Nine great ski holiday destinations for this winter
From 300km of runs in Austria to 'champagne powder' in Colorado, here are some top holidays worth dusting your skis off for
Skiiing at Westendorf, Austria. Photograph: iStock
Skiers, cyclists and stargazers all do their thing at Grand Tourmalet in Spain.
Prices are for mid-January unless specified
1. Flaine, France
In a large bowl with many slopes leading back to the resort, Flaine is a family-friendly destination with plenty of challenging runs. It also connects to the Grand Massif ski area, offering 139 pistes. The town, designed by the Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer in the 1960s, is so stark it is almost beautiful.
Where to stay Terminal Neige Totem is a short walk/slide across snow from the lifts. There are also various budget apartments at the top end of town, reachable by funicular. Double rooms with breakfast cost €1,440 for seven nights.
Get there Fly Aer Lingus return from Dublin to Geneva from €150, or with EasyJet from Belfast for £60 (about €67).
2. St Anton, Austria
The classic Tyrolean resort of St Anton, with 300km of ski runs and 200km of off-piste, caters for intermediate and advanced skiers. Skiing from the top of the resort to the base is exhilarating, although many get waylaid at the infamous on-slope Krazy Kanguruh bar and open-air dancefloor. St Anton recently linked to the smart resort of Lech.
Where to stay Hotel Ehrenreich is three minutes from town and 200m from the lifts. Half-board starts at €115 a night per person sharing.
Get there Fly Dublin to Zurich with Aer Lingus from about €200 return, or to Memmingham Munich West with Ryanair from Dublin for €100.
3. Soldeu, Andorra
At the centre of the Grandvalira ski area, Soldeu has access to 210km of runs, making it the largest resort in the Pyrenees. It is good for beginners and intermediates, not only in terms of slopes but also for its relaxed vibe.
Where to stay Hotel Himalaia, 50m from the cable car, has doubles from €133 a night with breakfast.
Get there Fly to Barcelona from Dublin with Ryanair or Aer Lingus, from about €120 return, or Toulouse with Aer Lingus from about €120.
4. Cortina, Italy
Just up the road from Venice, this resort is full of Italian people’s second homes so has the feel of a real town rather than a ski resort. Sports shops rub up against hardware stores and traditional eateries, serving Italian hot chocolate you can stand a spoon in. It comprises three ski areas linked by bus, and will be co-hosting the Winter Olympics in 2026 with Milan. dolomitisuperski.com
Where to stay Hotel Panda is run by a lovely family with a fluffy dog. Doubles with breakfast start at €140 per night.
Get there Fly to Venice with Aer Lingus from €100 return, and Venice Treviso with Ryanair from around €60.
5. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
You won’t miss the fact you are in cowboy country here, as staff wear Stetsons, and you can go horse-riding in the snow. The mountains are rounded, but the 105km of slopes run the gamut from beginner to black, and a few Olympic skiers have emerged from the resort. The snow here has a lower water content than average, making the powder very skiable – it has been trademarked as Champagne Powder – and there are lots of trees (some marked with bear claws) to slide between.
Where to stay The Steamboat Grand, at the base of the slopes, has doubles from $189 (€173) per night.
Get there British Airways flies Dublin to Denver via London from about €260 return. Drive from there or fly on to Hayden Airport with United Airlines from €281 return.
6. Grand Tourmalet, France
Skiers, cyclists and stargazers all do their thing at Grand Tourmalet, the biggest resort in the French Pyrenees, with 100km of runs. It is home to the Col de Tourmalet, the famed ascent in the Tour de France, which has a string of people cycling at various speeds up to its summit. Towering above the resort is the Pic du Midi mountain – you can freeride from the top in a cable car.
Where to stay At the Pic du Midi observatory, with amazing views of mountains and stars (this is one of the world’s top dark sky spots), you can stay in rooms once occupied by scientists, astronomers and technicians. Doubles cost about €439 with dinner, breakfast and stargazing.
Get there Fly to Lourdes with Ryanair from about €75 return, or Toulouse with Aer Lingus from €120.
7. Westendorf, Austria
A stalwart of Irish tour operators in times past, Westendorf often felt like Ireland-on-Alps. On a plateau in the Brixental valley, it is great for beginners, but good intermediates will ski the whole resort quite quickly. There is the option of taking a bus to access the rest of the vast SkiWelt area. The village is pretty, with traditional chalets and an onion-dome church.
Where to stay Pension Christoph, 150m from the lifts, costs €102 a night for two with breakfast.
Get there Fly to Salzburg with EasyJet from Belfast International from about £45 (€50) return, from Dublin to Munich with Aer Lingus for €120, or from Dublin to Memmingham Munich West with Ryanair for €100.
8. Val Thorens, France
The highest resort in the Alps, with its top run at a lofty 3,200m, Val Thorens is pretty snow sure, with a long season. It sits on top of the Trois Vallées, with 600km of slopes incorporating Les Menuires, Meribel and Courcheval. It takes skiing seriously, with off-piste guides, fitness sessions in skintight clothes, and dusk walks.
Where to stay Odalys Résidence L’Altineige is right on the slopes; a 20sq m apartment (sleeping up to four) costs €652 a week in January.
Get there Fly Dublin to Lyons from €130 return with Aer Lingus, Dublin to Geneva with Aer Lingus for €150, or Belfast to Geneva with EasyJet from about £60 (€67).
9. Champéry, Switzerland
Champéry is a pretty town of traditional chalets, with hotels and restaurants run by families who have lived here for generations. A cable car runs out of town to local slopes, also linking to the huge Portes du Soleil cross-border ski area, which includes the more famous Avoriaz and Morzine on the French side. A lovely doable challenge is to ski right around all of the resorts in one day.
Where to stay Hotel Suisse, a traditional-style, wood-rich hotel in the town centre, looking out to the mountains, has doubles from 274 Swiss francs (about €251) a night with breakfast.
How to get there Fly Aer Lingus from Dublin to Geneva for about €150 return.