Ski Holiday Resort Guide

by : J Tillotson

In Britain, we don't get an abundance of either sun or snow, so it stands to reason we'll go elsewhere for it. Ski resorts are a popular holiday choice amongst the British, and while not as great a variety as there is with sunspots, there's still plenty of choice to suit any taste. This continues our brief guide to the various ski resorts.

Often called the doyenne of the Euro ski scene, France is popular with skiers of all ages and experience levels. The European country is well-known for its superb skiing conditions and chalet ski holidays, and boasts a wide variety of mountains and altitudes to challenge any skier.

Val d'Isere is probably the best -known of all France's ski resorts, and consequently one of the most expensive. However, those who frequent it say it's worth every penny because of the 1000+ hectare of varied ski runs and the unrivalled ski-lift system, not to mention the 10.000 hectares off-piste. All of which go towards making France one of the most exhilarating places for ski holidays.

While slightly overshadowed by the surrounding countries of France and Austria, Germany has a charm all of its own. Not so much a country for beginners, Germany has plenty of cross-country ski runs and snowparks to appeal to more advanced skiers and snowboarders alike. For those on their first ski holiday, there are a few easy runs in the Sollereck area, but there is more variety for the more advanced skier.

For your first trip to a German ski resort, you couldn't go wrong with a visit to Oberstdorf, in the southern Bavarian region. Comprising world-class ski-jumping, a bustling mountain community with many shops and hotels, a first class swimming-pool complex and spa, not to mention hang gliding and paragliding, there's something for everyone.

Italy is more well-known for its sun, but it actually has a thriving ski community. In some areas it's almost hard to believe you're still in Italy, but there's always the relaxed atmosphere to remind you. And if that doesn't, then the Italian love of food will. In most resorts there are more mountain restaurants than there are ski-lifts, which gives the impression that the Italians value food over skiing. Which is correct; while the Italians are enjoying a long leisurely breakfast, people on their ski holidays are hitting the virtually empty slopes.

Due to the variety of attractions on offer at each resort, it's really a good idea to find out as much as you can about each one before booking a skiing trip, to make sure you go the resort you will enjoy the most.