Our resort recommendations
Whether you choose to ski or not, a few days in the mountains always feels so incredibly refreshing. It’s as if you have had the reset button pressed, making you ready to take on the world again.
For those looking at a ski trip next year with a non-skiing friend or family member, there are tons of options. You can tempt them with culture, shopping, spas, history and more. If the grandparents are considering coming along too to help with a bit of childcare these options should easily help your case!
The below recommendations mean you can happily spend your days on the slopes knowing the non-skiers in your group will be anything but bored.
Serre Chevalier/Briançon, France
This number one recommendation ticks so many boxes. Briancon in France is a walled fortress town, the medieval centre is a maze of narrow pedestrian streets with shops, cafes and restaurants. There is a vintage poster shop where you can lose track of time, book shops serving coffee and plenty of top restaurants serving both French and Italian food (you are only a few kms from the border with Italy) plus you can explore the walled city and its historical architecture. It is also possible to take a bus to Oulx where you can catch a train to the incredible city of Turin (see below listing).
There are 280kms to ski here in the Serre Chevalier ski area which best suits intermediates.
What makes this such a great option is its direct link with Turin. Jump on a train and you can spend the day in this spectacular Italian city checking out its culture. Top of the list in Turin is the museum of Cinema which is my personal museum favourite worldwide! Only the Italians could pull off such a cool and stylish museum experience. It is housed in a huge building called the Mole and you can explore the history of film making with some great immersive displays plus also take the lift outside to the top of the building to take in views of the city and mountains beyond. Add to this the FIAT museum (remember The Italian Job?), Egyptian museum, palaces, a ton of shops and restaurants, world famous food market, Opera and concerts, your biggest problem here would be fitting everything in.
The resort of Bardonecchia itself is also great for shops as it has a long high street which often hosts a market with local food produce and also houses some great restaurants. Piedmont cuisine is the tastiest and healthiest!
Around 100kms to ski here with some lovely scenic runs.
Badklein Kircheim, Austria
For anyone who happens to be a lover of spas this is a great authentic Austrian option. The large open thermal pool in Roemerbad is an awesome experience at night with the stars above and mountain ranges looming. Aside from the spa pool, there are saunas and steam rooms. If you have not tried a herbal spa in Austria you absolutely do not know what you are missing. An alpine spa experience will most definitely knock spots off that Center Parcs experience! The resort also offers some great dining and a few bars and shops too.
100 kms to ski here for a range of abilities.
If you’re into history, particularly Roman history this is a great place for you. There are a lot of Roman ruins in the centre of this town and also a really large crypt and museum. The town itself is really big and is pretty much an open air museum for all things Roman with most of the older buildings still having the old Roman tiled roofs. There are castles perched on hilltops and rolling vineyards so plenty of local wines. Some great shopping can be found in the rambling pedestrianised centre and places to eat too.
Pila ski resort is particularly well suited to families and is above the town of Aosta. There are approx 70kms to ski here.