There are no two ways about it – Winter in the UK is bleak. It’s dark before you get into work and dark after you leave. No one fancies that pint as when they have Christmas presents to buy and even your family are sick of you after “that discussion” you had about politics during your turkey dinner.
So why not escape it all? Instead of battling the roads driving home for Christmas, choose the freedom, the laughs and the crisp mountain air of the slopes this year. We teamed up with Crystal Ski Holidays to offer you inside information on how to get the most out of a ski trip and their recommended top 5 places to put your planks on this year.
With guaranteed snow, loads of stuff to do and quality hotels – Tignes is a world class ski resort. Part of the Espace Killy ski area, Kamikaze Kids can enjoy adrenaline filled highs on glaciers in both Tignes and Val d’Isère and beautiful tree-lined runs down into Tignes Les Brevieres. The reason it’s one of the most popular ski resorts for Brits in the Alps is because it really does have it all. While the accommodation may not be the prettiest, Tignes has fun bars, a great ski area and a great selection of tasty cheese. Salut!
St. Anton, Austria
Famous for awesome snow conditions, epic off-piste and our favourite après scene in Europe, St. Anton was also where the film Chalet Girl was set. The ski area’s huge so you can ski all day. Pop over to Lech and Zurs too, they’re easy to get to. Après Animals, when après starts you’ll want to hit the infamous Krazy Kanguruh or Mooserwirt bars. Try not to over indulge too much before you head back into town as there’s a little stretch of slope you’ll have to tackle, and after many beers and even more Jägers it can become a little bit tricky.
Cervinia is fast becoming the place to be in Italy, thanks to its excellent snow conditions and long hours of sunshine. Most of the slopes are wide and cruisey – ideal for those getting to grips with skiing. The area pass links to the skiing giant of Zermatt in Switzerland. Cervinia itself sits at the top of a long valley and has a lively après ski scene. With lots of bars to choose from, you can either go for a laid-back quiet pint or a big night out.
Bansko is Bulgaria’s top resort – it’s got the biggest ski area and the best hotels. It’s also easygoing on the wallet. Very easygoing. What sets Bansko aside from its Balkan neighbours is the selection of fantastic hotels that wouldn’t look out of place in some of the world’s most prestigious resorts. Here’s the chance to soak up some seriously affordable luxury. This is the most snowsure of all the Bulgarian resorts too, with plenty of snow cannons on hand to top up the slopes throughout the season if needed.
This is it. The place where skiing dreams come true. With stacks of awards as the number 1 ski resort in USA and Canada, Whistler is without doubt one of the world’s greatest ski destinations. Better still, it lacks any sort of arrogance or pretentiousness, meaning you’re more likely to spend the night chatting to a friendly Canadian lumberjack then have a waiter turn their nose up at you. We could talk about the massive ski area, amazing snow record, superb après, and top quality hotels – but there’s something special about Whistler that you can’t quite put your finger on. If you’ve been there you’ll know all about it – if you haven’t, then go and find out what all the fuss is about.
If you travel with Crystal Ski Holidays, they’ll include flights, transfers and accommodation as standard. All you have to do is get yourself to the airport and they’ll take care of the rest. The mountain is yours, ready for the taking. Are you in?