For those of us who like broadening our horizons, there’s nothing better than endless slopes to explore. If you’re a diehard skier looking to rack up the miles on your weekend away, or whether you’re determined to choose a ski area where you can stay for a whole week without skiing the same slope twice, then you’re sure to find some options on this list. Choose between Austria, Switzerland, Italy or France – or pick a cross-border ski area so you can boast about having skied in two countries! These are the largest linked ski areas in the Alps.
The linked French ski areas of Les Trois Vallées and Les Portes du Soleil are tied for the title of biggest linked ski area in the Alps, with 600km of slopes each to their name. Les Trois Vallées also claims Europe’s highest ski village, Val Thorens, while Les Portes du Soleil boasts cross-border skiing in France and Switzerland. The Swiss side is home to the legendary Mur Suisse, a spine-tingling black slope for experienced skiers and boarders.
Skiing in Les Portes du Soleil
The Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area offers skiing with panoramic views of the impressive Mont Blanc massif. The friendly villages of Megève, Saint-Gervais and Combloux provide the perfect bases from which to discover the ski area’s, 445km of pistes, which are connected by lifts and ski buses. Cross-country skiers will also find numerous trails to explore in this winter wonderland.
Les Quatre Vallées is the ideal choice for advanced skiers and snowboarders. Of its 412km of pistes, the challenging ski area has 202km of red slopes and 103km of black slopes. This is also the largest ski area in Switzerland and reaches a maximum altitude of 3330m.
The Via Lattea ski area sprawls across Italy and France. With primarily red slopes (220km), confident intermediate skiers will be in their element – and beginner skiers, never fear, there’s usually an easier alternative if you’re not ready for such a challenging descent! The Via Lattea is known for its many mountain huts, where you can tuck into some hearty Italian food after a chilly day on the slopes.
Zermatt, Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche have teamed up to give access to another cross-border ski area. Located in Switzerland and Italy, the linked resorts offer 362km in total, and you’ll have fantastic views of the Matterhorn from much of the ski area. With 226km of red runs, this is a good choice for intermediate-advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Lunch at Zermatt with a view of the Matterhorn
The swanky Swiss ski area of Engadin St. Moritz places sixth on the list of the largest ski areas in the Alps. 326km of slopes are divided over several separate ski areas. The chic, stylish village of St. Moritz is especially popular with the jet set.
With the construction of the Flexenbahn in the 2016/17 ski season, Ski Arlberg catapulted itself to the top 10 of the largest ski areas in the Alps, simultaneously becoming the largest ski area in Austria. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Ski Arlberg has something for you. If you really want to get to know the ski area, there’s a wealth of ski circuits on offer, including the 85km-long Run of Fame and the 22km-long White Ring.
Endless skiing opportunities at Ski Arlberg
The 310km of slopes in the French ski area of Les Sybelles are spread over the six resorts of St-Jean-d'Arves, Les Bottières, Saint Sorlin d'Arves, Le Corbier, La Toussuire and St. Colomban des Villards. The relatively low-lying ski area reaches a maximum altitude of 2620 metres and is heavily focused on red runs. Extra points to Les Sybelles for maintaining a focus on the environment. Lifts and pistes here are all placed strategically, with the aim of protecting the beautiful winter landscape.
The linked ski resorts of Tignes-Val d'Isère offer skiing and snowboarding on guaranteed snow until late in the season thanks to their two glaciers. Beginners will enjoy the many blue and green pistes at this French ski area, while more advanced skiers can go wild on the off-piste terrain.
The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental squeaks into the top 10 largest ski areas in the Alps, with 284km of slopes. This is one of the most popular ski areas in Austria, but despite its popularity, the SkiWelt offers a down-to-earth experience perfect for a ski holiday with the family. Between the villages of Westendorf, Ellmau or Brixen im Thale, you’ll find plenty to occupy yourself and the kids: ski circuits, exciting pistes, children’s areas, mountain huts and no shortage of après-ski options will keep you entertained throughout your holiday.
Skiing at Westendorf, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental
How many of these ski areas have you visited? Let us know in the comments!
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!
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