The best ski resorts in Europe

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Skiing is a luxury sport enjoyed by many around the world. If you plan on hitting the slopes in Switzerland, France, or beyond, these are the best ski resorts in Europe.

Enjoy amazing views on a skiing holiday. Image credit: Marcin Wiklik/iStock
Enjoy amazing views on a skiing holiday. Image credit: Marcin Wiklik/iStock

From the cold air on your face to the snow under your skis, skiing is equal parts invigorating and exhilarating. Mastery requires patience, dedication, and skill. If you love to ski, the mountains in Europe are a great place to test your abilities.

If you are planning a ski vacation – or simply searching for a relaxing retreat in a cozy lodge – then these are the best ski resorts in Europe in which to enjoy your next trip.

French ski resorts

France is home to the French Alps – an area of the Alps mountain range that crosses into the southern part of the country along the border of Switzerland, with large peaks up to 2,500 meters in height. Skiing is king in the French Alps, with crisp, clean snow, large peaks, and amazing scenery for those on and off the slopes.

Courchevel – The premier spot in Les Trois Vallées

Courchevel, one of the best ski resorts in France, is a great spot to get up close and personal with the French Alps.

Courchevel is the largest and the best known of the resorts in Les Trois Vallées, one of the most notable ski destinations in Europe. Home to more than 150 kilometers of impeccably maintained runs accessible by the resort’s 60 private lifts, skiers of all levels will find a challenge among the numerous alpine runs. For those who want more variety, the resort is connected to a total of 600 interconnected ski runs across 10 alpine peaks at a maximum height of 2,500 meters. The resort is known for its tree skiing, off-piste terrain, and mogul-dotted slopes, creating a wonderful atmosphere for experienced athletes. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners and intermediate skiers can’t have fun here, too; around a quarter of the property’s trails are appropriate for those new to the sport. Lessons for adults and children are available as well.

The resort is made up of five separate village areas, creating a dynamic town at the base of the mountains. Lodging in Courchevel is diverse, offering an ideal residence for virtually anyone. With chalets and guest rooms located across the resort, individuals, couples, and families alike can relax in the perfect space. The area is also home to several fine dining opportunities, including multiple Michelin-starred names.

Méribel – Family-friendly ski trips

For families who want a fun and comfortable trip for all ages, Méribel in the French Alps is an excellent choice.

Another member of Les Trois Vallées alpine ski destination, this resort is specifically known for being a family-friendly favorite. The resort has a far larger array of small and intermediate hills than its counterparts while still offering plenty of opportunity for expert skiers while also providing substantial support for those new to the sport. The Moon Wild course features faux animals hidden along the trail for young skiers to discover, while P’tit Moon is specifically intended for snowboarders between the age of 7 and 12.

The interiors at Méribel. Image credit: Sylvain Aymoz – Méribel Tourisme
Chalet interior at Méribel. Image credit: Sylvain Aymoz – Méribel Tourisme

For those who want a more aggressive adventure, there are plenty of possibilities to explore. At nearly 3,000 meters high, Mont Vallon is perhaps the best-known slope on the resort, boasting a 1,000-meter descent through stunning landscapes. While the location receives significant snowfall in the winter months, around 50 percent of the resort’s terrain is serviced by snow machines to ensure optimal conditions.

Housing in the resort is vast, with a hotel, private owners, and chalets available to rent during a stay of any duration. Plenty of restaurants dot the terrain in town and along the slopes, with gourmet meals as well as comfy mountain-side dining spots for a break mid-ski.

Swiss ski resorts

Switzerland shares the primary portion of the Alps with France, boasting large peaks with plenty of space to ski. Switzerland is notable for hosting the best-known mountain in the Alps – the famed Matterhorn. As one of the most beautiful spots in the mountain range, these Swiss resorts are perfect for your next vacation.

