Long Ski Weekends
The monotony of everyday work life can take its toll on us in so many ways and there is hardly a better way to recharge and re-motivate oneself, than a weekend away in the mountains. Whether pro or beginner, once you fall in love with the Alps, you constantly look forward to the next possible adventure out on the slopes and sometimes taking 3 or 4 days off for a ski holiday might just do the trick in boosting your mental health and easing any seasonal mood disorders. You might be considering a long weekend away in December or taking advantage of the Easter bank holidays in April towards the end of the season; regardless of the period you choose, picking the right resort to visit for a long ski weekend is no easy decision and requires a fair bit of consideration. With over 90 years of experience in the ski holiday industry, we have identified a few resorts that we believe will help in making your extended weekend away feel like you spent a whole week by the time you have to leave. Our resort suggestions reflect a number of factors that we took into consideration such as maximising time on the slopes by lowering travel time. We also have products and services that allow you to save time by avoiding long queues at the ticket machines, waiting for a transfer or queueing to book your ski equipment.
Courmayeur is a fantastic option for a relaxing weekend away from bustling city life. An incredibly charming Italian village built around an old, medieval market town, Courmayeur is the perfect getaway ski resort to help put to bed the city blues and usher in a long weekend of Alpine therapy. Its atmosphere is harmoniously balanced so that visitors can enjoy peace and calm as well as lively apres-ski evenings. The accommodation options are mostly centred around traditionally styled hotels; the majority of which are located within its pedestrian centre of cobbled streets, lined with authentic restaurants, cafes and bars. Courmayeur is a fairly straightforward transfer being just over an hour's drive away from Geneva International airport-with Turin and Milan Malpensa airports not significantly further away. It is also a significantly less expensive option in comparison to other ski resorts in France and Switzerland and Austria. Courmayeur does come alive at the weekends with a throng of weekend revellers arriving from Geneva, Milan and Turin for a weekend of partying and skiing, but don't be alarmed, the slopes remain pretty calm in most cases as the weekend crowd usually prioritises partying over skiing. Still, their presence contributes to the vibrant atmosphere allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds; excellent, calm, snowsure pistes on the slopes and a traditional Italian Alpine experience in the village. Courmayeur also has a fantastic snow record so regardless of what time of season you visit, you can be rest assured to encounter very good conditions on the slopes. Sitting in the Aosta Valley and on the Italian side of the Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), we recommend that you opt for the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass which grants access to the pistes across the border in Chamonix; thereby giving far more options of pistes as well as a taste of the French resort. Whilst it may cost more than the local Courmayeur ski pass, the advantage is that you are able to maximise your long weekend ski break to the fullest.
Italian Alternative, Cervinia. One of the most snowsure ski resorts in Italy and indeed the Alps, Cervina would be a great alternative to experience a lovely ski getaway on your long weekend break. A little over 2 hours and a slightly longer transfer travel than getting to Courmayeur, Cervinia makes up for this in spades. Purpose-built car-free centre with cobblestone streets, fantastic traditional Italian restaurants, an elegant apres-ski and Switzerland literally on the other side of the mountain ( accessible with a Cervino-Matterhorn ski pass), the possibilities to milk out every minute of your long weekend is endless.
Les Gets, France
Les Gets is an excellent choice for a long weekend ski break especially if you plan on visiting with the kids. A recognised Plus Famille ski resort, it is the ideal family-friendly destination with fantastic entertainment, facilities and services aimed at ensuring the entire family enjoys a wonderful experience. Les Gets is also very easy to get to. If you are travelling with kids, you will be pleased to know that it's only an hour away from Geneva airport and the drive up to the resort is incredibly scenic. The atmosphere in the resort is welcoming and very friendly, allowing you to switch off completely and place you at ease upon arrival. It is a lovely, quaint village with traditional-styled buildings and a fantastic backdrop scenery to match. The resort also has a wide range of accommodation options that are suitable to different budgets. The majority of accommodation options are chalet-style structures with direct access to the slopes; with the nursery and play areas super easy to access for families. The Portes du Soleil ski pass grants easy access to the neighbouring resorts of Morzine, Chatel and Avoriaz as well as Les Crosets and Champoussin across the border in Switzerland. The vast number of pistes also means that skiers of every skill and ability are able to have a fantastic time on the slopes here. The snow conditions in Les Gets are fantastic thanks to the reliable snowfall record and pistes that peak at over 2,400 metres in altitude. Les Gets is also very well known for its excellent entertainment on the slopes and family leisure activities. It has a music museum, cinema, bowling alley and a large skating rink.
French Alternative, Samoens: Around 70 minutes from Geneva International Airport, Samoens ski resort in the Grand Massif ski area is a suitable alternative. Smaller, quieter but with just as much character, as its Savoyard counterparts, this traditional French resort offers access to 256 kilometres of excellent pistes, has fantastic village architecture, very good apres-ski and leisure options for families. It has several restaurant options, a cinema and fantastic family-friendly accommodation options if you’re visiting with the family.
