Christmas is a special time of year, no matter where you are and there's always a reason to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the festive season - especially a Christmas market.
If you are planning a ski trip over the Christmas period and would like to know where will be lit up by Christmas trees, the air smelling of mulled wine and festive trinkets twinkling in the streets, then this is the guide for you.
We have selected some of the most popular resorts that host the best Christmas markets:
Zell Am See, Austria
- It’s all about the beautiful star decorations, lighting up all the streets of this resort.
- A bustling market lines the main street, with lots of festive stalls to browse.
- Local food, drinks and traditional gifts can be found on sale throughout the festive season.
- Kaprun Castle is worth a visit during the festive period, with its own Christmas market inside as well as entertainment and traditional Krampus-processions.
- Christmas and New Year concerts are frequently held throughout the festive period for you to enjoy.
- Zell Am See resort is a stunning location, the resort itself sits on the edge of a large, frozen lake and the popular viewing platform 'Top of Salzburg' offers panoramic views for miles. This resort offers glacier skiing and is well connected to the surrounding areas. It’s certainly a popular resort with skilled skiers who appreciate their surroundings and enjoy the red / black runs on offer.
Saas Fee, Switzerland
- The village square is full of Christmas themed decorations, lights and is where the popular market is situated.
- Here they not only offer traditional Gluhwein, but also an adorable children's version of this local drink.
- This market is best known for its customer participation in making the Christmas crafts - From candle dipping to lantern creation.
- Rides on the Christmas train are hugely popular with the little ones where they can immerse themselves in everything christmas.
- Saas Fee is one of Europe's best resorts, with a high snow record and great glacier skiing. Known for having a friendly atmosphere within the pretty village, it’s a popular Switzerland resort. Saas Fee is a great place for intermediate skiers who want to spend a week skiing or snowboarding between gentle blue runs to more challenging red runs.
- One of the prettiest resorts in Italy, with charming, decorative wooden huts for the Christmas market.
- A very sophisticated resort and market with traditional roasted chestnuts and mulled wines, ideal for those who love tradition.
- Wonderful hand-crafted items can be found across the many stalls, a great place to browse for gifts or just soak up the atmosphere.
- World renowned for being one of the world's most beautiful ski resorts - often pictured in films. Cortina sits within the Dolomites ski area and offers excellent skiing. Cortina is perfect for those of any ski or snowboard ability, offering a good mix of runs for all. With fantastic Italian cuisine and impressive shopping, this resort is a must visit if you are looking to elevate your next winter holiday.
Les Arcs, France
- This resort offers an amazing Christmas market and specially created ‘Christmas village’ where Santa and
his elves can be found.
- At the Christmas market, on Christmas eve you can watch the fantastic firework display, perfect to add a touch of magic to your week.
- The market is mainly centered around children and you will find marshmallow topped hot chocolate, sweet treats and toys for sale.
- For the adults though, France's traditional vin chaud is also sold at many of the christmas market huts.
- Les Arcs is in the heart of the Paradiski ski area and is separated into 3 villages. Les Arcs offers great beginner and family skiing with over 100 green and blue runs and dedicated beginners areas and fun trails. This resort is purpose built and therefore designed around you, with plenty of restaurants and additional winter activities.
St Anton, Austria
- The resort hosts its annual Christmas market in the grounds of its museum.
- Within the museum grounds is a life-size nativity scene, Christmas adventure trail and carol singing.
- The market offers local delicacies, novelty gifts such as Christmas jumpers and of course there is a stall or 2 to try the local wine.
- Based in the Arlberg ski area, the resort of St Anton sits at high altitude and is well connected to other resorts such as Zurs and Lech so you can guarantee a great week of skiing. St Anton is renowned for its challenging skiing and is very popular with advanced skiers who like to perfect their skills. It is also well known for its full season of après ski events, attracting both locals and tourists to the events.
- The Vancouver Christmas market is a level above the rest. This huge outside event during the festive season has more than just market stalls.
- With light shows, entertainment and rides, this resort encompasses the enchantment of Christmas.
- There are of course plenty of huts, usually around 80 or more, full of great food, drinks and stocking fillers.
- Christmas in Vancouver is such a big event, they have a dedicated website - Vancouver Christmas market
- Vancouver is the perfect stopover to or from a week's Christmas skiing in Whistler. Whistler boasts over 200 trails and combines Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for unlimited skiing. Whistler offers something for every type of skier, from ample green and blue runs for those new to skiing or with smaller children to an apres environment like no other full of bustling bars and clubs. Avid skiers with advanced skills visit here again and again with daring off-piste tours and over 50 black runs. If you are an avid snowboarder, then this resort will tick many of your snowboarding boxes, with multiple freestyle and terrain parks to pick from and showcase your skills.
Not to be missed is Christmas in Lapland. Home to Santa and his elves, where reindeer roam and the northern lights dance across the sky. If you are seeking an extra special Christmas getaway this year, perhaps as a couple, with your children or as a large family group - then Lapland certainly offers that extra magic touch to your winter holiday. With 7 night breaks across 3 resorts based in the arctic circle or shorter 3/4 night breaks specifically designed around Christmas and visiting Santa - we have the the escape for you this festive season.