January Ski Deals
Overview: Top reasons to visit the Alps in January
There is no perfect time to visit the Alps on a ski holiday. Every month or period over the ski season has its advantages and disadvantages and the different times of the year can appeal to a different demographic of skiers. January, however, is the best time of the year to visit for a particular group of people and for a number of reasons. You can look forward to better snow coverage, quieter slopes, less crowded resort spaces, great apres-ski parties, cut-price deals and so much more. We have provided further details into some of the reasons a ski holiday in January would make so much sense.
Perfect Conditions -January also ushers in some of the Alps lowest temperatures on record and is generally the coldest month of the year with the Alps also seeing some of its heaviest snowfalls between January and February. The conditions of the pistes is also one of the best in January because of the snow already gathered from the start of the season which would have accumulated overtime on the slopes. The shorter days result in shorter hours of sunlight which greatly aids in snow preservation on the pistes; combine that with a night of heavy snow dumps and you will not be able to wait to get on the well-groomed pistes every morning. The perfect conditions are part of the reason why advanced and expert skiers visit the Alps in January as they get to enjoy some of the very best pistes conditions.
Fewer Crowds -January is arguably one of the quietest months across the European Alps. The children are back in school for term-time, universities are preparing for exams, most families may be already booked in for half-term breaks and most people are at work recovering from the Christmas and New years holiday fever. This often results in significantly fewer crowds at the resorts leaving pistes across the Alps bone dry and low queue numbers. By far the best time to visit some of the popular resorts and enjoy more time on the slopes and easy access to all the attractions that are usually harder to come by during peak times. This is also excellent news for beginners who can build their skills and confidence on uncrowded pistes. It also works perfectly for advanced skiers as well who can enjoy the slopes without too many crowds.
Good Deals -The low visitor numbers to the ski resorts in January results in resorts offering lower prices and deals to entice skiers. If you are on a budget or looking to cut costs, keep your eyes peeled every January for potential deals that may be made available. January has some of the best cut-price deals in the Alps only rivalled by some end of season deals. There are also deals on flights, accommodation and ski hire equipment. Ever wanted to visit one of the “posh” resorts in Austria or Switzerland? This would be the best time to look out for any discounts.
Amazing Apres-Ski -With fewer crowds at the resorts, shorter days and longer nights, you can be in for a truly memorable apres-ski experience in January. Partying at some of the Alps most renowned apres-ski centrals is always a treat, but in peak season, they tend to get very crowded and some of the clubs can be stifling. For some people not too fond of large crowds but still like to skip to the DJ’s beats, January is a great time to consider visiting the Alps. Less crowds can often make the experiences more personal, bars and clubs are less crowded which means you can always get in. There are also less restaurant reservations so the chances of getting a table reservation at short notice on some of the Alps exclusive restaurants is greatly increased. The terraces and stages on the slopes may also have less people so more tables to dance on!
Best Places Ski Resorts to Visit in January
Our recommendations on some of the ski resorts to check out for your January ski holidays.
Kitzbuhel possesses just about everything that one would require in a ski resort. A large and expansive ski area, snowsure pistes which cater to all ski abilities, spectacular beauty and a vibrant apres-ski scene; not to mention several non-ski activities for everyone to enjoy and get involved in. Kitzbuhel is very well renowned for its beauty and is often ranked amongst some of the most aesthetically pleasing ski resorts not only in Austria but across the Alps in general. It sits at a very modest 760 metres and its pistes range between resort level and 2000 metres altitude. In the Austrian Alps, these numbers may not exactly fill any experienced skier with much joy or confidence however, despite the modest resort height and relatively low ski slopes altitude, Kitzbuhel still happens to be the venue for the daring Hahnenkamm World Cup race every January, thanks to its famous “Streif” World Cup Downhill course. The race is viewed internationally by millions of viewers across Asia and Europe with an equally passionate crowd of supporters and revellers viewing the events in person at the resort. Kitzbuhel also plays host to the Snow Polo World Cup and has hosted the event for the last 20 years. Considered the world's largest polo tournament held on snow, it is a wonderful spectacle and draws in a lot of interest not only from the winter sports enthusiasts but also equestrian fans as well. With two internationally recognised events taking place in the same month, the atmosphere in Kitzbuhel in January is one of the liveliest anywhere in the Alps at that particular time. Even though its high season, Kitzbuhel does not suffer a lot from overcrowding with it being term-time, the crowds are not as heaving as one would expect. Kitzbuhel has in the past, had low snowfall levels but the resort is well equipped with snowmaking machines that adequately supplement any snow shortages and are also key in ensuring that the season lasts up to 200 days. In addition, the cold January temperatures help in preserving the snow on the slopes keeping the surface in great condition even after a day or two. Visiting Kitzbuhel in January is perhaps one of the best Alps experiences.
