The 7 best ski destinations in Europe

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Europe is a winter wonderland for skiers. We’ve rounded up seven ski destinations worth exploring.

The quaint town of Davos. Image credit: Damian Markutt/Unsplash
The quaint town of Davos. Image credit: Damian Markutt/Unsplash

It doesn’t get much better than a European ski holiday over the winter holidays.

We’ve picked the best ski destinations in Europe based on trails, atmosphere, and exclusivity to give you options for the upcoming 2021-2022 season.

If you want to start your holiday off the right way, we recommend downloading the Blacklane app to make your airport transfers a breeze.

Davos Klosters, Switzerland

Connected by the Gotschnabahn cable car, staying at either Davos or Klosters gives you access to some incredible skiing.

Davos is known for its variety of ski areas, including Rinerhorn and Jakobshorn in the south, Pischa in the east, and Parsenn towards the north.

Meanwhile, further north is the traditional mountain village of Klosters, a favored destination for celebrity holidayers over the years.

Klosters is well connected to the six main ski areas within the valley while still managing to retain its understated charm – a great option for those looking to stay somewhere quieter.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts from mid-December, except for Parsenns, which opens November 5.
  • 80 pistes
  • 50 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 998 cm / 393 inches 

Where to stay

Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere for direct access to the promenade, a feeling of being surrounded by the forest, and great views from the spa. 

The Chalet Eugenia for private and secluded grounds, ski-in ski-out access, and its extensive wine cellar.

Walserhof Hotel for its Michelin-starred restaurant, in-room open fireplaces, and spacious rooms.

Getting there

  • Zurich Airport – 2 hour drive by car.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Sitting at the base of the well-known pyramid-shaped Matterhorn, Zermatt is a ski destination not to be missed.

From reliable snowfall to consistent sunshine, the expansive slopes at Zermatt offer picturesque scenery and pistes designed for the more knowledgeable skier.

Zermatt’s main strip, Bahnhofstrasse, also offers plenty of boutique shopping and an exciting après-ski scene to enjoy after a long day on the slopes.

Ski stats

  • 2021-2022 ski season starts December 4
  • 59 pistes 
  • 52 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 103 inches / 263 cm 

Where to stay

Mont Cervin Palace for luxury lodgings, a Jacuzzi whirlpool, and multiple dining options in-house.

The Omnia for upgraded mountain lodge interiors, a sun terrace, and a bird’s eye view of the village center.

Hotel Firefly for proximity to the Klein Matterhorn cable car, themed rooms, and wellness areas including a climbing wall.

Getting there

  • Geneva Airport – 2 hours 48 minutes by car
  • Zurich Airport – 3 hours 48 minutes by car

St. Moritz, Switzerland

A skier at St. Moritz. Image credit: Valentin B. Kremer/Unsplash
A skier at St. Moritz. Image credit: Valentin B. Kremer/Unsplash

While mostly known for being the “playground of the rich and famous”, this sun-drenched resort town makes the list for also having an incredibly strong ski scene.

Having hosted the Winter Olympic games twice, there’s a wealth of varied pistes to choose from across the main ski areas of Corviglia/Piz Nair, Corvatsch/Furtschellas, and Diavolezza/Lagalb.

As you’d expect, there’s also plenty of off-piste activities to experience, from cross-country skiing to snowkiting across the frozen Lake Silvaplana.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts from November 27
  • 88 pistes
  • 54 lifts
  • Annual average snowfall: 300 inches / 762 cm

Where to stay

Badrutt’s Palace for beautiful views of the Swiss Alps, elegant rooms – some of which feature a Jacuzzi or grand piano – and great service.

Suvretta House for a traditional Swiss experience, access to the hotel’s private ski lift, and views of the Upper Engadine.

Carlton Hotel St. Moritz for award-winning dining, a sunny panoramic terrace, and beautifully-designed interiors.

Getting there

  • Milan Malpensa Airport – 3 drive by car.
  • Zurich International Airport – two hours and forty-five minutes by car.

Gstaad, Switzerland

According to legend, the hills and valleys of the Saanenland region, where Gstaad is located, are the resulting imprint left by God resting his hand on the earth.

