So you conquered the local slopes a lifetime ago, and have criss-crossed the Alps one too many times, but your feet can’t wait to slide into ski or snowboard boots? As it turns out, there are heaps of powdery snow not far from Milan, Barcelona and Vienna, so answer the winter’s calling and start looking for flights!
The distance between the capital of Catalonia and the Pyrenees that are covered in snow from November to April takes just a few hours to travel. At Baqueira-Beret
, the quality of snow is medal-worthy; snowfall creates such perfect conditions that even the King of Spain tends to come over on the weekends.
The valleys are surrounded by 3000-metre high peaks and green forests. You’ll kill two birds with one stone at La Molina–Masella
: these two resorts are connected by ski lifts, so one ski pass will grant you access to both. The total length of pistes reaches 141 km, and it’s the best resort for learning the ropes of winter sports.
An hour and a half long drive from Zurich can take you to countless resorts. The nearest one is Flumserberg
, a skiers’ paradise with a view to Lake Walensee. It’s an idyllic place with 82 kilometres of skiing tracks of various difficulties; and on Fridays lights illuminate the slopes for night skiing fans.
, meaning Mountain of angels, is not just home to a 12th century Benedictine monastery, but absolutely heavenly skiing tracks with a view to lakes and pointy peaks.
is the highest resort in the wide Milky Way (Via Lattea) skiing area – it boasts an impressive history of winter sports, and is one of the first purpose-built skiing resorts in the world. In 2006 resort was place for Winter Olympic games. It’s a great choice for beginners and intermediate skiers, and it’s also one of the rare resorts where night skiing on brightly illuminated slopes is available. On the other hand, 7 km beyond the border you can ski on the French side, where fewer skiers are.
is the highest resort in Slovakia – one of the pistes is 6.5 km long, beginning at an elevation of 2196 metres and ending at the base camp. Lomnický štít
, the second highest peak in Slovakia lies nearby. And now it’s time to believe your eyes – you can spend a night on the summit! Can you imagine what the blanket of stars looks like up there?
Verona is not just a place where lovers, inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliet, flock to; snow enthusiasts have made their claim on it too. One of Italy’s most famous resorts is Madonna di Campiglio
, standing at an elevation of 1550 metres.
You’ll mostly hear Italian around you, so the chance of running into acquaintances is rather slim. Are you ready to cross the snowy fields on a paraplane at the height of two kilometres? If you are into rock climbing, you can put your skills to use by climbing up a frozen waterfall.
Where can one ski is one of the frequently asked questions in Vienna. Ötscher
is situated 150 km from the capital of Austria, and it has 19 kilometres of beautiful skiing tracks. On the season opening day everyone can test the latest ski models free of charge. The largest ski resorts offer up to 303 kilometres of slopes (St. Anton/St. Christoph/Stuben/Lech/Zürs/Warth/Schröcken – Ski Arlberg). The highest ski resorts for skiing in Austria (Österreich) extend up to an altitude of 3,440 metres (Pitztal Glacier (Pitztaler Gletscher)). Everything that your heart desires is right here!
is a charming place – in 1965, The Beatles shot the video for their single Help. To the south from Salzburg, you’ll find a wonderful perk in the resorts – hot springs! Bad Gastein village is the right place for enjoying beautiful views and steaming pools.
Praz de Lys
is perhaps the best resort that you’ve never heard of. And it’s located just 65 km from Geneva! Although it offers six black pistes, families, beginners and cross country skiers will feel at home as well. The legendary Chamonix region has a unique, diverse relief and a wonderful view to Mont Blanc. The slopes will delight and challenge all skiers, but those into snapping photos will appreciate the sunrises when the peaks are covered in gold and diamonds.
In the heart of the Caucasus, 2200 metres above sea level the Gudauri
region sits whose slopes are suited even for those into giant slalom. 1.5-metre thick snow covers the slopes from December to April, and if you’re ready to splurge, try heli-skiing. Instead of a ski lift, get into a helicopter that will take you to a very extreme location – the peak of a wild mountain. To get downhill, use unmarked slopes where the snow has not been touched by anyone. And in the evening, a refreshing sauna ritual might be just what the doctor ordered.