Doorstep Skiing Deals
Overview of Doorstep Skiing in Europe
We all absolutely love the Alps and can hardly wait for the start of the season each year but sometimes ( I’m sure you can agree ), wouldn’t it be easier if you didn’t have to drag your heavy boots in the snow to get back to your accommodation from the lifts after a long day on the slopes carrying your skis and snowboards? Thankfully there are a lot of purpose-built ski resorts that have direct access to the slopes; others may not be purpose-built but may still have accommodation that allows skiers to jump straight onto the pistes. There is hardly anything better than finishing a full day of skiing by taking that very last run all the way back down to your doorstep. How rewarding is that? Maybe you want a little bit extra to your doorstep skiing holiday; perhaps an apres-ski vibe, a charming romantic getaway or a perfect place for the kids. Check out our suggestions for your next ski holiday.
Best Doorstep Ski resort for Freestylers
Most freestyle skiers and snowboarders wouldn’t judge a ski resort based on the size of its ski area or how popular it is; the number one question is whether or not the ski resort has a terrain park ( or parks) that offer memorable skiing experiences. Epic jumps and 50-50ing down rails for starters; long sunny days showing off and learning new tricks and moves with other freestylers. Check out our recommendation below if you are after a doorstep ski resort that offers a fantastic terrain park.
Avoriaz, France -Avoriaz takes centre stage as one of the worlds best recognised doorstep ski resorts. Purpose-built to provide the perfect ski experience for all visitor types, its location in the heart of the massive Portes du Soliel is an added bonus. Sitting higher than the neighbouring Morzine, with high altitude snow-sure pistes, Avoriaz is the ideal resort and location from where you can conveniently explore the wider Portes du Soliel and visit other linked resorts on the famous circuit to gain access to their slopes; all from the door of your Avoriaz accommodation. Adding to the charm and lovely appeal of Avoriaz is that unlike other purpose-built doorstep skiing resorts with dated buildings from the 1960s and 1970s (some of which appear to be monoliths of a distant past), the buildings in Avoriaz are lovely traditional wooden-clad Alpine chalets and apartments. Avoriaz has a great reputation for several things but its focus on snowboarding is undeniably one of its strongest and most appreciated reputations. Home to four different terrain parks to suit different levels, snowboarders in particular are in love with this resort. Avoriaz built Europe's first ever halfpipe in 1993 after snowboarding made its debut at the resort in the late 1980s. As imagined, over the years the facilities have greatly improved to a very high standard. The north-facing Arare park which sits above the resort is its biggest of the four and is best suited to advanced and expert snowboarders; access is gained via Express Lac Intrets lift. The sunny Snowpark de la Chappelle ( also known as the baby park) caters to confident beginners and advanced intermediates with its green, blue and red graded kickers. The Snowpark de la Chappelle is arguably Avoriaz’s busiest park all season. The Stash is a snow park that is 100% natural and has no modifications. There are three marked pistes that flow through the Stash which take you through the Lindarets forests. The Burton Kids Parkway is the ideal beginner terrain park located in the Falaise sector and features gentle slopes which are great for children and first-timers.
Best Doorstep Ski Resorts for romantic charm
Overwhelmed by the bustle of fast-paced city life, who doesn’t need a dose of picturesque villages, breathtaking scenery and cosy mountain retreats. Or maybe you are after a change of atmosphere from all the partying and wild antics of the apres-ski destinations and need a bit of quality time in the snow to kick back and appreciate the charm of the Alps. We have provided a few options spanning different budget options.
Pila, Italy -The drive up to Pila at 1,800 metres altitude via the Aosta Valley is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular Alpine scenery across Europe. What better way to set the tone for a charming ski holiday escape at Pila when the majestic Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Monte Rose slowly come into view as you climb the valley heading up to Pila. Upon arrival, the charm and authentic Alpine atmosphere are difficult to miss. Pila may come up short in glamour, glitz and flamboyance but its traditional Italian character oozes originality. The ski resort is modernised and is steadily upgrading its resort centre however, it is still home to several historical buildings including a number of Roman and mediaeval monuments. Pila sits above the historical village of Aosta which is also well known for its art exhibitions which often provide subtle glimpses into its fascinating history. What gives Pila such charm and originality is its ability to effortlessly combine culture and winter sports. Now a modern, pedestrian ski resort with some of its accommodation offering doorstep skiing, Pila is a fantastic option for visitors looking to experience Alpine charm as well as the convenience of ski-in and ski-out residence. With pistes reaching up to 2725 metres altitude, Pila also has the added benefit of having some of Italy’s most snow-sure pistes. Pila has up 70 kilometres of pistes to its local area, the majority of which are located above 2,000 metres altitude. The ski terrain has a lot to offer all skill ability levels from long beginner slopes at the village level to red and challenging blues coming down tree-lined picturesque routes and the very challenging Resselin run of Tsa Creuisa.
