8 Best Ski Resorts in Europe to Visit This Winter

Every skier deserves at least one trip to Europe.

Distant view of town covered in snow and framed by trees, with lake in background

St. Moritz, located in the Swiss Alps, is one of the best places to ski in Europe.

Courtesy of Engadin St. Moritz Torismus AG

Skiing in Europe offers an incomparable setting: Endless peaks capped with meringue-like cloaks of snow, acres of above-treeline ski terrain, massive trail networks, and on-mountain restaurants well beyond the typical ski-area cafeteria.

Here are the eight best ski resorts in Europe that encapsulate the experience.

1. St. Moritz

  • Location: Switzerland
  • Best for: skiers looking for unique on-snow experiences, super-pipe fans, families, and cross-country enthusiasts
  • Visit: St. Moritz

St. Moritz may have a swanky rep, with snow polo (yes, on horses), opulent stores, and a jet-set clientele, but it also offers ample no-pretense skiing. Three separate resorts combine for 88 trails and boundless off-piste terrain (one pass accesses all), while a handful of smaller slopes in nearby towns cater to pint-size beginners.

The Diavolezza/Lagalb area has Switzerland’s longest glacier run (about six miles) as well as full-moon ski nights, when the cable car runs into the evening. The freestyle park at Corvatsch/Furtschellas will host one of the world’s largest half-pipes starting in February 2024, while Corviglia offers yoga and skiing sessions along its Paradiso run. For a change of pace, the surrounding Engadin Valley has Switzerland’s largest network of cross-country ski trails, 150 miles in all.

Where to stay

The Grace La Margna St. Moritz hotel, overlooking Lake St. Moritz, reopened in August 2023 after a renovation of the original 1906 art nouveau building plus a new addition.

Aerial view of snow-covered village next to mountains

In 2022, Vail Resorts purchased a majority of Andermatt’s ski area.

Courtesy of the Chedi Andermatt

2. Andermatt

  • Location: Switzerland
  • Best for: Epic Passholders (access to Disentis is new for 2023–24) and powder seekers
  • Visit: Andermatt

Skiers have come to Andermatt since the early 1900s to enjoy the region’s abundant powder. In 2005, the area in central Switzerland started skyrocketing even more in stature thanks to Egyptian developer Samih Sawiris. At the invitation of the Swiss government, he sunk almost $2 billion into lodging, amenities, and real estate to revive the once-sleepy town.

Skiers of all levels can explore three interconnected resorts—Andermatt, Sedrun, and Disentis—via 33 lifts and 110 miles of trails that sprawl across neighboring Alpine peaks. The slopes directly above Andermatt include steep runs on Gemsstock Mountain, including one named for 1970s Olympic champ Bernhard Russi that plunges almost 3,000 feet over 3.5 miles, as well as gentler trails on Nätschen and Gütsch mountains.

Where to stay

Splurge at the Chedi Andermatt, designed by hotel starchitect Jean-Michel Gathy in an Asian-inflected chalet style. It has an outstanding spa and two Michelin-starred restaurants.

Skiiers at the bottom of a snow-covered mountain

Chamonix is great for thrill seekers, but mere mortals can ski here, too.

Courtesy of Chamonix Mont-Blanc Office of Tourism

3. Chamonix

  • Location: France
  • Best for: adventurous skiers, Ikon Passholders
  • Visit: Chamonix

For adventure seekers, Chamonix has long been a holy grail. Sitting in the shadow of 15,782-foot Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest peak, the area is the birthplace of extreme skiing, thanks to the precipitous slopes high above town and a mountain culture steeped in taking risks.

There are five areas in the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley: Les Grands Montets, an expert’s paradise; Les Houches and Le Tour/Vallorcine/Balme, both great for advanced beginners and intermediates; and La Flégère and Le Brévent, two linked resorts with runs for all levels. Plus there’s the Aiguille du Midi, a peak reached by France’s highest cable car; from there, an iconic off-piste ski experience for advanced intermediates and up (guide recommended) descends more than 9,000 feet down the glaciated Vallée Blanche with stellar views of the Mont Blanc Massif.

Where to stay

The Wanderlust Motels brand brings the adventure lodging vibe to the French Alps, with on-trend retro decor in rooms that sleep up to six, plus a restaurant, coffee shop, pool, and ski shop.

Two skiers in red on the piste high above the village of Val d'isere

Between Val d’Isère and Tignes, skiers can find it all: vast snowfields, thigh-burning steppes, long cruisers, and gentle slopes.

Photo by HUANG Zheng/Shutterstock

4. Val d’Isère/Tignes

Each of these side-by-side ski resorts in the Savoie region’s Tarentaise Valley offers plenty of skiing on its own, but combined, this glacier-capped behemoth provides 186 miles of trails and 71 lifts. Skiers will find it all: vast snowfields, thigh-burning steppes, long cruisers, gentle slopes. Tignes has nine free lifts that serve dedicated beginner areas.

Families also find lots to love here, with a slate of on-snow activities for kids like horseback riding and an igloo village. Val d’Isère’s Gypaète Adventure Slope includes nature-inspired interactive features, such as a vulture-themed ski-through tunnel. On the flip side, après-ski is legendary at the on-mountain La Folie Douce, where you’ll hear the thump of the dance party, with costumed performers, well before you ski into the venue.

