Skiing in Europe is all about the whole experience – the long gourmet lunches with friends, the laid-back mornings and the ski spots. It is definitely a different world here – away from the pizzas and burgers and the early morning runs. European Skiing has some perks which cannot be discounted. The Alps, for example, has great vertical drops and there are only a handful of mountains in the US or elsewhere than can be compared to the imposing peaks of the Alps. You need not worry if you are a first timer because the European Ski Resorts have great ski schools where you will learn how to ski. Advanced skiers can take the help of guides to view the backcountry powder bowls in countries like Austria. Most of these mountains open towards the end of November and close in mid April. Let us check out the top ski resorts in Europe.
Levi is the largest ski resort in Finland. Since it is located in the Arctic Circle you need to pack in a lot of warm clothing. People say that if are lucky you can view the Northern Lights from here. The resort stays open till June which later than most of the resorts in Europe. Levi has 230 km of mainland terrain and 45 trails. However, the terrain is not as challenging as the Alps but Levi offers whole new experience. There are Arctic horse races, cross-country trials, a lively Christmas market and more than 800km of snowmobiling.
Cortina is located in the amazingly beautiful Dolomite Mountains. The resort is renowned for its wide nursery slopes and the classic Italian charm. Cortina is well connected with the Dolomiti Superski pass which allows the skiers an access to more than 1200 km of trails through a well established interconnected system. Skiing in Italy is a whole lot of fun as you can pull up right beside established restaurants like Rifugio Capanna Tondo for a real traditional Italian meal. The restaurants located near the Cortina bus station are a bit cheaper. The food is really delicious and the prices are reasonable.
St Anton (Austria)
St Anton has a reputation for having a lively nightlife and high-profile guests. Not many people known that this mountain offers a truly world-class skiing. If you think that skiing here is easy then you are easily mistaken. Mountain guides are more than eager to help the advanced and intermediate skiers on a personal tour of the backcountry. St Anton boasts of 185 km of deep snow descents and 85 lifts. The most coveted spot among the skiers is the Vullaga which at 2800m is the tallest summit here. If you are adventurous then you can try the slide into the steep powdered bowl. If you are not too keen on this then you may enjoy the pristine views from the Valluga View restaurant.
The Kitzbuhel Ski Pass has 4 unique ski areas that cover more than 170 km of slopes. Skiers get to choose from 60 trails and more than 50 lifts. If you are an intermediate or an advanced skier then you should try the Ski Safari which takes the visitors through the most famous trails. The most difficult downhill trail in the world – Streif – is also located here. However, you should not try this unless you are an advanced skier.
La Grave (France)
La Grave is a mecca for those who are looking for no-frills steep skiing in glaciers, cliffs and no fall zones. La Grave is a small village tucked in the French Alps and just an hour’s drive from Grenoble. La Grave has a population of around 500 people only and an intimate atmosphere pervades all around. But if you want to survive La Grave then you need to hire a guide. You can also opt for customized private tours and stay at the famous Skiers Lodge which is just a 3 min walk to the lift and offers live music and guided groups.