It’s never too early to start planning your next vacation in Europe, and if you’re a fan of skiing or snowboarding, it’s hard to ignore the draw of the Alps. The Alps span across seven countries: Slovenia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein. The highest peak in the Alps is Mont Blanc. Located on the border of France and Italy, Mont Blanc peaks at 15,782 feet above sea level, higher than any mountain in the continental US. It is considered by some to be the highest peak in Europe, but this fact is debated based on the distribution of the mountain between Europe and Asia. There are hundreds of ski resorts found throughout the Alps so obviously if you plan on going to Europe to ski, you have your research cut out for you.
Ski the Alps: The Ultimate Ski Vacation in Europe
Choosing the right ski destination is not as cut and dry as you may think. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before booking your next trip.
- How good of a skier are you, really?
You have to be honest about this to yourself. Chances are if you want to go to the Alps to ski, you’re probably pretty good, but don’t be pressured by friends into going somewhere that you feel may be out of your skill set. Read reviews of all the locations you are considering to see what people have to say. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you may not be as strong of a skier as you wish you were.
- Should you buy an all inclusive pass?
Are you going to ski every day that you are on vacation, or will you want to explore the surrounding area? Big ski towns like Zermatt are connected to many separate mountains that have base lifts/gondolas in town that connect and transport you. This means you could be buying different tickets every day, or looking for one all inclusive ticket to a specific town. You can usually get deals online by purchasing them early, or buying in bulk, so try to organize this if you can. Search around to find out what you think will work best for you. Remember, there’s a lot of terrain to cover!
- Should you bring or rent skis in the Alps?
This one is always tricky. Of course you want to use your own skis, however transporting them can be tricky. Plus you can’t carry them onto the plane, so they are at the mercy of the baggage handlers. Some people will buy a pair of skis and sell them at the end of the trip, some will just rent when they get to the resort. If you’re interested in trying different skis, this may be a good option for you. It really comes down to your personal preference.
- Is nightlife important?
You’re going on a ski trip, but do you want to have the opportunity to go out and mingle with others after you get off the slopes? Some towns are known for their vibrant nightlife, while others are a little more laid back. If you’re looking for the calm tranquility of a quiet mountain village, it’s best to let people in your group know that. It may mean staying at different locations, but can be worth it. It all depends on what you want. Do some research to find out if you’re getting what you’re after.
This is just the tip of the mountain! There are many other things to consider, but by answering these four questions honestly you will be well on your way to finding the ski resort in the Alps that’s just right for you. Whether you’re headed to France, or want to travel to Italy, it’s sure to be a blast. Get some friends along with you and it just may be the best trip you’ve ever taken!