Anyone who is looking to enjoy a weekend ski break away on the Continent will naturally want to maximise their time on the slopes. Choosing a destination that enjoys easy access to and from the airport is the best way to achieve this as it will ensure far less valuable skiing time is wasted through being stuck on a transfer bus for hours.
Below are five resorts that are perfect options in this respect as they offer great weekend skiing opportunities along with minimal transfer times.
Chamonix, France – 88km/60mins from Geneva Airport
The large, attractive town of Chamonix (1,040m) hosted the first ever Winter Olympics back in 1924 and is considered by many people to be the birthplace of Alpine skiing. Indeed, the resort is world famous for its steep, challenging runs, off-piste powder, and dramatic mountain scenery therefore it is the perfect destination for thrill seekers who are looking to push themselves to the extreme.
Megeve, France – 87km/60mins from Geneva Airport
Megeve (1,050m) is a traditional Haute-Savoie village surrounded by working farms. Moreover, it is also a relatively low village with skiing up to 2,353m, so snow conditions can be variable. The terrain is suitable for all levels, from long, quiet green runs to plentiful off-piste opportunities that stay untracked for days. Megeve is home to more than 90 restaurants (eight with Michelin stars) while the charming Place d’Eglise is lined with all manner of boutique-style shops, cafes and patisseries.
St Anton, Austria – 100km/60mins from Innsbruck Airport
St. Anton am Arlberg (1,300m) is a picture postcard town that has managed to retain much of its traditional Tyrolean atmosphere. The large ski area (260km runs/83 lifts) ensures skiers rarely have to ski the same run twice and there are a number of challenging slopes, namely Glazig, Gampen, Schindler Kar and Kapall. St. Anton is well known for its lively après-ski, as there are a number of bars located directly on the slopes where visitors can stomp on tables in their ski boots, drink obligatory shots of Jagermeister and listen to German cover bands.
Mayrhofen, Austria – 65km/60mins from Innsbruck Airport
Mayrhofen (630m) is an attractive town which draws in visitors looking to enjoy its expansive terrain and lively atmosphere. The 157km of terrain offers plentiful skiing for people of all abilities, excellent untracked off-piste opportunities and one of the best snowparks in the Alps – the Vans Penken Park. Mayrhofen attracts hundreds of young party-goers in April for the annual Snowbombing festival.
Courmayeur, Italy – 100km/90mins from Geneva Airport; 150km/100mins from Turin Caselle Airport
Courmayeur (1,700m) is a disarmingly pretty, traffic-free village which is made up of cobbled streets, charming buildings and boutique shops (mostly along the central Via Roma). Whilst the actual ski area is not overly high, it does enjoy good snow cover thanks to the north or north-west facing slopes. Courmayeur is best suited to competent skiers as there is easy access to the famous Vallée Blanche as well as lots of off-piste opportunities.