Kitzbuhel is perhaps one of the most complete ski resorts in the Alps with its slopes, village attractions and off-piste activities catering and appealing to just about everyone visiting the resort from romantic couples to families and to groups of powder-seeking ski enthusiasts. There is so much to help you maximise your long weekend to the fullest at Kitzbuhel. The perfect getaway, Kitzbuhels colourful village centre is a welcome charm and a far cry from the dull, concrete buildings of the main cities that a lot of us escape from in search of an Alpine reprieve every ski season. Explore the cobblestone streets lined with high fashion designer boutiques, swank restaurants and smart, modern cafes; it's no wonder that the resort is sometimes referred to as Glitzy Kitz. The apres-ski scene in Kitzbuhel is fantastic and offers an incredibly wide range of choices from trendy, cosmopolitan lounges to traditional, Austrian pubs. If you partied the first two or three nights of your weekend and are looking for a calmer evening on your last night, you can visit the cinema, bowling alley or even watch some live ice hockey at the resort's ice rink. What also makes Kitzbuhel an amazing ski getaway is that it has just as much magic on the slopes as it does in the village. An awesome destination for a long weekend on the slopes, Kitzbuhel is also one of Austria's top ski resorts as it caters to just about all ski ability types from beginners to advanced level skiers. It has an excellent snow record with up to 200 days of guaranteed snow every season. Kitzbuhel also offers 233 kilometres of perfectly groomed pistes serviced by an ultra-modern network of 57 lifts across the ski terrain. If your priority in Kitzbuhel was maxing out the time on the slopes, you will have more than enough to fill your boots even if you extended your long weekend to a whole week. There is an excellent nursery area and wide open gentle blues for beginners, long cruisy reds for intermediates and the famous 'Hahnenkamm Streif' amongst other advanced pistes for expert skiers. Overall, Kitzbuhel is a brilliant option to consider when planning your long weekend ski break.
Austrian Alternative: 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Innsbruck airport, St Anton is the perfect alternative to Kitzbuhel for a long weekend ski break. Part of the expansive Arlberg ski area of Austria which also includes, Lech, Zurs and St Christoph, St Anton offers skiers up to a combined 305 kilometres of fantastic ski terrain that caters to just about all abilities. Bursting with Tyrolean charm and authentic Alpine elegance, the village of St Anton is blissful and allows visitors to switch off even if it was only for a brief weekend. From a lively apres ski with over 60 mountain huts and excellent bars in the village to boutique hotels and stylish, modern accommodation, St Anton offers just as much bang for your buck on your long weekend holiday.
2 hours from Geneva International airport and an hour from Sion, Verbier offers incredible skiing and lifestyle opportunities for holidaymakers looking to enjoy a long weekend away in the Swiss Alps. A popular high-end destination and playground for the rich and famous, Verbier are worth every penny. Whilst it welcomes some of the most recognizable celebrities and world figures to the resort every year, Verbier offers its holidaymakers a lot more than star power and the potential to rub shoulders with celebrities. The village sits on a sun-drenched natural terrace in the 4 Valleys ski area of Switzerland, offering some of the most breathtaking views anywhere in the Alps. The village itself is idyllically picturesque and post-card worthy, dotted with small and large, stylish wooden chalets against a tree-lined backdrop. The accommodation and restaurants here are absolutely fantastic and if you are a cheese lover, you probably won't be able to get enough of it even if you extended your stay for a few more days; with Verbier arguably being an Alpine cheese lovers' haven. The atmosphere in Verbier draws you in and allows you to quickly relax with your work week feeling incredibly far away. At Verbier, you also experience a vibrant apres-ski scene that can easily rank as one of the best in Switzerland from huts on the slopes to the bars and clubs in the village. Glamour and glitz aside, Verbier is a paradise for adventurous snowsports enthusiasts so if you are looking forward to a long weekend of skiing and snowboarding, this is the place for you. A self-styled “infinite playground”, the 4 Valleys ski pass grants skiers access to 410 kilometres of snowsure pistes between 1,400 and 3,328 metres in altitude. Whatever your ski ability, there is more than enough terrain to explore on a long weekend break from easy blues to its legendary unmarked, off-piste routes. Outstanding both on and off the slopes, Verbier is a fantastic destination for a bit of self-indulgence on your long weekend break.
Swiss Alternative: Zermatt would be a brilliant alternative to consider. A similar transfer time to Verbier, Zermatt is just over 2 hours from Geneva International airport. Sitting on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn, Zermatt offers fantastic skiing, high-altitude skiing, a buzzing apres-ski and the opportunity to taste both Swiss and Italian Alpine experiences in the space of 24 hours. Superb accommodation and modern facilities ensure that all aspects of your holiday are catered to your weekend break.
If you are planning a long weekend getaway to the Alps, do not hesitate to contact us directly for any additional information on our suggested resorts or enquiries about other options. Our dedicated team is always available to provide personalised, one on one service. We look forward to hearing from you.