Bustling and lively with lots of different slopes or relaxed and quaint with just a few, carefully selected runs, especially when you look to Europe, there really are ski resorts that cater for everyone.
One of the ways we personally love to ski, however, is with our friends and family. In our eyes, there’s nothing better than hiring a chalet with people you know and love and spending a good few days enjoying each other’s company, eating great food (washed down with plenty of great drink!) and of course, spending hours simply having fun on the snow.
Looking at some of Europe’s most popular resorts for group skiing holidays, the following three are those which we believe to currently be the best.
1. La Plagne
Located in the Tarentaise Valley in the heart of the French Alps, La Plagne actually covers almost a dozen villages, all of which are joined together, giving you a huge 425km of skiing area (and when you consider La Plagne has been linked to Les Arcs since 2003, the actual skiing area you have access to is enormous).
Suitable for all levels of skier, what makes the area great for group skiing holidays is the fact it has a fantastic array of bars and restaurants in the centre of the resort (many of which run free mini bus services until 4.00am!), but quieter villages if you’re looking for something a little less busy (perfect for families with younger children or groups who simply want to spend as much time as they can on their skis without getting distracted by the après-ski!)
Plus, with La Plagne ski chalets available for up to 18 people, you can make your La Plagne group ski holiday whatever you want it to be – with you and 17 of your friends or relatives, you’re almost guaranteed to have a fantastic time!
A perfect resort for the more advanced skiers (the off-piste skiing is some of the best in the world), Verbier sits in the Rhône Valley area of Switzerland. Forming part of the Four Valleys, it offers over 400km of runs with backdrops dominated by breathtaking mountains.
As soon as you visit Verbier, you’ll realise why so many skiers have made it their home. Aside from the fantastic variety in terms of skiing, the resort culture and nightlife is second to none in Europe, particularly if you’re looking for something a little more vibrant from your après-ski!
There’s also a number of fantastic events that take place regularly in Verbier, including the Freeride World Tour (which ends with the Xtreme Verbier event), the Verbier Festival (one of the most praised music festivals in the area which takes places at the end of July and beginning of August) and the Patrouille des Glaciers (a bi-annual ski mountaineering race organised by the Swiss Army).
And as the resort is much loved by celebrities, stay in any of our Verbier ski chalets (and we have some that sleep up to 101 people – yes, one-hundred-and-one!) and you could very easily be sharing a run with everyone from Prince Harry through to Richard Branson.
We talked about Tignes last week and how many people consider it to be France’s best skiing resort, but we didn’t explain fully why it’s so fantastic for group skiing holidays.
Consisting of five individual villages over three smaller areas, Tignes is absolutely packed full of things to do. Skiing and snowboarding without doubt dominate the activities in the area, but you’ve also got plenty of easy access to ice driving, ice karting and snow mobiles – and with boys loving their toys no matter what age they are, most who book a Tignes ski chalet with friends and family soon wonder both why they hadn’t visited previously and how soon they can arrange to go back!
Although Tignes has the smallest skiing area of the resorts mentioned here – around 300km – it is regularly regarded as one of the best, largely because it offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for nursery slopes to start your skiing experience or off-piste skiing to really get the adrenalin pumping.
One of the beautiful things about ski resorts that are suited to groups is that there is a sense of friendliness that echoes right throughout the area. It doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling with friends on a lively group skiing holiday or young children on a family trip, the atmosphere of these resorts is always fantastic, no matter whether you decide to visit La Plagne, Verbier or Tignes.