Ski Europe. Massive terrain, impressive lifts, great skiing. Courmayeur, Italy.
Ski Europe. Massive terrain, impressive lifts, great skiing. Courmayeur, Italy.
Ski Europe for perfect powder. La Thuile, Italy.
Ski Europe for perfect powder. La Thuile, Italy.
Ski Europe for wonderful villages. Saalbach, Austria.
Ski Europe for wonderful villages. Saalbach, Austria.
Ski Europe for awesome terrain. La Rosiere, France.
Ski Europe for awesome terrain. La Rosiere, France.
Ski Europe for the beautiful cities. Innsbruck, Austria.
Ski Europe for the beautiful cities. Innsbruck, Austria.
Ski Europe for the excellent children's ski programs. Mayrhofen, Austria.
Ski Europe for the excellent children's ski programs. Mayrhofen, Austria.
Ski Europe for the modern, efficient lifts. St Anton, Ski Arlberg, Austria.
Ski Europe for the modern, efficient lifts. St Anton, Ski Arlberg, Austria.
Ski Europe for apres like no other place on earth. Alta Badia, Dolomites, Italy.
Ski Europe for apres like no other place on earth. Alta Badia, Dolomites, Italy.
Ski Europe for vibrant ski village atmosphere. Saalbach, Austria.
Ski Europe for vibrant ski village atmosphere. Saalbach, Austria.
Ski Europe for solitude. Via Lattea, Italy.
Ski Europe for solitude. Via Lattea, Italy.
Ski Europe for quirky ski resorts. Sestriere, Italy.
Ski Europe for quirky ski resorts. Sestriere, Italy.
Ski Europe for uncrowded lifts and perfect piste. Dolomiti Superski, Italy.
Ski Europe for uncrowded lifts and perfect piste. Dolomiti Superski, Italy.
Ski Europe for incredible fun-slopes and terrain parks. Val Gardena, Italy.
Ski Europe for incredible fun-slopes and terrain parks. Val Gardena, Italy.
Ski Europe for delicious alpine dining. Zillertal, Austria.
Ski Europe for delicious alpine dining. Zillertal, Austria.
Ski Europe for exceptional resort facilties. Stubai Glacier, Austria.
Ski Europe for exceptional resort facilties. Stubai Glacier, Austria.
Ski Europe for comfortable resort access by train. 3 Peaks Dolomites, Italy.
Ski Europe for comfortable resort access by train. 3 Peaks Dolomites, Italy.
Ski Europe to ride unbelievable lifts. Axamer Lizum, Austria.
Ski Europe to ride unbelievable lifts. Axamer Lizum, Austria.
Ski Europe for extreme experiences. Chamonix, France.
Ski Europe for extreme experiences. Chamonix, France.
Ski Europe for year round glacier skiing. Hintertux Glacier, Austria.
Ski Europe for year round glacier skiing. Hintertux Glacier, Austria.
Ski Europe to ride some of the best mountains in the world. Monterosa, Italy.
Ski Europe to ride some of the best mountains in the world. Monterosa, Italy.

Europe

Ski Europe

Skiing in Europe is an experience unlike any other in the world.  The mountain villages, history and traditions, cultural diversity from one valley to the next, plus of course the food and drink, mix wonderfully with the huge terrain, incredible lift systems and great snow.  Spending the night in an Italian mountain rifugio or an Austrian guesthouse dating from the 1500s add layers to European ski holidays that make it unforgettable. Once you ski Europe, you will definitely be back for more.

The great advantage of skiing in Europe is the diversity and ease of access to a huge number of superb ski resorts in a relatively small area.  Most of the great ski resorts of Europe are within three hours travel (train, bus or car) from the major international gateway airports of Geneva, Milan or Munich. There are fabulous train journeys that go direct to incredible ski resorts, some even have a gondola ski lift at the train platform (Kronplatz in Italy). No where else in the world has so much to offer.

The number of ski resorts in Europe is massive, easily exceeding 1000.  From small village lifts to enormous interlinked resorts that have to be seen (and skied) to be believed. Much of Europe's best skiing is in The Alps, which span the Mediterranean coast of France through Switzerland, northern Italy, Austria, southern Germany and into Slovenia. The mountains are giants so skiing in Europe offers endless runs on huge vertical, and the spectacular scenery can be admired from the slopes, a comfy lounge chair or from soaring cable cars. The ability to ski from village to village is common, and in numerous resorts you can even ski from country to country. The old-world villages are quaint and offer opportunities to stop for a food, wine, beer or an aperitif.

