Winter Skiing with CamperHoliday
You might imagine a campervan trip as something to be taken in the warmer months, and a lot of that is linked to people’s preconceptions about camping in cold weather – the wind, the rain, the mud. But it’s a very different story in a campervan! Two heaters, insulated walls, blackout curtains and a plethora of open-all-year campsites with underfloor-heated shower blocks and hot meals served at local pubs. The off-season brings with it quieter campsites and lower prices, perfect for those looking for a quiet getaway that doesn’t break the bank.
That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but what about activities? It’s true – lots of tourist hotspots close in the offseason, and some outdoor activities can’t get underway because of the weather. For most holiday places, December – April is the slowest part of the year, but for ski resorts its peak season! Everything there will be open, and all the best events will be held. As you’re travelling during the ‘off-season’, you benefit from lower prices at campsites and when hiring one of our vans!
Scotland has five ski resorts, all with stunning views and top-notch facilities. If you don’t want to mess around with airports and border control but still want a winter ski holiday, this is the perfect option for you.
Glenshee Ski Centre: Scotland’s largest resort, with great family/beginner friendly slopes. It’s in a national park, so when you get tired of the skiing you can go on some beautiful walks instead! The snow is good but as it’s easily accessed, you’ll have to deal with big queues on weekends. The resort has extensive measures in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Glencoe Mountain Resort: The oldest ski centre in Scotland, and one of the smaller resorts in this list – so the car park can get busy. Offers the longest and steepest run in Scotland. Consistent snow and varied terrain that caters to every skill set. Gorgeous views from the mountain summit.
Lecht Ski Centre: A smaller resort with less runs, so it tends to be quiet even when other places are busy. A good choice for families with young children or complete beginners. Its lower altitude makes it easier to access but does mean the snow is sometimes lacking.
Cairngorm Mountain Resort: Historically Scotland’s most popular ski resort, with the most reliable snow to boot. It caters to every skill level. On bad weather days, there’s plenty to do that doesn’t involve the slopes – including a reindeer herd! - so you’ll be entertained no matter the weather.
Nevis Range Mountain Resort: Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, Scotland’s newest resort lies atop the country’s only mountain gondola. The back of the mountain has wild, ungroomed slopes for the adventurous (and experienced!) skier. It offers sensational views of Ben Nevis and Loch Eil., with Fort William only a short drive away.
As you will be travelling in a campervan, there’s no need to fly over to France as you can take the Eurotunnel, which is a more Covid-safe mode of travel than flying. With a campervan, there’s no need to worry about the hygiene standards in various hotel rooms, trains and aeroplanes. You won’t even have to leave the drivers’ seat!
France also has far more ski resorts than Scotland – it’s a much bigger country and better known for its skiing facilities, after all – so this list is by no means exhaustive. The same goes for Italy and Switzerland.
Val d’Isère: These slopes can be difficult and physically demanding, so be warned! You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to ski schools, and there’s fine dining and seven 5-star hotels to stay in – a luxury experience indeed!
Morzine: This established resort is best suited to families. There are facilities for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. When you’re tired out, you can watch ice hockey matches or visit the aquatic centre!
La Plagne: This resort is home to the longest ski slope in Europe, the 1.6km Fun Slope – perfect for kids and beginner skiers. More experienced skiers can take the ungroomed black runs or the classic runs, including a 2000m vertical on the north face of Belle côte down to Peisey-Nancroix.
Méribel: With over 600km of slopes, this resort is perfect for exploration. Did you know that the 1992 Winter Olympics were held here? The ice rink and other facilities built for the event are still available for use today. There’s also a swimming pool and climbing wall, among other things, so non-skiers will still have a blast.
Brides les bains: A more affordable place to stay, Brides les Bains is a relaxing, laid-back resort. It was also part of the 1992 Winter Olympics! If you prefer being pampered to skiing, visit the Grand Spa Thermal and make use of the sauna, Jacuzzis and sunbathing terrace.
Italy has a large variety of resorts, along with some world-famous places like the Milky Way area – not to mention the gorgeous food! You’ll want to factor in how long it’ll take to drive down here, and book campsites to stop over in.
Cervinia: This resort was almost designed for intermediate skiers! The highest resort in Italy at 2500m, you can be sure there’s always snow here. You’ll also get incredible views of the Matterhorn while you ski.
Passo Tonale: A more family friendly option, with one of the longest and most reliable snow seasons in the country. It also has a very good lift system, but as there aren’t many trees the site suffers in bad weather – check the forecast before you go!
Cortina d’Ampazzo: Part of the Dolomites Super Ski route and a true hidden gem, this resort has a long history, having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1950. It’s located off the beaten track, not near any airports or charter flights, so it tends to fly under the radar. This means the resort is often quiet.
Livigno: A quiet, snow sure resort with high quality hospitality and 115km of pistes, Livigno has more bars than any other ski resort in the world (around 150). As the resort is tax free, prices are lower compared to other resorts over the border. It best suits intermediates, so complete beginners may want to look elsewhere!
Sestriere: In the heart of Europe’s biggest ski areas, the Milky Way, sits this resort – and it’s the most snow sure part of the area. It holds regular Skiing World Cup events and is the first purpose-built ski resort in Italy. In fact, the original 1930s building still stand today. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing resort, but its very affordable and the skiing itself is very high quality!
Last but by no means least is Switzerland. Just like Italy, you’ll want to factor in how long it’ll take to drive down here, and book campsites to stop over in.
Zermatt: At 3883m, this is Europe’s highest ski resort - but its reviews are just as high. Its facilities are unrivalled, with terrain for all skill levels, multilingual ski schools, equipment hire and amazing accommodation. Make sure to bring an extra SD card for your camera – you’ll be taking endless photographs of the gorgeous scenery!
St Moritz: One of the oldest and most famous winter sports resorts and hosted the Winter Olympics – twice! The town and social life can get pricey but there’s some family friendly options too. Even though the resort holds so many professional events, the slopes themselves are best suited to intermediate skiers.
Verbier: This is for the expert skiers out there, with long distance runs and more rural terrain. With the resort’s equipment hire, you can ski, bike or snowboard around the beautiful Swiss scenery. The lodging is expensive, but there are budget friendly options too.
Crans-Montana: Open 365 days and year and with year-round events, this lively resort is a great choice for high-energy, fun-loving families. The 140km of slopes caters to all skill levels and as the resort is positioned south, you’ll get sun all day long!
Engelberg Titlis: This resort is focused on relaxation and recuperation. With a sauna and a spa, you’ll be completely rejuvenated by your stay in the Swiss mountains. There’s a huge variety of available activities for you to do on the mountain, from snowboarding to tobogganing to exploring a glacier cave!
Share this post: