Many of us dream about a white Christmas and with our great choice of Christmas ski holidays such dreams really can come true. The warm welcome at a catered ski chalet, followed by the excitement of your party taking in the winter wonderland inside and out are what dreams, and memories, are for. The beautiful white alpine landscape outside providing the perfect backdrop against the Christmas decorations inside. The Christmas tree taking centre stage as the presents are placed beneath it.
What To Expect On a Christmas Ski Holiday
First time skiers on a Christmas ski holiday might be surprised to find that the slopes, ski schools and mountain restaurants operate fully. You can therefore enjoy breakfast, opening presents,and skiing on the same day. Skiing home to a warm chalet welcome from your hosts, ready to start the festive celebrations in front of the lot fire.
Christmas Day, at a catered ski chalet, dinner will typically be a traditional affair, sometime with a British theme; turkey or goose and all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding, others a more local theme, venison or goose, with a yule log to finish for example. Most importantly, you won't have to lift finger as the chalet staff will cater for all your requirements, preparing serving and clearing away. A very special way to celebrate Christmas.
Choosing The Right Ski Resort For Christmas
One of the first choices is whether you want the best snow conditions that the higher purpose built ski resorts provide (typically in France), the chocolate box charm of the smaller ski resorts (in Austria for example), or would like some of both. The best of both worlds does include a premium, but may be worth it. Here we try and help you decide.
Luxury Chalets For Christmas
Our luxury ski resorts certainly get close to the best of both worlds for the ultimate Christmas holiday. Zermatt in Switzerland is on of the top acts with it exclusive clientele, horse drawn sleighs, and car less streets, we think you have the perfect high altitude, charming resort for a most fabulous luxury Christmas ski holiday.
As alternative to Zermatt, particularly popular with well heeled families is Davos and Klosters. Elsewhere in Switzerland, is Verbier. Popular with an affluent younger crowd, it has charm, great high altitude skiing, and a real party atmosphere. Loved by the mature clientele for its charming chalets, pretty town centre and fabulous high altitude skiing, and the younger revellers for its high octane, high class nightlife, it is particularly favoured by adults and families with older children.
Moving over the border to France, first on the list of luxury Christmas destinations probably goes to Courchevel 1850 (and 1650) in the Three Valleys. Whilst not as intimate and quaint as some of the smaller Austrian resorts, it has real charm and character, not to mention over 600km of ski pistes, most of these high altitude ski slopes. Equally as vaunted is Val d’Isere with its beautiful stone and wood chalets, exclusive village centre, and high altitude position. Like Courchevel 1850, a favourite with the rich and famous at Christmas, it has both a classy feel as well as a lively party atmosphere for younger affluent revellers.
Meribel in the Threee Valleys is also a nice village and certainly worth considering, if not quite as spectacular as the previous mentioned French ski resorts at Christmas.
If you want to ski America, Park City is a beautiful Christmas location for the rich and famous and if you are intending to spend Christmas at the number one Christmas ski chalet the authorised of the atlantic, the Casa Nova is the ultimate place to stay - but booking at least 12 months in advance is necessary.
Chocolate Box Charm
For a true French experience, Megeve has to provide a fabulous location with all the traditional trimmings and fabulous skiing for beginners and intermediates. However, a fabulous place to visit, in our list it is put into third place by Davos and Klosters in Switzerland for its sophisticated, traditional, quite luxurious ski resorts, not to mention great skiing too. But number one, is Kaprun and Zell am See, Kaprun with its beautiful town and majestic castle, and just below Kaprun in Zell am See the large lake against it shores and promenade that really does make the perfect Christmas Card photo.
High altitude Christmas Ski Destinations
France is a popular Christmas ski holidays destination with the world famous ski resorts of Meribel and Courchevel 1850 and 1650 in the Three Valleys, and Val d'sere and Tignes in the Espace d'Killy mentioned above four great resorts. Whilst lacking the charm of the luxury Christmas destinations, Alp d'Huez, La Plagne, Les Arcs, and Les Deux Alpes offer good high altitude skiing at Christmas. Chamonix is another good Christmas ski resort and its town with all its history and architectural delights, is the perfect setting to walk and stroll down its streets on Christmas Eve, browsing in the windows, and shopping for that last present for a special loved one.
Elsewhere, in Austria, St Anton has a fabulous snow record and is adored by the party set for being the biggest Christmas party anyone will ever experience. Not forgetting its equally high octane skiing! Staying in Austria, Kaprun mentioned above also provide high altitude skiing ion its glacier.
In Switzerland, the highest lift station in Europe goes to Zermatt, mentioned also above, but one other world famous Swiss ski resort that should always be considered is Verbier in the Valais. Notwithstanding its high altitude, outstanding skiing, it has a really charming village centre that creates a very special Christmas atmosphere, for young or old.
Non Skiers In The Party
For non-skiers, we typically recommend larger ski resorts where guests will have plenty of things to do during the day. One of the largest and most historic ski resorts is Chamonix in France. Situated under Mont Blanc, it has a large centre with numerous boutique, mountaineering and souvenir shops, as well as several tea rooms, restaurants and bars. Being a large resort, it also has a large sports centre, ice rink, plenty of low level walks, as well as host of other activiries to participate in. Not forgetting Santa's visit Christmas Eve.
Why Not Take The Grandparents Skiing At Christmas
Many grand parents love skiing, and we have had the joy of watching grand parents in the seventies and one in their eighties ski at Christmas! Many resorts also offer assisted ski programmes (Les Houches / Chamonix, and Les Arcs in France are two examples) so even if they are a little frail, they can still experience the thrill and go out and see the grand children on the slopes at the same time too. Of course good clothing is a must. The above aside, non-skiers will generally want to get out and about. Check out the shops, meet family and friends for lunch, etc, so larger resorts offer typically more to do (see our Non Skiers In The Party above for recommendations).