Looking to book a ski trip but don't have a resort in mind? How on earth do you begin to choose? Perhaps you want excellent slopes, and your friends want a cost-effective location. How do you make the selection to ensure the best holiday for everyone?
So, as your local Ridestore experts, we have gathered some of the best resorts in Europe, divided into countries and with a brief explanation about why they stand out and for what type of rider or occasion they are ideal for. Of course, there are many big ski resorts out there, and many of them offer pretty much great skiing for all types of riders and experience levels, but there is always something that makes them unique.
This is what we try to find, great aprés-ski activities, breathtaking scenery or the best bang for your buck! This in combination with the facts and what you can expect from the resort is our idea of a complete ski resort guide. This is the most comprehensive and unbiased guide for the upcoming snow season.
If you are looking for ski outfit inspiration, make sure to check out the latest ski jackets / ski pants collections for the upcoming season.
In order to make the rating fair, we have not made it a “competition” where the best resort is no 1 on the list. That way, it is hard to compete with the super areas in the Alps. But there is more to a resort than just the size and kilometres of slopes.
To make the most comprehensive guide, we have picked some of the top resorts from almost every country in Europe, that has something unique to bring to the table.
That way, the list is more diverse and you might even find a new favourite resort in a country where you didn’t think snow sports was possible.
This badge indicates that there is something that makes this resort extra family friendly. A must is that there are slopes that are good for children and services that suit the family.
This badge ensures that there are free-riding capabilities offered at the resort. Either within the system or in close proximity of the lifts.
This badge is given to resorts who offer something special or just great parks and freestyle abilities. It is not enough to just have a park, it must also live up to a certain standard.
This badge indicates that it is good conditions for touring, either from the system or if the resort/village is a good hub for touring.
This badge ensures that there are wide and gentle slopes for the beginner and other features for the beginner, like practice lifts or, extensive skiing schools or beginner areas.
Pretty straightforward, this badge is given to resorts that will make your money last longer. If in a expensive area, this badge can show up if a resort is significantly lower in price than neighbour resorts with equal skiing. Or if there is something unique for a good price. Most common though is for low price areas, where everything is cheaper.
If you are on the lookout for a good party, keep your eyes open for this badge. Resorts, where you will be able to have a good party, is rewarded with this badge.
Some resorts offer more than just skiing, some are just winter villages with loads of winter sports to be found, and some resorts offer activities like cinemas, malls, ice skating and more.
The all-around badge ensures versatile slopes and at many difficult levels. Some resorts might not be especially good in any area, but still, offer a good variety of skiing, then they can have this badge as well.
If you want to ski in beautiful areas, look for the scenery badge. This badge is rewarded to resorts which offers something extra in terms of views or surroundings.
Austria is voted the best country for skiing in Europe with 17 entries in our top 100 best ski resorts in Europe list.
Home to some of the best resorts in the world and of course the famous Alps. Austria is indeed a real safe card for good skiing. No matter your preferences, there will be a resort here for you.
Austria is also known for the Tyrolian charm and warm hospitality, and many ski resorts have managed to keep the traditional village feeling while expanding.
So not only can you expect first class skiing, but also a vibrant beer and food culture.
Here are the featured Austrian ski resorts in alphabetical order.
If you want a ski vacay in Austria that lives up to the idyllic imagine image of what an Austrian ski village should look like. Look no further.
Alpbach is slightly smaller than other resorts in Austria. With the link to the neighbouring area, Auffach, you can enjoy 145 km of slopes. But what it lacks in size, Alpbach makes up in looks. It has been voted “Austria’s most beautiful” several times.
This resort is great for beginners and intermediate skiers. If you are looking for advanced challenges on the slopes, you might not find so many.
For the advanced rider or free-rider, there is excellent of piste terrain to be found though. And since the resort is smaller and less busy, there is more of that pow snow for you alone.
Families, look this way! Ellmau might be the number one place to go on a family skiing vacation in Austria.
In a peaceful corner of SkiWelt, this traditionally charming “low-cost” village is found. Ellmau has good child-friendly facilities and great slopes for beginners to get comfortable at.
The slopes are well linked and there is a progression route for beginners.
For more challenges, it is easy to access the SkiWelt area for endless intermediate challenges and a few expert ones.
