Europe’s Top Five Ski Destinations

Black run veteran or novice skier, Europe's has some of the hottest spots for skiers.

With the colder weather slowly settling in and next summer a little too far off, it’s time to start planning that glorious transitional holiday that will bridge the gap between the endless winter months and the promising spring - the ski break.

Whether you’re a novice or a full blown black slope enthusiast, Europe has some of the hottest ski destinations around. With so many to choose from, here is a concise list of the continent’s ultimate spots to suit any ability, budget and taste.

Bulgaria: Only a couple of short hours away on the eastern edge of Europe is Bulgaria, perhaps best known for its cheap resorts that offer great summer getaways on the Black Sea coast.

However, the country has been getting increasingly popular for skiing, in part due to its friendly locals and brilliant hotels, and resorts and runs suited to both intermediates and beginners. And if you get tired of the slopes, the wonderful local cuisine and breathtaking scenery are sure to make for a wonderful Eastern European getaway that’s like no other.

Andorra: Located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees, this little-known principality has become a skiing hotspot in recent years. Easily accessible from the UK, you can discover the beauty of some of Europe’s most stunning peaks and mountains, as well as enjoying a spot of duty-free shopping should you want a little break!

Andorra really has a little something for everyone, and is certainly a great alternative to some of the more popular and overcrowded resorts and destinations. Check out Crystal Ski for some great last minute deals to visit Andorra this winter.

Switzerland: A traditional winter holiday and ski destination, Switzerland is a great all-rounder, family-friendly destination that offers a variety of activities and experiences to suit everyone. Get the kids some extra lessons at one of the many excellent ski schools dotted around the resorts, or simply sit back and relax at a friendly and charming local mountain restaurant as you recover from a morning spent on the powdery white slopes.

Finland: Boasting both a chance to visit Father Christmas, as well as glimpsing the rare and elusive Northern Lights, there can be no doubt that a visit to Finland will mean so much more than just a skiing holiday. With the constant snowfall and rugged landscape, this country is certainly one that will leave you breathless with excitement as you race down the slopes.

And with this winter season’s prediction of some of the best views of the Northern Lights, there is no excuse for not visiting. Says Joseph Kunches, Space Scientist at America's Space Weather Prediction Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), “Solar activity tends to increase rapidly every 11 years or so. According to our predictions, we are about to enter in 2012 and 2013 a new wave of heightened activity. That translates to more frequent auroras.”

Slovenia: Although only a small country, Slovenia offers some breathtaking skiing experiences, history, culture and plenty of other snow-related activities, all sure to fill up your schedule to the brim! Children are welcome and there are even childcare services available at some of Slovenia’s prime resorts should you wish to hit the slopes alone. For untouched natural beauty and some peace and quiet on the slopes, you won’t go far wrong with this European gem. Check out Crystal Ski holiday deals for some great offers and to book your place for the coming season.

4 October 2012

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