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Recommendations for first trip to Europe?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My wife and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage next year.  We love taking ski trips together, but are casual intermediates (one week a year) since we live in the flat lands (Missouri).  Almost all of our skiing has been in Colorado, with Aspen being our favorite location as we love the long (and mostly uncrowded) blues of Snowmass, Highlands and Ajax.


I’d love to ski in the Alps and experience the different culture of European skiing as our anniversary getaway.  Right now, I’m enchanted by the “big names” of Zermatt/Cervinia, Three Valleys and Cortina, as they all appear to have what I am looking for, which are (in order of importance):


1) Loads of intermediate/advanced intermediate on-piste terrain;
2) Breath-taking scenery;
3) Uncrowded (if possible?);
4) Good food options; and
5) European culture.


What is definitely NOT important:
1) Off-piste terrain; and
2) Night life.


While cost is not a factor in determining WHERE we go, we will probably take the most affordable options available at the resort we end up choosing.


Are there other locations which might meet my wish list or am I thinking along the right lines with Three Valleys (Meribel especially), Cortina and Zermatt?  I am especially interested in hearing from those of you who are familiar with my favorite places (see below) and have had great experiences visiting some of the European resorts.


My favorite terrain:
1) Telluride (groomed runs on Telluride Face such as Plunge, Lookout, Bushwhacker, Mammoth);
2) Aspen Highlands (Thunderbowl, Golden Horn, Face of Oly);
3) Snowmass (Big Burn and Elk Run areas);
4) Ajax (Copper Bowl);
5) Keystone (Starfire and Outback area).


I am posting this in a couple of different forums hoping to get more response.  Thank you for any advice you can offer.

post #2 of 6

Cortina area.

The sunny side of the Alps.

post #3 of 6

When you want to go ? As you know, you have to compare different date / altitude / to get a good snow condition. And, to avoid the crowds and over budget.


Maybe you want to avoid a long travel, for example, maybe you have to take 10 hours flight from Chicago to Zurich or Geneva, and then take train+train+bus to a ski resort.


We went to st.anton, Verbier and 3 Valleys at this Jan. I don't know why, even though it's not a peak season, there is always a lot of persons on the slopes. 7 days in one week, same !!! Just like the weekend in the State.

post #4 of 6

I have not skied much in Europe but Chamonix is beyond fabulous and St. Anton is perfection, can't go wrong at either of those.  In fact you pretty much can't go too far wrong skiing at any major European destination

post #5 of 6

I would have recommended Saalbach-Hinterglemm (just came back from a fabulous week there) but the snow is pretty crummy across Austria. Check the snow conditions before you decide.

post #6 of 6



It meets all 5 of your criteria

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