The Hintertux Glacier ski resort is open for skiing all year around. Yes, you read it correctly. During the summer though, skiing is only possible on the higher glacier slopes.
But in a beautiful surrounding, imagine skiing at 3200 m above sea level and looking out over green valleys and forests.
But the skiing is of course much more interesting in wintertime when all of the 60 km slopes are open.
In winter you will also be able to find numerous off-piste runs and deep snow areas. Just be aware of glacier cracks. There is also some good freestyle parks here with something to offer from beginner to pro, in an iconic setting.
Even with the quite small size of 60 km slopes, there is still something for everyone, made complete in combination the free-ride areas and snow parks.
Well, technically Innsbruck is a city. Not a resort. But it happens to be a city where you can access top-quality skiing with cable-car from downtown. One single ski pass gives you access to more than 300 km of slopes, all connected with public transport to the city.
So with top skiing and the versatility of restaurants, entertainment and more that comes from a city, Innsbruck earns a definite spot on the list.
Innsbruck is surrounded by six ski areas, and if you are an expert skier looking for a challenge. You will have access to 50 km of challenging terrain on the Stubai Glacier.
With that said, if you want all the comfiness of a dedicated ski resort. Search for accommodation in one of the close resorts instead of the actual city.
Are you looking for a resort that has it all? From partying to powder ski and everything in between. Ischgl got you covered.
It is one of the party capitals of the Alps but in combination with great and versatile skiing.
You will find 240 km of slopes here and you can actually ski into Switzerland and the Samnaun village. Which happens to be a duty-free village.
If you are looking for large freeride terrain, Piz Val Gronda, Palinkopf, Greitspitze, Höllspitze are areas here which will not disappoint.
Also, you will find numerous black slopes for advanced on piste challenges.
Of course, there is also many wide and easy slopes as well as intermediate challenges.
There are children’s areas to be found as well as other family-friendly facilities.
A big playground for boarders and free-riders, there is 200 km2 of backcountry terrain at your disposal. There is also 32 km of additional ski routes with endless powder opportunities.
For your safety, there are transceiver checkpoints at 9 mountain stations with the current avalanche updates.
But you do not need to be a free-rider to have a good time here, there is 170 km of slopes with good variation connected by 51 lifts.
There are various services to make life a bit easier for families with children.
Kitzbuhel is considered the best resort in the alps by some, due to the Tyrolean laid-backness, friendliness and hospitality. And actually also got the reward for “Best ski resort in the world” in 2013.
Only 15 km away from Zell am See this “Paradise for experts” is found, this is a smaller resort with 41 km of slopes. But with a lot of possibilities still.
There is a lot of challenges for experts on or off the piste, but accessible from the lifts.
Black mamba offers a 63% gradient for a slope challenge, if you would like to head of piste there are 5 ski routes with deep snow accessible from the lift. You will also find freeride info points at the start of the runs.
For freestyle riders, there are three parks for every level of rider. The parks are taken care of and shaped daily.
2020 meters above sea level we find Austria’s highest ski village, Kühtai.
This is a smaller resort than many of the other huge Austrian resorts, but with everything, you could think of for a snow vacay.
Families and children are well taken care of here, there are designated children’s areas for skiing and also most of the cosy vibe huts and restaurants offer children’s meals.
If you are looking for challenging runs there is plenty of open terrain throughout the ski resort and beneath the Dreiseen lift, the steepest area is found.
With a lot of freeride terrain, beginners slopes, fun park with airbag and superpipe, most level of riders will be satisfied here.
Outstanding terrain parks, big open fields of deep snow and some of the best parks in the Alps. Mayrhofen is a big playground for snowboarders and advanced skiers.
There is a total of six snow parks here with their own chairlift, so you can get a lot of airtime in relation to time in the lift.
With a park of that level, snowboarders and freestylers are drawn to this place. And with all those snowboarders and freestylers, a lively after-ski and party scene are included.
Advanced skiers who do not wish to go off-piste can challenge themselves on the steepest slope in the Alps, Harakiri with a 78% gradient.
Of course, with 142 km of slopes, there is a lot here to be found for beginners and intermediate skiers too. And if 142 km is not enough, you can add to get Zillertaler Superskipass that covers 530 kilometres slopes.
