When the snowflakes start falling thickly from the sky and it gets bitterly cold outside, it’s not just passionate winter sports enthusiasts who are drawn to the slopes. There are fantastic ski resorts all over the world that offer a lot of fun potential for professionals and beginners alike. Whether snowboarding or skiing, rapid downhill or alpine cross-country skiing, skiing has long since developed into a hobby that spans generations and is also very popular when it comes to vacation planning. Germany and Switzerland are among the most beautiful destinations when it comes to a ski vacation!
1. Ischgl in Austria – skiing, lifestyle and party
Ischgl is not called the Mallorca of skiers for nothing, because there is always something going on here in winter. If surveys are started, Ischgl is guaranteed to always do well and is regularly counted among the most popular ski resorts ever. Not only are there numerous luxurious, but also reasonably priced accommodations on site, but 239 kilometers of slopes for every experience level await winter sports enthusiasts and all those who want to become one.
The maximum altitude in Ischgl is 2,872 meters, and the longest run is a total of 11 kilometers. There are no glaciers in the region, but in the evenings the focus is on partying without end. There is always something going on in the après-ski huts after sunset at the latest, and if you travel here as a single person, you will quickly get to know new people. Events take place regularly at the opening of the season, well-known German stars such as Helene Fischer, but also international stars such as Elton Job, Lenny Kravitz and Jason Derulo have already performed here.
2. Zermatt – for those who want to go high up
Zermatt, located directly on the 4,478-meter-high Matterhorn, is the most legendary ski resort in the Swiss Alps. 360 kilometers of slopes await winter sports enthusiasts here, with the maximum altitude at an incredible 3,883 meters. Those planning a long descent can race down the valley for 17 kilometers while admiring the region’s enchanting glaciers. The highlight: in Zermatt, skis can even be strapped to your feet in summer.
Getting to this impressive ski resort by car is not possible. What is allowed are electric cabs or the shuttle train that takes visitors from the train stations and airports to the winter sports region. There are numerous 5-star resorts, but also inexpensive accommodations and those who look attentively into the face of their counterpart here will quickly meet one or two celebrities.
3. Arlberg – the largest ski resort in Austria.
Ski Arlberg is by far the largest ski resort in Austria, although here “only” an altitude of 2,811 meters is reached. The longest downhill run is 11 kilometers, and vacationers can expect a total of 306 kilometers of slopes here. Snow is guaranteed here around winter time and so tourism is one of the main sources of income for the resort. Particularly popular are the 200 km of ski routes, which are predestined for alpine cross-country skiing. In addition, heliskiing can test one’s courage.
In Austria, Ski Arlberg looks back on a long tradition and is considered the birthplace of skiing in the Alps. The first Austrian T-bar lift was put into operation here and the very first ski race was also held locally. There are no glaciers to be seen in the area, but there are numerous ski huts and après ski events that are frequented by tourists and locals alike.
4. Sölden – the skiing area of James Bond
If you love James Bond, you absolutely have to travel to Sölden for some skiing. The place calls itself a hotspot, but only offers a total of 146 kilometers of slopes. Particularly beautiful is the long downhill run, which at 15 kilometers is a highlight even for experienced skiers. The maximum mountain height in Sölden is 3,340 meters. Snow is guaranteed here every year, as two gigantic glaciers and three mountains over three thousand meters high await sporty visitors.
Especially among young people, Sölden is a highlight, because ski parties are held here regularly in the high season, which are worth seeing. Those who spend more than three days on vacation can then also use their ski pass in neighboring Gurgl, so you can also save money on skiing! And Bond fans know that Daniel Craig shot the legendary scenes for his film Spectre here!
5. St. Moritz – the skiing experience for the rich and beautiful
When you think of celebrity skiers, you automatically have St. Moritz in mind, and rightly so. Here, winter sports enthusiasts are guaranteed to meet a celebrity or two, because the rich and famous of this world like to return every year to enjoy their lives on speedy downhill runs or legendary après ski parties. But St. Moritz offers more than just a glimpse into the world of high society. With a total slope length of 350 kilometers and an altitude of 3,303 meters, the ski resort is one of the largest in the region and the season already starts here in mid-October.
The slopes are considered to be snow-sure and the impressive glaciers embellish the ambience even more. At just 10 kilometers, the longest run is somewhat smaller than in many other regions, but there are wonderful cross-country skiing routes that are suitable for a leisurely outing with the whole family. Corviglia, one of the slopes, even made history in 1948 when the Winter Olympics were held there!
Winter sports vacations are becoming more popular every year
While winter sports, and skiing in particular, were more the preserve of the upper 10,000 50 years ago, today more and more fans of the sport have found their way to the slopes of Europe, and so they are bustling with activity. Austria and Switzerland in particular are always inviting to adventurous vacations and are highly popular with tourists from all over the world.
The beauty of winter sports is that it is not only an occupation for athletes, but also a hobby where amateurs can have a lot of fun. For those who have never stood on skis before, it is not uncommon to find ski instructors in great demand locally, who offer courses and thus ensure a secure grip on the boards.
But even a minor fall is almost never a problem at the ski resort, because the thick, soft snow cover provides impact protection. The higher the ski area, the more guaranteed the snowfall, so it is mainly the areas beyond 3,000 meters that are very high on the list.