The best mountain resorts for a memorable snow break

Whether it’s your first introduction to the mountains, you’re already an experienced skier, or you just want to relax while surrounded by nature, the chic Austrian Alps, iconic Mont Blanc, and wild Finnish Lapland are waiting for you this season.

Go up and down the slopes, enjoy sledding with the whole family or friends, snap the most iconic winter pictures, have fun with après-ski, and discover the secrets of rich local cuisines!


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Chamonix, France

Sitting at the foot of Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, this village in the Haute-Savoie region presents the full grandeur of the French Alps.

Just an hour’s drive from Geneva, it welcomes visitors with excellent snow conditions and even more inspiring scenery.

Chamonix welcomes visitors with excellent snow conditions


A bit of history 

Guided tours to the glacier were the main economic driver here until the end of the 19th century.

That changed in 1924, when Chamonix hosted the first-ever Winter Olympics. Although the French athletes didn’t bring home any medals that year, the milestone event allowed this tiny village to jump into the international scene.

The very first Olympic winter games were hosted in Chamonix

Photo on Instagram


At a glance

Chamonix offers nearly 170 kilometres of slopes
Photo on Instagram

Chamonix has several ski zones – Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere, and Le Brevent – with nearly 170 kilometres of slopes.

The legendary Grand Montets area is home to steep and deep challenging slopes.

Les Houches is a place for all levels, including the famous World Cup slope La Verte des Houches for more experienced skiers.

Ski zone Les Houches is a place for all levels

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Chamonix also has plenty of options for those who love Nordic skiing, with almost 60 kilometres of trails crossing the Houches valley to Vallorcine.

The circuit from Lognan to La Trapette is quite challenging, as it features a vertical drop of 730 metres.

If you’re a beginner, you might consider taking the easier path through Charamillon.

Chamonic has plenty options for Nordic skiing lovers


Must-try experiences

Off-piste is a big thing in the French Alps. La Vallée Blanche departs from the Aiguille du Midi cable car at 3800 metres above sea level and returns to the village through the forest.

Despite its length (about 20 kilometres), the views along the way are well worth the adventure.

Off-piste is a big thing in the French Alps

Photo on Powderbeds

Still want more action? Join the evening ski experience every Thursday from 18:30 to 20:30. It’s free and open to everyone.


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Kitzbühel, Austria

Skiing is a way of life in this quiet, fairytale-like village in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps.

Considered Austria’s most luxurious ski resort, Kitzbühel brings together excellent snow quality, modern ski lifts, and a classy, sophisticated atmosphere like no other place in the world.

For skiing destination choose fairytale-like village - Kitzbühel

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A bit of history

Austrian businessman and politician Franz Reisch is considered a local hero.

The son of a gingerbread and wax maker, he showed the potential of the region by being the first to ski down the Kitzbüheler Horn, in 1893.

Catch the best sunset view on the top of Kitzbühel

Photo on Instagram


At a glance

With 57 ski lifts and more than 230 kilometres of wide, well-groomed slopes, most of them easily accessible from the town centre, Kitzbühel has something to offer every visitor.

Experienced skiers can try the Streif, a summer pasture that in winter becomes one of the most challenging downhill slopes in the world.

In Kitzbühel you will find one of the most challenging downhill slopes in the world

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If challenge doesn’t go well with your DNA, there are also easier options to make the most of the resort.

The Erpfendorf ski area at Lärchenhof is the perfect spot for families, and the Resterkogel is a short, gentle slope that’s ideal for beginners.

Ski resort perfect for families in Austria is Kitzbühel

Photo on Instagram

Likewise, the Tyrolean mountains are an excellent place to do some cross-country skiing.

In addition to exercising your muscles, it’s a great way to explore the resort and enjoy the scenery.

The 18-kilometre route that connects Kitzbühel to the traditional villages of Aurach and Jochberg delights with its unique mountain setting.


Must-try experiences

For those not so into skiing, a romantic tour by horse-drawn sleigh through the winter scenery around the Hohe Salve mountain can be a memorable activity.

Most of the providers of this service are located in the beautiful villages of Hopfgarten im Brixental.

Experience a romantic tour by horse-drawn around the Hohe Salve mountain

Photo by Michael Werlberger

Nearly as important as a good day of skiing is the après-ski, a social (and drinking) activity that’s a must for most visitors to Kitzbühel.

Bars and huts across the resort open after lunch to warm up the party, which officially starts when the sun sets behind the mountains.


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Kittilä, Finland

Landing 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle feels like arriving at the end of the world.

Surrounded by pristine forests and snow-laden trees, the idyllic Lapland region provides an opportunity to reconnect with nature in a stress-free environment.

Reconnect with nature in Kittilä - a stress-free environment


A bit of history

Finns have been skiing here since 1964, when the municipality acquired some land and built the first ski lift.

One of the largest ski resort in Finland - Levi ski resort

Since then, the resort has hosted a variety of professional competitions, including the European Women’s and Men’s Cup.

Kittilä is also home to the Levi Snow Sport Academy, where students learn to become ski instructors and future athletes train for competitions.

Levi Snow Sport Academy trains the new ski instructors


At a glance 

With 44 slopes, Levi is one of Finland’s largest snowboard and ski resorts.

The mountains are not very high, but the northern location guarantees good-quality snow throughout the winter season.

In Kittila good-quality snow throughout the winter season is guaranteed

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The Levi Glacier Express, a lift with a maximum capacity of 3000 skiers per hour, is one of the most-awaited new features this season.

This will also come with the refurbishment of the so-called front slope and the construction of Finland’s first glacier right next to the lift.

Part of the slope will remain permanently covered with snow and ice, allowing skiers to enjoy snow as early as September!

Ski trails are waiting to be explored all over Kittilä

Photo on Instagram

More than 200 kilometres of cross-country ski trails are waiting to be explored all over Kittilä.

One of the most epic trails is 11 kilometres long, departing from the car park in Järvirovantie and passing by Lake Levijärvi and the forest around Köngäs.

Experience polar night in Kittila

Photo on Instagram


Must-try experiences

In Lapland during the winter time you have high chance to see northern lights
Photo on Instagram

If anything elicits a sense of pride in the locals, it’s the northern lights, which are a natural phenomenon like no other.

While there are several options to gaze at this natural phenomenon in style – including on horseback, snowmobile, or from a sleigh pulled by horses, dogs, or reindeer – the best tip is to just always keep an eye on the sky at night, especially in winter.

Enjoy sleigh drive pulled by reindeer


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Read more about authentic travel experiences in Baltic Outlook.

Cover photo on Unsplash
Text by David Palacios Rubio

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