You are looking at a great area for pretty much everything snow related. Also with the link to Fieberbrunn, it is the 9th biggest system in the world.
If you are into freeriding, be sure to keep your eyes open if there has been fresh snowfall. Freeriders will flock from every direction to leave fresh tracks in the snow.
Beginners and families will find loads of friendly slopes and learning possibilities here.
For the freestyle rider, there are top-notch snow parks as well. As you see, there is a lot here for everyone. From expert rider to first time skier or families.
There is also a vibrant nightlife to be found here.
Skiwelt is a resort with an impressive variety, which has managed to keep its Tyrolean charm despite its huge size. There is more than 280 km of slopes available connected by 90 lifts. Making it to one of Austria’s biggest resorts.
Almost needless to say is that skiing here is, well, great. But some highlights are a large area for night skiing, so if skiing all day is not enough. You can ski the night as well.
There is also a few practice areas for children and beginners which are totally free to use.
Advanced riders and freeriders will find plenty of challenges here. Likewise, the freestyle rider can enjoy plenty of snowparks. There is also contests and events going on here throughout the season.
The 8 villages of Brixen, Ellmau, Going, Hopfgarten, Itter, Scheffau, Söll and Westendorf make up the Skiwelt resort.
Söll is a village in Austria’s second biggest ski area, and offers some of the best value in the Austrian Alps.
The terrain offers endless fun for beginners and intermediate skiers looking to improve their skill set or just have a good time.
There is three black slopes here for the advanced rider, and if you run out of new challenges after a while, just venture out in the 280 km big SkiWelt system and there will be lots more to be found.
If you for some reason would feel that 280 km is not enough for you, there is the option use the link to Kitzbühel and unlock 170 extra kilometres of slopes. But that would also require a separate lift pass.
Have you heard about the Ibiza of the Alps? Well, now you hade, Sölden is known for great after ski, parties and good skiing. You will find various apres ski location on your way down to the town of Sölden where the party goes on all night long.
Sölden offers 150 km of mixed terrain for you to enjoy, there is a lot of easy and intermediate runs. But with the two glaciers and plenty of off-piste areas, the expert level skier will have plenty of challenges as well.
The Gaislachkogl glacier is known as the free-rider mountain of Ötzdal and offers freeride checkpoints with important info.
For the family there are kindergartens, and nicely equipped children’s areas to make life a bit easier.
Enjoy great skiing while overlooking some of the best views Austria has to offer. The Schmitten is the home mountain of Zell Am See and offers 77 km of versatile skiing.
The area of Glocknerwiese if perfectly suited for the family and beginners. Ski schools and large children’s areas are also to be found throughout the resort.
For the advanced skier, there are long and difficult runs to be found and 7 ski routes to play around and explore some pow pow or deep snow.
If you are a freestyler, the long fun slope and fun park might be something for your taste buds.
And if you are in the mood to let loose and go partying after a day of riding, Zell am See will have parties going all night.
Where to start here, St Anton is one of Europe’s top resort for serious skiers and is home to some of the most challenging runs in the Alps.
305 kilometers of marked ski runs, superbly prepared slopes for all ability levels, and 200 km of off-piste with challenging slopes and deep-snow ski runs, first class snow parks, carving areas, permanent racing circuits and numerous cosy meeting places ensure variety and enjoyment.
The off-piste possibilities are enormous and for the experts there are steep ravines and cliffs to explore. St. Anton offers endless opportunities for advanced riders and strong intermediate skiers, but the ski area offers a lot for families and beginners as well.
And we can’t talk about St. Anton without mentioning the après-ski, because it is top-notch.
Let’s open up with an interesting anecdote, Obergurgl’s first redeemed its fame from a hot air balloon record flight of 16,000 meters in 1931. The Swiss pilot crashed on the Gurgler-Ferner glacier. A villager came to rescue and the event got famous worldwide and put the village Obergurgl on the map.
Now it is more famous for its top skiing and short waiting times in the lifts right outside your hotel door.
More than half of the slopes here are intermediate, but the resort is actually ideal for beginners still. The slopes are structured so that the entire resort can be explored on easy slopes, and when you feel comfortable, there are a lot of slopes for your progression.
