Best Ski Resorts in Europe

Europe is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, and no wonder! With a total of 3703 resorts, this continent offers something for everyone no matter your skiing ability level or budget.

All of the ski resorts on our list are located in the highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe, the Alps, for the simple reason that the best ski resorts in Europe happen to be here. This mountain range stretches across eight countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia, and offers a lot of fun both on and off the slopes.

Every resort on this list welcomes both skiers and snowboarders, and has plenty of runs for beginners, experts, and everything in between. You’ll find a vast skiing terrain with perfectly groomed snow and excellent lifts that prevent large crowds from amassing. Some are more suitable for families, while others for individuals and groups who are looking for a good time after a long day of skiing.

What’s more, the local towns offer various accommodation options and a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as numerous fun activities, so let’s start our list with the best of the best.

Courchevel

If you’re interested in visiting the world’s largest skiing area, known as Les 3 Vallées, there’s no better place to be than at the Courchevel ski resort. You’ll find some of the most reliable snow in all Europe, endless number of runs, and a lot of fun on the slopes. It’s a great option for families looking for the ultimate adventure on the snow, especially if you’re staying in the Courchevel 1550 village. Advanced skiers will also have a great time here as one third of the runs are suited for skiers who’ve been in the skiing game for a while.

Pros

  • Endless skiing
  • Diverse terrain
  • Efficient lift system

Cons

  • Gets crowded
  • It’s more expensive than other resorts

Famous for: the largest ski area in the world; reliable snow.

Ski Terrain

As we said, Courchevel’s ski area, Les 3 Vallées, is the largest one not only in Europe, but in the entire world! So even if you plan to stay here for weeks, you will be able to ski on different slopes every day! The total area is 600 km (370 miles), while the local slopes have a total of 150 km of runs for all ability levels. Courchevel has 6 resort villages, all of them linked by a road as well as lifts and pistes, so no matter where your accommodation is, you’ll be able to visit every valley and ski on whichever slope you wish to. 

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Due to it being one of the most popular resorts in Europe and the world, crowds are to be expected, especially in high season. The good thing is that there are 52 lifts that do their job perfectly. Children can ride for free, while one ticket for adults costs $56.

Town Area

The village of Courchevel has 3 other villages surrounding it, where you can find a great après ski scene. The Courchevel 1550 village, also known as Courchevel La Tania, is the best one for families due to its family-friendly base and more affordable accommodation. But if you’re coming alone, with a partner, or with a group or friends, and you’re on a good budget, you’ll love staying at the Courchevel village (also known as 1850). There are plenty of activities to be found here for everyone, a lot of great restaurants and bars, and a great après ski scene.

Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation options to be found in Courchevel. You have great hotels, both luxurious and more affordable ones, but also apartments, chalets, and bed and breakfasts. If you’re interested in lodging information, all you should do is visit the resort’s official website.

Verdict

All in all, there isn’t another ski resort like Courchevel. With the largest ski area in the world, a lot of diverse runs, and great off slope activities, no wonder that it’s one of the best ski resorts in Europe.

Val Gardena

If you’re looking for a sunny place where you can enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Dolomites, Val Gardena is the place to be! Located in northeast Italy in the middle of South Tyrol, this ski resort is perfect for families and intermediate skiers due to most of the runs being catered specifically for this level of skiing. You’ll find a lively après ski scene and amazing mountain huts, as well as plenty of other accommodation options. On top of that, it has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google reviews, so skiers from all over the world confirm that this is indeed one of the best ski resorts in Europe.

Pros

  • Largest resort in the Dolomites
  • Stunning scenery
  • Modern lift system
  • Essential part of the Dolomiti Superski area

Cons

  • Lack of steep trails
  • Gets crowded

Famous for: breathtaking scenery of the Dolomites, easy access to the Sella Ronda ski route.

