Fancy escaping the wet, windy British weather for a winter ski trip to remember? I asked five top travel bloggers with a passion for skiing to recommend their favourite places for a spot of winter skiing, and here’s what they said.
1) Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo in Northern Italy is one of the best destinations in the country for ski trips, and the ultimate place to spend a winter weekend. The town itself is a pleasant place to visit, packed with lovely characteristic buildings in the typical style of the Dolomites. The destination is also home to a few small, yet interesting museums; luxury boutiques; small cosy cafés and an excellent selection of hotels and restaurants serving delicious local food.
Yet, it’s the slopes that make Cortina a fabulous destination for ski trips. Depending on the weather conditions and the level of expertise, one can pick from a variety of ski stations located around town which can all be easily reached by public transport. Each station has a nice restaurant to stop at for a hot drink and a good meal before continuing skiing – not to mention the picturesque views of the valley and the town below!
– Claudia Tavani, My Adventures Across the World
2) Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is one of the most beautiful destinations for winter ski trips in Switzerland. One of the reasons it’s so pretty is because it wasn’t designed for mass tourism, like so many alpine custom-built resorts. Due to this, most hotels in the area are just traditional Swiss mountain buildings with added amenities.
What also makes Zermatt one of the best ski resorts in Switzerland is that you can ski all year round. This is thanks to guaranteed snow conditions in the highest ski area in the Alps – 4000 metres above sea level.
This romantic and car-free mountain village is also one of the best developed and most extensive ski areas in the world. You can find over 360km of slopes and about 52 installations, including gondolas and ski lifts. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, there are a lot of activities waiting for you, like riding the Gornergrat mountain train up to a height of 3084 meters. There, you can enjoy a hot chocolate while you soak up the views of the majestic Matterhorn and its neighbouring peaks.
– Thomas and Sarah, Trip Gourmets
3) Borovets, Bulgaria
Skiing was always on my bucket list, so when a friend asked me to book my first ski trip at a few days notice, despite not even owning any ski wear or equipment, I jumped at the chance. I may have had a few too many wines when I agreed and I spent the next few days running around like a headless chicken getting everything I needed!
We were both beginner skiers and wanted to experience ski-ing without going bankrupt, so we opted to visit Borovets in Bulgaria to keep the costs down.
When I arrived, it was the snowy winter wonderland I’d imagined with alpine huts everywhere and people sipping on mugs of mulled wine as they sat on the balconies in their cosy ski wear.
Whilst I never really ‘mastered’ skiing, I had the most brilliant week mostly falling over and making a fool of myself before spending the afternoons and evenings getting the most from the après-ski experience!
There was plenty of things to do for non-skiers too – I took a ski mobile and a horse riding trip and we visited some local hot springs to sooth our achy muscles. Borovets is the perfect destination for beginners’ ski trips.
– Leanne, The Globetrotter GP
4) Oslo, Norway
Many people don’t realise this, but the word ‘ski‘ comes from Norway. It’s often said that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet and after my experience of living there for four years, I fully agree! While Norwegians are avid outdoor enthusiasts and tend to excel at all winter sports, perhaps the most popular of all in Norway is cross-country.
However, Norwegians don’t always head too far to show their love for cross-country they can often do it right in their own backyard! In Oslo, the capital of Norway, cross-country skiing is immensely popular and you can see locals taking to the slopes via the Metro on weekends to get some exercise by skiing through the forests on the trails.
The snow sticks around Oslo for many months, but when summer arrives and it finally melts, it’s not unusual to see locals ‘skiing‘ through the city streets on summer skis, which are actually more like skates. I’ve lived in many places, including multiple places in Norway, but I don’t know any other destination whose citizens are so passionate about putting their feet into a pair of skis quite like the locals of Oslo, Norway. And rightfully so, as Norway is the birthplace of skiing!
– Megan, Megan Starr
5) Alpe Cermis, Italy
Having visited Canada and the ski resorts of Banff and Lake Louise some 15 years ago, it was great to introduce our two girls to the Italian pistes of Alpe Cermis in 2018.
With perfect skiing conditions, excellent tuition and the mighty snow-capped Dolomites for as far as the eyes can see, it’s easy to see why Alpe Cermis is popular with Europeans. As first-timers, we instantly fell in love with this fantastic resort, which, as a destination for ski trips, is actually practically unknown to British tourists.
The well-groomed slopes of Alpe Cermis are exceptional and thankfully are always at their best, even if there is no natural snow, as the resort has invested money in snow-canons to ensure perfect conditions for the whole season. Alpe Cermis is one of 12 ski areas that are available within the Dolomiti Superski area, with over 1200km of slopes – plenty for beginners, novices, expert skiers and snowboarders.
For a day-off from skiing, you can always visit the nearby resort of Obereggen for sledding, or Ski Center Latemar to race down the Alpine Coaster Gardone. Alpe Cermis has something for everyone, but don’t take our word for it – go and see for yourselves!
– Lynne Callaghan, Around The World In 18 Years
Have you ever been on any memorable ski trips? Share your experiences below.