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Geneva is the perfect jumping off point for many skiers. Not only is the countryside a winter wonderland but it is often the cheapest and easiest airport to get to in the Alps. With a huge choice of daily flights from all over Europe and hundreds of ski resorts within driving distance, it’s easy to see why Geneva is one of Europe’s most popular ski destinations. Modern skiing was born in nearby Chamonix Valley – located just 60 minutes from Geneva - and is now world famous among serious skiers. For family friendly fun, Avoriaz (2 hours from Geneva) offers a snowy world in the heart of the Portes du Soleil near the French-Swiss border. And if you want to burn the candle at both ends, nearby Verbier (2 hours from Geneva) boasts some of the best après ski and nightlife in the Swiss Alps.
For powdery snow, quaint chalets and prices that won’t steam up your goggles try the big airports’ little sister in nearby Lyon. Many people flying to the Alps tend to make a beeline for major hubs like Geneva or Grenoble, but Lyon is fast becoming a favourite due to its close proximity to resorts, airport skis service and less congested roads. Just 150km from Lyon is Alpe d’Huez , one of the world’s ski areas and one of the biggest in the southern French Alps. Boasting one of the top ten biggest lift served verticals on the planet, it also has one of the world’s longest black runs for the more experienced skier. Or two hours in the other direction is the famed Val d’Isère. Having previously hosted Olympic ski events, Val d’Isère boasts challenging pistes and family friendly slopes with a powerhouse apres vibe.
In the Alpine nation of Austria skiing is not just a sport, it’s a way of life. It’s as deeply rooted as the local’s penchant for schnitzel and apple strudel. Innsbruck serves as the perfect gateway to some of Europe’s dizziest heights and the airport landing alone is worth experiencing at least once. Just an hour and a half away lies Ischgl, home to some of the wildest apres in the region. But if you can resist the lure of the resort’s party scene and hit the piste with a clear head there’s also plenty of modern lifts, pristine powder and untracked terrain to explore. For those looking for more sophistication, visit the beautiful resort of St Anton. It’s known as a gateway to the Alberg ski region and features 340km of slopes, 200km of off-piste itineraries and plenty of challenging off-piste terrain. And if you needed another reason to visit the region, check out Sölden, the location for the James Bond film Spectre.
Top ski destinations
The winter essentials
Not all travellers lament the end of summer.
For skiers and snowboards, winter heralds the beginning of long months of mountaintop thrills, winter sun and cherished memories exploring ski slopes in faraway destinations.
For the best powder snow, world class apres ski and quaint lodgings at a price that won’t steam up your goggles, look no further than our round-up of some of the best fields and booming mountain resorts around Europe.
Whether you’re a beginner hitting the bunny slopes for the first time or a seasoned après skier, there’s a winter wonderland for everyone to explore.
Winter Cover - protect yourself for accidents whilst enjoying your winter activities
Flying with skis and snowboards
There's no business like snow business. Whether you’re a slope chasing die-hard or just trying to get a family trip off the ground, it’s important to plan ahead for transporting your gear.
You can take most sports equipment as well as your hold luggage when you fly with us. We allow you to bring one piece of sports equipment up to 20kg each person. Ski equipment is subject to the same weight restrictions as your other baggage so to avoid paying fees lighten your load by packing smart.
You can pack your boots inside your hold bag to reduce your bag count or carry them as your cabin bag on board.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the rolling ski bag is a luggage option that too many of us skip out on. Although a carry bag will give you a good work out, save yourself the hassle of lugging it around the airport and use a bag with wheels to transport your larger gear.
And lastly allow plenty of time at the airport to check in your gear as you may need to make a trip to oversize luggage.