And while Gstaad has been the winter escape for many famous people over the years, including Madonna and Elizabeth Taylor, the town hasn’t lost its old-world charm.

Positioned in the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps, there’s a plethora of activities to enjoy at the ski areas surrounding the town including cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and winter hikes.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts from mid-December 
  • 80 pistes
  • 53 ski lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 177 inches / 450cm

Where to stay

The Gstaad Palace for a family-owned hotel experience, an overnight stay at an authentic Swiss alpine hut, and sweeping views of the Swiss mountains.

The Alpina Gstaad for a private cinema, tailored events for guests, and a holistic spa experience.

Le Grand Bellevue for a traditional Swiss dining experience in a mountain log cabin, a horse-drawn sleigh ride, and floristry classes.

Getting there

  • Geneva Cointrin International Airport – 2.5 hours drive by car.

Chamonix, France

Snowy mountains at Chamonix. Image credit: Chris Biron/Unsplash
Snowy mountains at Chamonix. Image credit: Chris Biron/Unsplash

Five ski resorts span the Chamonix Valley — Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent — near the Swiss and Italian border in Southeastern France. 

This is where thrill seekers thrive – with the area offering up some of the best freeriding in Europe. Vallée Blanche’s legendary 20-kilometre off-piste ski run is a place to test your stamina and determination.

This is also where some of the best come to ski, with a wealth of advanced and expert runs to explore on the Grand Montets mountain and beyond.

Ski stats

  • 2021-2022 ski season starts mid-December
  • 119 pistes
  • 47 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 429 inches / 1,089 cm

Where to stay

Hameau Albert 1er for a stay in the heart of Chamonix, an outdoor hot tub, and views out to Mont-Blanc.

Grand Hôtel des Alpes for elegant interiors, in-house mountain guides, and a ski room complete with a boot dryer.

Hotel Mont-Blanc for modern interior designs, an outdoor pool with views to the Mont-Blanc massif, and an on-site restaurant inspired by the local French Alpine Valley produce.

Getting there

  • Geneva International Airport – 1 hour by car 

Courchevel, France

Courchevel is part of Les Trois Vallées in Southeast France, which is considered the largest connected ski area in the world. The expanse of skiable area means no two days will be the same here.

Courchevel is made up of four towns — Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850 — all named for their altitudes in meters.

For fine dining and upscale shopping, Courchevel 1850 is your best option, while Courchevel 1550 will stand out for the avid skiers.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts from December 4 
  • 110 pistes
  • 170 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 212 inches / 540 cm

Where to stay

Les Airelles for Hermès tableware, a personalized ski valet, and dedicated chefs servicing individual chalets.

Hotel Barrière Les Neiges for a stay in the heart of Courchevel 1850, an open fireplace, and chalet charm with all the mod cons.  

Six Senses Residences Courchevel for designer rooms, private catering, and a scenic helicopter tour.

Getting there

  • Geneva-Cointrin – 2 hours 15 minutes by car.
  • Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport – 2 hours by car.

Zürs, Austria

Sitting in the west of Austria, Zürs offers up some of the most challenging and extensive off-piste skiing the area has to offer – making it perfect for intermediate or advanced skiers.

Heli-skiing is popular here, largely thanks to the rugged and remote terrain surrounding the former farming village.

Zürs is part of the Ski Arlberg ski area network – the largest contiguous ski area in Austria – making other ski locations such as St Anton and Stuben accessible via cable car.

Ski stats

  • 2021-2022 ski season starts December 3 
  • 248 pistes
  • 97 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 98 inches / 250 cm 

Where to stay

Sporthotel Lorünser for ski-in ski-out access, a family atmosphere, and classic Austrian cuisine.

Bentleys House for a penthouse suite complete with its own Finnish sauna, on-site Turkish steam baths, and charming interiors.

Thurnher’s Alpenhof for that home-away-from-home feeling, individualized suites or serviced apartments, and a rooftop terrace.

Getting there

  • Innsbruck Airport – 1 hour 28 minutes by car.

Global chauffeur company Blacklane is the perfect choice for your ground transportation needs. With a complimentary 60-minute wait time for airport transfers and real-time status updates on rides, you can rest easy knowing that wherever you’re traveling to, Blacklane will be there.