Looking to hit the slopes this winter? Make sure you choose a skiing destination that suits your group and experience to get the most out of it
Best ski resort for families
With its compact and car-free centre, dedicated children’s ski area, and an abundance of green and blue runs, Valmorel is a firm favourite with families. It’s the biggest of three resorts in the Grand Domaine ski area, with 100 miles of skiing and boarding for all abilities, but particularly good for beginners.The resort has expanded in recent years, spurred by the arrival of all-inclusive family holiday specialist Club Med in 2012, but it’s managed to keep its laid-back charm. Most of the accommodation is close to the lifts, too, which makes things a lot easier for parents of tired children after a day on the slopes.
Also good for families: Les Gets, France; Soldeu, Andorra; Tremblant, Canada
Best ski resort for snow
Not only has it got three mountain peaks above 3,000m, this popular ski resort in the Otz Valley has two glaciers, which means it’s a safe bet for early and late season snow. In fact, glacier skiing starts as early as September and the season continues to May.
Nicknamed the ‘diamond of the Alps’ it’s a premier ski resort both for alpine and cross-country skiers, with plenty of high blue and red runs. A new state-of-the-art gondola opened last winter, which has nearly halved the journey time up to the Giggijoch mountain.
Also good for snow: Obergurgl, Austria; Val d’Isere/Tignes, France; Les Deux Alpes, France; Zermatt, Switzerland
Best ski resort for beginners
This cosy, friendly and good value resort is a great choice for beginners. Its slopes are wide, enclosed, and generally quiet and there are some fantastic ski schools and a children’s ski park. There are large areas devoted to beginners, including La Caubella (1950m) and Comellemple (1950m).
Once you’ve got your ski legs, you can progress to the nearby resort of Pal, which is linked by a gondola, and offers some more challenging runs. In fact, your lift pass will allow you to ski across the whole of the Vallnord region, which also includes La Massana and Ordino-Arcalis.
Also good for beginners: Avoriaz, France; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia; Alpbach, Austria
Best ski resorts for experienced skiers
Thanks to extensive and extreme off-piste skiing and some long and often bumpy black runs, Chamonix attracts expert skiers looking for a challenge.
In the shadow of the majestic Mont Blanc, this traditional alpine village has a lively party scene and can get busy, but once you’re up on the slopes there’s plenty of space.
Experienced skiers will relish the challenge of the Vallée Blanche (pictured), one of the world’s longest, trickiest and most scenic runs, while there’s also excellent skiing at Les Grands Montets, with long vertical runs that will get the blood pumping. The more adventurous might also want to try ice climbing or paragliding.
Also good for experienced skiers: Sestriere, Italy; Whistler, Canada; Tignes, France.
Best ski resorts for value
The price of ski passes, equipment hire and lessons in Bansko is half what you’ll pay in most Alpine resorts, and you can eat and drink here more cheaply too. Even if you choose to dine in the poshest restaurants, you’ll pay a fraction of what it costs in the Alps.
Bulgaria’s largest ski resort, Bansko, has undergone major development in recent years, including new snow canons and reasonably-priced luxury hotels and apartments.
Of course, this means it’s become more crowded, so be prepared to queue at the main gondola at peak times, but once you’re up the mountain in the ski area, the infrastructure works well.
Also good for value: Pas de la Casa Andorra; Borovets, Bulgaria; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
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