We know some of the best holidays Irish people have are not in July and August but the winter months when the snow-capped mountains of Europe call groups of friends and families together to ski, relax and spend some time together. Although there are many places outside of Europe with excellent skiing, travelling in the winter months can be especially difficult so we have focused on selecting some of the best ski resorts Europe has to offer depending on your ability and what you want from a winter holiday:
Best for: families
Flight time from Dublin: circa 3hrs
Transfer time: from 30min, depending on the resort
Andorra has a long-standing reputation as a fantastic destination for learning to ski and is especially known for being one of the best ski resorts in Europe for families. Easy to get to from Ireland, with direct flights to nearby airports like Barcelona or Toulouse, the only thing you will have to work out is the best resort for your family. The resort of Arinsal is an excellent destination for families with a great beginners and intermediate slopes and crèche and ski school facilities for younger members of the family. However,it is worth noting it is a 2.5hr transfer from most airports.
Best for: beginners
Flight time from Dublin: approx. 2hrs 15min
Transfer time: Ranges
Although there are no direct flights from Dublin to Slovenia, if you book through a ski specialist travel agent you can travel directly on a charter. Resorts like Kranjska Gora are only a few miles from the Austrian and Italian boarders but offer ski packages including lessons at more affordable rates than their nearest neighbours. Kranjska is a quieter resort than some others, so if you are banking on some crazy après-ski this may not be the resort for you. However, if you want uncrowded slopes, a good range of accommodation and some stunning scenery as you learn to ski, Slovenia is definitely worth considering.
Best for: aprés-ski
Flight time from Dublin: (to Munich) 2hrs 25min
Transfer time: (from Munich) 2hrs 30min
If a big part of your ski trip is partying after, then Kitzbühel in Austria may be the resort for you. Although located in Austria, it is closer to the German city of Munich. With a staggering 42 huts dotted around the slopes and happy hour from 2.30pm to 4pm, you will be doing well not to be staggering home after a night of apres-ski. It’s worth checking out Panorama Alm (no. 5), where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Kitzbühel Alps with your drink. This is a great option if there are non-skiers in your group because there are lots of alternative options for entertainment.
As for the skiing, despite hosting the annual Hahnenkamm downhill race, slopes are predominantly beginner and intermediate. Although, if you are an accomplished skier and feeling confident, once the race is over, you are free to try the Hahnenkamm course for yourself.
Best for: experts
Flight time from Dublin: (to Geneva) 2hrs 5min
Transfer time: (from Geneva) 2hrs
If you feel more than at home on the slopes, a resort offering expert skiing might be a better option for you. Only for very experienced skiers, resorts like Chamonix in France have not earned their reputation for nothing. For the ultimate challenge try the Aiguille du Midi’s Vallée Blanche, 12 miles of glacial skiing which varies from relaxed and enjoyable to steep and adrenalin inducing. This variety of terrain is why we would highly recommend hiring a local guide when skiing the often-challenging glacier.
No matter where you chose for your ski holiday, remember skiing can be a dangerous sport. Protect yourself, summer and winter, with an AIG multi-trip policy. With our multi-trip you qualify for free Ski and Winter Sports insurance for up to 17 days within a year.