For the more adventurous, Norway has some wonderful ski and snowboard adventure opportunities. Iceland and Greenland even more so. Skiing in Spain allows for some beach and snow combinations that are difficult to replicate elsewhere. In the snowy Caucasus of Georgia, there is some massive investment in improving current resorts and also creating some new ones. Skiing in Georgia still has a sense of adventure, is amongst the cheapest in Europe and can include catskiing. Speaking of cats, the oldest and best cat ski operation in Europe is in the relatively unknown ski destination of Macedonia.

Luckily for the Powderhound, in alot European ski resorts the locals have their priorities totally skewed when it comes to skiing. Many European's prioritise food as the most important component of their ski day, then après ski festivities a close second, whilst the actual skiing or snowboarding is only the third priority. This is what makes Europe a great ski holiday destination! There’s excellent skiing and snowboarding for the early riser, but also a chance to soak up some fabulous European culture, enjoy après and the animated nightlife, plus eat the wonderful cuisine.

Back-country touring opportunities are boundless in Europe, but avalanche awareness and skills are absolutely necessary.  If in doubt get a guide or join a tour.  See all our hosted tours here.

Heliskiing opportunities are increasing in Europe as well. The best operators are based in Italy around the high Alps around the Aosta valley from Monte Rosa to Monte Bianco. More information on heli skiing and cat skiing in Europe is coming soon.

Skiing and Snowboarding in France

Ski France for its huge high altitude, interlinked ski resorts, great food and wine, but also for the dramatic scenery, high altitude, consistent snow-pack, wonderful off piste powder and long, wide runs. The French locals in the mountainous areas are incredibly friendly, which adds to the experience. The world's largest lift and ticket interlinked ski area is in France - the 3 Vallees (it is actually 4 with Orelle added in!).

Some of the best extreme terrain can be found in Chamonix with Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc. This French ski resort is on steroids and it attracts hard-core skiers in particular, but has diverse terrain to provide a great experience for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Serre Chevalier is a world class ski resort with terrain for all abilities, and wonderful off piste powder opportunities.  Val d’Isere and Tignes are amongst the best ski resorts in Europe. They cater to a more 'well heeled' market and have plenty of wide runs for beginners and intermediates, but the terrain is well worth the journey into the Tarentaise for us 'great unwashed' as well.  Nearby Sainte Foy is the worst kept powder stash secret in Europe but should still be on any Powderhounds list.

A huge range of 'smaller' resorts exist in France that will be attractive to the Powderhound seeking a bit more solitude. Bonneval, Valfrejus and the newly created Sybelles are but a few. In southern France the Pyrenees have several world class ski resorts ( Ax, Saint Lary) and sensational backcountry terrain.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Switzerland

Ski Switzerland for the high altitude powder, precise organisation and train network, cosmopolitan flair, great lift systems, charming villages and dramatic scenery. The après is relatively restrained in Switzerland, but there’s still nightlife, and partaking in fondue is essential - but grossly over rated!!

For Powderhounds, the resorts of Andermatt and Engelberg are absolute stand outs.  Verbier boasts steep and deep off-piste skiing. St Moritz is glamorous and fashionable, and is well suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Klosters is also refined and sophisticated, whilst Zermatt ski resort is a fabulous all-rounder and has the towering Matterhorn overlooking the fascinating town. A multitude of smaller ski resorts like Grimentz and Lauchernalp have wonderful skiing and snowboarding without the hustle and bustle of the mega resorts.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Italy

Skiing in Italy is as much about the eating, long lunches aperitifs and wine consumption, as it is about exploring the slopes and skiing powder. The culture is super relaxed and friendly but the skiing is superb and exhilarating. All that food and drink means they get out of bed a bit later too - great first tracks in Italy! Italy also provides the best value for money in Europe. It would surprise many people to know that Italy has the second highest number of ski resorts in Europe - over 200!

