Looking for some inspiration for that skiing weekend break then look no further as Blue Eye Travel has compiled the top 4 places for that cheeky weekend away!
The main things to look for when choosing a location for a ski weekend is short transfer times, good selection of restaurants, plenty of pistes and if it’s your thing then excellent après ski.
France is well known for its ski resorts so there are plenty to choose from but I have selected Morzine and Courchevel as my top two, so carry on reading to find out why.
Morzine is just a 75 minute drive from Geneva airport and with a short flight time from London of just over 1h 40 minutes getting to Morzine couldn’t be easier. There are regular flights leaving from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton so no matter where you are based in the South East there’s sure to be an option for you.
Why is Morzine so good for a weekend ski trip? Well with over 100 restaurants serving every type of cuisine you certainly won’t go hungry from traditional Savoyard dishes such as fondue and tartiflette through to top restaurants such as L’Atelier at Hôtel Le Samoyède or Le Restaurant du Chalet at Hotel Chalet Philibert. Combined with a good après ski scene you can celebrate the end of your ski day.
The resort is known as a good place for intermediate skiers with over 650km of pistes there’s something to suit everyone. Those who are more experienced can ski all day and not get bored with so many kms of piste and for those beginners there are green runs near the bottom of the mountain where you can practice and improve your technique!
The accommodation in resort is mainly hotels on a half board basis but there are also chalet options from 3* upwards.
If you are willing to have a little longer transfer times then another option for France would be Courchevel. Although easy to get to via air to Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble or Chambrey there is a transfer time of between 2-3 hours depending on where you fly to, or if you are ok to travel by train there is a high-speed train to Moutiers.
Courchevel Moriond (formerly Courchevel 1650) is a great option for affordable hotels and lively nightlife with some bars and clubs open until the small hours. There is a free bus link between all four Courchevel villages from the early morning until 1am meaning that you can easily explore the other villages or catch an early bus to hit the slopes when the lifts open to maximise your time on the slopes.
Courchevel Moriond is an attractive village with accommodation which is mainly chalets providing access to one of the world’s largest ski area. There is 105km of pistes across the whole of Courchevel with a total of 67 ski lifts with 6 lifts leading out of Courchevel 1650. With a stay in Courchevel you have access to 600km of pistes in the Three Valleys if you really want to pound the slopes in your weekend!
Courchevel is a great place for beginners and experts alike with pisted runs 19% are classified as green, 31% blue, 40% red and 10% black as well as some off-piste to explore. There is a beginners ski area plus a ski park where you can practice to your hearts content.
There is a great selection of restaurants from local to international including Michelin starred restaurants such as the 3* ‘Le 1947’ which has a fantastic slope side location in the Hotel Chevel Blanc.
One for great skiing, après ski, nightlife and accommodation St Anton, Austria has it all.
To get to St Anton you can take a flight to numerous airports including Innsbruck 100km, Zurich 200 km and Munich 250km from here you can take a taxi, shuttle transfer or the train, all of which can be booked in advance. From Innsbruck the transfer is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. From Zurich is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes and from Munich is approximately 3 hours 30 minutes.
As well as being able to ski in St Anton you can now ski in nearby Stuben, Zurs and Lech through the Flexenbahn cable car meaning there is lots of skiing to be done! St Anton has a total of 305km of runs including Blue runs 42%, Red runs 42% and Black runs 16%. There are regular ski buses that can get you between the mountains and lifts or to the centre of town where there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and shops. If you want to try something other than skiing then why not try ice skating or the toboggan run. The ARLBERG-well.com centre is a great option for all you spa needs with pools, waterfalls, saunas steam rooms, massage.
The accommodation in St Anton consists mainly of hotels from 3* upwards but chalets are also available for larger groups or for those that don’t mind sharing. Ski in and out is rare in St Anton with the Mooser Hotel being the only one.
Skiing in St Anton is for confident intermediates or experts as the runs can be challenging and there is plenty of off-piste to keep you occupied.
The final place on our list is Saas Fee in Switzerland, known as the “Pearl of the Alps” this car-free resort is a great option for a weekend ski break. Saas Fee is a relatively small resort but there is a good selection of shops, restaurants and bars to appeal to everyone.
For those who are relative beginners there are nursery pistes by the town centre meaning that you won’t have to travel too far to ski and ski schools are available. For more expert skiers you can head up to the Langfluh and Allalin areas where you can ski on the glacier but be sure to stay within the markers as this area has some dangerous crevasses off piste.
Did you know that Saas Fee holds 3 world records? The Mittelallilin restaurant, is the highest revolving restaurant at 3,500m, the world’s highest metro which starts at 3,000m and ends 500m higher outside the revolving restaurant and finally the world’s largest ‘ice pavilion’ which is a series of walkways through the glacier which ends with a exhibition of ice sculptures.
Most of the accommodation in Saas Fee is in hotels and apartments, although there are a few catered chalets. Saas Fee is a traditional style village with an older area to walk through if you fancy exploring the history of the village.
For those non-skiers or those that want some alternative activities this resort offers walking, tobogganing and paragliding in a designated area known as the Hannig.
The easiest route to Saas Fee is to fly to Geneva, Zurich or Milan which have regular rail transfers to and from Brig and Visp where you then take a short bus transfer up to the village. Another popular option is to drive to the resort from one of the main airports and you can park your car in the carpark just outside of the resort and walk in.