NewsOther NewsTop Ski Weekend Destinations in Europe

FasterSkierJuly 27, 2022
Looking down on the neighborhoods of Les Houches and the Chamonix valley.

Skiing need not be an extended European holiday affair as this novel sporting experience can easily be enjoyed over the weekend. That said, a lot of work and planning goes into making skiing for a short term during weekends a success.

You need to pick your destination carefully, one that has an alpine airport with convenient flight times and easily accessible slopes suited to your style of skiing and hotel owners who are willing to accept bookings for a short stay. Once you arrive at the resort, you should straightaway get your pre-booked lift pass to enjoy a stress-free day of alpine skiing.

To help you narrow down your search, here are six ski destinations that can oblige, not only across a broad range of high altitude skiing abilities and tastes but over weekend stays as well. Snow sure conditions are another bonus for heading to these resorts for unforgettable ski weekends with iGO SKI.

 

Morzine, France

Nearest airports: Geneva(1.5hrs)

Chambery(2hrs15m)

Skiing ability: best for intermediate and advanced skiers.

Morzine is a pretty traditional town located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area and is a wonderful base for experiencing one of the most extensive ski areas in the world. A lively apres scene and doorstep skiing has made Morzine the pick of all resorts in this region. Apart from skiing, there is paragliding, ice hockey and ice climbing plus other winter activities to partake in.

Thanks to the picturesque chalet styled buildings, Morzine has been able to retain its authenticity. In addition, there are lots of shopping avenues to get stuck into, and loads of accommodation available for the weekend on both full and half board basis. Morzine has great nightlife and the dance bars are open till the early morning hours. However, bear the high altitude when deciding when to go.

 

Courchevel-La Tania

Nearest airport: Chambery (2hrs15min), Lyon(3hrs) and Geneva (3hrs)

Skiing ability: best for intermediates

The purpose of building Courchevel La Tania was as the venue of the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics and has since then become a very popular family friendly resort destination. Not only does it offer some of the best skiing in the Three Valleys, it is easily accessible from anywhere in Europe and thus makes for a good short stay destination. Just two lifts are needed to get to the slopes, making access to the skiing area very easy.

Most of the accommodation in La Tania is in chalets and a few hotels and apartments which are quite modern with all facilities. There is no issue with booking rooms over the weekend only as the owners welcome skiers for any duration.The reason chalets in La Tania are sought after by family groups who have limited time on their hands.

Nina Silitch with her 8-year-old son, Birken, who helped pace her at the CCC Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc on Aug. 31 in Chamonix, France. (Courtesy photo)

Chamonix, France

Nearest airport: Geneva

Skiing ability: best for experts

When conversation about skiing on weekends crop up, Chamonix is bound to get a mention at some point of time. This is primarily because it lies barely an hour away from Geneva and enjoys a stunning location under no less than the iconic mightiest of the Alps, Mont Blanc and France’s biggest glacier, Mer de Glace.

It is best to stay near the ski lifts in Argentiere, just north of the town of Chamonix, and prepare yourself for an unparalleled ski adventure from some of the most exhilarating and exacting ski descents down 2000m of literally steep powder. In addition, the town is bursting at the seams with bars and you can choose from over 170 restaurants to eat.

 

La Plagne

Nearest airport: Chambery(2hrs) Lyon and Grenoble(2hrs15m)

La Plagne is a fantastic family ski resort in the French Alps and is a part of the Paradiski ski area, the second largest in the world. Moreover, over 70% of the skiing area is above 2000m which almost guarantees a snow sure experience. Quick and trouble free itineraries are of paramount importance on a short ski break, and additionally La Plagne offers a great range of short stay accommodations, from two star apartments to luxury complexes.

Considering that you have got only a few days to spare on the slopes, save time at the resort by pre-booking your hired ski equipment from a shop nearest to your accommodation. Most of the short-term stays come in the form of catered chalets that provide breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner with wine, all included in the package which further saves time. Moreover, most of the chalets in La Plagne offer doorstep skiing to make hitting the slopes a breeze.

French teammates Richard Jouve (left) and Lucas Chanavat (right) end their season in first and third, respectively, in the World Cup sprint standings. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Meribel

Nearest airport: Chambery and Grenoble (1hr15m) only on weekends. Geneva(2hrs15m) all days

Skiing ability: beginners, intermediates, experts and snowboarders.

With an extremely efficient lift system and a prime location in the famous Three Valleys area, Meribel has been sensitively developed keeping the thoughts of weekend skiers in mind. The attractive chalets, with peaked wooden roofs coated with snow have made this resort one of the most beautiful in the French Alps. Additionally, the resort center is focused around the main lift station, La Chaudanne, where most of the bars, restaurants and ski shops are located.

The top notch lift system ensures easy and fast access to the 600km of pistes, which are on offer between Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens and Le Belleville. Apres ski is good and energetic both on and off the slopes and once you return to the resort center, the bustling bars with live music provide entertainment till the early morning hours. For Meribel ski weekends, the hotels are focused around the Olympic center, which are right next to the slopes as well as the bars and restaurants.

French skiers Delphine Claudel and Lena Quintin stop to refuel during a training camp on the Glacier de la Grande Motte near Tignes, FRA. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Tignes

Nearest airport: Chambery(2hrs) Grenoble(3hrs) and Geneva(3hrs30min)

Skiing ability: best for experts

Backed by the Grande Motte Glacier, Tignes is superb for high altitude skiing, thanks to the record amounts of snowfall it receives. Sitting at an altitude of 2100m, Tignes is made up of several areas like Val Claret, Le Lac and Tignes 1800, which provide easy and unparalleled access to the world famous Espace Valley ski area.The resort has been especially designed in a way to ensure that skiers remain as close to the pistes as possible, with a wide range of ski-in and ski-out options to choose from.

Tignes has become popular with groups and families looking for some weekend action on the slopes and well-priced accommodation. The high altitude glacial runs on the Grande Motte Glacier are a big draw, as is the lively apres ski scene which features night long parties at the famous La Folie Douce nightclub. Visitors should keep a sharp eye for the “Eye of the Needle” an iconic rock formation that is visible from the top of the Aiguille Percee Lift and is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Tignes.

French athletes Lucas Chanavat (left) and Maurice Magnificat (right) out for a rollerski during a training camp in Tignes. (Photo: NordicFocus)

 

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