The arrival of December for most people usually means one thing: there’s only 24 shopping days left until Christmas. If you prefer to spend the festive season somewhere a bit more festive, skiing holidays are ideal. You’re not only guaranteed a white Christmas, but you also get to avoid the consumer rush.
Skiing holidays for all levels
The beauty about skiing holidays is that there are so many resorts to choose from, ranging in level and budget. You can choose to spend your days out on pistes of powdery snow, or curl up around a roaring log fire.
If you’re thinking about passing the festive/winter season on a ski slope, I’ve some recommendations that’ll suit all levels.
St Johann, Tirol, Austria
Located in a market town in Tirol, St Johann ski resort offers affordable deals for first-time skiers.
With a selection of gentle slopes to ease into, beginners can learn at their own pace and progress to the next level if they’re feeling confident! The resort also offers direct access to 60km of slopes served by 17 ski lifts, and access to a snowboarding park.
With a selection of bars and restaurants to unwind in after a hard day on the slopes, St Johann offers more than just a strictly skiing holiday.
Set in the west of Andorra, the Arinsal ski resort is ideal for skiing newbies given its gentle nursery slopes. It also has a good altitude to enjoy the superb snow conditions and English speaking instructors.
It’s also great for people sharing, and is extremely family friendly as it provides free lift passes for children.
Selva val Gardena, Italy
This location is famous for its UNESCO site heritage, as well as holding World Cup races. Intermediate level skiers will love Selva val Gardena in the breathtaking Dolomites in north-eastern Italy.
The more adventurous skier can hone their skills on the famous 36km Sella Ronda circuit. If you want to retire the skis for the day, other activities available include ice skating, squash, billiards and a hot spring pool in the nearby town of Ortisei.
Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil, France
This modern resort is set in 1800m in eastern France. Avoriaz gives skiers access to a generous 650km of piste. You’ll also be treated to panoramic mountain views and some of the best skiing France and neighbouring Switzerland has to offer.
The Portes du Soleil area is ideal for the intermediate skier. If you do visit, don’t miss the opportunity to ski over the border into Switzerland!
Additional facilities in the resort include a sports centre with sauna and solarium. There’s also a bowling alley, and Aquariaz; a waterpark in the mountains guaranteed to satisfy visitors of all ages.
No skiing resort list would be complete without giving a mention to the popular Verbier resort in the glorious Swiss Alps.
Verbier is home to the ‘4 Vallées’. It’s a combination of more than 412km of ski runs linking the resorts of Verbier, La Tzourmaz, Bruson, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon.
As well as the fantastic skiing opportunities, Verbier offers spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. Take in a panorama over the Matterhorn, and a view of the Mont Blanc ranges from the Mont-Fort Glacier.
High adrenaline skiers will get the chance to ski the route from Col des Gentaines and Mont Gelé. The nightlife in Verbier is as famous as the après skiing. That said, be sure to save some energy for the after party.
Jackson Hole, USA
Jackson Hole is a valley encompassed by mountains in Teton County in Wyoming. With plenty of crystal powder snow, the resort is one of the best for off-piste skiing in North America.
Advanced skiers can experience heli-skiing at Jackson Hole, and snowcat skiing at the neighbouring Grand Targhee resort.
Non-skiers can try other activities such as snowmobiling, wildlife safaris and dog-sledding. There’s also many excellent restaurants and shops, and nearby attractions like the Yellowstone National Park.