Lech, Austria -Lech is a quiet and luxurious ski resort in the Arlberg region of the Austrian Alps. One of the most exclusive ski resorts in the Alps, very few villages possess a better charm and romantic atmosphere as does Lech. Its previous guests include members of the British Royal family, Jordanian Royal family, Dutch Royal family, as well as other notable celebrities. It may be a favourite of the royals across the world but Lech’s charm is purely authentic and organic in nature. Once an old farming mountain settlement, Lech’s intriguing cultural history still adorns the village as a silent ode to its modest past. The gothic style church of St Nicholas built in 1390 still overlooks the village with its 33-metre high bell tower featuring bronze bells which are centuries old. The rest of the village is mostly made up of lovely Alpine wooden chalets with streets lined with designer shops and upmarket cafes. The village rests at an altitude of 1,450 metres and is a lovely collection of 5-star hotels and luxury chalets and apartments. The village of Oberlech sits just above the resort and is 100% doorstep accommodation with easy access granted from accommodation straight the lifts, pistes and other amenities. Also known for its high-quality restaurants, do not expect a wild partying atmosphere; the mood here is cosy and laid back. With a modest altitude of 1450 metres, Lech still possesses a fantastic snow record and manages to receive twice as much snow as other resorts located at a much higher altitude. It receives some of the largest snowfall in the Alps and is a top target for powder hounds. It has up to 305 kilometres of pistes and its slopes stretch up to 2,811 metres altitude. The slopes are groomed daily and almost evenly split among ski ability levels, the slopes here slightly favour intermediates and advanced skiers but there are great beginner level slopes. Overall, one of the best options for a charming and romantic ski getaway, but a pricey one at that.
Best Doorstep Ski Resorts for Families
Visiting the Alps with the children in tow is never an easy task that’s why we have listed these resorts that offer fantastic child-friendly accommodation with easy access to the pistes, ski school areas and other amenities including off-slope activities.
La Plagne, France -An absolutely fantastic ski destination for the family, La Plagne is a collection of up to 11 interlinked ski villages (and Les Arcs), which form one of the largest ski resorts in Europe. Popular with families, in particular, La Plagne is the ideal holiday family ski resort thanks in no small part to its facilities, mixed ability slopes and variety of activities both on and off the slopes. One of the main resorts in the Grand Paradiski ski area, La Plagne offers access to 425 kilometres of pistes which range between an altitude of 1,250 metres to 3,250 altitudes. The ski slopes cut across an amazing variety of ski terrain from forests and tree-lined slopes to wide-open bowls. Although its pistes suit and cover different ski ability types, the majority of the pistes here are easy beginner slopes; excellent for families with very young or senior members. With the resort receiving such a large influx of visitors per annum, there is a wide variety of accommodation choices to select from which range from budget self-catering family apartments to luxury chalets and hotels. All accommodation here offers doorstep skiing making everything easily accessible and within reach so you can hop out of the door and ski to the shops, restaurants, children ski school for the day and the lifts; after a day on the slopes, you can ski all the way back down to your accommodation. All the villages that makeup La Plagne have their own identities and unique features that distinguish them from each other, however, you will find that all are purpose-built to ensure a fantastic holiday experience for its visitors. To have a bit of apres-ski fun mixed in with your family holiday, Belle Plagne may be your best bet; for the views and breathtaking scenery, Plagne 1800 should do the trick; Plagne Villages places you right in the heart of the slopes while Plagne Aime 2000 is most renown for its awesome childcare.
