North America is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, but for many a European ski vacation has an undeniable appeal. It’s an opportunity to experience another aspect of Europe, and enjoy long runs followed by leisurely meals of raclette and fine wines. On any day you want to pack it in early and spend time exploring France, Italy, or Switzerland beyond their ski slopes, Club Med’s resorts are located near charming towns in all of these countries. So, your active vacation becomes a cultural experience too.
It can, however, feel somewhat daunting. The logistics of arranging a ski holiday in a foreign language may feel formidable compared to booking a room at a favorite resort in, say, Colorado. Yet with 21 European Alpine resorts—17 in France, two in Italy, and two in Switzerland—Club Med makes it easy to plan a stylish escape to the slopes. In December, this exceptional group of Alpine resorts will be joined by yet another, Les Arcs Panorama, at the Arc 1600 ski resort in the Paradiski ski domain near Mont Blanc.
Here are seven reasons why you should entrust your ski vacation to Club Med.
1. Location, Location, Location
Pragelato Vialattea in Italy’s Piedmont region is Europe’s second largest ski area with 273 miles of runs, many of which hosted events during the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. While that may sound impressive, it is topped by Val Thorens in France, which has more than 370 miles of skiable terrain, making it the largest ski area in the world. Within each area, the Club Med resorts have prime locations, with direct ski-in/ski-out access while also near all the amenities in the local resort towns.
2. Lift Tickets Are Included
Lift tickets can end up eating a large chunk of your vacation budget, and not only can they be expensive, but in Europe, they can often feel unnecessarily complicated. Do you buy a week pass? Or would you be better off getting two 2-day passes, and then taking a day off for non-ski activities in the middle of your holiday? Then you have to navigate a list of discounts and figure out whether you can take advantage of any of them. With Club Med, on the other hand, tickets are included with your room. It’s one easy calculation, and you will no longer feel compelled to keep skiing to get your money’s worth if there’s an afternoon when you’d really rather be at the resort’s spa.
3. Ski and snowboard lessons also included!
Much like lift tickets, classes can end up throwing off your carefully calculated budget, and it’s one item you really shouldn’t skip to save a few dollars, especially if you are traveling with kids or anyone else new to the sport. Club Med includes instruction in their all-inclusive rates, provided by the excellent ESF team (that is, École du Ski Français). They have classes for skiers and snowboarders, and at all levels for students age 4 and up. So, whether you are a beginner just learning how to get up on skis or more experienced and looking to perfect your kick turn, they have a class at your level—and you won’t have to pay extra.
4. The Food
Yes, we’ll admit the food offerings at many North American resorts have improved in recent years but if we’re being honest, it’s still too many burgers, chicken nuggets, and soggy salads. At Club Med’s resorts in the Alps, the culinary offerings celebrate local cuisine. You’ll dine on fondue and raclette paired, of course, with outstanding European wines. You won’t even have to feel guilty about ordering them — you’ve already burned off those calories.
5. Childcare is Included Too
While you likely want your kids to embrace skiing or snowboarding like you have and get them out on the slopes, the truth is eight hours of skiing makes for a very long day when you are six years old. With childcare included for kids from 4 – 17 years of age, you can drop the kids off for a few hours or all day.
6. Après-Ski, Club Med Style
Club Med knows how to turn a stay at a property into a truly unforgettable vacation. Part of the appeal of staying at one of their resorts is that, before you know it, you’ll likely be trying new activities, and you may find yourself singing and dancing with your new friends from around the world. This is true of all their Alpine ski resorts too. With spas, fitness classes, opportunities to try other sports like Nordic walking or snow-shoeing, and the festive atmosphere that distinguishes all Club Med resorts, your time on the slopes is just the start of a winter holiday you’ll never forget.
7. One more Bucket-List item, checked off
We can list more reasons why you should ski the Alps with Club Med, but when it comes down to it, perhaps the number one reason is that you’ll get to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’ll ski some of the most famous runs in the world and enjoy impossibly romantic settings with Club Med making it as easy as simply booking an all-inclusive reservation.