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If you give me the option between going to my dream destination for Christmas, or going on a ski trip for Christmas, I’m going to choose that ski trip EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Yes, we’re a bit of a ski-obsessed family, but there is something so magical about spending Christmas in the snow.
The fresh powder, the warm fire, the endless cups of cocoa…they’re all made better at Christmas time! We’re sharing the best Christmas ski vacations so you can have a magical visit over the holidays and make sure that you have the perfect white Christmas.
Best Ski Resorts to Visit for Christmas 2022
Below, I’ve rounded up the very best ski resorts to visit at Christmas time all over the world. Some of them are well known resorts and others are small slopes that add a little extra charm at Christmastime. All of them offer something unique that’s sure to make your Christmas ski vacation extra special.
Best US Ski Resorts for Christmas
Solitude, Salt Lake City, Utah
Stay At: The Inn at Solitude
If you’re looking to visit somewhere that’s got a fantastic combination of a big city AND skiing, then head to Salt Lake City, Utah. From the airport, it’s only 30 minutes to Solitude, our family favorite ski resort in Utah making this one of the best Christmas ski resorts. It’s a family friendly ski resort where there are plenty of fun trails for the kids, but when Mom and Dad want to take a few runs solo, we can get right to some of the steepest skiing in the US, and enjoy Utah’s legendary powder snow, right away.
Solitude is a great Christmas ski resort since the kids can get to get out and ski with Santa on Christmas day (since he obviously earned a vacation too after all his hard work), and if you stay at their village, you’ll not only enjoy their Christmas atmosphere, but you’ll also be pretty sure you’ll have a White Christmas.
From Solitude Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon, it’s only a short drive into downtown Salt Lake City which is absolutely magical at Christmas. Temple Square absolutely cannot be missed as there are an estimated 1 million Christmas lights that light up the trees and grounds. Our kids look forward to seeing the lights there every year and enjoying the music and nativity presentations as well. After you check out the lights, head across the street to City Creek to see the famous candy window displays. If you’re looking for a big night out, check out Ballet West’s Nutcracker as well. Whatever you do, before you leave Salt Lake, make sure to head up the hill to Hatch Family Chocolates for the best hot chocolate EVER!
Make sure to stick around Solitude for their great New Years celebrations that include magic shows and a torchlight parade. Make sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Solitude Resort for everything you need to know before you visit. Want to visit another Utah ski resort at Christmas? Check out our top suggestions for the Best Utah Ski Resorts.
Stay At: The Summit Hotel
Big Sky is one of the largest ski resorts in the US, but the thing that most people don’t know is that it’s also one of the least crowded, with lift lines often being nonexistent. This makes it the perfect place to ski at Christmas when most resorts are overrun with vacationers – Big Sky is one of the least crowded ski resorts at Christmas.
Since Big Sky is such a huge resort, it really does have something for EVERY skier – A LOT of something for everyone. The resort is over 5,500 acres and almost half of that is beginner and intermediate terrain. Combine that amount of terrain with a lack of crowds and it’s a perfect place for a family ski holiday. They’re are tons of trails that are specifically designed for kids as well to not only help them learn to ski better, but to help them have a ton of fun while doing it.
Big Sky is a fantastic place to spend your Christmas ski holiday if you’re looking for a chance to get away from it all and really just enjoy time together as a family in the mountains. On Christmas Eve there is a torchlight parade, a skiing Santa, and even fireworks. You can also schedule a night skiing tour where a guide will take you skiing by headlamp, which sounds absolutely amazing (especially since the chairlift is HEATED).
Every Saturday night, enjoy s’mores in the Village and a rescue dog demonstration while you sit by the campfire. While you’re in Big Sky at Christmas make sure to also head for a sleigh ride, take a fat bike tour, or go dog sledding, because if it involves winter, you’re pretty sure to find it at Big Sky.
Park City, Utah
Stay At: Marriott Mountainside Resort
Park City is home to the mega Park City Mountain Resort, and the skiers only Deer Valley making it one of the best places for skiing on Christmas. It’s got all the conveniences of Salt Lake City (including being only 45 minutes from the airport), tucked into a mountain town. Both resorts offer a variety of terrain, though Deer Valley is geared more towards the luxury skier and Park City is geared more towards extreme skiers and families. If you want a cute ski town, head to Park City, but be warned that the Christmas ski crowds in Park City are horrible. This is the best place to go for a ski town with a small dose of skiing on the side.
From downtown Park City, you can take a lift ride straight up to the resort, and with their free shuttle system, you probably don’t even need to rent a car.
Downtown Park City is magical at Christmas time, and you could happily spend an evening strolling, shopping, and eating. If you’ve got kids don’t forget to take them to Java Cow for some great ice cream and hot chocloate (yes, you’ll want BOTH). Park City is one of the best ski towns at Christmas for families.
