There’s a certain magic in the air at Christmas. And there’s no place where this is more evident than at a festive alpine ski resort. Think velvety white snow, festive markets and warming hot chocolates in front of the fire at the end of a day on the slopes.
Intrigued about what a Christmas holiday in the Alps entails? We explore what makes skiing at Christmas so special to get you excited about the upcoming season.
Why Ski At Christmas?
Christmas is a big deal in ski resorts across the Alps, with many activities being held for families and visitors. Here’s just some of the experiences you could have at this time of year;
- Glide across the ice at your ski resort’s ice rink
- Take part in winter sports such as snowshoeing or dog sledding
- Get a ride in a horse drawn sleigh
- Visit Santa and his elves in his grotto
- Enjoy a tipple in an ice bar
- Watch a spectacular fireworks display
- Have Christmas dinner cooked for you in a luxury ski chalet
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The Magic of the Alps: Christmas Holidays
Exploring lofty peaks blanketed in snow, gazing at sparkly Christmas trees in town squares and following twinkling lights all the way back to your cosy ski lodge. What could be more Chrismassy than an Alpine ski resort?
One of the many joys that Christmas in the Alps brings is the chance to experience new festive traditions in different European resorts. Here’s what you can expect;
Swiss Alps Holidays
Meander through market stalls with a Glühwein (mulled wine) in hand picking up last-minute Christmas gifts or tasting homemade treats- the mighty Christmas market has it all. And Switzerland knows how to do it properly. Visit St. Moritz or Zermatt for some of the best markets around.
Another festive delight to be found in this region is real-life advent calendars. Keep your eye out for ornate calendars in village squares and lit up windows.
The Krampus run is a musical procession, starting on the 25th and finishing on Christmas Eve in which masked creatures roam the streets in traditional costume. An enchanting delight for families with young children.
Festive French Alps Holidays
Christmas holidays in France are bursting with lavish meals and cosy log fires. Enjoy roast turkey with chestnuts, venison or oysters followed by rich French cheeses and a chocolate Yule log. This Christmas Eve feast can go on for 6 hours!
Attend midnight mass in a traditional church on Christmas eve before waking on Christmas morning for a session on the slopes– novelty Christmas outfit compulsory.
A charming tradition for children is leaving their shoes by the fireplace in the hope that Father Noel will fill them with small presents and treats!
December in the Italian Alps
With the night air filled with the alluring sound of carollers, Christmas in Italy is full of music, merriment and delicious food and wine.
Spot giant nativity scenes, eat sweet panettone (a sweet bread with dried fruits) and enjoy the relatively peaceful slopes at this time of year.
If you’re visiting Cortina, don’t miss the Christmas eve midnight ski session on the slopes. Grab a torch and bring in the season in style.
Seasonal Traditions in the Austrian Alps
Each Christmas, Austrian families display an advent wreath made from green twigs, ribbons and candles. One candle is lit each Sunday during advent to the sound of carols as families gather together in celebration.
Like Switzerland, Christmas markets are very popular here, with Innsbruck and Kitzbühel having some of the biggest and best.
Gather round the Christmas tree at the centre of your resort as the lights are switched on to welcome Christmas eve with renditions of Silent Night and get ready to hit the slopes on Christmas morning.
Where Is the Best Place to Ski Over Christmas?
Picking the right alpine holiday destination to spend Christmas depends on your needs and requirements. For example, families may be looking for something a little different to couples or large groups of friends.
Luckily, the Alps delivers when it comes to variety.
Families looking for quality beginner ski areas and good ski schools combined with affordable accommodation and family-friendly off-piste activities will feel right at home at these Christmas ski resorts;
If you’re looking to spend a romantic Christmas with your one and only, the following ski resorts provide the ideal setting for a dreamy festive break;
Christmas is a great excuse to strap on those party shoes, and what better way to spend Christmas and New Year than skiing all day and dancing all night! Here’s where to go for a Christmas ski trip with friends;
Where Can I Get Guaranteed Snow for Christmas?
What’s more magical than a white Christmas? The Alps are a great place to head to if you’re looking for great snow cover, as the ski season really gets going in December.
For guaranteed snow, choose a high-altitude resort above 12,000m such as;
- Zermatt (1620m)
- Val d’Isere (1850m)
- Alpe d’Huez (1860m)
- Les Menuires (1850m)
- Val Thorens (2300m)
- Obergurgl (1930m)
When to Book a Christmas Skiing Holiday
Luckily, Christmas skiing is still cheaper and quieter than New Years and February half term. That being said, the festive season does attract crowds so it’s best to book early to find the finest deals and top accommodation.
We recommend starting your search in September and having your travel and accommodation booked by October to be on the safe side.
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Book Your Christmas in the Alps 2019
Are you feeling the festive excitement yet? Before you don your Santa hat and start handing out the eggnog, make sure you’ve got your travel plans secured.
Here at Alps2Alps, we pride ourselves on providing affordable transfers to all the major ski resorts throughout the Alps. Our family-friendly service begins from the moment you arrive at the airport, where your experienced driver will be ready and waiting to take you and your luggage straight to your resort.
So, why wait? Book your ski transfer with us and end the year on a high with a magical Christmas holiday in the Alps.