Ski Terrain

Val Gardena is another resort with a vast terrain where you can ski for days on end. It’s the biggest resort in the Dolomiti Superski area and offers 175 km of ski terrain for all ability levels, but mostly for intermediate skiers (beginners 30%, intermediates 60%, advanced skiers 10%, and no expert runs). You’ll find the famous Sella Ronda circuit which is very easily accessible, as well as the longest slope known as “La Longia” which is a whopping 10 km long! We highly recommend the world’s most fun slope called “Piz Sella” – it’s simply not to be missed!

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Because of the Dolomiti Superski area and the fact that Val Gardena is truly one of the best ski resorts in Europe, you should expect crowds. That being said, the great lift system they have in place takes care of the crowds so there aren’t long queues in front of the lifts nor huge crowds on the terrain. There are 220 lifts in total, the average price of one ticket being around €50 ($55).

Town Area

The Val Gardena valley comprises three villages: Selva Val Gardena, Ortisei, and Santa Cristina. We recommend Selva since it has the easiest access to the resort, not to mention a breathtaking view of the Sella Ronda circuit and the amazing food that can be found in the cute eateries. If you want a bigger town, the closest one is Bolzano which is only 1 hour drive away.

Accommodation

You have some accommodation options in the three villages we mentioned, the most common options being apartments and hotels (you’ll find a great ski-in/ski-out hotel in Selva called Hotel Bel Vert). But you’ll be glad to know that you also have many mountain huts to choose from where besides beds you’ll also be provided with meals.

Verdict

With its vast terrain and amazing runs, great lodgings, and a friendly atmosphere, Val Gardena offers a great time to skiers from all over the world. If you’re skiing in Europe it’s simply not to be missed! 

Zermatt

Located in the central Alps between Switzerland and Italy, Zermatt is another resort that every skier should visit in their lifetime. Firstly, the scenery is like no other. All of the resorts on this list have gorgeous scenery, but the views in Zermatt are magical indeed. Secondly, you’ll get a large terrain and plenty of amazing runs for all ability levels. And lastly, it offers plenty of activities, as well as ski schools for both children and adults, so if you’re planning a ski trip with your family, you’ll have a lovely time here guaranteed.

Pros

  • Breathtaking scenery
  • Great for families
  • Guaranteed snow
  • Plenty of slopes
  • Thrilling runs and off-piste terrain

Cons

  • Rocky terrain might not be covered with enough snow early in the season
  • High prices
  • The town rarely gets sunny days

Famous for: gorgeous views, the highest slopes in the Alps.

Ski Terrain

The runs cover a total area of 360 km, and you get both marked piste (210 km), while the rest are off-piste routes that are marked as well. The daredevils also get freeride terrain where they can ski or snowboard their hearts out. Beginners and intermediate skiers can enjoy most of the runs, whereas the more advanced skiers and experts will have a ton of fun at the more challenging off-piste terrain. The snow is very reliable, the average snowfall being 10 meters.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Again, because this is one of the best resorts in all Europe, crowds are to be expected. But because of the vastness of the terrain and the 54 lifts, even when it gets crowded you won’t feel it as much. The average price for one adult ticket is $80 (€72) while children can ride for free.

Town Area

The town of Zermatt is located right below the famous pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak (1.600m elevation). It’s good to mention that this is a car-free town, but you can take an electric taxi or an e-bus if you need to. You can do plenty of hiking, stroll through the town and visit the luxurious shops, eat great food in the restaurants, and enjoy a drink in some of the bars.

Accommodation

You can find many lodging options in this town, anything from luxury and cheap hotels to apartments. You’ll find great ski-in/ski-out hotels outside the town, but anything else is located in the town center. 

Verdict

After everything said and done only one thing can be concluded about the Zermatt resort  – that it’s one of the best resorts in Europe, and powderhounds seem to agree!

St Anton

Considered one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe, St Anton offers powderhounds everything they want from a ski trip. Located in the northern Alps on the western border of Austria, this magnificent resort is in the middle of one of the snowiest parts of all Europe. With plenty of runs for all ability levels and world-class snow, it’s understandable why any skiers and snowboarders praise this place. Plus, you get an après-ski scene like no other, so if you’re coming by yourself or with a group of friends, you’ll have a whale of a time for sure.

