Who doesn’t love the freedom of skiing down with spectacular views in the distance. Sun on your face, and a feeling of physical activity combined with a bit of skill and challenge. The feeling of your soul coming to life and moment after a moment you can feel how important every breath is as the adrenalin surges through your veins. Europe is a home to breathtaking skiing and ski resorts, some of which are great for an Alps family ski vacation. Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world come to this unique mountain range and have the vacation of a lifetime.
Anyone who has skied the Alps will tell you that it is not just about the world-class skiing, but also about the amazing villages and lifestyle that surround it. From doing an all-inclusive ski resort for the family, to enjoying a mountain city like Zermatt, to experiencing a catered ski chalet, this is a vacation like no other in so many ways.
Here are some popular destinations you should visit!
Chamonix, France. Stun yourself with the spectacle of Mount Blanc in the French Alps, the highest peak in Europe. Mount Blanc is a heaven for climbers and skiers alike. Resting under the shadow of Mount Blanc is the Chamonix village which, besides skiing, is a popular destination for mountain climbing, hiking, paragliding and golf. It is one of the best sites in Europe to experience the beauty of nature. The Brévent-Flégère is the biggest skiing track at Chamonix with 56 km of ski runs. Reaching this skiing resort is easy via cable car, and it is the best location for beginners. For the professionals, the long runs are covered in powder snow and bordered by the idyllic scenery of Mount Blanc. After Brévent-Flégère, the Les Houches Ski Resort is the largest resort having 54 km of runs, and Les Planards is another resort ideal for children. Stay at any of the great hotels in town, or find a VRBO if you want to spread out a bit.
St. Anton, Austria. Very few people know that the birth of modern skiing began in St. Anton, Austria. The mountains in this area are just made for skiing. The resort here has world’s most modern lift system which is connected to runs covering 200 miles. The Lech, Zürs, Stuben, and St. Christoph village lies under the shadow of St. Anton, and are a perfect destination to enjoy a delicious lunch. If you think this is the place for you, then you must also visit Valluga, the resort’s highest mountain peak reaching high into the sky at a height of 9,215 feet. This ski run, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, is considered a heaven for professional skiers. Das Hotel Anton and Restaurant Pete are great checkpoints to rest and enjoy good food.
Verbier, Switzerland. Verbier is situated in western Switzerland and considered an epicenter of downhill skiing. It offers around 254 miles of runs which are all accessible by lift. Verbier is one of the most popular destinations for beginners because of the runs here. Contrary to Mount Blanc, is quite straightforward and doesn’t require any extra guides or professional skills to enjoy. Besides the breathtaking views, the resorts offer some of the finest dining in Switzerland. The restaurants here are both polished and sophisticated. If you plan on staying the night in one of the hotels, don’t forget to enjoy the disco in Farm Club.
Alagna, Italy. Alagna is a 14th century farming village with a population of 450 located in the northern Italy. It is a popular destination for skiing and one of the best in the Alps. The skiing resort has a vertical slope of 6,500 feet and connected with two additional valleys through three lifts. February and March are the best months to ski here. The resort is also a home to Residence Mirella which a traditional hotel having just eight, elegantly designed bedrooms. You can enjoy great food at Unione Alagnese which is a very popular place for those who enjoy Italian delicacies and is praised for both the great cuisine and its cozy atmosphere.
Engelberg, Switzerland. What separates Engelberg with the rest of Switzerland’s are the 4000 feet descents, its couloirs and Alpine faces. Engelberg is divided into two different zones: The Jochstock side and the Titlis side. These zones are surrounded by Switzerland’s most iconic off-piste descents. The skiing runs attract skiers from all around the world with their iconic edges and breathtaking sceneries. Engelberg is a complete package. Take yourself on an adventure in the morning and enjoy the night with delicious food and exquisite atmosphere. After a long day, check into the Ski Lodge Engelberg which is a skiing-themed hotel. If hungry, dine in the Brasserie Konrad which serves a different menu every day. If the weather is too heavy for skiing, you don’t need to worry. Spend your snowy day on the sunnier side, Brunni. A short trop via cable car, it is on the south facing side of the mountains and has some decent ski runs even when the weather is not so good on the other facings.
If you are a skiing family, and a trip to Europe is in your budget, a European ski trip can make the memory of a lifetime. Plan ahead, make sure you have the right ski gear, and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Paul Miller is the Founder of Family Skier. He is an advanced skier and has extensive experience with family travel and ski schools. An accomplished skier, he has skied in 15 states and provinces and 6 countries. In addition to FamilySkier, his writing can be found on many ski-related websites, and as curriculum for many ski clubs in North America.