Skiing in the European Alps
The idyllic ski resorts of La Clusaz and Megève are best reached from Geneva airport. Both resorts offer stress free downhill skiing and an impressive array of restaurants.
The centuries old village of La Clusaz sits at the foot of the Aravis mountain range in Haute-Savoie against the backdrop of the towering 2,300-meter high L’Aiguille mountain. The village oozes alpine charm with log houses, a magnificent church, and narrow streets. The skiing is not bad either, with 86km of cross-country ski trails and 220km of alpine runs on your doorstep.
An hour’s drive from La Clusaz, Megève borders Chamonix and the mighty Mont Blanc massif. It is a more exclusive ski resort, with designer stores and gourmet restaurants, one of which has been awarded three Michelin stars. As such the après ski scene is somewhat dominated by ladies in fur with lapdogs.
Two alpine ski resorts are more than enough for one week and when you add in Megève’s 100km of cross-country ski trails – no cakewalk at an altitude of 2,000 meters – there’s something for the whole family.
Ski Amadé is Austria’s most comprehensive ski region. The lift pass gives you access to 25 resorts, almost 900km of pistes, 270 lifts, and 700km of marked cross-country trails. You can also hop between resorts, from Bad Gastein and Flachau to Schlad-ming and Ramsau, by taking a bus or a taxi.
There are a number of good spa hotels along the way. Ramsau, however, is best for cross-country skiing with 200km of tempting trails.
You can also go alpine and cross-country skiing on the 2,700 meter-high Dachstein Glacier, with the cable car ride worth the trip alone.
Fly to Innsbruck and you can continue to Val di Fiemme/Val di Fassa in Italy’s Dolomites – the perfect choice for those who like to combine cross-country and alpine skiing.
The region boasts almost 250km of pistes, 110 lifts, and you can ski the 70km Marcia Longa trail – Italy’s answer to the Vasaloppet.
To top if off, you have 100km of groomed trails at -Lavazé and the Dolomiti Superski area at your ski tips.
Text: Cenneth Sparby