The best resorts for skiing and snowboarding – as chosen by our instructors
The time to book a last-minute winter getaway is almost over and after a long debate with your family or group of friends over what sort of holiday you’d like to go on first, a unanimous decision has been made. A ski or snowboarding holiday is on the table. The combination of exhilaration, relaxing in spas, beautiful scenery and a lively après scene puts a winter-sports holiday on top of everyone’s list. But where to go? Here at Chill Factore, we let our expert instructors argue it out. Here is a run down of their favourite places to hit the slopes.
Recommended places to ski:
Whistler, West coast of Canada.
Sometimes overlooked by the closer resorts of Europe, Canada is home to some amazing runs. Located on the west coast of Canada, Whistler and Blackcomb is a skier’s and a snowboarder’s dream. With unbeatable après ski scene, a world class terrain park and 16 alpine bowls, it is the ultimate mountain experience. Suitable for all abilities, almost the entire Whistler Blackcomb resort can be skied on gentle slopes. So, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the mountainous scenery!
Hintertux Glacier, Austria.
The Hintertux Glacier resort, located in the Zillertaler Alps, provides skiers with incredible views, amazing snow and glacier excursions and 365 days of fun on the slopes. The blue runs in the upper quadrant of Hintertux are gentle making this the ideal destination for beginners to practice, get to grips with the basics and hone their skills. The runs are also surrounded by incredible views of the Zillertaler Alps. There are also plenty of red runs for more experienced and intermediate skiers and there is something for freestylers too. Betterpark offer skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to try some of Austria’s highest obstacles making this glacier paradise a must for your bucket list.
Alp D’Huez, France
Alpe d’Huez is considered to be one of the liveliest resorts in the French Alps and with slopes suitable for all abilities from beginner to advanced, this isn’t your average resort. This amazing resort is home to the longest ski resort in the Alps, the Sarenne. If you are feeling really daring you can even try the legendary Tunnel – a steep and challenging black run. For beginners or for those feeling less bold, there are plenty of easy green and blue runs close to the resort where you take in the scenery at your own pace.
This resort has made our list due to the large après ski scene and its brilliant selection of slopes. It is a fantastic resort for beginners on their first ski trip or for those who like to party after a day running their legs out on the slopes. Intermediate skiers can also take the gondola further up to the valley of Pal and top up their skills whilst enjoying the wide tree-lined runs. Above all, this resort is truly charming and offers something for almost everyone.
Known for its breath-taking scenery and the iconic Matterhorn, this resort is a truly beautiful place. Zermatt is without doubt a world-class ski area renowned for its high altitude and advanced skiing, great après environment and amazing food. If you are looking for even more adventure, you can also enjoy ice skating, snowshoeing or even give heli-skiing a go! If luxury is what you look for then Zermatt really does have it all – plus the price tag to match.
Recommended places to Snowboard:
Part of the Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel in the French Alps is part of one of the largest skiing and snowboarding areas in the world. Snowboarders who visit Courchevel are spoilt for choice. With its lively atmosphere and a great slope access for beginners, intermediates and advanced boarders, Courchevel is the ideal destination. If you would like a dose of adrenaline then you can try out Courchevel’s three terrain parks. Not to mention the three parks available for freestylers. For snowboarders who are at intermediate level or above, the Plantrey Snow Park is considered to be the best and is a must for freestyle boarders. The other two terrain parks are also open to riders of all abilities and include a good mix of jumps for those who are feeling adventurous.
The combination of Livingo having a long season and being fairly-low cost is enough to get this resort onto our shortlist. This resort is lively, friendly and provides snowboarders with reliable snow. Widely considered to be one of the quieter Italian resorts, it is a great place for beginner snowboarders to enjoy the Alps and practice. Livigno’s claim to fame is that it is home to arguably one of the best freestyle parks in Europe, Mottolino. The park has been regarded as Italy’s best parks for freestyle skiing and snowboarding and is a fantastic place to practice your tricks.
St Anton, Austria
St Anton in Austria is the perfect resort for hungry piste lovers. Famous for its excellent snow conditions, legendary off-piste, amazing après scene and several spas to self-indulge, St Anton is a resort that really is hard to beat. Offering snowboarders 305km of amazing piste and off-piste runs, deep powder and plenty to explore, it’s no surprise that this snow paradise has made it onto our list. Intermediate and expert snowboarders will be in their element with plenty of exciting runs to tackle both on the main slopes and within the labyrinth of tree runs. This resort is must for adrenaline junkies and anyone looking for a challenge.
Set high into the Savoie Alps, Tignes has guaranteed snow, a lively après scene and is very snowboard friendly. Whilst this purpose-built resort shares its huge skiing and snowboarding area with Val D’Isère, it couldn’t be more different. Unlike Val’s historic centre and 17th century architecture, Tignes’s main village is situated in the mountains and offers snow lovers some of the finest lift-accessed slopes in Europe.
Avoriaz has a quirky charm and with its array of terrain parks plus a superpipe, it’s easy to view this resort as the snowboarding capital of Europe. Avoriaz’s parks feature kicker lines from green to red and then progresses to the pro lines and airbag. The terrain at Avoriaz is excellent and offers something suitable for all abilities – from complete beginners to snow junkies. It’s easy to see why this is a must-visit destination for most riders.
Across the world there are some truly amazing mountain ranges and resorts which will without doubt, convince you that a winter-sports holiday is an experience worth ticking off your bucket list. If we haven’t convinced you, then why not plan a visit to Chill Factore and let our real snow slope do the convincing?
Make the most of your winter holiday adventure and book onto one of our lessons. It’s a sure way to learn before you go abroad.
Our 180 metre slope is also a fantastic way to practice and hone your skills before you travel.