10 Best Ski Resorts in Europe

  • Chamonix, France

    Chamonix, France

    No sport takes advantage of the earth's gravitational pull quite like skiing, and the towering mountains of Europe are quite the skier's paradise. The 10-mile valley of Chamonix, France is home to five ski areas and a sizable village brimming with après-ski entertainment possibilities. The resort earned a spot on the world skiing map after hosting the first Winter Olympics in 1924, and it has since attracted ski-enthusiasts with it's easy access to heart-stopping steeps.

    Photo courtesy of © OT Chamonix - Patrice Labarbe - Raquettes

  • St. Anton, Austria

    St. Anton, Austria

    If what you consider a good day on the slopes doesn't stop when you step out of your skis, then St. Anton, Austria is the place for you. The Alpine town at the base of the mountain – a mountain offering 200 miles of runs and twice the amount of back-country terrain – comes alive at night with plenty of restaurants and bars.

    Photo courtesy of TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Fotograf Josef Mallaun

  • Val Thorens, France

    Val Thorens, France

    Val Thorens in the French Alps holds the distinction of being the highest ski resort in Europe and the largest linked ski area in the world. Consequently, the resort enjoys some of the most reliable snow conditions that start early and continue throughout the season.

    Photo courtesy of Kevin Hutchinson

  • Verbier, Switzerland

    Verbier, Switzerland

    If you like your back country skiing steep and deep, give the thrilling lift-accessed off-piste zones at Switzerland's French-speaking Verbier a go. Don't worry if you're not ready to ski off a cliff; Verbier's slopes are highly rated for intermediate skiers as well as snowboarders, and once the sun sets on the slopes, everyone can rub elbows in the Alpine town's excellent bars, clubs and restaurants.

    Photo courtesy of Leo-setä

  • Stubai, Austria

    Stubai, Austria

    Stubai may only be so-so for intermediate and expert skiers, but it's excellent for beginners and snowboarders. With five airports within a two-hour drive, Stubai makes for a good weekend getaway. If you don't come to Stubai for the skiing, come for the spas. The Spa Hotel Jagdhof in particular is one of the best in Europe, complete with an amethyst grotto steam bath, an ice fountain and an outdoor hot tub with views of the nearby glacier.

    Photo courtesy of ristok

  • Zermatt, Switzerland

    Zermatt, Switzerland

    With the world famous Matterhorn looming in the background, it's hard to find better scenery for skiing than in Zermatt, Switzerland. Besides being a great destination for families – a car-free village with cobbled streets, horse-drawn carriages and plenty of old European charm – Zermatt offers everything from easy beginner runs to high-altitude bowls and snowfields. For the best view, take the highest lift to the Klein Matterhorn sector for 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, including the Matterhorn.

    Photo courtesy of Doc Searls

  • Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

    Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

    Cortina d'Ampezzo, known by locals as Cortina, is one of the most stylish, chic resorts in all of Europe – you may recognize it from the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only or from the original Pink Panther. The Queen of the Dolomites has a slope for every level and plenty of off-slope action for any non-skiers you may be traveling with. Since so many wealthy, young Italians come merely to see and be seen, the slopes are surprisingly quiet.

    Photo courtesy of Dino Quinzani

  • Kitzbuhel, Austria

    Kitzbuhel, Austria

    Located just 90 minutes from Munich, Kitzbuhel has the honor of hosting one of the most difficult races in the skiing World Cup Circuit. Whether you come to watch the race or not, you can test your own ski skills on the very same Streif run, an icy black diamond full of tight turns and big air.

    Photo courtesy of *Zobo*

  • ungfrau, Switzerland

    Jungfrau, Switzerland

    In Switzerland's Jungfrau region, 50 lifts service three separate ski areas, each enjoying excellent scenery and challenging intermediate and advanced terrain, including the longest men's downhill run in the World Cup circuit. When you've had enough skiing, there's ice skating and snowshoeing opportunities, as well as a cog train ascending Jungfrau in one of the most scenic stretches of rail on the planet.

    Photo courtesy of chriscom