Around this time every year, just as the days get shorter, I start getting that itch to go skiing.
Europe has some of the best skiing and snowboarding destinations in the world, but the question is – where do you go? What place should be on your must-see / must ski list? Somewhere in France? Italy? Switzerland? Or, maybe Austria? The list of places you can go to is long, and it can be tough to choose. I’ve tried a few, certainly not all, but I’ve got one or two favourites. If I had to pick one or two, I’d have to say it is Zermatt in Switzerland and Kitzbühel in Austria.
Zermatt is located in the far southern part of Switzerland, just 10 kilometres from the Theodul Pass into Italy. The mountains surrounding the village are some of Switzerland’s most famous, and include the Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. One of the really cool features of this village, other than the incredible skiing of course, is that no petrol cars are allowed in the village; you even have to get a permit to drive to the parking lots at the edge of the village. Skiing though is why I love this place. Zermatt provides everything you can ever want in a ski destination, amazing hotels and lodges, beautiful unspoilt nature, and skiing that lasts until early summer.
What about Kitzbühel? The village is to the east of Zermatt, not too far away from Innsbruck. The town of Kitzbühel is amazing, and is known internationally as the “Pearl of the Alps” making it the top ski destination in Austria. One of the great things about Kitzbühel is the vast range of hotels available to you. At last count, someone calculated that there were over 10,000 hotel rooms here! Despite the high density of hotels, there is little chance you will feel crowded with around 170 kilometres of skiing slopes. What I really love about this place is the wonderful combination of Medieval village and ultra modern ski resort. It gives the place a warm cosy feel that just makes me want to go back over and over again.