Christmas Ski Resorts

The finest festive skiing on the planet.

Val d'Isere

½ of Espace Killy, Fantastic après, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Meribel

3 Valleys ski area , Excellent ski schools , Lively a...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zermatt

Glacier skiing, high altitude terrain, stunning panor...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zell am See

Unparalleled panoramic skiing , Exceptional on piste...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Shopping
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Levi

Bucket list destination , Meet Santa, Great food

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Non-ski activities

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Chamonix

Traditional mountain resort, varied, high altitude t...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Morzine

Family ski destination, Traditional Savoyard charm, 6...

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Families
  • non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cortina

Spectacular scenery , Olympic resort , Friendly local...

Great for:

  • Intermediates
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Verbier

Vast interlinked 4 Valleys area, Vibrant and varied ...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and if you love the mountains as much as we do, there's no better way to spend it than skiing and snowboarding.

With the finest early season snow, calendars crammed with festivities and villages straight from a Christmas Card, these are our favourite resorts for a seriously cool Yule.

Top 10 Christmas Ski Resorts

When a ski resort tends to open in November, dreams of a white Christmas become very much a reality. The brilliant snow history owes a little something to the Pissaillas glacier up at 3330m – and most slopes sit above 2500m. With La Daille’s tree trails to seek shelter in and a full 300km to ski in the Espace Killy, Val sees some stonking Christmas schussing. While it has the heights of a purpose built resort, you’ll find all the appeal of an old mountain town: Stone and wood chalets with cascades of little lights along their roofs. The early season start means there’s a serious buzz around Christmas from the get go: Giant floodlit snow sculptures usually line the streets, looking up to grand fireworks displays and fairy-tale torchlight ski shows. Even Santa wouldn't miss the merriment here - eyes peeled for his traditional dash through the snow in that one-horse open sleigh…

Nowhere does Noel quite like Mayrhofen: While it may be at the forefront of snow sports and festivals, when it comes to Christmas everything’s charmingly traditional. No inflatable, lit-up Santa’s here - huge wreaths or nativities are the usual centrepieces, found amongst a market selling all manner of trinkets and pastries. No Wham! on repeat either: You’ll usually find a fabulously old-school brass band near the tourist office, where sprogs can send off their lists at Father Christmas’ post office. Hotels traditionally put on gala dinners but if you’re eating out, try the centuries-old Wirtshauz zum Griena - most parsnips and stuffing can’t hold a candle to their Tiroler grostl. Not that Mayrhofen ever makes it onto the naughty list, but if Santa hasn't delivered the white stuff yet, every last 136km of piste can be covered with artificial snow.

While the rest of the world sing carols of The Three Kings, there’s a different trio they chant from the rooftops here - The Three Valleys. Hogging the heart of the world’s biggest linked ski area with a sea of old-style wood and stone buildings, Meribel is adored by British skiers at this time of year. There's uber-easy access to the 600km of groomers, including the ones in swanky Courchevel and diddy St Martin de Belleville (which looks straight out of a snow globe). Christmas here is traditionally celebrated with all manner of festivities: Torch lit descents, firework displays, carols in the main square and vin chaud galore - stick around to see if Santa visits in his horse drawn sleigh… And with more chalet accommodation than you can shake a bauble at, hosts are known to prepare traditional spreads on the big day for one and all.

Zermatt begins to look a lot like Christmas as soon as the first flakes fall, often in November. And if good conditions are at the top of your wish list, this is Europe’s highest ski area, where everything from glaciers to forest runs keep the mountains deliciously white. Get the international pass and you can ski all the way over to Cervinia in Italy, for proper pizzas on the mountainside. The village itself is a feast for the eyes - Swiss wood and stone buildings, one horse open sleighs, ice-skating on the lake and the mighty Matterhorn looming overhead (Chocolaterie Laderach’s diddy chocolate versions don’t always make it to the stockings…). But the real feasts here come in the restaurants - book Capri or After Seven for a Michelin-Starred banquet that’ll blow all other Christmas dinners out of the water.

Zell is pretty breath-taking at the best of times, but Christmas takes it to a whole new level. The centre hosts one of the finest markets in all the land: With woodwork, toys, baked goods and Gluhwein by the gallon, the chaos of Christmas shopping at home will feel world’s away. We love a Boxing Day walk along the lake, which traditionally has a throng of sparkling stars floating on its surface. With most beds based in hotels, the week can be as chilled and relaxing as it should be. No decorating, cooking or cleaning will leave you plenty of time to explore the good stuff: 138km of pistes between the local Schmitten mountain, the Maiskogel by Kaprun and the fabulously snow sure Kitzsteinhorn glacier.