Tignes - Val d’Isere Ski Area, France
Val d'Isère and Tignes should be at the top of anyone's list for a January trip to the Alps. Either resort is ideal at this time of the year which is why we have suggested both. Formerly known as the Espace Killy ski area before being renamed more recently as the Val d’Isere - Tigne ski area, both resorts offer some of the most snow-sure pistes not only in France but across the entire Alps. Offering up to 300 kilometres of pistes across both resorts there are more than enough pistes to cater to all ski ability levels. There are also not one but two glaciers in the ski region with pistes reaching up to 3,500 metres altitude. The conditions on the glaciers are fantastic due to the altitude that skiing lasts all through summer; the fantastic snowmaking facilities ensure the pistes are well supplemented all through. But we aren't here to talk about the summer or the snowmaking facilities, which may not be necessary to call on in January at Tignes - Val d’Isere ski area, thanks to its amazing snow record. Even after the occasional warm and dry December, there are still a lot of snow-sure pistes to find at Tignes-Val d’Isere, more than 70% of which sit above 2000 metres altitude. There is also an abundance of snowfall in January around the Tignes - Val d’Isere ski area; previous records have registered over a metre of snowfall within just a week. With schools being in term-time and university students preparing for the end of semester exams, January possess a fantastic opportunity to visit Tignes and Val d’Isere, as the Christmas comedown has in the past seen fewer crowds at the resorts; however, powder hunters and athletes also realise this is a great time to visit, so be prepared to run into a lot of seasoned skiers on the slopes. If you wanted a break from the snow and needed a bit of relaxation, the “Classicaval” music opera has been performed in Val d'Isère's old baroque church, St Bernard Menthon for over 20 years and features very talented international musicians.
Located right in the heart of the world-renowned Three Valleys ski area, Meribel is a fantastic January holiday destination. It is a modern, all-around resort that can appeal to skiers of all age groups and can also offer a fantastic holiday proposition at any stage of the season. Its location in the heart of the Three Valleys gives it convenient access to up to 600 kilometres of pistes across the region ( one of the largest interlinked ski regions in the world). The local slopes around Meribel are beginner-friendly and better suited to both beginners and cautious intermediates, and with more majority of the pros and advanced skiers favouring the slopes of Val Thorens, Courchevel and other resorts in the Three Valleys, Meribel might just be the best place to be especially if you are visiting to spend some time on the slopes and improve your skiing. January also represents the ideal month for skiers to take advantage of the world's largest ski area with empty slopes and fewer queues at the lifts, there really isn't a better opportunity to enjoy and cover every inch of the Three Valleys. Make the most of the low crowd numbers and tackle some of the most popular slopes which are extremely popular and busy at peak times, for example, the popular Cime Carron cable car over at Val Thorens will be a lot less busy and will ferry you in no time to its summit at 3,200 metres altitude from where you can enjoy the popular red runs back to the village, whilst taking in some of the Three Valleys most breathtaking scenery. Méribel’s Roc de Fer competition is a World Championship ski event that invites some of the world's top skiers to its pistes every January. It is a heavily contested event that sees successful competitors advance to the World Cup Circuit. The fanfare which follows the event is equally as lively and adds to the excitement within the resort. With fewer families at this time of the season and more adult visitors, this means that it is a lot easier to get table reservations at some of Meribel’s top restaurants. It also means the bars are buzzing and the apres-ski is very lively with the adults having a run of the manor. You can celebrate Christmas twice at Meribel with the resort celebrating Orthodox Christmas for its Russian guests and visitors every 6th of January. It is held at the La Chaudanne and features exciting performances such as juggling, fire dancing and illusionist tricks; ending with an elaborate fireworks display.
There are hardly any ski resorts in Italy that offer better snow conditions than Cervinia. It is arguably Italy's most snow-sure ski resort, possessing one of the European Alps most reliable snow records. The ski season kicks off early in Cervinia with the glacier usually opening from mid to late October every year. By the time November rolls around, a lot more ski terrain is opened and usually begins with the Cime Laghi Bianco run. The resort is able to open earlier than other ski resorts in the European Alps thanks to its excellent snow record and high altitude slopes. The resort sits at an altitude of 2100 metres and its highest piste peaks at 3,820 metres. By the time January comes around each year, the pistes on Cervinia are in fantastic condition having received snowfall over the start of the season up until January, there is a lovely base on the slopes for skiers to enjoy. With most Italian resorts costing relatively less than their French, Swiss and Austrian counterparts, Cervinia is a splendid January ski holiday destination that offers better snow conditions on its pistes than the rest at a much lower price. Cervinia shares its access to the glacier with Zermatt over the border in Switzerland and a ski pass here also grants skiers access to the pistes on the Swiss side of the border. Cervinia is generally a quiet ski resort, however, in January it does get slightly quieter, leaving little to no queues at the lifts and plenty of non-crowded pistes to explore. With an abundance of snowfall in the month of January, there are fewer places offering better skiing conditions.
Saalbach ski resort is one of Austria's most well-known and vibrant ski resorts. Nestled within an old, traditional and attractive Tyrolean village with bags of character, Saalbach is also linked with the neighbouring ski resorts of Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn which together make up the large and interlinked Skicircus region in the Austrian Alps. With up to 270 kilometres of pistes between them, the area has an ample amount of skiing pistes to explore. The slopes at Saalbach and the remainder of the Skicircus are most beginners and intermediate friendly and as such, advanced skiers and thrill-seeking skiers may not find too much satisfaction here, also taking into considering the modest elevation of the slopes here hovering between 830 and 2,096 metres. That being said, Saalbach is the ideal January ski holiday destination for skiers looking to enjoy a laid back winter break with easy skiing, low crowds and a great deal of apres-ski partying. Saalbach’s resort centre is a charming enclave of its traditional past captured and symbolised by its mediaeval onion-domed church and surrounding old buildings. The atmosphere at the resort is a mix of a cosy, welcoming feeling with a buzzing undertone as evening draws in. Saalbach is not just about skiing, especially in the month of January. It is an ideal party resort with a fantastic apres-ski scene. It's the perfect destination for beginners or people just looking to experience a traditional ski resort with a great atmosphere. January offers the best opportunities for this as the resort has low attendance numbers with families and young children away and partying carrying on until the early hours each day.