Visit an alternative ski resort this winter and avoid over-crowded slopes and expensive prices. Just because you choose to ski off the beaten track, it doesn’t mean your holiday won’t share the thrills and excitement you’d expect from a big name ski resort.
In fact, we think the quality of skiing in these hidden gems can surpass the skiing in better-known destinations. For a great value, unbeatable ski experience this winter, we recommend you escape to one of these amazing, alternative ski resorts.
Best for: Great value
Unlike in some other budget ski destinations, in Andorra you can compromise on cost without compromising on quality. Arinsal occupies a beautiful corner of the Pyreenees, and the picturesque wooded slopes and welcoming terrain is ideal for beginner and early-intermediate skiers.
The resort has a relaxed and friendly vibe, which is ideal for families. The local ski school has an excellent reputation – so you can be confident leaving your children with the ski instructor while you explore the slopes during the day. There are plenty of lively bars to keep the grown-ups occupied too!
Get even further away from the crowds on your holiday and venture over to the Arcalis sector. This often-quiet area is accessible from Arinsal via a free shuttle bus and it has some of the best snow conditions in the region.
Keep the cost down with Inghams’ pre-bookable Arinsal Ski Inclusive Pack. The pack includes a six-day lift pass, six-day ski and boot hire, and lunch vouchers for use in selected mountain restaurants. Visit our Arinsal page for more information.
Best for: Alternative activities
Bad Kleinkirchheim, also known as the more pronounceable BKK, is Inghams only ski resort in the Carinthia region of Austria. The picturesque resort is renowned as the home of Olympic Downhill champion, Franz Klammer, who lends his name to the resort’s World Cup ski run. Klammer still skis regularly in BKK and even hosts local ski days on selected dates.
The picturesque, rolling mountains of Bad Kleinkirchheim are ideal for intermediate skiers. Lengthy red runs stretch across the mountain, weaving all the way down to resort level. But BKK isn’t just about the skiing – the resort is famous for its thermal spas too, and is a popular relaxing retreat.
If you grow tired of skiing (imagine!) in BKK, there are a wealth of exciting activities to help you pass the time: winter walking, ice-skating, tobogganing and snowshoeing are all popular past-times. Inghams guests staying at the 4-star Hotel Trattlerhof may join a free torch lit walk, complete with horses, mulled wine and hot drinks.
Best for: A quiet retreat
Situated in an undiscovered corner of the vast Dolomites ski area, which offers 1,220km of skiable terrain, Kronplatz provides a peaceful alternative to its famous neighbours. The resort is only a short bus ride away from the renowned Sella Ronda ski circuit, yet the local pistes in Kronplatz are rarely over-crowded.
Kronplatz is a distinctive ski area characterised by long blue and red runs, while seven challenging black runs provide the thrills for advanced skiers and snowboarders. In total, there are 114km of local ski pistes, and the exceptional, modern lift system provides speedy access to the slopes.
The quieter slopes make this an ideal resort for beginner skiers, and the local ski school has an excellent reputation. There are many exciting non-ski activities available too, including tobogganing, snowshoeing, and bowling.
Best for: Beautiful scenery
Situated at the end of a winding, wooded valley, Arosa is a quintessentially Swiss destination that British skiers oft-overlook. This is a shame because the chocolate box scenery of towering, snowy peaks are a spectacular sight and the resort has a unique and unforgettable atmosphere.
Arosa is popular with Swiss skiers, who make up the majority of visitors and add to the resort’s friendly ambience. The unique atmosphere is complimented by quirky events. When the lake freezes over, don’t be surprised if you see winter horseracing and golf tournaments on the frozen surface.
Head to the top station where stunning panoramic vistas across Switzerland will greet you as well as 225km of excellent on piste skiing. In the past few years, the Arosa ski area trebled in size as it joined forces with neighbouring Lenzerheide. Efficient high-speed lifts serve the ski area, which has excellent snow and sunshine records.
For a winter break framed by beautiful scenery, we’d highly recommend visiting Arosa.
Best for: Family ski holidays
Les Menuires hides in plain sight in the largest ski area entirely within France – the Three Valleys. At 1,815m, with speedy lifts, minimal queues and affordable rates, Les Menuires is an economical way to ski in one of the most famous ski areas in the world.
Les Menuires is ideal for families. Much of the accommodation, hotels and self-catered apartments, are ski-in/ski-out, taking the stress out of your journey to the slopes each morning. An impressive sports centre is a great place to visit when looking for non-ski activities and there is a 4km long toboggan run in resort too.
It might not have the brand recognition of its more famous neighbours: Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel, but this little resort still packs a punch. It has some of the best access to the Three Valleys ski area, particularly the more challenging runs down La Masse. And quick lifts take you directly to the top of the mountain where you’ll witness spectacular views.
Les Menuires is the ideal destination if you want to take your family to the Three Valleys but are put-off by the price tag. For a great-value family ski holiday, we recommend the Village Club du Soleil. This ski inclusive hotel has a slope-side location with stunning views, and it offers a Children’s Club and fantastic entertainment programme.
Make the most of your winter break this year and visit an alternative ski resort. You will be surprised and delighted by the quality of skiing and will have bragging rights with your friends when you discuss the hidden gems you’ve discovered.