Drive straight to the slopes
With mountain ranges such as the impressive Pyrenees, and the Alps, amongst many others stretching right across the continent, it's safe to say that Europe is home to some of the best skiing resorts in the world. Whether you're a beginner or a skiing pro, there's a skiing resort for every level. Not only that, but with just a 35-minute journey with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you'll be able to spend less time travelling and more time hitting the slopes.
Ski resorts for beginners
Drive here in just over eight hours
Zermatt is a German speaking area of the Swiss district of Visp, a beautiful area of snow-covered land towards the southern end of Matter Valley, and the highest ski resort in Switzerland. Despite its height above sea level, it offers the perfect terrain for beginners looking to learn how to ski and snowboard. The Randa and Täsch ski lifts will take you to smaller, less steep slopes that offer you the chance to practise your skiing technique before heading over to the more challenging hills. If you're skiing with your children, make your way to Sunnega's ‘Wolli's Park for Beginners', a safe and beautiful area for kids to learn. Wolli's three magic carpets, two rope tows and a variety of fun attractions will provide your family with some additional fun on holiday.
After a tiring day on the snow, Zermatt offers a number of ways you can recuperate. If you're in need of a warm meal, then a great place to go is Adler-Hitta, a welcoming restaurant located 2,100 metres above sea level, in Sunnegga. Enjoy a whole host of regional classics, including a wood-fire roasted Mistkratzerli, a wonderfully tender and tasty young chicken.
If your muscles are aching, and your body is in need of a little TLC, treat yourself to an afternoon at the Alpenhof-Hotel Spa. Offering a true, wooden cabin experience, Alpenhof-Hotel delivers a range of luxury spa treatments, including an outdoor jacuzzi where you'll soothe any aching muscles from your day on the slopes.
Drive here in just over nine hours
There are many areas of Grainau that offer ideal slopes for beginners and those who are looking to perfect their skiing style. The Hausberg area of the mountain range Zugspitze, offers the ‘Baby' lift, for children and less confident beginners, as well as the Kreuzwankl lift and the Adamswiesen lift. The slopes from these three lifts range in difficulty, but are great for those of you looking to develop your ski talent during your time in Germany. As well as the slopes, children can try their hand at sledding, an activity that is particularly good for smaller children.
Once you've spent the majority of your day gliding down the icy slopes of Zugspitze, be sure to stop and enjoy a coffee at the Panorama 2962. This wonderful café offers captivating views of the Alpine peaks, Lake Eibsee and the surrounding snow-capped landscape. If you're looking for something to warm you up, then grab a cup of mulled wine at the Eibsee Alm, it's a great way to while away an evening in wintery Grainau.
As well as skiing, you'll have the chance to enjoy and be a part of Bavarian folkloric traditions, such as waltzes, brass bands and local musicians performing at the Kurkonzerte, a semi-open pavilion in the nearby park.
Ski resorts for advanced skiers
St. Anton, Austria
Drive here in just over nine hours
Whether you're an established skier or someone who is looking to develop their techniques, you'll find a skiing school in St. Anton that will help. Skischule Arlberg has been offering lessons since 1921 to skiers and snowboarders, who are looking to either learn the sport, or practise the skills they've already honed.
If you're confident enough to hit the slopes solo, then the mountain range of Arlberg will truly test your ability. Enjoy speedy, long descents and tree runs through the Langen forest, or head to the Valluga Mountain where free riders can test themselves on steep and tricky descents. Maroikopf also offers a fun, long run throughout the larch forests of Langen, but if you're looking for a more challenging route, make your way to Verwalltal for difficult to manoeuvre, sharp, vertical drops.
Once you've finished exploring the variety of slopes in Arlberg, drop by Hospiz Alm, in St. Christoph, for a delicious meal and glass of wine. This rustic restaurant is home to a large, and impressive, wine cellar, and offers a number of warming meals, including goulash soup, and Tiroler Grösh, an Austrian classic that is made up of fried bacon, eggs and potatoes, which are seasoned with paprika, parsley and chili powder.
Val di Fassa, Italy
Drive here in just over 11-hours
Another ski resort that is perfect for advanced skiers is Val di Fassa in Italy. The Col Rodella, which can be reached from Campitella di Fassa, offers confident skiers the opportunity to be a part of a self-timed race run; a great descent for those of you who are adrenaline junkies. If you're looking explore the fantastic Italian landscape by ski, then be sure to hit the slopes of Paolina, where you'll get to take in breathtaking views of the Catinaccio mountain chain, and the Latemar Mountains.
If your kids are in the mood for some entertainment, take them to Chalet Cima Llomo, a children's fun park in the snow, which is jam-packed with exciting apparatus and games that your kids are bound to love. This park also offers you a chance to familiarise your little ones with the snow and skiing gear.
After rushing down the slopes, racing against your personal best, and playing in the snow with your kids, you'll probably be in need of some R&R. To relax any aching joints and over-worked muscles, make your way to Eghes Wellnes Center for a revitalising shower, that'll ease any pain you might have. Or, if you just want to look your best for an evening out in Val di Fassa, unwind with a variety of luxury beauty treatments at the Medil Spa Centre.
Getting there and around
After just a 35-minute journey with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you’ll be able to enjoy a scenic drive to your destination of choice.
To get to Zermatt, simply continue driving along the A16 from Rue du Four à Chaux, continue onto the A26 towards Saint-Lothain, and then take the N5 towards the snow coated slopes of Randa.
If you decide Grainau is the ideal skiing destination for you just continue to drive on the A16 from Rue du Four à Chaux, and take the A26 towards Fernpassstr (B179) in Füssen. Follow the B179 to your final destination, Alpspitzstrasse in Grainau.
To get to St. Anton, continue to drive on the A16 from Rue du Four à Chaux, and take the A26 towards Vorarlberg, Austria. Take the exit at Langen, and follow the B197 to Postpl, St. Anton.
For the longest journey of the four destinations chosen, be sure to take plenty of breaks along this scenic route. A great way to break up the 11-hour drive is by stopping by at Strasbourg to enjoy the culture, food and beautiful landscape of this fascinating city.
To get to Val di Fassa, you must drive along the A16 from Rue du Four à Chaux, and then take the A26 towards B179, in Füssen. Drive on to the A12 in Austria and continue along the E45 and SS12 to Italy, before taking the exit at Bolzano Nord-Bozen Nord. After that, simply follow the SS241 road to Val di Fassa.
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