21 August 2017 from Danielle in 'Ski areas'' | 0 Comments

Skiing at Gstaad

Skiing La Videmanette © Gstaad

Geneva is a wonderful jumping-off point for many ski resorts. Located on the border between France, Switzerland and Germany, it is within short reach of some of the best skiing in the Alps. And with many budget airlines offering cheap flights into Geneva, there has never been a better time to plan your ski holiday starting from this international city. Once you’ve landed, renting a car is an easy way to get to your destination with all your ski gear, but it’s also possible to take trains. Here is a sample of the best ski areas within easy reach of Geneva Airport.

Massif des Aravis (La Clusaz)

La Clusaz is a traditional ski resort in France with access to the 250km of slopes in the Massif des Aravis ski area. The ski area has a nice range of slopes for every level of skier and snowboarder and outstanding freestyle terrain.

1 hour drive, 70km

Evasion Mont-Blanc (Megève)

The Evasion Mont-Blanc has 400km of pistes spread over several resorts, of which the best-known is Megève. Popular with families and non-skiers, Megève has a bustling, pedestrianized village centre with a friendly après scene.

1 hour drive, 90km

Endless slopes at the Evasion Mont-Blanc

Endless slopes at the © Evasion Mont-Blanc

Le Grand Massif (Flaine)

Flaine is the best-known resort at Le Grand Massif, a huge linked ski area with great snow cover and one of Europe’s biggest snow parks. Weekly parties at the snow park round out the offerings at this welcoming ski resort.

1 hour drive, 90km

Chamonix Mont-Blanc

The ski resort of Chamonix lies at the foot of Mont Blanc. Perhaps best-known for its Vallée Blanche off-piste route, Chamonix also boasts stunning views and lively après-ski. With the right ski pass, guests of Chamonix can also ski at the nearby Evasion Mont-Blanc.

1 hour drive, 100km

Les Portes du Soleil

The French ski area of Les Portes du Soleil includes such well-known resorts as Avoriaz, Morzine and Les Gets. It is one of the largest ski areas in the world, with 600km of pistes plus heli-skiing on the Swiss side. Aside its expansive terrain for all levels, Les Portes du Soleil is popular with snowboarders thanks to its numerous snow parks.

1.5 hour drive, 130km

Snowcross at Avoriaz

Snowcross at les Portes du Soleil © Avoriaz

Les Diablerets & Villars-sur-Ollon

The linked ski area of Les Diablerets & Villars-sur-Ollon is a popular British winter holiday destination. The resort is calm and family-friendly, with mostly red and blue slopes. As an added bonus, the Glacier 3000 ensures skiing and snowboarding all winter long.

1.5 hour drive, 130km

Gstaad

Gstaad is known as a jet-setters’ destination and the resort is appropriately sophisticated and somewhat pricey. Perhaps surprisingly, though, this is also a fantastic destination for families and snowboarders. The ski area itself has almost 250km of pistes and with the right pass, advanced skiers will have access to a wealth of terrain.

2 hour drive, 150km

Les 4 Vallées (Verbier)

Verbier is probably the best-known resort at Les 4 Vallées, or the 4 Valleys. The impressive linked ski area with 410km of slopes boasts some challenging steeps and off-piste powder. High-altitude terrain ensures good snow cover. Familes will feel particularly welcome at Nendaz, which has excellent facilities for children.

2 hour drive, 160km

Freeriding at Verbier

Freeriding at Les Quatre Vallées © Verbier

Anzère

A nice little resort for more advanced skiers is Anzère, not too far from Les Diablerets. The village centre is charming and the resort benefits from favourable weather during much of the year. Heli-skiing and off-piste are both possible.

2 hour drive, 170km

Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana is a modern and family-friendly ski area with great snow parks and intermediate pistes. Cross-country skiers also have a large area to explore, from which you’ll have magnificent views of the surrounding Alps. Slopes here get lots of sunshine but luckily the snowmaking facilities are well up to the task – the best of both worlds!

2 hour drive, 180km

Breathtaking views at Crans-Montana

Breathtaking views at Crans-Montana © CMTC Luciano Miglionico

Jungfrau Region (Grindelwald)

Grindelwald and its sister resorts at the Swiss Jungfrau Region ski area share an expansive offering of terrain that includes freestyle facilities, off-piste and miles upon miles of intermediate pistes. Thanks to the ski schools and childcare options, this is a favourite with families.

2.5 hour drive, 230km

Saas-Fee

Glacier skiing and high altitudes at Saas-Fee ensure incredible skiing in the winter and summer alike, for which it’s earned its status as a training spot for the Swiss ski team. In addition to the many intermediate runs, there are also unique marked off-piste descents for expert skiers. The pedestrianized village centre enjoys a pleasant après-ski scene.

2.5 hour drive, 230km

Zermatt

The most famous peak in Europe is home to one of the best ski areas. Reaching an altitude of 4000m at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn, Zermatt has it all: moguls, off-piste, freestyle, glacier skiing and no shortage of pistes for beginners. The village centre is gorgeous and environmentally friendly to boot. Prices here are steep but worth it.

2.5 hour drive, 230km

In the shadow of the Matterhorn at Zermatt

In the shadow of the Matterhorn at © Zermatt

It's possible to access many of these ski resorts by train, especially the Swiss ones. The SBB website has information on fares and timetables. However, many of the resorts require one or more transfers. Renting a car is usually the quickest and most convenient option. Be careful as companies may charge an extra fee for cars rented in the French part of the airport and returned at the Swiss side, or vice-versa. Happy holidays!

Comments

Leave a comment

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!

Top 3 Angebote
travel Top 3
Ski Holidays Tips