The Best of the Alps
Collected by Jen Murphy, AFAR Contributor
The Alps are the ultimate playground for stylish outdoor enthusiasts. Spend days skiing powder runs or hiking to alpine lakes, then recover with a spa treatment and gourmet meal at a five-star lodge.
Zinal, 3961 Ayer, Switzerland
For pure exhilaration, try your hand at ice climbing. Expert guides from a variety of tour companies, such as Outdoor Interlaken and SkiAscent, take groups up and down frozen waterfalls, glaciers, and ice-covered rock slabs in various locations in...
Spazzacaldeira, 7603 Bregaglia, Switzerland
Taking advantage of Switzerland’s mountain ranges isn't just restricted to skiing in the winter. Climbers from all around Europe descend on the Alps throughout the year, testing their skills on some of the most challenging and thrilling terrain...
Col du Pillon, Route du Pillon 253, 1865 Les Diablerets, Switzerland
The vast wilderness of Glacier 3000 continues to beguile visitors year after year. While you can ski here, most take a snow cat or dog sled across the plateau, or hike to the precipices and look down on the surrounding area. Glacier 3000 is also...
Faulhorn, 3818 Grindelwald, Switzerland
Switzerland has in its midst the longest sled run in Europe. Fifteen kilometers of immaculate slope from the Faulhorn summit, 2,680m, down to the resort of Grindelwald has given the “Big Pintenfritz” legendary status in the Alps. Grindelwald also...
Tauern Spa Str. 1, 5710 Kaprun, Austria
A 4-Star resort with 160 panorama rooms and suites, the Tauern Spa at Zell am See may be the perfect Alpine getaway. Experience a world-class sauna world, indoor pools, spa treatments and six different restaurants and bars. The breathtaking views...
Griesenauweg 26, 6370 Kitzbühel, Austria
A Relais & Chateaux Hotel just above the internationally renowned ski resort of Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Austria, the charming, five-star Tennerhof blends old-school Alpine charm with the service and comfort of a luxury hotel. From...
Several lift and gondola options are found in and around Innsbruck to take travelers higher into the Alps. From the Congress Station (designed by Zaha Hadid) in the old town near the river, the Nordkettenbahnen brings visitors to the top of the...
Grossglockner, 9844, Austria
Grossglockner is, at 3,798 meters (12,460 feet), Austria's highest peak and counts as one of the highest in all the Alps. The mountain, together with the Pasterze Glacier, the largest in the eastern Alps, lies in the Hohe Tauern National Park....
238 Rue des Clarines, 73120 Courchevel, France
Opened by the owners of the nearby Kilimandjaro, K2 sets a new bar for mountain luxury. Hotel Le K2 dresses up its chalets with wall tapestries from the Charles Jouffre atelier. Every bedroom, lounge, and restaurant has vast views of the valley....
Rue du Jardin Alpin, 73120 Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, France
LVMH’s contribution to the Courchevel high life, Cheval Blanc riffs on the Alpine theme with plenty of wood, leather, tweed, faux fur, cuckoo clocks, and even some wooly sheep in the oversize rooms and suites. Many of the guestrooms also...
St Moritz, Switzerland
In a country full of swanky resort towns, St. Moritz takes the crown with its wide array of five-star hotels, designer stores, and award-winning restaurants. The town is also home to such exciting activities as skijoring and ice cricket, which...
Tannberg 185, 6764 Lech, Austria
Lunch is a serious affair on the ski slopes in Europe. Don't expect some grab-and-go bite to tide you over. Be prepared to make a reservation for a table and sit down to a proper meal (and by proper we mean paired with good wine). Rud-Alpe is one...
3863 Gadmen, Switzerland
At 100 meters high and 170 meters long, the Trift Bridge, based on the three-rope Nepalese bridges, takes you over the Trift Glacier area and to a steady hiking trail. Take the Triftbahn gondola up to the trailhead of your hike to the Trift...
Route de la Renarde, 73550 Les Allues, France
The owners of the renowned French winery Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte opened this ski-in, ski-out chalet in the French Alps last December. Not surprisingly, the wine cellar is fully stocked with hard-to-find bottles. After a day on the slopes, you...
Rue du Bouchet, 73440 Val Thorens, France
The 88 rooms at this new hotel in the French Alps have Nordic etched-wood panels and white fur throws, plus floor-to-ceiling mountain views. Altapura is within Europe’s highest-elevation ski resort. Guests can get tips from a ski coach every...
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