The dominant Matterhorn. Image credit: pathara/iStock
The dominant Matterhorn. Image credit: pathara/iStock

Zermatt – Experience the highest peaks in Switzerland

With a prime location within the Swiss Alps, Zermatt is a skiers’ paradise. Zermatt is a resort village with access to peaks as high as 3,900 feet so those who crave the adrenaline rush that comes with zooming down the face of a mountain will feel right at home here. The resort village is also home to the Matterhorn, providing a backdrop even non-skiers will appreciate when vacationing in Switzerland.

The resort is made up of more than 350 kilometers of ski runs, boasting some of the freshest powder in the world. With some ski trails dead-ending right in the village, athletes can virtually ski all the way back to their lodging. For those not up to the intensity of the Matterhorn, Wolli’s Park is also an excellent choice, providing an easier terrain for those just learning to master the art of skiing. Visitors to Zermatt can also enjoy the new Matterhorn Glacier Ride, a 3S cableway that can transport up to 2,000 skiers within an hour to the height of the glacier itself.

Those staying at the resort can enjoy both hotel accommodations as well as holiday flats. Some properties are explicitly advertised as ski-in, ski-out, providing dedicated skiers with a way to hit the slopes in next to no time. Restaurants of all kinds are located throughout the resort, with Michelin-recognized dining spots as well as casual mountain eateries located thousands of feet in the sky.

St. Moritz – Embody an Olympic skier

St. Moritz is a spot skiers take seriously – as the home of the 1928 and 1948 winter Olympic games as well as the biennial Alpine World Ski Championship, the ski terrain here is unlike anywhere else. Perfect for downhill and ski-jump skiers, Olympic hopefuls and aficionados alike will love this cozy resort town.

Despite its prestigious history, skiing in St. Moritz is perfect for everyone. This resort is also known for its access to intermediate terrain, offering long and winding courses for those not yet at expert level. The resort offers more than 20 lifts to a variety of hills, making it easy for all visitors to find the right fit. 

For those seeking even more variety, a funicular railway connecting St. Moritz to the Corviglia summit, called Corviglia Funicular, gives resort guests easy access to additional pistes with stunning views.

Visitors to the resort can enjoy numerous residential options while in town, with a focus on chalets and private housing. Guests who want plenty of space to unwind and relax will love the cozy ski cottages, while those who need a single room will appreciate hotel lodging. Dining in town is fabulous as well, with numerous casual and fine dining eateries both on the mountain as well as off.

Austria ski resorts

The tiny country of Austria may be beloved for its beer and sausages, but skiing is a close third. Like France and Switzerland, Austria is bordered by the famous Alps mountain range.

St. Anton – Hit the best slopes in Austria

The Verwallstube in St. Anton am Arlberg offers gourmet cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere with an Alpine panorama  Photo: Arlberger Bergbahnen AG.jpg
Enjoy gourmet cuisine with an Alpine panorama at St. Anton. Image credit: Arlberger Bergbahnen AG

St. Anton, an Arlberg region resort town in the heart of Austria, is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, offering the perfect way for visitors to experience the wonders of alpine skiing.

The longest and best known of the resort’s runs is the Valluga-St. Anton, which spans 10 kilometers from beginning to end. With a maximum height of 1,347 meters, skiers can enjoy amazing views while plummeting down the side of an arching slope. In addition to the defined trails, St. Anton is also known for its off-piste opportunities, some of which are accessible only with help from a guide. Mogul lovers will love the rigorous course on Schindler Kar. St. Anton also provides easy access to the resorts of Lech, St. Christoph, Zürs, and Stuben, which offer an additional 340 kilometers of skiing space. All of these properties are included in the Arlberg lift pass, allowing regular visitors to enjoy mile upon mile of pristine snow.

Staying at St. Anton provides ample opportunity to enjoy a luxury trip, with hotel and stand-alone ski chalet accommodations. Dining in the area is top-notch as well, with gourmet restaurants of all kinds dotting the pristine Austrian landscape.