Obergurgl, Austria -Full of character and widely known as one of Austria’s most family-friendly ski resorts, Obergurgl is a fantastic ski destination for the whole family. Sitting high up in the Tyrolean Alps at an altitude of 1,907 metres, Obergurgl has an amazing snow cover and reliability on the slopes. Its pistes are generally best suited for intermediate level skiers however, its long and leisurely blues are the perfect slopes for families with young children or seniors who are still developing their skills on the slopes. Obergurgl is the ideal hospitable family-focused resort that is well equipped with facilities to cater to all members of the travelling families from the children, parents and grandparents. It has a friendly traditional atmosphere that is a far cry from the raucous partying ski resorts across the Alps. The vibe at Obergurgl is full of family fun and adventure and the resort has several non-ski activities that visitors can get involved in. Perfect for children, in particular, it has a lot of child-friendly facilities best suited to ensure that children get the most out of their stay. One of only a handful of ski resorts in Austria that offer doorstep skiing, Obergurgl’s doorstep skiing accommodation is particularly key in providing an excellent family holiday experience with its ease and proximity to not only the slopes but also the lifts. It allows for a safer environment at the resort with children and parents able to move freely without worry of any upcoming vehicles. It also improves the atmospheric vibe at the resort.
Best Doorstep Ski Resorts for Apres-ski and Partying
If you are looking for an epic apres-ski scene to go along with your doorstep skiing resort search, our recommendation below should provide you with the perfect option. There’s no denying that the apres-ski serves an important role in the overall ski holiday experience. Letting your hair down after a full day of skiing sometimes is the only natural option.
Val Thorens, France -Val Thorens just about ticks almost every box on your ski holiday resort wish list. One of the main resorts in the world-renowned Trois Vallées ski area (the Three Valleys), Val Thorens is the epitome of the ideal resort to enjoy a classic Alpine apres-ski. Perhaps most famously known for its legendary La Folie Douce parties, Val Thorens apres-ski ranks among one of the very best in Europe. Positioned just beneath the Plein Sud lift, Val Thorens “dance floor on top of the world, kicks off at 3 pm with loud DJ sets, extravagant costume-clad dancers, multiple bottles of champagne popped on the stage and a very excited crowd. La Folie Douce is not the only apres-ski attraction at Val Thorens; Bar 360 at the end of the Moraine run also has live DJ sets and Malaysia is one the biggest and best nightclubs across the European Alps. While it is known for its famous parties, there is a lot more to this resort. Sitting at an altitude of 2,300 metres the village of Val Thorens is the highest sitting ski resort in Europe. Thanks in no small part to its height, Val Thorens also has some of the best snow conditions anywhere in the Alps. There is something for all ski ability levels at Val Thorens but beginners and intermediates will find a lot more runs to enjoy at Val Thorens. Advanced skiers need not worry though, as they can get direct access to the rest of the Three Valleys ski area and up to a combined 600 kilometres of pistes across the area which contains multiple black runs and off-piste opportunities. Val Thorens ski in and ski out, purpose-built accommodation allows for easy and streamless access to the resort’s amenities such as its shops, bars, restaurants and other places of interest. The accommodation quality ranges from budget apartments to high-end chalets and boutique 4 and 5-star hotels; all of which have doorstep skiing access.
Best Doorstep Ski Resorts for Peace and Quiet
Sometimes you just want to hit the slopes, have a nice quiet drink after, maybe have a brief stint in the sauna, star gaze after and call it an evening. Maybe you are with the family and you are after a calm ski holiday, with zero queues at the lifts and low crowds on the slopes throughout your stay. They may be considered gems hidden in plain sight. For your quiet ski holiday stay, check out our suggestion below.
Obertauern, Austria -One of Austria’s only purpose-built resorts, Obertauern is a doorstep skiing gem for people looking for a quiet and peaceful ski escape with few crowds on the slopes and smaller queues at the lifts. The resort is a fantastic ski holiday escape for romantic couples or families in search of peace and serenity. It offers an amazing skiing experience with its high-altitude slopes and snow-sure pistes. Along with having one of the longest snow and ski seasons in Austria it also has one the best guarantee of snowfall in the region, annually. Obertauern has up to 100 kilometres of the ski area, with an altitude that ranges between 1,740 metres to 2,526 metres. Its combined qualities have made Obertauern particularly popular among German and British visitors, every year. Obertauern, though purpose-built, is without a traditional resort centre. Its centre consists of a row of shops and restaurants adjacent to each other and lined up on the main resort streets. The accommodation here is mainly made up of hotels and apartments which are 100% ski in and ski out making life at the resort a whole lot more convenient with accessing the slopes. The general mood here is generally one of calm and a quiet buzz. It’s friendly and welcoming without having a wild and rampant atmosphere as you would find in the majority of the other major Austrian ski resorts. Whilst being quiet and almost unassuming in nature, it is also quite fascinating to learn that Obertauern was the setting for the make up1965 movie “Help” which was starred by none other than the Beatles.