As the year draws to a close and the air turns crisp, Europe transforms into a breathtaking winter wonderland, luring ski enthusiasts and winter holiday lovers alike. In this guide, we’re gonna check out the crème de la crème of European ski destinations for an unforgettable Christmas ski holiday.
Our list of the best places to ski at Christmas in Europe is going to include a mix of winter wonderland treasures, and of course, the best ski terrain available for the time of year.
*there are also some affiliate links in this article, which simply means we may earn a commission if you buy anything via our partners, at no cost to you…
Although Christmas does often see ample snowfall across the Alps, and Europe in general, the changing climate does mean that some places are less snowsure than others. However, this list is, we reckon, a pretty good list for that genuine winter wonderland vibe.
As a general rule, heading to Austria means you’ll also get to enjoy an authentic Christmas market. Although French and Italian resorts do also have a festive vibe, Christmas lovers should look to the Germanic/Austrian resorts for the most romantic Bing Crosy-esque winter scenes.
OK, yeah. Enough pre-amble. Where is best to ski at Christmas in Europe? Lets find out…
Val d’Isère, France
Nestled high in the Isere department of the French Alps Val d’Isère is a winter wonderland that captures the hearts of holiday enthusiasts year round, with the winter obviously a strong draw for skiers and snowboarders. With its extensive ski area, Val d’Isère offers world class skiing and unparalleled opportunities for an exhilarating winter spots holiday.
But it’s not just about the slopes here – the enchanting Christmas markets add a touch of magic, with stalls selling handmade crafts and local delicacies. Choose from a variety of Christmas ski packages that combine the thrill of skiing with the joy of the holiday season.
If you want top tier skiing and an amazing Christmas vacation, take a look at Val D’Isere.
Where Adventure Meets Festivity
Zermatt, Switzerland, is a captivating ski destination that guarantees a white Christmas. In fact the gorgeous traditional landscape makes this easily one of the best ski resorts for Christmas holidays.
The majestic Matterhorn serves as a breathtaking backdrop as you hit the slopes, and the charming car-free streets are adorned with festive decorations, creating a magical atmosphere. Of course there is much more to Zermatt that just skiing. Explore the Christmas markets and indulge in local Swiss cuisine while immersing yourself in the holiday spirit.
This genuinely is a winter wonderland and the festive season is the perfect time to discover this world class ski resort.
Don’t miss out on the Christmas ski packages that offer the perfect blend of adventure and festivities.
St. Anton/Lech-Zurs, Austria
Thrills and Holiday Delights
The Arlberg ski area is one of the best ski resorts in Austria, and is incredibly popular with both Austrians and international funseekers. The area has some of the most notorious ski resorts, including St Anton am Arlberg, and Lech-Zurs.
St. Anton, Austria, is famous ski resort renowned for its thrilling slopes and vibrant après-ski scene. Skiers of all levels will find themselves captivated by the vast ski area, while holiday enthusiasts can soak up the festive atmosphere in the traditional Austrian Christmas markets. Imagine indulging in delicious Austrian sausages and warming up with hot mulled wine after a day on the slopes – yup, the perfect Christmas vibes.
Lech-Zürs is a part of the Arlberg area and is a ski destination that exudes pure magic. Lech-Zürs offers a winter playground for skiers of all levels especially intermediates looking for some of the best ski terrain in Austria.
Like St Anton, Lech Zurs has a great Christmas market where you can enjoy a festive hot chocolate (or something a little stronger) while admiring the lights and the stunning mountain backdrop.
Austria generally is a great place to go for Christmas, but Arlberg offers some of the best ski resorts for a festive ski holiday with friends or family.
Les Trois Vallees, France
A High-Altitude Winter Paradise
Nestled in the French Alps, Les Trois Vallees, or The Three Valleys is a high-altitude ski resort that promises an unforgettable Christmas ski holiday. In fact, Val Thorens is the highest ski area in Europe, and the Three Valleys is the worlds biggest interconnected ski area – giving you multiple reasons to book a trip here.
With its extensive ski area and well-groomed pistes, resorts including Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Meribel and Courchevel offer a thrilling skiing experience for all levels. The one that stands out is Courchevel, whuch is truly special during the Christmas season thanks to its enchanting Christmas village.
Any of the Three Valleys resorts will make a spectacular base for a Christmas ski break.
Alta Badia, Italy
A Winter Playground with Italian Flair
Alta Badia, located in the stunning Dolomites of Italy, is a picturesque ski destination that marries exhilarating skiing with Italian charm. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert skier, Alta Badia’s well-connected ski area caters to all levels.
