Pretty Ski Resorts

Ski home to the prettiest villages and towns on the planet.

Zermatt

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

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Megeve

Gorgeous alpine village, Large linked ski area

Great for:

  • Luxury
  • Families
  • Scenery

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

St Moritz

Stylish town centre , High-altitude glacier skiing, G...

Great for:

  • Late-season skiing
  • Non-skiers
  • Couples

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kitzbuhel

World's most difficult run, Romantic Austrian charm, ...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Alpbach

Picturesque 1930’s village , Brilliant family resor...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Couples
  • Beginners and lower intermediate skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Wengen

Part of the Jungfrau ski area , Quintessential moun...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Scenery
  • Foodies

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cortina

Spectacular scenery , Olympic resort , Friendly local...

Great for:

  • Intermediates
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Lech

Some of the best snow in Austria , Traditional charm...

Great for:

  • Luxury
  • High Altitudes
  • Powder snow

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Murren

Stunning location , Chocolate-box village, Fascinati...

Great for:

  • Experts
  • Non-skiers
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Saas Fee

Traditional pedestrianised resort , Dramatic setting...

Great for:

  • Late season
  • Families
  • Snow sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

With sky-scraping peaks, forested valleys and acres of white, every resort comes with a corking view. But some are as much of a spectacle off the slopes as on, and the world’s prettiest are another matter entirely.

From old shepherds huts to grand hotels and quintessential village churches (sometimes even a castle…), these resorts are worth a visit to SEE just as much as to ski, and they’ve got history and charm by the shedload.

Top 10 Prettiest Ski Resorts

Stand in Zermatt for an eyeful of the Matterhorn and its ranks of 4000m+ summits… But don’t spend the whole week gazing up: The clock tower of the St Mauritius Church pokes into the skyline and narrow old streets wiggle around. Ancient 16th century barns sit next to chocolate-brown chalets and Belle Époque hotels (The Monte Rosa’s foundations still remain from 1839, where the Seiler family have welcomed guests for FIVE generations). Horse-drawn sleighs clip clop, red mountain trains chug and electric buses hum – no cars disturb the calm here.

Megève’s first tourists came as early as the 19th century, but it was the Rothschild family in the twenties who really brought it to the world stage. The story goes that Baroness Noémie, tired of St Moritz, wanted to create something even better in France – with this medieval market town proving just the ticket. Stand on the Mont d’Arbois plateau looking over the village - just like the Baroness did - and you’ll soon see the appeal: A forest of choc-box chalets surrounds a cobbled village square with medieval turrets, a cathedral-like church and a huge great lit-up tree. This is the iconic Place d’Eglise, now a hub of designer shops, Michelin starred restaurants and cool jazz bars, with hand-painted horse-carts transporting you between them. Neoclassical lampposts line the streets, with surrounding fir trees feeling like the edge of Narnia, and sights of Mont Blanc that’ll take your breath away.

The original winter sports resort has taken hardy Alpine architecture and worked it into something truly glamorous. Palatial doesn’t quite cover the hotels that line the lake-front, especially compared to the modest Engadin farmhouses with their funnel-shaped windows and ‘sgraffito’ murals. These have seen the village transform over the centuries, from a humble home of shepherds to the European bolthole for the stars of Hollywood’s Golden age – but few have seen more than the iconic ‘leaning tower’ which dates back to the 13th Century. There’s even a nod the future, in the form of modern creations like Chesa Futura. Then you’ve got nature’s contribution: Thick forests, frozen lakes, those jagged peaks of the ‘Ballroom of the Alps’… It's pastoral glam, and it's captivating.

Dating back to 1000BC, medieval Kitzbühel has seen a lot in its time. And age has only made it prettier... Bound by crumbling city walls, the pedestrianised Vorderstadt is a hub of Tyrolean townhouses in Crayola-bright colours - ruby red, tangerine orange, parakeet blue - and hand-painted frescoes draw the eye every which way. Watching over the hotels, restaurants and shops are ancient churches, chapels and monasteries, dwarfed only by the sharp peaks of the Wilder Kaiser Mountain range.

