The 10 best destinations for big ski areas
These vast playgrounds are perfect for racking up the miles or exploring huge swathes of untouched backcountry. All you have to do is choose where to set up base camp.
Unless stated otherwise, prices are per person, half board, based on two people sharing a double or twin room for seven nights, including flights and transfers. Chalet board means half board plus afternoon tea and wine with dinner.
This ski area’s 650km of terrain covers 13 resorts across the Franco Swiss border. The main ones in France are Avoriaz (a purpose built resort with a quirky charm) and Morzine (a proper little Alpine town). In Switzerland, Champry village is friendly, relaxed and charming. Overall, the variety moncler online store of slopes suits everyone, from beginners to veteran powderhounds, and Avoriaz also has a broad array of terrain parks.
This is wonderful intermediate territory, ideal moncler sale online for families and those piste bashers who want to see how moncler outlet many kilometres they can clock up in a day. But there’s some really tough terrain to be found, such as the Swiss Wall on the border, which always makes anyone’s list of the steepest black runs in the Alps. A basic tour of the Portes du Soleil is a full day out, although much of it will be spent moncler outlet woodbury on lifts. On a week long holiday, it’s better to explore the more local slopes in depth.
In a winter when there’s good snow cover this ski area goes straight to the top of the class, but much of it is too low to discount moncler jackets guarantee the white stuff and while Avoriaz is high, it’s also moncler usa rocky. This is a great destination in a good snow year, but despite investment in state of the art snowmaking, it’s a much less rewarding place to be when the snow is thin on the lower slopes.
Avoriaz was largely the brainchild of French racer Jean Vuarnet, who won a gold medal moncler outlet prices at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics. Its accommodation is mainly ski in/ski out apartments, many of which have been renovated in recent years.
Morzine, a 75 minute drive from Geneva, has a life all year round. It’s well suited to families, but also has a good aprs scene. The Cavern in town is open from 4pm till 2am with two daily happy hours, fancy dress parties and shots galore.
The jagged ridge of the Dents du Midi towers over Champry, where traditional buildings line the main street. The slopes are best moncler jackets reached by cable car from the village or fast chair from Grand Paradis, a short free bus ride away.
Where to stay
Five star Residence L’Amara is a luxury cheap moncler sale ski in/ski out residence in Avoriaz with fantastic views over the Morzine valley. The comfortable apartments range from one bedroom up to five, and there’s also access to the moncler uk outlet Deep Nature Spa and swimming pool.
2. Grandvalira, Andorra
Best for easing into snow sports
The Grandvalira ski area spans 210km, from party hard Pas de la Casa at one end to cheap moncler coats mens the quiet enclaves of El Tarter and Canillo at the other. Soldeu in the centre has long been a favourite of British beginners, largely because of its acclaimed ski school, uk moncler sale which moncler sale outlet includes an English speaking section.
Teaching at moncler outlet store the Soldeu school is of a very high standard, and cheap moncler sale there are moncler womens jackets two large nursery slope areas (one above Soldeu, one above El Tarter), with moving carpets to make life easy. After learning the basics, there are numerous easy runs to progress to, although these can get crowded. Most of the ski area is perfect for intermediate cruising cheap moncler jackets womens almost two thirds of pistes are red or blue. The slopes above Pas de la Casa are more suited to confident intermediates.
While Pas is a good value but unattractive resort famed for wild partying, Soldeu has moved much more upmarket. There are several four star hotels and one five star, the Sport Hotel Hermitage. This is at the foot of the slopes and has a huge spa. However, the village sprawls along a busy uk moncler outlet main road and lacks atmosphere.
Where to stay
Conveniently located close to the lifts, Piolets Park Spa in Soldeu is a smartly renovated four star hotel with airy rooms and glorious views, plus a modern spa and pool.
3. Arlberg, Austria
Best for going for it, day and night
After investing 45 million in four cheapmoncler new 10 person gondolas for the 2016/17 season, the Arlberg covering the resorts of St Anton, Stuben, Zrs, Lech, Warth and Schrcken became the largest lift linked ski area in Austria. The key connections are the Flexenbahn 10 seater cable car linking Zrs with Alpe Rauz in the St Anton ski area, and the Trittkopfbahn 1 from Zrs.
The Arlberg ski area now has 305km of pistes, and there are long term plans to make the area even bigger by linking to the nearby resort of Kappl from the Rendl area of St Anton’s slopes. The ski area’s highest lift, the Valluga, is at 2,810m. From there to St Anton lies an array of runs that varies from moderately demanding to just plain wicked, with waist high moguls to boot. The off piste is one of the ski area’s major attractions, and an excursion to Zrs off the back of the Valluga is a must for any expert it’s accessed by a tiny cable car, and all skiers and snowboarders must be accompanied by a mountain guide. The slopes of Lech and Zrs are more friendly in general, and are linked to the slopes of Warth Schrcken on the far side of Lech.
St Anton moncler outlet online is as serious about its raucous nightlife as it is about its skiing. Aprs starts straight after lunch in places such as the Mooserwirt and cheap moncler jackets mens Krazy Kanguruh, on the slopes above the town, with live bands and dancing on moncler outlet sale the tables till it gets dark. Then many ski down and hit the bars moncler sale and clubs around the lovely old Tirolean main street. For a quieter time, Lech and Zrs are two of the world’smost exclusive resorts, with 100 four star and five star hotels between them.
Where to stay
4. Espace Killy, France
Best for experts, on piste and off
This 300km ski area is shared by Tignes and neighbouring Val d’Isre. The two resorts are naturally linked without the need for long and boring connecting trails or lifts, and it’s not essential to be advanced to have a good time here. But those who are, will particularly if investing in cheap moncler jackets expert guidance.