Whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran on the slopes, skiing can be the perfect winter getaway when you want a vacation with an exciting edge. Ski resorts offer travellers the ideal place to ski through the day and relax and be pampered in the evening, and Europe is full of beautiful resorts for you to choose from.

Alpe d’Huez

This stunning snowy village in the Alps has been in operation since 1936, making it one of Europe’s most historic and beautiful spot to ski. The plateau is south facing at an altitude of 1,860 metres, and the summit, Pic Blanc, towers at 3,330 metres. The views from the peaks are unbeatable- you can take in a panorama view of one fifth of the French territory before you race down the slopes. There are several beautiful resorts to choose from around the peaks, all of which use the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski area as their central skiing base.

La Plagne

If you’re hoping to take the whole family on a fun skiing vacation, La Plagne is your best bet. This resort is all about family fun, with slopes to suit every skiing skill level and 225 kilometres of runs. The resort also has bobsleigh slopes, gentle slopes for beginners and steep drops that will thrill more advanced skiers. The village has several different accommodation options from rustic atmospheres to more luxurious offerings, so you can tailor your ski break to suit your budget and taste.

The Ski Circus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang

This Austrian resort has 55 cable cars, 200 kilometres of pistes and tons of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. The resort offers exciting ‘wave runs’ at the Asitz Run and Sport Run Asitzkogel 2000, as well as a glamorous SkiMovie run and the super-fast Speed Run. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, the food is delicious and the resort’s wellness hotels will keep you feeling energized and ready for your next slope. It’s not all about skiing either- the resort offers speed tubing, snowmobiling, tobogganing and ice go-karting to ensure that no family ever gets bored.

Val d’Isère

Val d’Isère is one of the world’s most popular ski resorts, and for good reason. The massive Espace Killy ski area stretches across 300 kilometres of pistes and has 94 lifts, with top quality slopes available from the most novice skiers up to expert sportsmen. The resort is host to a range of exciting winter sports events every year, including the famous Critérium de la Première Neige. The town itself is charming and quaint, and the resort offers attractive decor, good food and professional instruction to help your family feel comfortable out in the snow.

Verbier

This Swiss resort is at the center of Europe’s ski culture, attracting a young and vibrant clientele from all across the continent that bring an exciting, fun atmosphere to the slopes. The scope of the Verbier resort is huge: there are over 400 kilometres of runs with almost 100 lifts, and the scenery and views are unmatched across Switzerland. The peaks of the ski area at Mont Fort stand tall at 3,330 metres, giving skiers incredible views all across Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. The resort also has a great selection of restaurants, bars and stores to shop at, so families and couples can enjoy the vacation of a lifetime alongside their skiing.

Courchevel

Courchevel is located in the Trois Vallées of France, and its north-facing slopes make for the some of the best snow in Europe. With a lovely woodland setting and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, this is definitely one of the most picturesque ski resorts in France. There are plenty of luxurious upmarket hotels as well as lower budget options, five restaurants with two Michelin stars, and tons of great activities outside of the ski slopes.

Images: “The Alps – Courchevel, France – January 2008” by David Hamill on Flickr.