This morning, for the first time this year, I put on my winter coat. There’s no avoiding it, the summer’s over and winter is coming.
Winter means one thing to me: ski season. Here at PRESS we might not all be as successful as Lindsey Vonn, or have the on-slope style of Marcel Hirscher, but we are an office of skiing fanatics. So if winter getaways are your thing, here are our favourite ski slopes in Europe.
Obergurgl is a village built for skiing. Near the city of Innsbruck, it’s situated in the Ötztal valley. Jamie’s chosen it for the après-ski (he recommends the Nederütte), which is hailed as being a great place for a post-slope schnapps. Obergurgl is a brilliant place for beginners and more experienced skiers alike.
Davos is a small Swiss town which has much more to offer than just skiing - back in the Victorian times the clean and crisp air was believed to help cure tuberculosis! It also recently hosted the World Economic Forum - very fancy. There’s 300KM of piste to play on, however, it’s not best set up for first timers.
If Davos sounds good, but you don’t like the way it looks, then check out Klosters. It’s a traditional village, with good access to the Parsenn. Although this resort is a firm favourite of the royal family, the whole area is quite relaxed. There’s a number of small bars in Klosters Platz that cater for a chilled après crowd.
Gastein’s a valley that’s located about 40 minutes outside of Salzburg and part of the Ski Amade region. There are over 200km of well-kept pistes, including the breathtaking H1, a 10.5km run that’s best enjoyed first thing in the morning. After a hard day on the slopes, you can relax in one of the naturally heated swimming pools, or head to Bad Gastein’s Silver Bullet Bar for some live music.
This little spot feels like a real village. It’s situated around 1,200m above sea level, in the Grand Massif area. The piste difficulty is perfect for families - there’s a good range for beginners and intermediate skiers, and for the more advanced and adventurous there’s some good off piste opportunities.
Livigno is one of the most inaccessible resorts in Europe. It takes up to 3 hours to get there from Innsbruck and even longer from Italian hub airports. However, the low prices and the quality of its parks and reliable snow cover (nicknamed Little Tibet) make it worth the journey. If you're on a tight budget this is the place to go. There's no VAT, which makes drinks, petrol and consumer goods some of the cheapest in Europe and this special tax status dates back to Napoleonic times.