What’s Happening this Winter at the Best Ski Resorts in Europe
October 29, 2018
The wait is over and another ski season is nearly here! We’ve compiled a list of what’s new this winter at the best ski resorts in Europe so you can start planning your snow escape today. Our best advice, however, is this: the slopes of the French and Swiss Alps can take a long time to access by road. A helicopter transfer in the Alps significantly reduces time spent in transit, particularly during peak season and holidays, allowing you to hit the slopes as soon as you arrive. And this is what awaits …
Val d’Isère is a premier skiing destination located in the heart of the Espace Killy ski area. It is one of the Alp’s highest resorts with 300km of immaculate pistes, including many vertiginous black runs. After a six-year closure, the Téléski des 3000 ski lift will re-open this season, allowing advanced skiers access to the 76% slope on the Lessières ridge between Solaise and Le Fornet ski area. Less experienced skiers are also catered for and Val d’Isère has plenty of ski schools and nursery slopes for children and beginners.
Also new for this season is the Valkids play area for children aged four to 10 years. Just below the Sunny Ride beginners piste, this miniature resort is the place for younger members of the family to learn about piste grooming, mountain rescue and even get behind the controls of a cable car!
No new season would be complete without additions to the accommodation scene and this year, we can’t wait to stay in the Hotel Le Fornet. This boutique choice has 12 rooms and a spa with hot tub, hammam, sauna, gym and massage room.
Packed with spas, Michelin restaurants and upscale lodgings, you might find it hard to tear yourself away from your ultra-luxurious surroundings in Courchevel. But hopefully, you will as the skiing is also top-notch. Located in the Three Valleys ski area, all levels and ages can experience beautifully groomed ski slopes and high-quality lifts and services. Travel between the resorts of Courchevel Village and Courchevel 1850 will improve with the renovated 10-seater Les Grangettes gondola transferring skiiers in half the time it did previously.
The weather is less of a concern in Courchevel’s 2018/19 season with more than 26 new high-tech snow cannons topping up snow coverage on runs including Lac des Creux and Rama. The most exciting news this winter is that along with Méribel, Courchevel will host the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. In the lead-up, the area will benefit from an investment of 42 million Euros, ensuring it maintains its status as one of the best ski resorts in Europe.
Having recently celebrated more than 150 years of tourism, St. Moritz’s popularity shows no signs of abating. The prestigious Swiss resort is situated in the picturesque Engadin Valley with a backdrop of 4,000-metre peaks stretching into Italy. The resort attracts an annual roll call of VIPs who love its timeless style and sophistication, not to mention its 350km of pistes including two glaciers. St. Moritz has a long association with winter sports, hosting the Olympics twice (1928 and 1948) and is still home to numerous championships. The 35th Snow Polo World Cup will take place on 25th-27th January 2019 and lots of social events are planned for the occasion.
Non-skiers are increasingly going on alpine breaks and the best ski resorts in Europe now offer an array of activities from shopping boutiques and bowling alleys to spas, concerts and galleries. St. Moritz is no different with ‘Via Serlas,’ the main shopping area lined with famous labels. The Hauser & Wirth Gallery is opening a new 4,400 square-feet exhibition space designed by architect Luis Laplace in Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. It will open in December and makes its debut with a Louise Bourgeois show. Badrutt’s Palace will host its annual New Year’s Eve Ball; it’s sure to be a memorable place to see in the New Year in St. Moritz, watching the fireworks lighting up the skies above the valley.