The advanced rider might feel a bit limited on the pistes, there are difficult slopes to be found, 20km of them. But the real challenge for advanced riders starts where the piste ends.
There is a lot of terrain for free-riding here and numerous ski routes. There is also a big freeride event held here annually, “Open Faces” which attracts skiers from all over the globe.
If you are looking for a resort with advanced challenges, freeride terrain and excellent snowparks, look this way.
Stubai Gletcher is located within an hour’s drive from Innsbruck and offers 50 km of groomed slopes with various levels of difficulty.
For advanced riders, there is a lot to be found, like the Daunhill slope with a 60% incline. You will also find a lot of off-piste runs marked on a separate map through open terrain, as well as freeride checkpoints.
There is also a first-class snowpark with offerings for every level, beginner to pro and provides everything you can think of. With the exception of a halfpipe. The park offers most features during spring and autumn, at this time a year, you can find many of the top freestyle boarders and skiers in the park.
But Stubai does also provide a lot of family fun, like the”BIG Family Ski-Camp” area. Here there are multiple magic carpets for children to learn skiing, practice lifts and easy slopes. Also a children’s restaurant.
No surprise maybe to see France on this list, since it might be one of the top countries in the world for skiing ( just pipped to the post for the title of best country for skiing in Europe with 16 entries in our top 100 list).
The resorts here are many and extensive, with some resorts joining together to create lift systems of monstrous proportions.
With that said, many of the resorts differ a lot, so if you like upscale dining there is a village for you, if you are keen for partying and a ski-bum lifestyle, there is a village for you as well.
Here are the French ski resorts from our list of best ski resorts in Europe in alphabetical order.
Most sunny days in the Alps, true or just legend? Find out for yourself. Alpe d’huez has a lot for everyone. Advanced riders can enjoy the longest black piste in the world, Sarene, with an impressive length of 16 km.
If you are in the mode for deep snow, head to the Pic Blanc glacier for a free riding challenge. A lot of that snow is generally untouched due to the high altitude of the glacier, so here you might even be able to have friends on a powder day.
For the park rat, there is a huge selection of rails, boxes, kickers and more to play with. Even a halfpipe when the snow conditions are good.
Alpe d’huez offers great conditions for a family vacation as well, there are ski schools in every village and child care facilities to be found.
Looking to get your tan on but without the slushy slopes the sun can bring? Avoriaz village is on the sunny side while most of the slopes are in the shade.
The village itself is also car-free and offers a lot of ski in/ski out lodges.
Freestyle riders will love the access to five parks and the superpipe that is offered here. There is off-piste and deep snow riding to be found from the side of the piste and also backcountry.
Also a part of Portes du Soleil, so if you would get bored of the Avoriaz slopes, there is more to explore.
How about great skiing too a much more affordable price than the French Alps? The French Pyrenees is your friend.
Bareges and La Mongie are two connected resorts, where package prices can be up to half the price of the alps.
The slopes here are great for beginners and intermediate skiers, the entire ski resort can be explored on easy slopes connecting the two resorts.
There are a few more challenging runs here as well, above La Mongie there is open and treeless terrain considered to be amongst the toughest in the Pyrenees.
For the freerider, there is Pic du Midi which can be accessed with cable car and opens up great deep snow areas, but with no official slopes.
You have probably heard of Chamonix before. It has gained world recognition for its challenging runs, off-piste powder, steepness and for surrounding scenery.
So if you are seeking some alpine thrills, Chamonix could be the place to go. With challenging terrain and great variety, advanced riders and experts will have a great time here.
If you are an intermediate rider, Chamonix will challenge you and probably improve your skill set.
In the village, there is a lively nightlife with a hint of traditional charm.
There is 140 km of piste slopes here, and also the longest off-piste run in EU with an impressive 20 km.
One of the main resorts in Les 3 Vallées, Courchevel, is an upscale resort with loads of alternatives if you are looking for a luxurious skiing holiday. There are 11 Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury lodges and a glamorous aprés-ski.
But with that said, it would not make the list if the skiing wasn’t good.
Here you will find 150 km of slopes with an excellent snow record and many north facing runs which will keep the snow conditions good throughout the day.
The resort is covered by a modern and fast lift system. There is also free beginner lifts for practice and a good selection of kids clubs.
