Christmas Breaks – Ski Resorts

 

Top Destinations For Christmas Breaks At Ski Resorts

The best way to enjoy a white Christmas is to hit the slopes. There are loads of great ski resorts but the only way to choose the right ones for your Christmas break is by checking which ones will have powder in December. Low-level resorts in the Alps along with famous high-level ones like Val d’Isere in France and St. Moritz in Switzerland have all been affected by global warming.

Below are a few resorts that offer great skiing and a lovely atmosphere for Christmas. All of them cater to beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and are sure to make your Christmas holidays truly memorable.

Keystone, Colorado, USA

Keystone is just a 90-minute drive from Denver and covers 3,148 acres of skiing area. It gets plenty of deep dry powder in winter and is already packed with snow by the beginning of December.
Keystone has three mountain peaks: Dercum Mountain, North Peak and The Outback. Its diverse terrains have plenty to offer beginners as well as experts – open glades, fresh corduroy, moguls, steeps, bowls, trees and terrain parks. Keystone also offers night skiing.
There are some nice shops, restaurants and bars in the villages.

Nearby Breckenbridge is located higher at over 3,900 meters and has equally good slopes.

Val Thorens, France

It is Europe’s highest resort so snow is not a problem in December. There are 170 kms of ski pistes in Val Thorens and although all the skiing is above the tree line, the off-piste and powder skiing is fabulous. The ski lifts in Val Thorens can get a bit crowded but they are very efficiently run. The resort along with Meribel and Courchevel constitutes The 3 Valleys. The three resorts are linked, offering skiers some incredibly varied skiing. At 2,300m, Val Thorens is located considerably higher than the other two resorts.
Val Thorens has loads of boutiques and gourmet restaurants and really comes alive at night. Its many trendy nightclubs and bars are known to stay open till the wee hours of the morning.

Whistler-Blackcomb, Canada

As its name implies, Whistler-Blackcomb comprises the mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb. Often rated as North America’s best ski resort, it covers an astonishing 8,000 acres and has a vertical drop of 5,280 feet! It offers something for all level of skiers.
Blackcomb is steeper than Whistler with challenging back bowls, open powder fields, fast chutes and heavily treed areas. Whistler-Blackcomb hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics so it now sports upgraded facilities.
There are plenty of great shops, restaurants and bars. You can also catch some live bands.

Chamonix, France

Few resorts can rival Chamonix for its unique combination of varied terrain, wonderful scenery and a picturesque town. It’s often rated as one of the world’s top mountain sports destinations. Chamonix offers 11 separate ski areas on its lift pass so you can choose the one that suits you. Plus the vast spread ensures that the weather will be good for skiing in some place in the valley. Advanced skiers will delight in the area’s challenging breakneck powder-filled terrain.

The town is vibrant with great sports stores, fashion boutiques, bars, restaurants and two nightclubs. There’s also a superb Michelin-rated restaurant – Restaurant Atmosphere.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Although not as famous as Gstaad and St. Moritz, Zermatt is regarded by many as a better resort. Its high altitude means it receives ample snow and its long season runs from November to May. Zermatt is great for beginners and intermediate skiers but those wanting to go off piste should watch out for rocks. It is linked by lift to the Italian resort of Cervinia so you can actually go skiing from Switzerland to Italy!

The scenery is breathtaking and the village is car free. An array of pubs, wine bars, fine-dining restaurants, discos and shops make it a lively place.

Check out Ski Vacations to find out what you need to take with you on a skiing holiday.

Also see Christmas Breaks – Beaches, Christmas Cruises and New Year’s Eve Destinations for more holiday travel ideas for the festive season.


Posted by on September 6th, 2009

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