Skyscanner dips into its data to see where British winter sports enthusiasts are flying to this season. Despite economic woes, European ski searches appear healthy with a small rise in flight search traffic for ski airports compared to last year. With a strong US dollar, it seems many Brits are avoiding transatlantic mountains and favouring more local European peaks.
1. Geneva (Switzerland) – at number one by quite a long way it’s Geneva. Close to the French border (the airport even has a French sector) Geneva airport is an ideal landing point for skiers and snowboarders, offering the choice of over 100 ski resorts within two hours’ drive. One of the closest is Lelex, a small resort served by 13 ski lifts, ideal for families and beginners, and at the other end of the scale – Morzine, part of Les Portes Du Soleil ski area, a huge interlinked domaine offering some 650 different pistes, served by over 200 ski lifts. Find cheap flights to Geneva.
2. Nice (France) – located for good access to the ski resorts of the Southern French Alps and Italian Alps, Nice offers access to 12 ski resorts within 3 hours drive. Isola 2000 is one of the best in range, rising to 2610m, and offering about 50 pistes and around 120km of downhill skiing and snowboarding. Alba, about 2.5 hours from Nice is an ideal choice for beginners, a compact area which is also good for cross country skiing, boasting 52km of Nordic trails. Find cheap flights to Nice.
3. Salzburg (Austria) – located in the north of the country, Salzburg is surrounded by over 100 resorts to the south, east and west, all of which are less than 2 hours drive from the airport. Mayrhofen is one of the most famous in Austria; part of the Zillertal ski area, it offers access to 130 pistes. If you’re looking for a family ski area and need something with shorter drive times, try St Wolfgang – one of the closest ski areas to Salzburg, this small resort has 9 ski lifts as well as 30km of cross country trials. Find cheap flights to Salzburg.
4. Munich (Germany) – another good access point with almost 100 ski resorts within 2 hours of the airport. Choose from a great selection of Northern Austrian resorts, or for something a little different, why not visit a German ski resort? Though little known as a skiing destination, Germany has some great options; Sankt Englmar is a small ski area best suited to beginners and young families in the east of Germany – or try the Grainau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski zones – one of the bigger ski areas in Germany offering 44 pistes. Find cheap flights to Munich.
5. Grenoble (France) – there are over 50 ski resorts within 1.5 hours of the airport, including some of the biggest and best such as Alp d’Huez, Courchevel, La Grave, Meribel and Valmorel. For somewhere a little more secret, try Autrans – a quieter area with 16 lifts and about 18km of downhill slopes as well as 160km of cross country ski trails. Find cheap flights to Grenoble.
Best of the Rest:
Toulouse (France) – offers access to Pyrenean ski resorts in France, Spain and Andorra. Pas de la Casa is a firm favourite with the Brits, renowned for its excellent value and lively après ski action. Find cheap flights to Toulouse.
Innsbruck (Austria) – great for getting to resorts in the Tyrol region and the city of Innsbruck itself is home to Nordkette, a small ski area with slopes overlooking the city, which boasts one of the steepest runs in Europe. Find cheap flights to Innsbruck.
Milan Bergamo (Italy) – good for Northern Italian resorts. Try Livigno, a duty free ski resort with an excellent terrain park and good off piste options, a quaint Alpine town untouched by overdevelopment. Find cheap flights to Milan Bergamo.
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