And if you would get tired of the skiing system here, no worries. Courchevel is connected with Les 3 Vallées, which opens up 600 km of skiing. Head over to Méribel which is a family and beginner friendly high altitude ski resort that offers another 150km of pistes. This snow-sure resort has two snowparks and easily accessible off-piste to keep experienced skiers and snowboarders entertained.
A beautiful natural terrace with 200 km of piste slopes in the Savoyer Alps. This is a great place for families, designated children areas in every village and even full day childcare if you want to explore the mountains without planning for diaper changes.
Les Arcs offers great beginner slopes, steep slopes and easy to access deep snow areas. So there is something here for every level of rider.
There are bars and restaurants in every village, if you are looking for a party, The small city of Bourg Saint Maurice offers a lively nightlife.
Take a visit to the backyard of Candide Thovex. Known as a free ride mecca and an ideal spot for backcountry skiing.
Described by some as a giant natural snow park with an endless succession of domes, step ups and hip jumps. There are even freeriding schools here.
Of course, there is more to be found then backcountry riding here. There is 120km piste with magnificent views operated by a modern lift system.
The village itself offers traditional architecture and lively apres ski. Snow parks for all levels can also be found here.
Great choice for beginners, a huge area of 265 km slopes and over 50% of them are easy slopes. Also, all villages are connected by easy slopes. A plus is that you have a great view over Mount Blanc while riding.
But with that said, there is a lot to be offered advanced riders as well. Flaine area is filled with wide deep snow rides and mogul slopes. Also a lot of freeride areas and snow parks.
The resort offers a lot of restaurants, shops and services.
Are you in to freeriding but have not been here yet? Maybe it is time to go before it might be too late.
La Grave is not like any other ski resort, there are no marked ski runs or slopes. Just endless routes down small valleys.
Considered by some to be the freeride mecca of Europe and with a Himalayan nature feel.
But some big resorts are interested in trying to take over La Grave and turn it into one big resort. Which concerns locals and enthusiasts who have set up a crowdfunding page to avoid this from happening.
A place for seekers of pow. La Plagne has a good off-piste reputation, a good portion of the large ski area is untouched by lift systems. Therefore a lot of fresh powder snow is the be found here.
There is a good variety of riding here as well, long tree lines in Montchavin or big open deep powder terrain in the Bellecôte glacier.
Not only freeriders and advanced skiers will have a good time here, but La Plagne also offers a lot for families and intermediate skiers as well.
There are a few bars here, but if partying as an important part of your snow vacay, there are better alternatives.
Are you a fan of deep pow but not a fan of sharing it? This might be the place for you! Generally underused off-piste and excellent free ride areas with a great snow record.
And if you would get bored of the riding here, the ski pass includes access to the Italian Milky Way circuit which gives you 400 km of slopes.
The village is quite traditional, but with easy access to a lot of facilities. And it is also a good choice for families.
Have you heard about it? Maybe not, it is an underrated resort with a lot to offer.
The terrain here is good and diverse, the villages have a laid-back style with a friendly atmosphere and the prices are lower than the surrounding resorts.
The area as made up of different villages linked via a bus service, a total of 250 km piste.
The skiing area has something for everyone, excellent tree skiing and famed off-piste for the advanced riders or free-riders.
There is a freestyle zone divided into level of expertise, and great slopes for beginners.
Great for families and offers children’s activities and programs.
Accommodation here is, in general, a bit lower standard than surrounding resorts, but also with lower prices.
“A little French secret” with a ski area of 310km. Even with its impressive size, there are fewer visitors here than many other ski resorts. Which gives you snow that holds well and more space on the slopes.
Maybe there are fewer visitors here due to the slow lift system? But if that is not bothering you, come here and enjoy the spacious slopes.
This area is best for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The slopes do not offer a lot of advanced challenges. There a few off-piste areas to be found in Les Perrons sector.
An overall good choice also for families.
This could maybe be the best overall choice for everyone. Large area with a huge variety. Beginner, pro or freerider? There is loads of easy and intermediate slopes, numerous advanced and steep runs and a lot of ski routes.
For freeriders there are more than 10,000 hectares of off-piste terrain.
A lot of the area is located on glaciers so there is even skiing available here during the summer.
Also a great family location with large children’s areas and free practice lift with designated beginner slopes in every large village.
