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Top ski holiday destinations in Europe

Considering a trip to the mountains? With an extensive list of resorts to choose from for every ability and budget, it’s never been easier to find the perfect place for your ski holiday.

France remains king when it comes to convenience, thanks to purpose built accommodation which provides easy access to the slopes; Switzerland is a picturesque alternative if you’re looking to stay in a traditional alpine village. The Italians promise unbeatable hospitality and stunning mountain scenery combined with some of the Alps’ most affordable prices. Look to Austria if après ski is top of your priority list – gluhwein and schnapps are in plentiful supply in its mountain bars and restaurants.

Don’t forget to take out winter sports insurance before you travel including substantial cover for emergency medical expenses. If you’re planning to venture away from the designated slopes, make sure your policy includes cover for off-piste skiing. Some policies will also include cover for equipment – useful if you’ve invested in your own kit and want to insure against theft, loss or damage. Be sure to read your policy wording carefully to check what you are covered for.

Read on for our pick of the five best ski resorts in Europe.

Courcheval mountain range

If money is no object for your next ski trip then Courcheval 1850 is definitely going to be somewhere to consider.

Courcheval 1850 is located in the French Alps, around 100km south of Mont Blanc and located within a 90 minute drive from other well-known ski resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isere.

Courcheval 1850 is a prestigious area home to more than 20 five-star hotels and as many as 12 Michelin star restaurants. Because of this, it's no wonder that Courcheval 1850 is a regular destination for Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham and many more celebrities. 

If your budget doesn't stretch that far, then consider venturing beyond 1850 to Courcheval 1650  where you'll find more reasonable hotel and restaurant options but still with easy access to the slopes. 

Ski passes for 7 days for Courcheval only cost from €375.00 whilst if you'd like to explore beyond into the wider Les 3 Vallees a 7 day ski pass will set you back around €416.00.


Zermatt is a popular ski resort in southern Switzerland, close to the Italian border. The area is huge so offers a wide variety of terrain to ski, mainly geared towards intermediate skiers but there are less and more challenging routes should you need to take it easier or are looking to test your skills. 

Zermatt's numerous ski schools and child-care options make it perfect for families, although if there's bad weather then it's not always possible to get on the limited number of nursery slopes.

The town itself is certainly quite lively, certainly more so than most Swiss resorts so there'll be plenty to do in the evenings, whether it be partying until the early hours, or just enjoying a family meals or a quite drink. 

Zermatt (much like Switzerland generally) can be expensive, the lift passes are some of the most expensive in Europe with a 7 day adult pass costing around 479.00 Swiss Francs. So whilst it won't be the cheapest destination (see below!) you'll certainly find plenty to do and explore for the whole family in Zermatt.


Skiing has never been the cheapest of activities but happily more and more resorts are popping up allowing for some great value time on the snow. 

Our pick is Bansko in Bulgaria. A destination that not many people think to head for the powder, it has grown in popularity over the past few years and is starting to compete against the traditional Austria, Switzerland, French and Italian resorts we're typically more familiar with.

It has low cost ski rental, tuition and ski passes from as little as 515 Bulgarian Lev (around £230) for 6 days. Beyond that a thriving nightlife in the resort is great for those looking to explore more than just the slopes.

It is probably mainly focused towards beginner skiers and snowboarders so those with more experience may wish to look elsewhere (Jasno in Slovenia is another great option).

If you have time to explore more of Bulgaria before or after your time on the slopes have a look at our guide to Bulgarian travel

Cortina, Italy

Whilst Bansko is a great beginners destination if you plan to stay in Central Europe then consider a trip to Cortina in Italy. Situated in the Dolomites, north west Italy, close to the Austrian border it is home to some of the best beginners slopes around. 

Cortina's numerous and good quality nursery slopes combined with gentle wide ski runs and designated 'learn to ski' zones make it the perfect place to hone your skills. Ski rental and ski lessons are competitively priced in Cortina, whilst a ski pass for Cortina is fairly comparable to other resorts, costing around €368.00 for an adult for 7 days, providing access to 120km of the valley.

Away from the slopes, Cortina has a relaxed feeling in beautiful surroundings which is perfect as an introduction to skiing for beginners.


Chamonix-Mont Blanc is a well known ski resort in the French Alps and as the name suggests allows you access to ski in and around Europe's highest peak - Mont Blanc.

It is one of the oldest ski resorts and due to that it is very much a resort built around an existing town rather than being purpose built for skiers, but we think that's part of its charm. It has a real history of exploration and mountaineering.

The resort hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics and is still challenging its visitors today. It is considered to be one of the best resorts for experts skiers with the Grand Montets mountain offering two black runs and off piste adventure should you wish to explore further.

There are areas of Chamonix that cater for the less experienced too, so don't be put off but as far as a challenge goes, Chamonix must be experienced by those hardened skiers. 

An adult Mont Blanc unlimited pass in peak season for 7 days will cost €396.00.

Beyond the slopes Chamonix village can be explored - it has some wonderful restaurant. The essence of the town is very much tied to mountaineering, rock climbing, hill walking and skiing.

If we had whetted your appetite to hit the slopes, remember that whichever ski resort you head to, ensure that you are covered with travel insurance to protect you in case anything unforseen happens. 

Our additonal Winter Sport and Ski Insurance is built to provide additional cover for ski and other winter sport specific protection including piste closures, delayed ski equipment, lost, damaged or stolen equipment whether rented or owned, plus much more. 

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