Where to stay

The Alpine-chic Hôtel Kandahar has long been a go-to for convenience and charm; it’s located in the historic village of Val d’Isère within a short walk of the lifts.

Skiers and snowboarders on the slopes of winter resort St. Anton in Austria

Arlberg, Austria, is where legendary instructor Hannes Schneider developed his Arlberg technique, the precursor to the parallel turn.

Photo by Boris-B/Shutterstock

5. St. Anton am Arlberg

  • Location: Austria
  • Best for: skiers who want a huge variety; ski-history buffs
  • Visit: St. Anton am Arlberg

Known as the birthplace of Alpine skiing, Austria’s Arlberg region has attracted skiers for more than a hundred years. It’s the country’s largest interconnected ski area; seven resorts—including St. Anton, Zurs, and Lech—offer almost 200 miles of ski trails and another 125 miles of off-piste runs, catering to every type of skier.

The variety of lifts and cable cars is dizzying, too: one, the Galzigbahn, even loads like a Ferris wheel. The signed Run of Fame takes skiers on a 52-mile route around all the ski areas, including the on-mountain Hall of Fame, where interactive exhibits showcase the ski pioneers and celebrities who shaped the region.

Where to stay

The 40-room, Scandinavian-style Ullrhaus sits in the heart of St. Anton, with walking access to two cable cars; it has a spa, pool, and restaurant.

Skiers and snowboarders on a mountain

Most runs are beginner to intermediate, making SkiWelt great for newer skiers looking for lots of variety (there’s night skiing, too).

Photo by kamilpetran/Shutterstock

6. SkiWelt

  • Location: Austria
  • Best for: beginners and intermediates, Indy Pass holders
  • Visit: SkiWelt

Despite its immense size—168 miles of trails and 82 lifts—this resort in Austria’s Tyrol region has not been on many U.S. skiers’ radar. That changed this fall when the Indy Pass announced the resort as a new partner. Nine villages provide slope access, and the ski area is second only to Arlberg in size.
With 80 on-mountain huts, SkiWelt makes it easy to take a break for schnitzel or strudel while enjoying the views of snow-laden peaks extending for miles. Last winter, the resort introduced two SkiWelt tours, designated routes of 42 or 52 miles of trails and lifts that circumnavigate the whole ski area.

Where to stay

Each of the nine villages offers lodging; the on-mountain KraftAlm, reached only by gondola, was renovated in 2021 and now houses 29 modern Alpine rooms, a restaurant, and a jaw-dropping indoor/outdoor infinity pool.

People near a wooded hut on a snow-covered mountain.

At the Zugspitze ski area, intermediates on up have 12 miles of trails to explore on a glacier just below the summit of Germany’s highest peak.

Photo by Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock

7. Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • Location: Germany
  • Best for: families and beginners, those looking for recreation aside from downhill skiing
  • Visit: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Only about an hour from Munich by train or car, Garmisch-Partenkirchen oozes Gemütlichkeit (coziness and good cheer). Beginners and families can hone skills at the Garmisch-Classic ski area, with 25 miles of trails and a special area for kids; experts will want to try the insanely steep Kandahar run, a regular stop on the World Cup race circuit.

Intrepid visitors can even spend the night on the Zugspitze in a multiroom igloo (equipped with beds and warm sleeping bags). Garmisch-Partenkirchen also offers 17 miles of free Nordic ski trails and weekly lessons in biathlon (the combo of cross-country skiing and target shooting that’s hugely popular in Germany).

Where to stay

The family-run Staudacherhof has a classic German Alpine vibe, as well as an emphasis on wellness, with an expansive spa and options for Ayurvedic massage, yoga, and meals.

Winter landscape in Dolomites at Cortina D'Ampezzo ski resort, Italy, Monte Castello area, chair lift installation

In 2026, skiers will come here for the Winter Olympics.

Photo by Boerescu/Shutterstock

8. Cortina d’Ampezzo

  • Location: Italy
  • Best for: intermediates, off-piste skiers, luxury seekers, Ikon Passholders
  • Visit: Cortina d’Ampezzo

Skiers come to this classic resort in northern Italy’s Dolomites for la dolce vita. The four ski areas here make up part of the Dolimiti Superski: 745 miles of trails and 450 lifts accessed with one pass (also the Ikon Pass). The ski terrain around Cortina is exceptional for intermediates, though more advanced skiers, too, will be wowed by the Dolomites’ rugged scenery, with rocky spires rising like snowy sentinels all around. One epic run, the Armentarola, starts at the Lagazuoi ski area and ends with a horse drawn–carriage ride to the lifts.

Off-piste skiing is plentiful, too, and strong intermediates and experts should hire a guide to experience renowned descents like the Lagazuoi Couloir or Sci 18. Then there’s Cortina itself, long a destination for its centuries of history, elegant hotels and shops, and restaurants serving Tyrolean-inflected Italian fare.

Where to stay

The centrally located Hotel de Len is a renovated historic property and uses reclaimed wood accents throughout, including the spa and restaurant, for a naturally elevated ambience.

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