| Home | Tourism | 2020-01-13

Switzerland´s Les 4 Vallees revealed as Europe´s ultimate ski resort

With over 3,000 ski resorts in Europe to choose from, booking the right destination can be a difficult task for any winter sports fan. Columbus Direct has analysed a series of metrics in order to create a new index that reveals which alpine resort comes out on top this ski season.  
  • Switzerland’s Les 4 Vallées takes the crown as Europe’s ultimate ski resort
  • France is the leading country for ski resorts with 14 French resorts ranking in the top 25. The rest of the top 25 consists of 6 Austrian resorts and 5 resorts in Switzerland
  • France’s Les 3 Vallées is ranked number 1 destination for beginners, with 312 blue runs and third for ski schools with a total of 26
January 2020: Columbus Direct have analysed Europe’s ski resorts and ranked them according to key factors that are important to skiers and snowboarders alike. By compiling the proximity from the airport, resort altitude, total ski runs, blue runs, red runs, black runs, average snowfall, the price of a one-day lift pass, number of aprés-ski bars and number of ski schools for each destination, Columbus Direct has identified Europe’s ultimate ski destination.

Europe’s mountains are full of resorts equipped to meet the needs and wants of all its visitors, but choosing the perfect ski getaway is not always easy. From guaranteed snow to finding enough slopes for all your group’s abilities, to the number of aprés-ski bars for post-skiing activities and the length of the drive from the airport to the mountains. All of these are important factors to consider when booking the perfect ski holiday, but which resorts are equipped to meet your winter sports needs? 

Switzerland’s Les 4 Vallées (Verbier, La Tzoumaz Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon) takes the crown as Europe’s ultimate ski resort, with France’s Les 3 Vallées (Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Méribel, Courchevel) coming in 2nd place and France also taking 3rd position with Les Portes du Soleil (Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets, Châtel, Morgins, Champéry).

The data reveals that France is home to some of the best ski resorts across Europe, with 14 french resorts ranking in the top 25. The rest of the top 25 consists of 6 Austrian resorts and 5 resorts in Switzerland. 

The new index reveals the top 5 resorts in Europe as: 

1. Les 4 Vallées, Switzerland (Verbier/La Tzoumaz/Nendaz/Veysonnaz/Thyon)
2. Les 3 Vallées, France (Val Thorens/Les Menuires/Méribel/Courchevel) 
3. Les Portes du Soleil, France (Morzine/Avoriaz/Les Gets/Châtel/Morgins/Champéry)
4. Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, Austria (Skicircus)
5. SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, Austria

If short travel time is important, then the best resort for proximity to the airport is Megève, Saint-Gervais, France, which takes just 12 minutes to reach the resort from the airport.

Which resorts suit your skillset?  

For those more advanced skiers, Les 4 Vallées is another front runner, with the mountain equipped with 103 black runs and 202 red runs, there are more than enough adrenaline-pumping ski slopes for those skiers up for a challenge. The second resort providing an adrenaline thrill is Via Lattea, which runs across France and Italy, with a total number of 84 black runs and 220 red runs. 

New to skiing? France’s Les 3 Vallées is a great resort for beginners with a total of 312 blue runs and is labeled the third best resort for ski schools, with 26 schools to choose from. Austria’s Corvatsch/FurtschellasSkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental is revealed as the resort with the most amount of ski schools with a total of 30. 

The best resort for snowfall 

If you’re on the hunt for powder, Austria’s Saalbach, otherwise known as the Skicircus is the destination for you, with the resorts receiving an average of 457 inches of snow last season.  Switzerland’s Laax, Flims, Falera comes in 2nd position with an average last season snowfall of 391 inches. 

The cost of one-day ski pass

The cost of a ski holiday is often higher than any other getaway, due to purchasing ski clothes, gloves, helmets, hiring skis, ensuring you have ‘winter sports’ insurance, plus the addition of buying a ski pass for your resort - the costs quickly mount up, The data reveals that the best value resort for mountain entry is Corvatsch, Furtschellas in Switzerland which costs visitors £27.40 for a one day lift ticket.

Switzerland also takes 1st place for the most expensive resort for a single ski lift ticket as Matterhorn resort (Zermatt, Breuil-Cervinia, Valtournenche) costs visitors a pricey £72.10 for a single day. 

The best ski resorts for Aprés-ski

The highly popular post skiing activity Aprés-ski is often just as important as skiing or snowboarding itself when choosing a holiday destination, and to some, getting the right vibe for their post-skiing leisures can make or break a holiday.  Les 4 Vallées is again the top contender with over 333 Aprés-ski bars for visitors to choose from. 

Those looking for a quieter holiday experience will find that in Via Lattea (Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx, San Sicario, Claviere, Montgenèvre) located across France and Italy, with the resort’s equipped with just 58 apres-ski bars. 

Commenting on the research, a spokesperson for Columbus Direct says:

“Booking a ski holiday can be a challenge as there are a number of different aspects to consider to ensure your resort is the right destination for you. Taking this into consideration, our research breaks down the important aspects tourists consider when they are booking their winter sports holiday, to showcase the best resorts for each individual’s holiday needs.

“Ski holidays are full of thrills and adventures, which is why it’s important that tourists are completely covered with winter sports insurance during their winter break and for the activities they take part in, allowing them to fully enjoy their holidays without any worries.” 

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