The Monte Cervino (Matterhorn) is right on the Swiss-Italian border near Cervinia ski resort and Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) straddles the French-Italian border near the wonderful Courmayeur and La Thuile ski resorts. The Monte Rosa massif offers a feast of skiing via the Monterosa Ski interlinked resort - a Powderhounds favorite. Resorts such as Sestriere near the winter Olympics host city Turin (Torino) are fully linked with Oulx and other resorts to make up the excellent Via Lattea. Cortina in the Dolomites (northeast corner of Italy) is a stylish resort with stunning scenery and world's best extreme terrain in the right conditions, plus Alta Badia, Arabba-Marmolada, Kronplatz and 3 Peaks all have their charms. The fabulous cities of Milan, Turin, Verona and Venice are also within a few hours of the resorts.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Austria

Ski Austria for the authentic village based resorts, amazing lift systems, wonderful off-piste powder , all year round glacier skiing, sensational après and the huge interlinked resorts. The Alps cover most of Austria, and almost every major (and minor!) town has some sort of ski lift infrastructure.  Austria is where alpine skiing was born and perfected, and the Austria ski resorts offer a very traditional skiing experience which resorts in other countries try to emulate. Even though it is a relatively small country, Austria has the most ski resorts in Europe - 275 (ish!).

St Anton ski resort in the Arlberg region is a brilliant all round ski resort which rightfully attracts skiers fro mall over the world. It also has the most rocking après in the world. St Anton is part of the huge Ski Arlberg area which includes the high end Lech and Zurs. A cluster of wonderful resorts accessible by train between Salzburg and Innsbruck includes legendary Kitzbuhel, the fabulous powder and après haven of SkiCircus Saalbach and the interlinked Zell am See/Kaprun (Kitzsteinhorn). In a side valley, the Zillertal has great diversity, best represented by Mayrhofen and Hintertux Glacier ski resorts. The 9 ski resorts near Innsbruck are also fun ski destinations, best represented by the excellent Stubai Glacier.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Germany

Skiing in Germany is possible at over 100 ski resorts. It is no real surprise however that the best ski resorts in Germany are generally in southern Bavaria where they cling to the Alps near the Austrian border. Some truly remarkable railways and cable car climb the spectacular 2962m high Zugspitze where skiing takes place until May on the glacier. Below the Zugspitze is the Germany's best known ski resort, Garmisch, which boasts a North America and Japan beating vertical of over 1300m.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Norway, Iceland & Greenland

Skiing in Norway, Iceland and Greenland is generally for the more adventurous (and sometimes cashed up) Powderhounds looking for something completely different. In Norway, whilst there a number of ski resorts to sample, experiences like lodge or boat based skiing from mountain summits down to the fjords in the Lyngen Alps and Mush and Ski adventures with sled dogs are once in a lifetime experiences and the real reason to visit.  Similarly for some of the back-country tours available in Iceland and Greenland. More information on these locations is coming soon.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Spain

Yep, skiing in Spain. Kind of like thinking about skiing in Australia (that's Australia not Austria), the first question is always an incredulous, '... is there skiing in Spain?'. Yes there is and some of it is mighty fine. Even has the opportunity to do some funky sunny beach and powder snow combinations. More information about skiing in Spain is coming soon.

Other Ski Destinations in Europe

Andorra in the Pyrenees Mountains, between France and Spain.
Poland's mountainous southern rim provides prospects such as Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.
Slovakia
, on the other side of the Tatras, is a relatively new adventure destination with lots of mountains and varied terrain to explore. Ski resorts include Jasná, Donovaly, Vratna and Drienica.
Romania
is becoming an attractive destination for skiers including resorts at Poiana Brasov and Sinaia.
Russia is also transforming itself. Mt Elbrus, Sochi or the wilds of the Kamchatka, Russia is huge and varied.
Slovenia the best known areas are the Kranjska Gora and Maribor Pohorje which host downhill events.
Bulgaria’s
resorts include Borovets, Pamporovo, and Bansko. Hang on to your wallet!

Cost of Skiing and Snowboarding in Europe

Skiing in Europe can be as economical or expensive as you wish. The cost of lift tickets is extremely cheap when compared to all other continents with the exception of Japan. Eating and drinking out is comparative to other places in the world. 

