It’s snowing in the mountains! If you haven’t yet planned your winter ski escape, there’s no time like the present to book your flight, pick your accommodation and head for the slopes. Choosing where to ski can sometimes be a bit bewildering, with so many destinations on offer and so much else to take into consideration, so here at Hotel Price Scanner we’ve prepared an easy guide to help you along your way.
Skiing with friends
If you are planning to ski with a group of friends access to a decent nightlife scene may be important to you. You will probably also want to make sure that you are not sharing your accommodation at too close quarters with families that have young children in tow. Resorts such as Mayrhofen and St Anton in Austria are prefect for night owls whilst offering vast areas of ski terrain for all abilities to boot. Chamonix in France and resorts such as Verbier in Switzerland are also good options for ski groups, especially the young at heart. If you prefer your nightlife a little more low key so that you can get the best out of your daytime skiing, why not consider renting an apartment in its entirety so you and your friends can enjoy a house party atmosphere with your bed close at hand for when you feel the need to catch forty winks?
Skiing with family
Skiing with the family can be challenging, especially if you are travelling with young children. The age and skiing ability of your children is an important consideration in this respect. Many Austrian resorts make great family ski destinations. Oozing with chocolate box charm, most have a good range of ski runs for all abilities – though if you are a serious skier do check that there is enough to keep you occupied. Ski school in Austria tends to run all day – two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, with a break for lunch in between. This is ideal if your children (or you!) are learning as it allows for plenty of instruction time to find the snow legs. On the other hand if you are hoping to ski together as a group in the afternoon this may be less than ideal. The Italian Dolomite resorts such as Selva Val Gardena may provide a good alternative – plenty of charm but just half-day ski school. Swiss resorts such as Wengen, Lech and Crans Montana also offer a great family ski environment.
Skiing with non-skiers can be a challenge, especially if you find yourself in the wrong destination. High-altitude resorts such as Les Arcs and Val Thorens are superb for die-hard skiers but there is little going on away from the white stuff, especially during the daylight hours. Not all French destinations are out of the question however – Courchevel, Val D’Isere and many of the lower altitude resorts have plenty going on, from shopping to ice skating, to keep the non-skier entertained. Other popular favourites include Swiss resorts such as Gstaad and Zermatt, which provide superb entertainment for the non-skier, right down to people watching!
Wherever you decide to ski, don’t feel obliged to book a package option. Did you know that there is a huge amount of ski accommodation, from luxury hotels to small bed and breakfasts, that doesn’t make its way into the brochures? Search for your chosen destination and see how many options there are. Fly, drive or travel in the comfort of a high-speed train and you could be enjoying the snows in no time.