Once a resort has been crowned ‘Most Beautiful Village in Austria’, it doesn’t duck out of the spotlight in a hurry. You don’t achieve chocolate-box perfection overnight, and any new buildings are required by village law to have a stone ground floor, timber cladding and a wrap-around balcony... blending into the ancient houses that surround the postcard-worthy church. Hidden from the world until the first valley road arrived in 1926, the whole place is a time capsule of Tyrolean pastoral life – and it looks wonderfully set to stay that way.

A village of dreamy Swiss chalets and eye-catching Victorian hotels, Wengen’s surrounded by mountains so beautiful they’ve earned UNESCO world heritage status – none more worthy than the Jungfrau, Eiger and Schilthorn. There are some fine sights of these from the Protestant Church, and for views of Wengen itself, look down from Allmend (reachable on skis from Kleine Scheidegg or by train from the village). Traditional cog railways chug their way up the mountains as they have for a hundred years – this is the only way to reach resort (no roads = no nasty cars), and it’s rather spectacular.

As you’d expect of the Queen of the Dolomites, Cortina is commandingly elegant. This is the chosen hangout of Rome and Milan’s high society (Clooney and Hepburn are among past visitors) and it looks the part. A chiming landmark is the green and white bell tower of the church on Piazza Venezia, which is encircled by grand 19th century villas and typical alpine houses. Crests, patterns and elaborate balconies decorate many a building: Look out for the palatial Tyrolean Town Hall and the frescoed walls of the pharmacy on a wander down Corso Italia - an iconic street either side of the Piazza. Every queen must have a throne, and Cortina’s is Italy’s national treasure: craggy limestone peaks rise to well over 3000m and give off hues of white, tan, grey, and pink as the sun rises and sets.

Five minutes here and you’ll see why they call this the prettiest village in Europe. The long Lech River cuts through the middle, lined with old stone walls and lit by Victorian lampposts come evening. Either side of it you’ll see strong signs of Walser settlers from yonks ago: cosy wood and stone lodges and a striking 14th century church standing tall. Once cut off from the rest of humanity come snowfall, they now draw in the rich and royal with the likes of luxury hotels and fine eateries – a fairy tale ending if ever there was one.

Sir Arnold Lunn brought Mürren to the forefront of modern skiing in the twenties, and it took to the big screen in the sixties as the setting of James Bond’s ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Much of it feels like the same ‘village on the wall’ that was home to the Walsers some 800 years ago - pathways are lined with timber chalets, old farmhouses and time-honoured churches. The oldest house standing dates back to 1545 – but even the newer builds are carefully crafted to match its rustic wooden style. Five minutes here and you’ll see why they picked it for filming 007: Dramatic sights include the north face of the Eiger, the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, best viewed from Blofeld’s Lair, high up on the Schilthorn.

They hit the nail on the head when they nicknamed Saas Fee. The 'Pearl of the Alps’ sits on a bed of glacial snow, and 4000m+ peaks jut up protectively around it like the edge of an oyster’s shell. Snow-sure thanks to the Fee glacier, and high (a bottom altitude of 1800m), it’s pearly white more often than not. Then there’s the village itself. You won't mind getting lost between the balcony-bound cabins, age-old farming huts and creaky cow sheds huddled together here - hell, you’d be forgiven for breaking into a bit of a yodel - and the whole place is strictly car-free.

All of the above have at some point or other been labelled "prettiest ski resort" or "most picturesque ski resort in Europe". Some have been included in the winners list of the most beautiful mountain towns in Europe or most picturesque villages on the planet. Neither the cheapest place to ski, nor the most expensive... They're simply the most attractive ski resorts worldwide.

If your eyes can handle any more alpine beauty, cast them over our guides to the most picturesque resorts in each country. Austria and Italy are fit to bursting with pastoral villages and old market towns, Switzerland has a glorious mix of grand mountain towns and tiddly hamlets, and while it may be better known for its purpose built resorts, there are some gorgeously traditional destinations in France.

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