Kitzbühel – Enjoy a romantic escape

The walled-off resort town of Kitzbühel is best known as a beautiful and romantic getaway. With brightly colored buildings and a quaint atmosphere reminiscent of a simpler time, this charming resort is among the best Austria has to offer.

Kitzbühel is a beautiful town but its skiing opportunities are what makes it a standout destination. Home to more than 170 kilometers of skiable land, those at all levels will find something to enjoy. Several downhill races are held here annually due to the steep nature of some of the pistes; at the most challenging point, one of the resort’s most notable hills reaches 85 percent vertical – nearly straight down. The small yet much appreciated Bichlalm area provides an outlet for freestylers, offering a space for those who like to push the limits. The resort is also connected to the SkiWelt, a belt of attached resorts that provides 90 lifts spanning 280 kilometers with comprehensive accessibility provided by the Kitzbühel Alps AllStarCard.

As a quaint and historic town, most lodging options here come in the form of chalets and private lodges – perfect for a relaxing night by the fire. Restaurants are warm and homey, providing a welcoming place for skiers coming out of the cold.

Enjoy crystal clear days among the mountain tops. Image credit: TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Josef Mallaun
Enjoy crystal clear days among the mountain tops. Image credit: TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Josef Mallaun

Italian ski resorts

Italy’s mountain ranges may not be quite as famous as its northern siblings but that doesn’t mean this Mediterranean nation isn’t home to some amazing skiing. The Alps do cross over into Italy, including Mont Blanc – the highest point in the range.

Courmayeur – Put your skills to the test at a top resort

With rougher terrain yet all of the glamor of the big-name French and Swiss resorts, Courmayeur in Italy boasts a challenge for even the best skiers. Courmayeur’s location is ideal for those who like steep mountainside slopes and challenging courses, providing a picturesque way to tackle major ranges. This resort takes advantage of Mont Blanc, giving skiers the chance to tackle a stretch of this 4,800 meter behemoth. Those simply along for the ride can enjoy the view at the top via a trip on the Funivie Monte Bianco, a cable car that traverses the epic peak.

Due to its challenging nature, many of the pistes that make up this mountain adventure are only available when accompanied by a guide. For those who favor off-piste options, a guide is required here as well. Beginners can take advantage of the nearby Dolonne slopes, but this area of the Alps mountain range is truly best enjoyed by those with significant experience. Nordic skiers aren’t excluded, either; a 20-kilometer network of cross-country trails begins in Val Ferret, right outside of Courmayeur.

Those who simply want a romantic setting with great views will still appreciate this lovely resort. Dining is plentiful on the mountain and in town, from Maison Vieille, the cozy converted shepherd’s hut accessible via ski or cable car, to Petit Royal Restaurant, a fine-dining spot that seats just 24 people and employs a farm-to-table model.

Cortina d’Ampezzo – Skiing in the Dolomites

Cortina d’Ampezzo is nestled within the Dolomites, a majestic mountain range in the northeast that connects to the Italian side of the Alps. The skiing portion of the 2026 Olympics will be held hereafter a previous showing in 1956, which serves as a testament to what this resort has to offer.

Utilizing the five peaks of the Cinque Torri mountains, this dynamic resort town boasts Olympic-grade experiences for the ultimate skiing adventure. In spite of these dramatic and high-flying areas, many of the pistes are intermediate in difficulty with several beginner slopes as well, ensuring a great experience for everyone. For those who prefer to see the landscape on solid ground, the numerous cross-country ski trails in the area allow for a wide variety of adventures. Dolomiti Superski Pass offers access to ski trails maintained by the other resorts in the area, with more than 400 kilometers of pristine snow.

This town is sleek and stylish, with numerous boutique shops and cozy chalets to rent. From casual dining on the mountain to gourmet meals in town, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a high profile place to spend your next ski vacation.

A ski trip is the ultimate in luxury vacations, providing a way to put your athletic skills to the test while touring some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Be sure to book a professional Blacklane car service to and from the airport while vacationing at the best ski resorts in Europe.