Of the big 4 skiing destination countries in Europe, by far the cheapest to ski at is Italy, followed by Austria and France. Switzerland is far and away the most expensive ski destination in Europe. By way of cost comparison to North America for lift tickets, in 2017 a  day lift pass at Keystone  in Colorado costs about US$136 (or about €128) whereas a day lift pass for the Italian part of the  massive Via Lattea cost only €37 (or about US$39). The mathematics is stark.

Slope side accommodation in ski resorts (as with anywhere in the world) will tend to hit the hip pocket, particularly in France and Switzerland, although of course there are different options available from budget to extravagant. In Europe the options for staying in excellent 'off mountain' village accommodation is vast, can be considerable cheaper and far more rewarding from a cultural experience. Accommodation standards vary from country to country. For example, a 2 star hotel or guesthouse in Italy and Austria is as good as, or better, than 3 star accommodation in France.

More Reasons to Ski and Snowboard Europe

In western Europe, coping with local languages isn’t too difficult. You’ll probably already know a few words of French, Italian and German, and there are so many British tourists frequenting the ski resorts that a degree of English is spoken in all places. Regardless, it is good fun trying the local language and adds an intellectual element to any European ski holiday.

Eastern Europe isn’t quite so populated with English tourists, but in order to get away from the crowds, the small vocabulary you’ll need to learn will be worth it. Learning some European language will be part of the cultural enjoyment of the skiing holiday.

If you haven't skied Europe yet, do it now. Airfares and lift passes have never been cheaper and you will be richer for the experience.

Ski Tours in Europe

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Monterosa Ski Safari DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 7 Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,982
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This guided tour takes in some of Italy & Switzerland's iconic alpine areas in the upper valleys of the Monte Rosa massif among 4,000m peaks such as the Matterhorn. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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Tarentaise Valley Ski Safari DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 7 Skiing | 3+ Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,982
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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Engelberg - Adermatt Freeride Ski Tour DETAILS
GUIDED SKI TOUR | MIXED GROUP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,495
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Explore deep powder turns around Andermatt while skiing thousands of acres of off piste. With over 5,000' feet of vertical from the top of Gemsstock, our groups will have unforgettable days in the Alps. Then ride Engelberg - the freeride mecca of Switzerland with some of the biggest descents and best snow in the Alps.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Europe here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Skiare GOLD Packages DETAILS
PRIVATE GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
Hotel & Apartment Options
From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,042
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a private guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
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Skiare SILVER Packages DETAILS
MIXED GROUP GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
Hotel & Apartment Options
From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,998
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a MIXED GROUP guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
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St Anton Ski Safari DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 7 Skiing | 7 Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,059
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Get the most out of a ski trip to St Anton with a knowledgeable guide and visit nearby ski areas such as Zurs, Zug, Lech, Oberlech, Stuben and St Christof. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Europe here
Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours
LaGrave Expert Off-Piste Weeks DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED OFF-PISTE TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in GBP inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
Enquire Enquire
Ability: Expert
This tour is for expert riders wanting to ski some of the best off-piste terrain in the world. With 2,100 m of vertical you will ski chutes, 50 deg pitches whilst avoiding couloirs, cliffs & crevasses. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Europe here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route Tour DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Ski Touring
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in GBP inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,658
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This trip is for serious, fit, expert backcountry skiers. This tour links the best known resorts of Chamonix and Zermatt with 6,000 m of ascents / descents and over 120 km of touring. Join a fixed date tour or wrangle your own group together for a private custom tour.
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Bernese Oberland Traverse DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED SKI TOURING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in GBP inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,658
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This trip is for advanced (or better) off-piste ski tourers (no snowboarders) taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Swiss Alps. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together an do a private custom tour.
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Chamonix Ultimate Experience Ski Tour DETAILS
GUIDED SKI TOUR | MIXED GROUP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,495
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier and Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Europe here
Cat Skiing Tours
Cat Skiing Bakhmaro DETAILS
CAT SKIING BAKHMARO
7 Nights Lodging, Meals + 5-6 days cat skiing
From price based on 7 nights twin/double-share room, full board and 5-6 days guided cat skiing.
Base/invoice currency is in Euro ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,466
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The ultimate European cat skiing adventure, Cat Skiing Bakhmaro includes airport transfers, 7 nights of accommodation in the traditional village of Bakhmaro, all meals at Bakhmaro plus 5 - 6 days of cat skiing.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Europe here