With a wet and windy British winter beginning to bite, but still no sign of the white stuff, many of us will dust off our ski equipment and pack up the family for a fun-filled adventure at one of Europe’s finest alpine resorts.
Whether you’re an off-piste specialist, a beginner dipping your toe in the powder, or a family-oriented skier, our guide is here to help you find the most suitable destination when flying from Gatwick Airport …
Flying to Innsbruck before making your way to Mayrhofen, this Austrian resort offers first-class skiing on a decidedly (as far as ski holidays go) modest budget. Home to 27 red runs, 22 blue and three black, Mayrhofen also boasts Austria’s steepest marked slope – the Hara Kiri. For après-ski, check out the numerous lively bars and restaurants dotted around the village.
It may seem counterintuitive to book a ski holiday if you’re not fond of skiing, but if your loved ones are addicted to the slopes, Kitzbühel in Austria offers much more than just exhilarating runs. Non-skiers can have a wander around the gothic St. Catherine’s Church or drink in some culture at Museum Kitzbühel, which houses an exhibition of the Tyrolean painter Alfons Walde.
Ideal for all the family, Obergurgl is a child-friendly resort offering runs for beginners and intermediates – but there is the option to take on some more challenging slopes if you’re up to it. Travellers from Gatwick will fly to Innsbruck, where the traditional atmosphere of Obergurgl is sure to keep you hooked. In the evening, the bars are lively, but there are several restaurants offering a far more tranquil experience if the day has worn you and the family out.
Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe at 2,300m, which means there’ll be plenty of great snow up until the end of April – perfect if your skiing holiday needs to be planned around school holidays. Flying into Lyon from Gatwick, Val Thorens is suitable for skiers of all abilities, and even offers runs for snowboarders. In addition, it boasts a variety of pubs and restaurants if you want to unwind after a particularly exhilarating day on the slopes.