Skiing Highlights For Europe’s 2022-23 Season
Spine-tingling first tracks on slopes that your clients dreamed of are now within reach.
The strong U.S. dollar and the forecast of a bountiful snow season for most of Europe are incentives to get on the slopes.
Skiers of all levels can knock coveted Alpine resorts off their bucket lists and adventurous skiers can make first tracks in the north of the Arctic Circle.
Here are some highlights for the upcoming season, a recovery from the Covid shutdowns.
The pandemic gave the ski resorts in the Salzburgerland, Vorarlberg, and the Tirol time to upgrade facilities and operations, new hotels, and renovations of existing properties.
Cortina d’Ampezzo maintained its world-class slopes and updated technology, from no-touch lift tickets to faster gondolas. There are distinctive alpine cabins for ski-in ski-out. Your clients can claim bragging rights, skiing on the pistes that Olympians will run in 2026.
Clients planning to ski the Haute Route in the French speaking part of Switzerland will start in Verbier and extend to four valleys yielding over 300 miles of pistes, 89 lifts, combined with hi-tech infrastructure attracting skiers from around the world. Zermatt has a new feature in the Schloss, Hotel Zermatt, a CBD spa experience. A hemp sauna and massage will ease your client’s après ski muscles. La Tour Balme Vallorcine in Chamonix has a new gondola scheduled to go on-line in late 2022.
Les Arcs in the Savoie region is a collection of five ski resorts with the highest ski elevation of over two miles, and 260 miles of pistes. Its branded as the Paradiski and offers a personalized app and download, Yuge, included in your pass, a special bonus for skiers who love their data!
Avoriaz is part of the 12 French and Swiss resorts that brand themselves as Les Portes Du Soleil. It is car free, and most accommodations are ski-in ski-out. The 600 slopes have pistes for beginners and experienced skiers. Nordic and snowshoeing are available. Cable cars link many of the valleys. For snow boarders there is an ecofriendly area, the Stash, designed by Jake Burton of ski board fame. Small snow huts and sculptures are hidden away in the landscape waiting for discovery.
Les Deux Alpes has glacier skiing, making this a year-round ski destination. Another draw is one of the largest and best Freestyle Land for all level of skiers. The busy après ski party scene is a popular destination for singles.
These mountains are not as high as the Alps or as crowded and expensive. The overlap of French, Spanish and Andorran cultures add to the overall experience. Four ski resorts in the French Pyrenees joined together and created Pyrenees 2 Vallees, based in Saint-Lary. Shuttle buses move between the resorts with 166 pistes spread over 150 miles.
Boi Taull has the highest elevation in the Pyrenees located in the Catalan region of Spain and known for its deep snow and long season. The pistes start at an alititude of 1.5 miles. All pistes end at the base camp and enjoy Catalonian hospitality. The Parizeau card gives access to the ski and mountain resorts.
New for the 2022-23 season, the three ski resorts Grandvalira, Ordin Arcalis, and Pal Arinsal have joined in an Andorra Pass, giving access to 190 miles of pistes for all levels. The slopes face the Mediterranean and have sunny days and a season that runs from early December to April. Pal Arinsal is unique, holding two world cup events, winter and summer. Andorra known as a tax-free haven is a draw for skiers to the slopes for all levels with multi-lingual instructors, at decent prices.
Europe’s second largest ski area SaalBach Hinterglemm has twenty gondolas and highspeed chairlifts, and features night skiing and cross country. Garmisch-Partenkirchen of Olympic fame is south of Munich and has 425 miles of slopes spread over three mountains and a lift to the 10,000 ft altitude Zugspitze. It has hosted numerous World Ski Cup competitions. It is home of the famous Kandahar 1 and 2, pistes with over a 45-degree incline, the second steepest in the Alps. The Top Snow card gives access to eight additional ski areas.
The northern most skiing is at the national border Riksgransen between Norway and Sweden, 150 miles north of the artic circle. Use your ski pass for the free shuttle to Bjorkliden for more piste and off-piste runs. The highest altitude is over 1,600 feet with over 120 miles of pistes. A draw to Riksgransen is that skiing season begins in February and extends to May/June, skiing under an almost midnight sun with affordable heli-skiing. There is a nightly display of northern lights, room parties, and local pubs. Hotels and spas with Swedish massage round out après ski activities.
The strong dollar and bountiful snow beckon American skiers to European slopes.