Got a free weekend and need to get to the slopes? These are the best weekend ski breaks you can head to in Europe.
If you’re in need to get your winter sports fix but you’ve only got a few days, no problem. There are several great ski resorts just a short transfer from some well connected airports across Europe.
The criteria for best weekend ski breaks is:
- Short transfer time (less than 1 hour from the airport).
- Good selection of slopes for intermediates.
- Good airline connection to the UK.
So, get your salopettes and your goggles, it’s time to hit the slopes!
One hour from Geneva and you’re looking at pistes over 3000 meters, meaning it’s pretty snow sure. Chamonix valley is lined by several quaint towns and although the ski area isn’t linked, you’ll be able to explore a good section of the mountains wherever you’re based. Les Houches at the near end of the valley is ideal (and an hour from GVA airport) or head deeper into the valley for the higher pistes.
Another great option nearby is the Portes du Soleil ski area, which includes Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz.
Nearest Airport: Geneva (1 hour – 1 hr 30 mins)
Ski Pass: €51.50
Sierra Nevada, Spain
Europe’s most southerly ski resort is less than an hour from Granada in Spain, making this a great choice for a cool city break and an epic ski or snowboard holiday. Think this is gonna be too far south for good snow? Think again. Sierra Nevada often has good coverage into April and has such a good rep that it hosted the FIS in 2017. And as a plus, you can hang out in the spectacular city of Granada and eat some of the best tapas in Spain.
Nearest Airport: GRX (Granada) less than 1 hour. Or Malaga, around 2 hours.
Ski Pass: €44
The closest ski resort to an airport in Europe, you’ll be out of the airport and on the slopes within 30 minutes. Ok, it isn’t Chamonix but it is the Alps! Krvavec has over 30 kms of pistes with a good selection of red and black runs for the experts and some fun blues and reds for beginners/intermediates. It’s also one of the cheapest options on the list and the views from the top across the Ljubljana basin are worth the visit alone.
Nearest Airport: Ljubljana (20-30 mins)
Ski Pass: €33
Innsbruck Olympia Ski World, Austria
The approach to Innsbruck is so close to the slopes you can wave to skiers as your plane lands. The self proclaimed capital of the Alps is certainly well placed for a glut of fantastic ski options. Base yourself in the city and head to any of the great options from the Stubaier Glacier or the Nordkette (slightly hairy black runs) or Patscherkofel (more friendly for intermediates). You’ll be on one of the many slopes well within an hour after stepping off the plane.
However, the Innsbruck ski pass is only available as a 3 day pass (better make the most of it then!).
Nearest Airport: Innsbruck (between 30 mins – 1hr to slopes).
Ski pass: From €118 for three days.
Find tons of epic ski deals with Snowtrex. With prices starting from £79 for accommodation and lift pass, you’ve got no excuses not to get on the mountain this year!
Switzerland isn’t short of a mountain or two, and you’ll be spoiled for choice with resorts. But Villars is one of the best quality resorts within an hour of Geneva. Sleepier than Davos or St Moritz, you’ll be able to hit the glacier at Diablarets or cover plenty of ground across the valleys. It’s pretty family friendly (or intermediate friendly) and is perfectly placed for a quick weekend.
Nearest Airport: Geneva (1 hr)
Ski Pass: CHF40.
Fly to Lourdes and skip the whole pilgrimage bit… You’ll be able to choose from a selection of fantastic French Pyreneean ski resorts less than an hour from this holy town. Tourmalet is the pick of the bunch with the most amount of ski area (240kms) but nearby Bareges and La Mongie are included in the pass so you can explore at your whim. The joy of the Pyrenees is there are a lot less Brits so you get a more relaxed and authentic French experience, if thats what you’re after…
Nearest Airport: Lourdes (1 hr approx) – or regular transfers from Toulouse (2 hours), or Barcelona (2 hours)
Ski Pass: €43 although passes can be picked up cheaper if you’re a beginner!
Oslo Vinterpark, Norway
The most popular and accessible slopes in Norway are made for long weekends, although you’ll be in the company of half of Oslo too. From downtown Oslo you can be on the slopes in around 20 minutes and there is a shuttle from the airport which takes another 20 minutes; so in theory you can be carving it up in under an hour after landing. The Winterpark isn’t the biggest area but there is plenty to keep intermediates and experts happy for a few days.
Nearest Airport: Oslo Gardermoen (up to 1 hour with transit connections or around 40 mins by transfer).
Ski Pass: 430 NOK (approx GB£40)
If you’re ready for long weekend skiing or snowboarding, check out SnowTrex. They offer pretty much the best deals on ski packages in Europe, with great prices for the biggest Alpine destinations.