Best ski resorts 2018
Results are in: Snowplaza readers have decided on the 20 best ski resorts in the Alps in 2018! The Snowplaza Awards 2018 results range from posh Swiss ski resorts to Austrian après-ski hotspots to enormous linked ski areas in France, with a guest visit from a special Canadian ski resort! It’s a tough choice but you’ve narrowed it down to just 20 of your absolute favourites! Did you vote? A few lucky Snowplaza readers will win a ski pass for their ski resort of choice – winners will be notified by email! Now, without further ado... here are the best 20 alpine ski resorts 2018, as chosen by YOU!
The linked ski areas of Zell am See and Kaprun offer lovely views and 140km of skiing on pretty tree-lined slopes – the ideal choice for beginners and families. Snow is guaranteed on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, and the ski area also has a decent selection of freeriding terrain.
© Zell am See - Kaprun Tourismus GmbH
Legendary off-piste skiing and one of the largest snow parks in the Alps makes Les Deux Alpes a great choice for expert skiers and snowboarders, although beginners will also be delighted with the assortment of high-altitude beginner slopes here. Summer skiing is possible on the glacier.
© Office de Tourisme Les 2 Alpes
Located in France’s Haute Savoie region, Le Grand Massif is made up of six ski resorts including Morillon, Samoëns and Flaine, which boasts one of the best snow parks in the Alps. Ski on 260km of pistes with views of Mont Blanc and enjoy the delicious traditional Savoyard cuisine afterwards!
© Office de Tourisme Morillon Grand Massif
Italian-French ski resort Via Lattea has 400km of slopes and a wide variety of villages which range from peaceful to rowdy. The ski season at this intermediate-friendly ski area stretches from November all the way until May thanks to the high altitudes and efficient snow cannons.
Via Lattea © Sestrières S.P.A.
Ok, ok, it's not technically in the Alps. But with 250km of skiing including gladed runs, moguls and lots of powder, it’s not surprising that Whistler Blackcomb consistently ranks among the top ski resorts in North America. Just a few hours from Vancouver Airport, Whistler boasts friendly Canadian hospitality, spectacular scenery and a lively après-ski scene.
© Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane
The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental is one of the largest linked ski areas in Austria. An abundance of blue and red slopes plus plenty of on-mountain restaurants makes this the perfect ski resort for intermediate skiers and boarders, as well as young families with children.
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental
Chamonix is renowned as one of the best spots for freeriding in France and deservedly so. The off-piste terrain here includes the famous Vallée Blanche, a 20km long ski touring route with a vertical of 2700m. The Ski Pass Mont Blanc gives access to almost unlimited skiing in the Mont Blanc massif.
This French ski resort boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, a feat which has earned it the moniker “Island in the Sun.” The view from the Pic Blanc at Alpe d'Huez is so incredible it was awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide Vert – on clear days, you can see a fifth of France from this panoramic lookout point. Don’t forget to tackle La Sarenne, the longest continuous ski piste in the world!
© Alpe d'Huez Tourisme
Tranquil Alta Badia is nestled in Italy’s Dolomiti Superski area, which means skiers and snowboarders staying here will have access to no less than 1200km of slopes – yes, you read that right! Alta Badia enjoys light, powdery snow and gorgeous views of the Dolomites. It’s a great choice for a family ski holiday.
The iconic peak of the Matterhorn watches benevolently over this swanky ski resort. You’ll find some of the highest-altitude skiing around here, with slopes up to 3899m above sea level. Zermatt has 360km of slopes for all levels – just expect to pay Swiss prices at this posh ski area!
© Zermatt Tourismus
Located in Austria’s Ötztal valley, Sölden-Hochsölden-Vent boasts around 150km of slopes and three mountain peaks over 3000m. The 15km-long Schwarze Schneid is the longest valley run in the country, leading from the Rettenbach Glacier down to the heart of the ski resort. Sölden is known for its après-ski scene – in fact, it’s currently hosting the Electric Mountain Festival!
The Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is a legend within the Austrian ski scene. Recently annexed to the freeriding paradise of Fieberbrunn, this linked ski area is now one of the largest ski areas in Austria, with 270km of ski slopes for all abilities. Experts can get to know every corner of the ski area with the Skicircus Challenge, while party animals will enjoy a world-famous après-ski scene.
Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn
The recent marriage of St. Anton am Arlberg, Lech am Arlberg and Zürs am Arlberg is a dream come true for experienced skiers and snowboarders. Come to Ski Arlberg for the 300km of high-altitude skiing and to rub shoulders with the jetset; stay for the stunning scenery and enticing après-ski scene!
Ischgl - Samnaun - Silvretta Arena is one of the most popular ski resorts in Austria. This chic, high-altitude ski resort offers a rocking après-ski scene and the skiing to match. The charming pedestrianised village centre is the cherry on top of the cake.
Mayrhofen is known for its après-ski scene and hosts the annual Snowbombing music festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the Alps. The infamous Harakiri piste with its 78% gradient is a must for experienced skiers. However, every level of skier and snowboarder is sure to find something on the 200km of pistes. Snow is guaranteed on the connected Hintertux glacier, Austria’s only year-round ski resort.
The linked ski area of Paradiski comprises several smaller villages, the most well-known of which are La Plagne and Les Arcs. Paradiski boasts 425km of pistes, with three glaciers that guarantee good snow conditions. This is a good choice for mixed-ability groups and snowboarders.
Paradiski © Miranda Muller
French-Swiss Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world, with 600km of slopes. Popular ski resorts such as Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz offer great snowboarding facilities and terrain for all levels. Expert skiers can have a go at The Wall, one of the toughest mogul slopes in the world. Heli-skiing is possible on the Swiss side of the border.
Les Portes du Soleil © Thijs Termeer
Otherwise known as the Espace Killy, the French ski resort of Tignes-Val d'Isère is a beloved expert’s paradise with 300km of slopes and off-piste opportunities galore. Val d’Isère is also home to the original La Folie Douce, the biggest on-mountain après-ski bar in France.
Tignes-Val d'Isère © Miranda Muller
With access to the vast Dolomiti Superski area, the Italian ski resort of Val Gardena is especially well-suited to beginner and intermediate skiers. The beautiful scenery can also be explored on the 80km of cross-country trails.
And the winner is... Les Trois Vallées! This is one of France’s largest ski areas, with more than 600km of slopes spread out over the popular resorts of Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Brides Les Bains, Orelle and Saint Martin De Belleville. High-altitude slopes mean skiing until late in the season. The après-ski scene is insane. Snow grooming and lifts are top-notch; family areas, snowboarding parks and off-piste terrain are world-class... there aren’t enough superlatives! Congratulations to Les Trois Vallées for winning the title of Best Ski Resort in the Alps in the Snowplaza Awards 2018!
© Office de Tourisme Les Menuires
What's your favourite ski resort in the Alps? Did it make the cut?
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!
|15 June||Mölltal Glacier to open for summer skiing this weekend|
|13 June||Expansion of world's first snowboard-only park|
|10 June||Ski resorts try snow farming to preserve snow over summer|