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Skiing in Europe

Skiing holidays to Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are growing in popularity all the time. Here are some suggestions-if this is something that tickles your fancy.

Verbier, Switzerland

The social skiing one

Verbiers usuals tend to be serious skiers: think Pippa Middleton, Bear Grylls or James Blunt, who co-owns mountain restaurant La Vache and has a lift named after him (as does Diana Ross). While the 250 miles of piste areas offer plenty for beginners, this place is known for hairy runs and off-piste where the snow stays deep late into the season, even for the Xtreme Verbier freeride event every March. The postcard pretty town is also the most evolving of the Swiss hotspots, and big hotel groups tend to make their splashy first alpine forays here.

Riksgränsen, Sweden

The one for heli-skiing

Anyone who watched snowboard videos in the 90s will be familiar with Riksgränsen, even if they’ve never heard of this outpost on the Norwegian border. It’s a old funny place, which started in the early 1900s as a station for trains carrying iron from the mining towns on the Norwegian coast, the industrial train still rumbles through most days. Gradually, the workers realised they were next to almost unlimited skiable peaks, and when a road finally arrived in early 1980s it started to become an open secret among Europe’s best  skiers and snowboarders. Today, there is a cluster of red barns overlooking the Vassijaure Lake, there is a freeride and heli-ski paradise, with the latter much more of a free-for-all than most European resorts. Dont forget your Kronas!

St Moritz, Switzerland

The classic one

It’s hard to talk about the best resorts without talking about the original! Ski to Chasellas next to the Suvretta House for wiener schnitzel on the sun-trap terrace, or back in town, head to home-spun Veltinerkeller for comforting plates of pasta and Swiss classics. The grand dames here are still as grand as ever. There’s the glamorous, gothic Badrutts Palace, and the Kulm Hotel, which welcomed the Alps very first winter guests in the 1860s!! We'll be waiting to provide you with all the Francs you desire.

Sunnmøre Alps, Norway

The one for fjord ski-touring

Ski-touring keeps growing everywhere, but few do it with as much commitment as all the Scandinavians. They say tak for turen (‘thanks for touring’) after every session :) . The Sunnmøre Alps, which is in the centre of Norway, are in a landscape of majestic fjords, 90 minutes inland from the coastal town of Ålesund. Meditative hikes here tend to be rewarded with some epic views and thrilling slides down to the fjords. Unlike the Alps, lunch is a rucksack picnic and supper, a candlelit, flush-cheeked affair following a drawn-out stint in the sauna :) Dont forget to get your currency for the tipping ;)

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