By India Dowley

Tired of the crowded slopes and familiar faces of your go-to ski resort? This winter, venture off the beaten path to one of these under-the-radar ski destinations for an unforgettable getaway. With striking scenery, charming villages, fantastic terrain and a more intimate vibe, these lesser-visited ski spots are a dream for in-the-know snow lovers looking to avoid crowded resorts.

Whether you prefer carving down wide-open bowls in the Swiss Alps, exploring picture-perfect Austrian hamlets or indulging in la dolce vita, these European gems deliver some serious skiing without the long lift lines. Spend days enjoying seemingly endless pristine powder runs and nights relaxing in cosy boutique hotels. An added bonus? You're far less likely to bump into a colleague or former flame. You’re welcome.

Trysil, Norway – Pretty Village with Epic Scenery

Nestled among the pristine nature of eastern Norway, Trysil ski resort offers a picturesque alpine getaway. With over 75 slopes and 30 lifts, this is Norway's largest ski resort, making it ideal for groups and families looking for varied terrain. Wide boulevard runs are perfect for beginners, while seasoned skiers can challenge themselves on long mogul runs like Nonstjerna. Stay slope-side at the luxurious Radisson Blu Mountain Resort Trysil, a five-star property at the base of the ski area. This upscale hotel features a spa, pool, and several restaurants like the acclaimed Storstuggu, specialising in local cuisine with a modern twist.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – Aristocratic Retreat in the Dolomites

High in the Italian Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo has long been a hideaway for European aristocracy. Its 120 kilometres of legendary ski runs accessed by state-of-the-art lifts and proximity to both Switzerland and Austria make it ultra-convenient. Stay at the historic Hotel de la Poste, dating back to the 19th century and offering just 18 rooms. Ski the epic local terrain like the famous Tofana schuss, winding 3.3km down from Pomedes to Cortina. By night, enjoy hand-crafted cocktails or regional cuisine at the wealth of restaurants and bars in town before retreating to your hotel for an intimate nightcap. Cortina offers an intoxicating mix of world-class skiing, cosmopolitan energy and Italian charm.

Kitzbühel, Austria – Chic Skiing in a Medieval Town

In the Tyrolean Alps, Kitzbühel charms with its cobblestone streets and Austro-Bavarian architecture. Home to the legendary Streif downhill course, one of the world's most challenging runs, it offers over 200 kilometres of groomed alpine terrain accessed by high-speed gondolas and lifts. The intimate Tennerhof boutique hotel features contemporary alpine decor and breathtaking mountain views from its balconies. Apres-ski, sip craft cocktails at the jazz bar before tucking into gourmet cuisine at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. If you’re looking for a romantic ski break, Kitzbühel is our top pick.

Andermatt, Switzerland – Snowsure Skier’s Paradise

For a high-end ski holiday, head to the traditional village of Andermatt in the Swiss Alps. Sitting at the foot of seven snowsure mountains, it promises unmatched terrain from expansive snow fields to challenging black diamond runs. The Chedi Andermatt, a five-star slope-side oasis, blends contemporary design with indulgent amenities including a fantastic wellness offering. Après-ski, unwind poolside or over Swiss fondue as you take in majestic mountain vistas. Just outside town, find even more epic terrain and charming restaurants at the linked Oberalp/Sedrun resort. Serving up ski and spa options in spades, Andermatt is the ultimate winter paradise.

Saas-Fee, Switzerland – Car-Free Haven with Glacier Skiing

The pedestrianised streets of Saas-Fee village encapsulate timeless Alpine charm. Stay at the slick Ferienart Resort & Spa with its contemporary rooms and sleek spa. Ride gondolas and trains to access the extensive local ski slopes and glaciers, then unwind après-ski at the one-of-a-kind Ice Bar carved out of the mountain ice each year. Excellent on and off-slope dining, buzzing nightlife and car-free accessibility make this a top a fantastic all-rounder destination. Adventures like ice climbing and snowshoeing are also right on your doorstep.

La Clusaz, France – Charming Weekend Escape Near Geneva

Just an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, La Clusaz is perfect for a short getaway. While it’s historically been considered a beginner-friendly resort, recent development by local ski pro Candide Thovex has opened up more intermediate and expert terrain like the off-piste Col de Balme area. With fast lift access to over 150km of varied pistes, it's a great option for skiers of all abilities. Base yourself at the Au Coeur du Village Hotel & Spa, a luxurious ski-in/ski-out property with exceptional dining, spa treatments and easy ski rental. La Clusaz also offers value for money compared to other French resorts, with more affordable accommodation, restaurants and lift passes. Expect lashings of Reblochon cheese with every meal.

Like this? Check out Our Favourite Spas and Wellness Retreats in Europe.

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