And if that was not enough, there are two top-notch snow parks here which host numerous big events.
A resort full of activities and great skiing with some top-notch snowparks. The Valloire ski resort is a charming village at the base of the slopes, with many different types of accommodations for every type of budget.
Even though it is a ski resort, you will find a wide range of off-ski activity, there is saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis if you want to relax. And for the more traditional entertainment, there is cinemas, ice sculpture competitions and more.
For skiing, the snow parks here are ranked very high and there is something for every level, beginner to pro.
Also an expert level slopestyle course. The advanced rider will find a lot of challenges here, 37% of the 150km slopes are advanced slopes.
Beginners and intermediate skiers will also get their money worth, and a lot of room for progression with the advanced slopes awaiting.
To start with, Val Thorens is a part of the biggest ski area in the world. Les 3 Vallèes, which can be accessed on your ski pass and opens up 600 km of piste slopes.
The area has three top-notch parks with something for riders at every level, including an airbag and fun slope.
The party lovers might appreciate the biggest nightclub of the Alps, La Malasya which is located here.
Due to the huge system, riders of every level will find challenges here. Beginners, families and expert riders.
Fun fact, Val Thorens is the highest located resort in Europe at 2300m.
One of the most famous destinations for skiing and also home to one of the most iconic backdrops there is. The Matterhorn, rising almost 4500 meters above sea level.
Skiing here is versatile and first class, beginner, pro or freerider, there is something for everyone here. Just be sure to bring the big wallet, Switzerland is an expensive place.
Switzerland lands the third spot for the title of best country for skiing in Europe with an impressive 13 entries on our top 100 best ski resorts in Europe list. Here are the Swiss ski resorts in alphabetical order.
A smaller resort with a small village feel and skiing that will please every style of rider.
The linked areas offer 86 km of versatile slopes overlooking the scenery of Bernese Oberland.
Simmenta village is the ideal one for families and offers activities outside the slopes as well. Runs here are a bit flatter and mostly aimed towards beginners and intermediate skiers.
Then we have the Adelboden-Lenk area which is the place to be for free-riders and advanced skiers. For a steep on piste challenge, the Chuenisbärgli World Cup slope is a must for the experienced skier.
Freeriders can indulge in some of the wonderful powder slopes throughout the resort, with panoramic views.
If fat tricks, kickers, BBQ and DJ sounds appealing, check out the GMP snow park at Hahnenmoos, one of the leading snowparks in the region.
Do you want to claim an area before it was cool? Hit up Andermatt, a previously sleepy town which is on the uprise.
They have recently updated their lift system and linked up with Nätschen ski terrain.
You will find a wide range of slopes and many wide freeriding areas. Making it a great place for free-riders who want to stay away from the most crowded areas.
Intermediate and expert level riders will enjoy this resort to the fullest and find endless fun challenges.
For some airtime, there are two parks for beginner and pro level freestylers, also the biggest half pipe in central Switzerland.
Crans Montana is where you find wide mountain views, pretty slopes, mountain restaurants and top snowparks.
Crans Montana has a total of 160 km slopes, and intermediate riders and freestylers might feel most at home here.
There is a first-class snowpark with every type of obstacle you can think of. And with an almost as first-class view while sending some tricks.
Half of the slopes are red ones, so for the intermediate rider, there will be almost an endless amount of challenges.
For the beginners though, there are still many easy slopes to be found. And also a large beginners area.
For the advanced rider, there is many off-piste runs and terrain to be explored, for an on-piste thrill there is also some really steep black runs and a 12 km long slope with some difficult parts.
With a convenient location just an hour away from Zürich you will find Mount Titlis, one of Switzerland’s most popular attractions which offer you over 80 km slopes to ski.
The runs here are mostly beginner and intermediate. 27 km easy runs, and a whopping 47 km of intermediate runs ensures great fun and loads of possibilities to advance your skills.
But with that said, there is something here that lours in advanced skiers. And it is not the 8 km of advanced slopes, but the quality of the off-piste powder skiing up in the glacier.
The opportunities for freeriding are close to endless.
You can also send some new tricks or practice air awareness on the Airbag before taking them to the kickers in the park at Untertrübsee area.
Children’s areas are also to be found and the resort itself is a family friendly place.