Travel Lifestyle

The three largest European ski resorts

From family-friendly French resorts to luxury skiing experiences in snowy Sweden, there are plenty of European ski resorts to choose from. However, for the best and most enjoyable skiing holidays, it’s often the case that bigger is better. Europe has several huge ski resorts which encompass multiple towns and villages, and sometimes even cross national borders. Here are the three biggest ski resorts on the continent, based on the total length of ski runs found at each.

Les Trois Vallées

The huge, sprawling ski resort known as Les Trois Vallées (or the three valleys) encompasses the popular skiing towns of Val Thorens and ​Les Menuires, as well as the upmarket ski villages of ​Méribel and ​Courchevel, all in France. Priding itself on being the largest skiing area in Europe, there are a massive total of 600km of ski slopes. This includes over 312km of blue slopes, which makes the resort an excellent choice for novice skiers and snowboarders.

There are also 35 black runs totalling 72km, meaning that advanced skiers will also find plenty to keep them busy. Because the resort goes up to a height of 3230m, it usually offers good quality snow for a long ski season. During ski season, you can check the snow forecast to keep an eye on snowfall in Courchevel and other areas in the three valleys resort.

Les Portes du Soleil

Generally considered to be the second-largest skiing resort in Europe, Les Portes du Soleil encompasses a number of French skiing villages such as Les Gets, Châtel and Morzine and the Swiss resorts of Champéry and Morgins. While not as high as Les Trois Vallées, the area still promises a good ski season, with an average elevation of 1269m and peaks of 2254m. The resort has excellent connections throughout, with over 160 ski lifts connecting the 580+ slopes.

The blue/red/black split is roughly the same as you’ll find in Les Trois Vallées, making it a great option for mixed ability groups or families. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, it is essential to have the necessary insurance to cover your trip, from a supplier like Staysure.

Les Quatre Vallées

Les Trois Vallées and Les Portes du Soleil are the giants of the European skiing scene. The next nearest resort, in terms of total ski slope length, is Les Quatre Vallées, which offers just over 400km of slopes, connected by 67 ski lifts. The Swiss resort covers the popular destinations of Verbier and Thyon, as well as the boutique resorts of La Tzoumaz and ​Veysonnaz. The slopes are more heavily weighted in favour of experienced skiers, with around 50% of them classified as red (intermediate) difficulty. This, combined with over 100km of black slopes, makes Les Quatre Vallées a popular choice for frequent skiers.

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