So Christmas has come and gone, and now you’re kicking yourself that you haven’t booked that ski break after all. First off – you missed out. January is often the very best month to go skiing, not least because no one else thinks of it either. If you have flexible holiday then January is a time to find some great snow and some great deals (and quieter mountains!).
But if you’re looking at February, you probably want to know where’ll be reliably good (for future reference, Oxford Ski have a brilliant resource on When To Go Where, it’s definitely worth bookmarking). February is probably the month that you can find the best snow of winter – but also the biggest crowds.
The first tip is probably to avoid France in February – with the French schools having their Winter break staggered through the month, the resorts tend to be super-busy. We suggest you look at Austria or Italy as fabulous alternatives in Europe – both offer perfect skiing destinations for those looking for lavish and unique experiences in the snow.
Our current favourite would be the Italian resort of Plan De Corones. It’s the largest of the 12 ski areas in the Dolomite Superski region, and has plenty to offer for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels – perfect for taking the whole family.
As well as 116 km of pistes in the local area, there are excellent ski schools, and really good guides for the nearby trails. The town itself is relaxed and full of Italian charm – a perfect getaway.
And then, of course, there’s the scenery. Plan de Corones is surrounded on all sides by the towering, jagged peaks of the Dolomites (named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009) – how could you not be happy, skiing in such an amazing place.
If you’re looking for a luxury chalet at Plan de Corones, you might want to take a peek at the amazing San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge – a romantic chalet that is truly unique in style, charm and panoramic setting. The owners have created a mountain residence that is elegant yet in absolute harmony with its surroundings. Just… perfect)
But if you’re leaving it until March, then you’ll need to look more carefully; with spring fast approaching, the warmer days mean that snow conditions are best in the ski resorts which are the highest above sea level (no one wants to arrive to find a slushy valley, do they?). But don’t worry there are still options. plus, of course, there’s the bonus that the pistes are less crowded, the resorts are less populated and it’s therefore much easier for skiers to get upgrades or extra perks as the last tourists of the season!
In Europe, the alpine regions of Switzerland and France are the best areas to try in March. We have come up with different alternatives in these countries that have made it to our top picks. Our top tip would be Tignes – located in the Tarentaise Valley, it is one of the most snow-sure of all the ski resorts in France. At 2100 metres above sea level, it boasts snow-covered pistes when other resorts are only able to offer some sludgy runs!
Together with the nearby resort of Val d’Isère, the two popular resorts form the ‘Espace Killy’ ski area. Tignes is actually not one single village, but a group of five villages – Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are at an altitude of 2,100 metres, while the latter two are located further down the valley. Each village possesses its own unique charm, with each worthy of visiting whilst in Tignes if only to stop in for something warm, or something cold, to drink whilst passing by.
And if you’re looking for somewhere really special to stay, may we suggest Chalet Rock n Love? Oh, how we yearn to stay in this amazing chalet with it’s funky design and every wish catered for. It looks a standard chalet on the outside, but inside it’s a huge space of eclectic 70’s inspired fun, with everything from it’s own Hamam to a Pool table made from a Mini.