In all honesty, there’s no real reason to leave the US if you’re looking for a great skiing experience during the winter. Places like Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and others offer an abundance of fantastic choices when it comes to winter sports activities. But there are times when you just want an adventure that takes you somewhere totally fresh — to dive into a culture and country that’s entirely different from your own. And if you’re feeling that sort of cold-weather vacation this year, it may be time to look to the best ski resorts in the Alps to take you to that new location.
Of course, if you’re not familiar with Europe and its many, many resorts, that’s easier said than done. In fact, the options in the Alps are positively dizzying (especially since the mountain range stretches across several countries). Not to mention, there are so many things to consider when planning a trip: You not only want to take into account each resort’s terrain and infrastructure, but its après-ski vibes, surrounding areas, dining, accommodations, shopping, and more.
Don’t let that stop you from planning your next Alpine ski vacation, however. The Alps offer some of the most beautiful views and incredible skiing in the world, so it’s definitely a place you don’t want to miss. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed? Here are some towns in the Alps widely considered to be the best to help you narrow things down (plus a few reasons why you might want to visit each one).
St. Moritz, Switzerland
It seems impossible to mention ski villages in the Alps without mentioning St. Moritz. This ritzy town is one of the most well-known in the world, both for its skiing and the luxurious lifestyle it offers. It sits at close to 6,000 feet above sea level, and its “house mountain,” or the Corviglia, has the steepest start slope in Switzerland, according to the Switzerland Tourism site. (In fact, it’s actually known as the birthplace of Alpine winter sports.) That’s not all there is to do there, however. Designer shopping, incredible dining, and five-star hotels abound (including the iconic Badrutt’s Palace Hotel).
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Brendan Drewniany, director of communications at luxury tour operator Black Tomato, actually told TZR in May 2022 that Cortina d’Ampezzo was one of the best unique places to visit in Italy in general. It’s “long been a haven for Europeans seeking discreet and elegant ski and après life,” he said at the time. That’s one of the reasons it’s made this list as a top ski resort in the Alps, too. Often called the “Pearl” or “Queen” of the Dolomites, it’s only two hours north of Venice and boasts some of the most scenic views of Italy’s Dolomite mountains. It’s so good for winter sports, in fact, it held the 1956 Winter Olympics and will host the Winter Olympics again in 2026. As Drewniany noted, though, it is recognized for being discreet — so it’s generally thought of as being less glitzy and showy than towns like St. Moritz.
Megève, France isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but for many outside of Europe, it’s definitely a more under-the-radar ski destination. Set in the heart of the French Alps, the resort offers nearly 250 miles of slopes with experiences for all levels. There are also around 60 mountain restaurants to choose from, so you won’t go hungry, and a charming village featuring a medieval square, cobbled streets, and old traditional shops to explore when you tire of sports. Plus, there are plenty of great accommodations to choose from: The Four Seasons Hotel Megève, for example, is located only a few minutes away from the village center.
St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
According to the official website of the St. Anton am Arlberg Tourism Association, this picture-perfect mountain village is known as “the cradle” of Alpine skiing. “It forms the heart of the largest connected skiing area in Austria,” says the site — an area which features 87 cable cars and lifts and 180-plus marked slopes. With a population of under 3,000, St. Anton is small — yet that doesn’t stop it from having a reputation of a buzzing après-ski scene, just another of the many draws of this world-renowned resort. Just note that St. Anton is often said to be more suited for advanced skiers. So, if you’re not quite there yet, you might consider visiting the slopes of Lech and Zürs nearby.
Courchevel in France is a resort situated in Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world. Courchevel itself is actually comprised of six different villages, with the most prestigious and glitzy being Courchevel 1850. The area is seriously luxurious, so you can definitely indulge when you come to stay: Among its hotels are the Aman Le Mélézin and Cheval Blanc Courchevel, and the area also offers Michelin-starred restaurants and upscale shops. In terms of skiing, you can expect plenty of snow and experiences for all levels, so there’s really something for everyone.