Choosing Europe's best ski resorts can be a formidable task. After all, opinions as to what is best will tend to be subjective. For example, while an expert skier may love Chamonix, there is limited terrain for beginners and intermediates. A snowboarder may enjoy Davos, but skiing purists may find that the resort attracts too many snowboarders to make it a pleasant experience. Thus, in choosing the best ski resorts in Europe, it's important to look at which resorts have the greatest appeal for the largest number of people.
Les Trois Vallees, France
Les Trois Vallees is a ski area that comprises three interconnecting valleys. Located in the Savoie area of France and near Vanoise National Park, the eight resorts that make up Les Trois Vallees are famous for their impeccable grooming and renowned ski school. There is a total of 400 miles of skiable terrain. Each resort has something for everyone. Courchevel is famous for its couloirs and challenging black trails. Meribel is a classic, traditional French resort with an old-world ambiance. It's a great family resort, with lots of excellent intermediate terrain.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
It has appeared in two James Bond movies. Just the mention of its name invokes visions of the glittering glitterati making graceful descents in the glistening snow. St. Moritz is everything that you thought it would be, and more. Located in Switzerland's Engadine Valley, the scenery alone is enough to make you want to return again and again. The area boasts 300 days of sunshine, so you never have to worry about skiing in flat light. A high-tech lift system means more quality time on the slopes, and after eating in one of the on-mountain restaurants, you will never be able to go back to eating at a traditional ski cafeteria.
St. Anton, Austria
Located at the foot of the Arlberg Pass, St. Anton is a resort that invokes visions of the "Sound of Music." For some, its appeal lies in the quaint Austrian villages that surround the town. However, those who seek to study with some of the world's greatest ski masters make a pilgrimage to St. Anton to attend its prestigious ski schools. Unlike American resorts which have one ski school, European ski resorts usually have at least two competing ski schools in each resort. Such is the case with St. Anton. The Ski School Arlberg is the oldest and largest, while the smaller Franz Klimmer Ski School is more personalized. The St. Anton region is famous for its high annual snowfall. As such, it is popular with powder hounds and off-piste skiers.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.