles of runs over a vast, diverse area, difficulty levels to suit every taste and aptitude, and a vibrant French-speaking local population.

5. St. Anton, Austria

This scenic and lovely mountain region in the westernmost tip of Austria features some of the best apres-ski amenities and comforts in a more relaxed setting than Verbier. There are hundreds of miles of slopes and back runs, pleasant amenities, quality food, and an affable local population in the nearby town.