The region’s rich culture shines during the Christmas season, with traditional Christmas markets offering a wide array of hand-carved wooden toys and other unique gifts. Delight in the warmth of Italian hospitality as you partake in a Christmas ski holiday that effortlessly blends adventure and tradition.
A Paradise for Adventurous Souls
For those seeking an adrenaline-fueled Christmas ski holiday, Verbier is the place to be. Situated in the Swiss canton of Valais, Verbier boasts an impressive ski area with over 410km of pistes. Advanced skiers will find a playground of challenging slopes and thrilling off-piste opportunities. In fact, we visited Verbier just before Christmas, check out our Verbier review.
After an exhilarating day on the slopes, immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of Verbier’s Christmas market, where you can sample local treats and browse unique gifts. Experience a Christmas ski holiday that caters to your adventurous spirit and check out Verbier.
You can also head to nearby Martigny or Sion to soak up the Swiss festivities.
Alpine Charm with Austrian Hospitality
This charming medieval town nestled in the Kitzbühel Alps of Austria, offers a Christmas ski holiday like no other. With over 170km of pistes, Kitzbühel caters to skiers of all levels. But it’s not just about the skiing or the snow sure terrain.
The town comes alive during the Christmas season, with traditional Christmas markets offering handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts. Anyone who has ever been to Austria or Germany knows that they certainly know how to do a Christmas market. Expect gluwein, sausage, Christmas carols and more.
Where Spectacular Scenery Meets Festive Delights
One of the world’s most famous ski resorts, Chamonix is not just for thrill-seekers. While the Vallee Blanche offers an incredible ski run for experienced skiers, Chamonix also embraces the spirit of Christmas. Visitors can stroll through the lively Christmas market, filled with local crafts and delicious seasonal treats.
While this isn’t the most festive spot in the Alps, you will be able to ski or snowboard by day and then enjoy some festive spirit (and aperitif) at your lodgings and in town.
So, appreciate the spectacular scenery of the French Alps as you embark on a Christmas ski holiday that blends adventure and festive delights in Chamonix.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Skiing Amidst Stunning Alpine Scenery
Cortina d’Ampezzo, one Italy’s most famous ski resorts, promises a Christmas ski holiday surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. With its wide-open pistes and challenging slopes, Cortina d’Ampezzo appeals to skiers of all levels. After a day on the slopes, you’ll find the traditional Christmas market, where local artisans sell hand-carved wooden toys and other unique gifts.
As for the ski terrain? Being in the high Alps, you’ve got perfect snowsure terrain and amazing pistes. A dream Christmas ski holiday for many!
Thrills and Festive Merriment
Saalbach-Hinterglemm, situated in the Austrian Alps, offers a Christmas ski holiday filled with thrills and festive merriment. With over 270km of pistes, skiers of all levels can find their perfect slope.
After an exhilarating day on the mountain, immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit at the local Christmas market, where you can sample Austrian delicacies and find unique gifts. Saalbach-Hinterglemm invites you to ski, explore, and embrace the magic of Christmas.
Enchanting Skiing and Alpenglow Delights
Megève, a charming ski resort in the French Alps, is known for its enchanting skiing experience and delightful Christmas ambiance. With its well-groomed pistes and wide variety of ski terrain, Megève caters to skiers of all levels.
The town’s Christmas market is filled with crafts, local delicacies, and the warm glow of Christmas lights. Unwind amidst the alpenglow and festive cheer as you embark on a Christmas ski holiday that combines alpine beauty with holiday delights. Thanks to its more sedate vibes, Megeve would also make a great family friendly ski option in France…
Crans Montana, Switzerland
Stunning views amidst luxurious surroundings
While Switzerland isn’t short of great ski resorts, Crans Montana is a bit of a gem in the Valais region. With over 140 kms of south facing Alpine pistes, and a reputation for luxury apartments and hotels, we found Crans Montana to be a great Christmas ski resort. With the highest point touching 3000 metres, you’ve got snow sure terrain, a good mix of intermediate friendly slopes, and lots to see and do for families.
Crans Montana is also decorated with festive sparkle at Christmas including the lantern walk, free ice rink discos and Father Christmas even makes an appearance. Read more about skiing and snowboarding in Crans Montana.
Crafting Your Perfect Christmas Ski Escape
Hopefully we’ve piqued your festive interest and given you some great ideas of where to ski at Christmas in Europe. This is just a small selection of some of the great places to explore, and we think you’ll find lots of options from package providers such as SkiWorld.
We think SkiWorld provide some of the best all inclusive options, with flights, transfers and catered chalets/hotels included, not to mention ski passes.
So book in for an epic Christmas ski package, and get read to enjoy an unforgettable winter wonderland!
Looking to book later in the year? Find ideas to enjoy ski in February.