Ready to hit the slopes? You may be tempted get lost in the beautiful Christmas markets and wineries during your winter vacation, but Europe is an incredibly beautiful and desirable place to go for ski vacations.
Whether you visit the Alps, the Pyrenees, or another mountain range, you’ll get beautiful vistas and great trails to explore the mountains and pump up your adrenaline. Couple that with the fairytale beauty of Europe's ski towns, and you have the makings of a perfect vacation!
Of course, you may need some guidance on just where you should go for your big ski adventure in the old world. Well, fear not! Keep reading to learn more about the best ski towns to visit in Europe this winter, and how you can plan for the trip.
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
Located just 100 miles away from Geneva and easily reachable by train at the southern border of Switzerland, Zermatt is the perfect mix of modern and traditional coupled with an absolutely breathtaking mountain experience.
Only electric cars are allowed in the city, which means you' ll fully enjoy the century-old barns and buildings inviting travelers and adventurers from around the world. You can choose to ski in one of Zermatt's own three ski zones, or two Italian zones right across the border. National Geographic recently called Zermatt the "crown jewel" of Swiss ski towns.
2. Chamonix, France
On the other side of the border but even closer to Geneva is Chamonix, a town that emphasizes the adrenaline rush you get from Europe's highest mountains.
But don't think visiting Chamonix means neglecting picturesque beauty; the city's pedestrian center and cobblestone streets, along with a spirited nightlife, offer plenty of entertainment and relaxation on the days you're not going out on the track. But when you do, you get no less than 11 ski zones, with vertical drops of over 9,000 feet satisfying even the biggest adrenaline junkies.
3. Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
About 200 miles, a comfortable drive away from Milan, you can find the Italian village Cortina d'Ampezzo, which during winter buzzes with ski enthusiasts around the world. More than either of the destinations above, Cortina d'Ampezzo attracts casual skiers who appreciate fine wine as much as getting out on the tracks.
Even if you're traveling with a party in which not everyone is interested in a ski trip, don't worry: designer boutiques and delicious restaurants await. Meanwhile, you can enjoy picturesque slopes, considered by many the most beautiful ski zones in the world.
4. Ochsenkopf, Germany
Less than two hours away from both Frankfurt and Munich airports, Ochsenkopf is the rare non-Alpine European ski town consistently making lists such as this. The reason is the family friendliness of the town and area, with slopes ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers and plenty of kids' activities that range from bobsleighing to curling.
Meanwhile, the Fichtelgebirge's picturesque, pine slopes make for a beautiful ski trip before enjoying a competition at one of Germany's oldest ski jump ramps or a nice beer at one of the town's many restaurants and inns.
Preparing For Your Ski Trip
As you can probably imagine, all of these ski towns have one thing in common: As picturesque as they are, reaching them can be quite difficult, which makes preparation absolutely crucial.
Above all, you should know the various winter driving regulations of the European countries you're visiting. You also need a car that gets you there safely so you can make the most of your trip. We offer grip edition models of our most popular Peugeot cars, which are specially prepared for winter driving. Our grip edition models include:
That, in addition to the ability to add roof bars for your skis or snowboard along with snow chains to help you reach even the most difficult destination, is definitely worth a look.
And here's the best news: You can lease an Auto France car at any of the major cities we mentioned in connection with the ski towns above, allowing you to drive straight in from the airport with a car that can become your trusted helper in your perfect ski destination!
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