Pros

  • Plenty of steep routes
  • High-quality snow
  • Lively après-ski scene
  • Mountain restaurants offering great food

Cons

  • Can get crowded especially on powder days
  • Pricey accommodation

Famous for: high-quality powder; awesome parties.

Ski Terrain

As opposed to the other resorts on this list, most of the runs in St Anton are suitable for advanced and intermediate skiers, while beginners should look for another resort that we mention here as there are almost no runs for newbies. The green runs that are suitable for beginners, however, are pretty challenging even crowded, so keep this in mind. Experts have few runs also, but they can enjoy the vast freeride terrain and off-piste routes. The ski area where the runs are located is called Ski Arlberg, which comprises 305 km, while the average snowfall is between 7 and 11 meters. 

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

The piste trails do get crowded, so if you’re looking for a quiet holiday, you should take a look at some of the not so popular resorts in Europe. There are 88 lifts total, which is why even when it gets crowded, you’ll rarely wait in long lines in front of the lifts.

Town Area

The town of St Anton also goes by the name of Sankt Anton am Arlberg. You can visit the charming shops and restaurants, or enjoy some of the activities the town offers. Visiting the Aerial Forest Park can be pretty exciting, then there’s the St. Anton Ski and Local Heritage Museum, and after a long day of skiing, we’re sure you’ll enjoy some relaxing time at the spa and wellness center known as Wellnesspark Arlberg-Stanzertal. If you’re looking for that lively après-ski scene and partying, we highly recommend that you find accommodation in the town of St Anton.

Accommodation

Sankt Anton and the surrounding villages offer plenty of accommodation options. You’ll find various hotels and private lodgings, but beware that the prices can be somewhat high. You’ll find ski-in/ski-out lodgings if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s good to know that even if you stay in the town the lifts are just a walk away.

Verdict

Skiers and partygoers rejoice – you’ve found your new favorite place. If this is what you’re looking for in a resort, then don’t miss out on the St Anton ski resort.

Val d’Isère

Located in southeastern France in the Tarentaise valley, only 5 km from Italy’s border, you’ll find the mesmerizing Val d’Isère ski resort. With numerous trails for all ability levels and a reliable snow, you’ll have a fantastic time skiing and snowboarding. 

Pros

  • Plenty of amazing trails for intermediates, advanced skiers, and experts
  • Lively town with a good après-ski scene
  • Most reliable snow in France
  • Modern lift system

Cons

  • Can get crowded
  • Pricey accommodation

Famous for: very reliable snow, high-altitude skiing

Ski Terrain

The Espace Killy is the 300 km ski area surrounding the Val d’Isère resort where you’ll find 76 runs for all ability levels (beginners 21%, intermediates 38%, advanced skiers 30%, and experts 11%). The snow is guaranteed in all three sectors of this ski area, the off-piste area included, the average snowfall being 7 meters and above. For those who want to enjoy some freeriding, the Val d’Isère resort is a true paradise. Most of the slopes here are around 2 meters in height and above, and make sure to try the infamous ‘Face’ piste which starts from Bellevarde and goes straight into the Val d’Isere village without stopping.  

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

As in every other popular resort, you can expect some crowds here, but less than the other resorts on this list. There’s a modern and efficient lift system that ensures no long lines form in front of the lifts. The tickets offer value for money, with one adult ticket being around $60, while beginners can even have their lift ticket for free in the base area of Val d’Isere.

Town Area

Val d’Isere’s valley town has gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and a warm and lively atmosphere with friendly people. You’ll find shops, restaurants, and bars, with plenty of winter and summer events that’ll keep you entertained. The après-ski scene is big here, and you also have a wellness center, casino, museums, and fancy shops.

Accommodation

The town offers good lodging options where you’ll find quaint and traditional properties for rent, as well as both budget and more luxurious hotels and apartments. 

Verdict

Everyone who’s visited the Val d’Isere resort has nothing but great words to say about it. No wonder it’s one of the best ski resorts in Europe that deserves a visit if you find yourself in that part of the world.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated June 2021