Santa pops in to visit the other ski resorts, but he actually LIVES in Lapland - which has all the makings of a week you won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Visit the man himself at Rovaniemi’s Santa Park, or get the elves to show you his secret grotto in the woods. Reindeer farms and sleigh rides send the festive factor into overdrive - but that’s just the start of the wonderlandish activities here: The likes of husky-sleds and snowmobiles take you far out into other-worldly wilderness. 67.8 degrees north in the Arctic Circle, the nippy climate brings fabulous snow conditions. Fill stockings with an extra layer of thermals so you can really make the most of the slopes, which are dotted with fire pits and warming huts to keep things cosy. The icing on the Christmas Cake? If the skies are clear enough you might spot the Northern Lights.

Cham's grand Savoyard buildings are cloaked in fairy lights come Christmas, with the whole spectacle topped off by the surrounding Mont Blanc massif. In the snow department, St Nick’s known to deliver: Especially in the Grans Montets area, where altitudes of 3300m and the closeness of the Argentière glacier help provide good cover at the beginning of the season. Though managing to ski all day can be a challenge with so much going on: Christmas Eve is traditionally marked with big street parades and carol concerts, with Santa famously arriving on Le Train du Pere Noel - or on skis, in a torch lit descent into town. The restaurants tend to go all out too, with festive menus of champagne and traditional nosh. For a real yuletide treat, visit the Ice Cave via the wonderfully old-school pinion cog-railway.

Morzine’s always marvellous for families, and Christmastime is no exception. The transfer’s a short hour and half, letting you really make the most of the festivities… And if recent years are anything to go by, the event calendar will be fit to bursting: A dazzling Ice Show, firework displays, choirs and Santa’s arrival in the square would leave even the Scroogiest feeling jolly. If you’re staying in a catered chalet (there are tons here) you’ll most likely return home to a traditional lunch on the big day - or book a table at Le Clin d’Oeil, where a certain merry fellow’s known to pop by after his round the world tour… You’re not short of treats on the slopes either. The local pistes cover grassland so only need around 20cm of snow to be skiable (though they usually get lots more). With gorgeous tree-lined skiing and the stonking great 650km Portes du Soleil sitting on your doorstep, you’re bound to find many a slope in fine fettle.

The Dolomite peaks make you feel like a speck on the wintry horizon, then the town itself treats you like a king. Wander Cortina’s fairy-lit streets where Tyrolean goodies traditionally fill the market stalls: Food, wooden toys and handmade candles sit alongside Corso Italia’s iconic boutiques, which normally stay open late in December for any last minute stocking fillers. A grand tree sits in the main square, where you can usually catch a horse-drawn sleigh ride for a clip clop around the town. Though if all you did was ski, you’d have a cracking Christmas here: The local lift pass covers 140km of the most staggeringly pretty terrain, and you can explore more with the Superski pass and its 1200km of pistes. On a clear day, wrap up warm and watch the mountains change colour as the sun sets – look closely and you might just spot Santa on the horizon…

Place Centrale is a glorious hub of Christmas trees and overflowing cheer at this time of year. Santa usually appears on Christmas Eve, handing out gifts for the sprogs and vin chaud for grown-ups. Gospel concerts fill the air, and church masses continue age-old traditions. With links to the 4 Valleys and the makings for terrific early-season conditions, the skiing’s just as wonderful: A heavenly host of high slopes on the glacier, sheltered tree runs and hundreds of snow cannons for back up. Most catered chalets will have all the trimmings ready for your return from the hill. But if you want to spend Christmas in serious style, W Café do a smashing turkey supper - you can even take it away if you’re self-catering. But beyond all else, this place knows how to put on a Christmas Party - Farinet, Farm Club and Pub Mont Fort throw the biggest bashes in the Alps with seasonal themes and showers of champers to celebrate.

We’ve selected the top Xmas ski resorts from those best known for putting on a Yuletide to remember. In recent years, Meribel has pulled out all the stops with events for all ages. Zermatt is a feast for the eyes at this time of year and the lively Sno lovers in our office rate St Anton for the Christmas partying of your life - there’s never a dull moment in that hedonist’s heaven.
It’s worth remembering that the places which made it onto this “Best Of” list are known to all as the best places to ski and celebrate. Best advice is to book early if you want to spend a very cool Yule in the likes of Val d’Isere or Verbier.

If there’s a particular vibe you prefer, each of the skiing nations has a different approach to celebrating the festive season. The resorts in French tend to have lots of organised events, Austria and Switzerland are more traditional and the Italian resorts are all about great food, family and relaxation.

Traditional Xmas: France, Switzerland, Austria

Cheap Christmas: Italy, Bulgaria, Andorra

North American: USA, Canada


← online or call ↴
020 7770 6888
more