The best pistes are undeniably worth an extended trek from the airport. But for those times when you can’t wait to hit the slopes or taking a long trip just isn’t possible, a resort that’s quick to get to is invaluable.
Take a look at our pick of destinations with short transfer times – and excellent skiing.
Morzine is a bustling Alpine town with everything a skier could ask for on a short break. Located within the Portes du Soleil ski area, Morzine is right at the centre of this vast ski area, which allows you to ski in both France and Switzerland.
After hours, you can eat and drink your way around Morzine’s 40 bars and restaurants. The Cavern is a favourite for après-ski tipples and the odd fancy dress party.
Verbier is located in the Four Valleys area, giving you access to 412km of downhill skiing on 205 meticulously maintained pistes. The more experienced can test their metal on the Tortin snow bowl, famous for its steep incline and giant moguls.
Verbier’s youthful atmosphere makes it a playground for the young – and the young at heart – with plenty of bars to keep you occupied after the sun goes down. Relax after a busy day with a few glasses of Veuve Clicquot at The King’s Champagne Bar.
St. Anton has a reputation as one of the finest resorts in the Alps, and for good reason: it’s one of Europe’s snowiest spots, and the area has an extensive network of pistes for intermediate and advanced skiers alike.
Among St. Anton’s thriving nightlife scene, you’ll find two legendary bars located on either side of the Galzig piste: MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh. The former is famed for wild parties, while the latter is home to the largest open-air dance floor in the Arlberg region.
Set in the heart of the Trois Vallées area, Courchevel is a popular destination for British visitors – it’s just a quick flight away. Intermediate skiers will be kept busy by a variety of pistes, and there are also plenty of runs for beginners. Real snow hounds can try the three Saulire couloirs: with a 38 degree gradient, they are said to be the most difficult runs in the world.
After a day of tearing up the slopes, head to one of Courchevel’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. For stunning views and quirky architecture, Bateau Ivre in the Pomme de Pin Hotel is a must-see.
Despite its convenient location, the attractive resort of La Clusaz remains largely undiscovered. The resort has plenty of skiing to offer, with 132km of slopes on-piste, perfectly suited to beginners and intermediates, while advanced skiers will want to explore the off-piste around La Balme. Thanks to the altitude of the higher slopes, and extensive snow-making on the lower slopes, it’s a relatively snow-sure bet for a weekend trip.
The village of La Clusaz has a traditional alpine atmosphere, with excellent Savoyard restaurants in which to indulge. Whilst it’s quieter in the week, there’s always a good buzz in town at the weekend, when visitors from surrounding towns like Geneva and Annecy flock in to enjoy the skiing.
At 8,178 acres, Whistler is the largest ski area in North America, and has something for all ages, abilities and tastes. Real daredevils can get their hearts racing by heading to the summit of Whistler mountain, which gives you access to some of the most challenging double black runs in the world.
The town has a cosmopolitan restaurant scene – try La Cantina for dangerously good tacos. If you still have some energy after dinner, head to the Savage Beagle for dancing and drinks.