Best off-piste ski resorts

Every serious skier or snowboarder aspires to one day master the skills necessary to venture off-piste. It’s the ultimate challenge and the ultimate adrenaline kick: making your mark on the untouched slopes, carving a route where no one has gone before you. The Alps have a wealth of off-piste terrain to discover - where will you go next?

© Chamonix
France, Chamonix

Chamonix lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. With plenty of choice in the form of powder fields, steep couloirs, glades and glacier skiing, even those who are new to off-piste will find joy at Chamonix. Read more...

  • Arguably the best off-piste skiing in Europe
  • Beautiful pedestrianized village centre
  • Spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif
© Verbier
Switzerland, Verbier

Verbier boasts challenging off-piste, most notably around the back of Mont Fort, an isolated bowl with myriads of routes through virgin snow. Heli-skiing is available, although the Mont Gele lift should keep you busy for a while. Read more...

  • Lift-accessed powder skiing and good snow conditions
  • Excellent mogul runs
  • Spirited nightlife
© St. Anton

St. Anton is an off-piste paradise, with miles of powder and fantastic snow conditions. It’s worth getting a guide to show you the lesser-known off-piste areas, as St Anton can fall victim to its popularity with huge crowds. Read more...

  • Long off-piste routes
  • Full of energy, day and night
  • Attractive village centre
© La Grave
France, La Grave

Some might call it primitive, but La Grave is Europe’s ultimate off-piste resort. You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature on these unmarked runs, most of which run through glacier territory. Bring a guide and avalanche equipment. Read more...

  • Among the most challenging skiing in Europe; experts only
  • Rarely crowded
  • High-altitude and north-facing
© Fieberbrunn
Austria, Fieberbrunn

Recently merged with Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Fieberbrunn is an off-piste mecca and a popular stop on the Freeride World Tour. The resort offers superior amounts of snow and a variety of off-piste for all abilities. Read more...

  • Reliable snow conditions
  • Relaxed, traditional village centre
  • Off-piste terrain is generally easy to access
© Gressoney
Italy, Gressoney

Part of Italy’s Monte Rosa ski area, Gressoney enjoys a laid-back atmosphere with no crowds to speak of. This is good news for powder hounds who come to seek out the epic off-piste terrain. Heli-skiing is also possible. Read more...

  • High-altitude terrain
  • Quiet ski resort with beautiful views
  • Heli-skiing
© Tignes

The two resorts that make up the Espace Killy share some of the best off-piste skiing in France. Easily accessible terrain includes narrow couloirs, glacier skiing and deep powder that will keep you entertained for days. Read more...

  • High-altitude, snow-sure ski area with long season
  • Long couloirs and glacier skiing
  • Extensive lift-served off-piste terrain
Freeride giant Loic Collomb-Patton © La Clusaz
France, La Clusaz

This pioneering ski resort is home to many a freeriding champion. An off-piste playground with powder bowls, trees and combes, La Clusaz puts the focus on young freeriders with three specialized training schools. Read more...

  • Lift-served powder
  • Varied off-piste terrain
  • Not crowded
© L'Alpe d'Huez

A plethora of off-piste routes through trees, drops and windlips topped off with the terrifying “Pyramide” make L’Alpe d’Huez more than worthy of a spot on this list. Handily, many of the couloirs lead back to the lifts. Read more...

  • Decent lift service
  • Narrow couloirs with lots of vertical
  • Sunny, high-altitude ski resort
© Flaine
France, Flaine

Part of the Grand Massif linked ski area, discover the true meaning of freedom with Flaine’s superb off-piste options including combes, ridges and bowls. Amateur off-pisters can train at the Gers bowl and the Corbalanche. Read more...

  • Linked to the Grand Massif ski area
  • Freestyling options with Ze Forest nature-inspired snow park
  • Good selection of terrain for beginner off-pisters