Reviewing the 7 biggest ski resorts in the Alps

From time to time, you simply want to appreciate the expanse of nature, descend endless slopes, and enjoy the thrill of speed. Located right at our doorstep, huge ski resorts in the Alps offer that experience. But which ones among them are worth checking out and shouldn’t be missed? You will find the ultimate guide here.

First place: Les 3 Vallés in France

The ski resort “Les 3 Vallées” in the French Savoy Alps is gigantic. It consists of the valleys Courchevel, Méribel, Belleville with Val Thorens, and Les Menuires and Orelle, as well as of 13 different resorts and encloses a total of 600 kilometers of slopes. It’s not only the largest ski area in the Alps, but also in the world. In addition, there are an incredible amount of off-piste downhill runs, ski routes, cross-country trails, and much more. Courchevel offers a nice cottage, but it is very expensive. The accommodations in Val Thorens and Les Menuires, however, are more of an accumulation of beds providing a more affordable stay. An afternoon in the Folie Douce will be an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Conclusion: Every skier should have visited 3 Vallées at least once.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 600 km
  • Altitude: 1,100m–3,320m
  • Region: Savoy Alps, France
  • Pros: The slopes, the off-piste opportunities, the snow conditions, the price
  • Cons: Flair
  • Link to the ski resort: Les 3 Vallées
  • More information:

Check out our map of the Alps with 610 ski resorts

Second place: Portes du Soleil

The Portes du Soleil likes to claim the title for the largest ski resort in the world as well. A closer look reveals that Port du Soleil consists of many small areas that are not connected. You often have to take a bus to get from one location to another, which slightly mars the fun. Besides, the lifts at Portes du Soleil only go up to 2,254 meters and hence really good snow conditions are only guaranteed during cold winter months. Nevertheless, there are beautiful slopes and enough space to spend a few wonderful days of skiing.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 580 km
  • Altitude: 984m–2,254m
  • Region: Rhone Alps, France
  • Pros: The size, located near Geneva
  • Cons: The low altitude, spread out locations
  • Link to the ski area: Portes du Soleil
  • More information:

Third place: Val Gardena, Alpe di Siusi, Alta Badia, Arabba, Fassa valley (with the legendary Sellaronda)

This network of ski resorts in South Tyrol does not always promote itself as a union, but all the resorts are connected and offer unlimited skiing pleasure. On the Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites, there is a wonderful glacier run, and the legendary Sellaronda, a 40-kilometer round trip around the impressive Sella massif, is located within this area as well. Surrounded by the beautiful Dolomites, and with Italian food during lunch breaks, skiing here is simply a pleasure.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 515 km
  • Altitude: 1,100m–3,270m
  • Region: South Tyrol, Italy
  • Pros: The slopes, the flair, the Sellaronda, the Marmolada
  • Cons: Comparatively uncertain snow conditions
  • Link to the ski area: Alta Badia with Sellaronda
  • More information:

Fourth place: Les Arcs- La Plagne (Paradiski)

This twin ski area in the French Alps doesn’t advertise itself as beautiful. It’s rather blatant and the dream of seasoned ski-loving tourists. Anyone visiting will look for speeding down endless slopes or going on long tours. Part of the resort is also a world-famous high-speed slope where many speed records in skiing have been broken (and many bones too). However, neither Les Arcs nor La Plagne is particularly beautiful and the food is not that special. But the skiing experience is truly exceptional.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 425 km
  • Altitude: 1,200m–3,226m
  • Region: Savoy Alps, France
  • Pros: The slopes, the off-piste opportunities, the size
  • Cons: Flair
  • Link to the ski area: Paradiski
  • More information:

Fifth place: 4 Vallées

As one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the Alps, 4 Vallées spans across the French–Swiss border and encompasses the areas of Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Verbier, Thyon, and La Tzoumaz. Magnificent pistes can be found here. In particular, Verbier is known for its nonchalant vibe. This is the place to be for young people, who want to shred down the slopes as well as look for some relaxed partying and hanging out. There are countless freeride slopes and deep snow passages that can be used well into April, making it a great place to let loose.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 412 km
  • Altitudes: 821m–3.330m
  • Region: Valais, Italy
  • Pros: Off-piste, flair, apres-ski in Verbier, cool people and crowd
  • Cons: Price
  • Link to the ski area: 4 Vallées
  • More information:

Sixth place: Via Lattea (or the Milky Way)

Probably the most famous spot on the Milky Way is Sestriere, the St. Moritz of Italy. It used to be a place frequented by the rich and famous and still has a vibrant nightlife. The ski resort is also great for families as it has many easier slopes, lots of red tracks for nice descents, good apartments, and good food. But keep in mind, Sestriere is very old and not a traditional Piedmontese village—if you are looking for more flair, you should choose another destination.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 400 km
  • Altitude: 1,372m–2,749m
  • Region: Piedmont, Italy
  • Pros: _History, freestyle in Sauze d’Oulx, Italian high society in Sestriere, family-friendly
  • Cons: Partly not as beautiful, altitude
  • Link to the ski area: Via Lattea
  • More information:

Seventh place: Zermatt – Cervinia

This legendary ski resort of ​​the Alps is located directly next to the Matterhorn. It is the highest in the Alps, with Klein Matterhorn rising up to almost 3,900 meters. Zermatt Cervinia also has the longest downhill run among all ski areas in the Alps. The slope from Klein Matterhorn to Zermatt is 15 kilometers long. On top of that, it is the most expensive ski resort with a day pass costing around €80. But in return you get a plethora of slopes, an idyllic mountain village, and above all, a spectacular view of one of the most famous mountains—the Matterhorn. The ski resort extends to Italy and the majority of the slopes are located on the Italian side. In summer, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise offers the highest summer ski area in the Alps.

  • Kilometers of slopes: 322 km
  • Altitude: 1,100m–3,320m
  • Region: Valais, Switzerland, Aosta Valley, Italy
  • Pros: The slopes, the long descents, the beautiful views, the high society, the car-free location
  • Cons: Price
  • Link to the ski area: Zermatt
  • More information:

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