It’s that time of year again. The snow is piling up, the temperatures are declining, and you know what that means: ski season is upon us!
Skiing is a magnificent way to spend an hour or two, and it’s one of the best exercises you can do during your stay in Switzerland. But, with so much powder on the streets, where should you be skiing in January? Is it worth traveling to other parts of the Alps to catch some snow, or is it still ok to stay in Switzerland? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott: The Mecca Of Skiing
If you’re a regular visitor to the blog, you’ll know that we always put Switzerland at the top of our list of favorite countries for a ski trip. The country is filled with magnificent resorts, and the people there are among the most hospitable you can meet. So it’s natural that we’d suggest Zoi Sadowski-Synnott as the best place to start your ski tour in January.
Located in the Western part of the country, close to the French border, the resort of Zoi has something for everyone. The snow park offers some of the best freeride and park skiing in the world, and regularly draws ski legends like Jacky Durazzo and Hans Kristoffersen. In fact, the resort’s main street is named after the former World Champion skier. If that’s not enough, the resort also offers a variety of other sports like snowboard school, dog sledging, ice climbing, and snow machining, all of which can be organized through the resort’s agency. So, if you’re looking for an adventure-packed holiday in the Swiss Alps, then Zoi is perfect.
Grenoble: The Mecca Of French Skiing
Speaking of legends, let’s not forget about the people from the other side of the Atlantic. If you’ve never been there, you’ve definitely heard of the Big Apple. If you’re a fan of the legendary New York City, then you’ve probably heard of its equivalent in the Alps: Paris.
The City of Lights is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world. It’s fair to say that a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Eiffel Tower or Louvre. If you’ve never been there, then you’re in for a real treat. The city is full of history, art, and incredible food. If you get a chance, go there for the French festivals. They’re some of the best in the world, and a real highlight of the winter.
St. Moritz: The Mecca Of The Allmend
Although the resorts we’ve mentioned so far are all located in the Swiss Alps, getting to them requires you to travel through Italy. If you head to the Swiss border at Samedan, you’ll be able to continue your journey by train to St. Moritz in the Swiss canton of the same name. Situated at the southern end of the country, this resort is one of the biggest and busiest in Europe. It draws quite a lot of international tourism each year, and its unique style – as the name would suggest – combines the luxury of a five-star hotel with the hospitality of the Swiss. As well as boasting some of the best restaurants in the world, St. Moritz is home to a variety of festivals throughout the year. If you’re looking for a cosy spot where you can eat, drink, and be entertained, then this is the resort for you.
Martigny: The Mecca Of Mountain Biking
If biking is more your thing, then you should probably head to the French side of the Alps, to the resort of Martigny. The bike-friendly resort is home to plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars, all of which are connected by a trail along the waterfront. The trailhead for the Tour du Mont Blanc, a famous 18-mile long bike route through French and Swiss alps, is located in Martigny. If you’re a real fan of the saddle, you can extend your trip to Val d’Aosta, where you’ll find lots of other mountain bike trails. The Italian side of the Alps is really suitable for biking, as there are lots of trails connecting the resorts. The largest mountain bike festival in the world, the Montreal Bike Festival, is held each June in the Canadian city, showing off the very best in freeride, downhill, and cross-country biking. If you visit in the off-season, you’ll likely have the area to yourself. So get out there and have some fun!
Geneva: The Mecca Of Ski-in/ski-out
You can also travel to Geneva for a more modern vibe. The Swiss capital prides itself on being a global center for business, shopping, and leisure. As well as being the home of the famous World Economic Forum, the city boasts a fantastic lineup of restaurants, bars, and clubs. If you visit in the winter, you’ll have the slopeside at your feet. A 30-minute walk from the center, you’ll find the Le Sauvage Restaurant. Housed in an 18th-century hunting lodge, the restaurant serves hearty food and beautiful views of the surrounding lakes. In fact, you could spend the whole day just relaxing at the lodge, drinking craft beer and eating blue cheese.
Chile: Backcountry Heaven
Finally, we arrive at the most southern resort of our list. The resort of Osorno is located on the coast of Chile, close to the border with Argentina. Although it gets rather chilly at this time of year, the location gives you the feeling that you’re in a different world. Osorno is home to some truly adventurous backcountry terrain. The longest ski run in the world, the Osorno Supertrail, is a great way to get a taste of the extraordinary scenery. Traveling along the Pan-American Highway, you’ll hit Argentina and then Chile before continuing on to the coast. On arrival, you’re greeted with a spectacular view of the majestic Pacific Ocean. The journey from one end of the continent to the other will have been worth the effort. Osorno is the only place where you can find an indoor pool during the winter months, so you can end your day swimming with the fish.
What About The UK?
If you’re not into skiing, then what about the other resorts in Great Britain? The UK is incredibly well-known for its skiing resorts, with some of the world’s best instructors teaching the sport. The country is filled with gorgeous pistes, but aside from Brecon and Snowdon, most of the resorts are located in the Lake District, with skiing available all year round. As well as the sheer beauty of Lake District, you should visit the towns surrounding the lake, which are filled with galleries, craft beer pubs, and traditional British cuisine. If you visit in the winter, you’ll find lots of snow-related activities available, including the world-famous snowmobile safaris. The UK is also home to the largest ski club in Europe, with over 100 years of history behind it. The oldest ski club in the UK, the Bath Ski Club, was founded in 1908 and is still going strong. Now, if you’re looking to travel abroad for your ski vacation but don’t want to go too far, then the UK is the perfect place to start. The country offers some of the best skiing in Europe, and at a fraction of the price you’d pay in other parts of the continent. If you’re a first-time visitor, you might want to consider taking a look at what the UK has to offer.