From December 20 – January 5, Park City hosts their annual Snowfest where there are festive events every day including live music, fireworks, a torchlight parade, visits from Santa and more. While you’re in Park City for Christmas, I’d also recommend taking a sleigh ride, going ice skating, and then heading to nearby Heber City for a ride on the festive Heber Creeper train. While you’re in Heber this winter, make sure to check out the Midway Ice Castles for a super unique and magical experience, as well as Soldier Hollow for tubing and cross country skiing! If you’re looking for the best family Christmas ski vacation, Park City has a bit of everything to make your family ski trip extra magical.
Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado
Stay At: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek, Colorado is an amazing Christmas ski resort for families, and at Christmas there’s no better place to be. Nestled in the Vail Valley two hours west of Denver, Beaver Creek is paradise for both beginner and advanced skiers alike.
The mountain’s extensive network of green and blue runs makes it one of the most kid-friendly ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains. Unlike many ski resorts where beginners are confined to a lower bunny hill, Beaver Creek’s vast upper green runs offer long, wide terrain to ski from the mountain top to bottom. Beaver Creek’s newly opened Haymeadow Park and Red Buffalo Park provide a perfect learning ground, both in ski school or skiing together as a family. Another reason to love Beaver Creek –every afternoon chefs in white ski suits serve warm chocolate chip cookies at the foot of the slopes.
Particularly around the Christmas skiing holiday, there are so many great things to do in Beaver Creek for families. You’ll find the Dickens-worthy Beaver Creek Village dressed to the nines in its holiday best, providing a festive ambiance to celebrate the holidays. Take the kids for a visit with Santa, go ice skating on the center rink, then cozy up by the fire pit while carolers make the rounds singing your favorite Christmas songs. Cap off your Christmas at Beaver Creek by taking a sleigh ride up the mountain to a cozy dinner at Allie’s Cabin, then join the community to watch the fireworks light up the slopes. If you enjoy luxury, Beaver Creek is one of the best places to ski at Christmas.
Contributed by Meredith from The Longest Weekend
Mt Bachelor, Sunriver Resort, Oregon
Stay At: Tetherow Resort
Mt Bachelor is a great place for a Christmas ski vacation, especially for families. Since it’s actually a dormant volcano, the chutes and terrain are incredibly unique. Not to mention the rollers that kids will absolutely love, giving many of the runs a bit of a roller coaster feel! Also, if parents purchase their lift tickets in advance, kids under 12 can ski for FREE!!
If you’re skiing at Mt Bachelor in Oregon, I highly recommend choosing Sunriver Resort as your home base.
Around Christmas, Sunriver puts on holiday events to make the season extra special. Horse-drawn sleigh rides and Gingerbread Junction – a gallery of gingerbread houses – are ongoing through December. The resort also hosts events like Christmas movie screenings, holiday sky viewing parties, and a New Years bonfire. Plus, there’s always a high probability that you’ll enjoy a White Christmas at Sunriver (something which can’t be said about the rest of the State)!
Sunriver Resort is a great one of the largest and most well known Central Oregon vacation destinations, just 20 minutes from beautiful Mt. Bachelor. The small town of Sunriver, Oregon has its own grocery, shopping, art galleries, and coffee shops, not to mention multiple fitness centers, lodges, golf courses, walking trails, etc. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice skating are all popular winter activities in the area. All of these combine for the perfect low key Christmas ski trip.
Contributed by Michelle from Roam Redmond Oregon
Best Ski Resorts for Christmas in Canada
Canada is a great option for a ski trip at Christmas since the colder temperatures up north often mean better early season snow conditions. We’ve compiled a list of the best Canadian Chrismas resorts for you!
Stay At: Fairmont Chateau Whistler
The mountain resort at Whistler, British Columbia is the perfect ski resort to visit at Christmas! A just a short two-hour drive from Vancouver, visiting Whistler is the perfect addition to your family vacation in Vancouver for the best Christmas skiing.
Nestled in the Coastal Mountains of beautiful British Columbia, Whistler is one of the world’s premier ski destinations, and it really knows how to do Christmas right. It is so unapologetically festive that even a real Grinch would enjoy it!
Whistler sets up an outdoor rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza with festive holiday music, twinkly lights and lots of snow. Family Après is the perfect go-to for families after the slopes close for the day. With tobogganing, live entertainment and hot chocolate, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The Whistler Conference Centre is transformed during the holidays into a kids playground, with holiday crafts, bouncy castles and a myriad of ways for kids to enjoy themselves. Parents can relax in the lounge while kids play and (hopefully!) wear themselves out. Don’t forget to check out the Whistler tree lighting.
A Christmas sleigh ride is one of the best things about Whistler at Christmas, or Whistler on Boxing Day. You can ride in a one or two-horse open sleigh. Great for a night out with the kids or a romantic evening with your sweetie. Also, don’t miss Santa’s workshop at Creekside, complete with a great gingerbread house.
Of course, skiing with Santa is a kid favorite at a ski resort. If you dress up as Santa or Mrs. Claus, you might be able to ski for free. Don’t miss the mass Santa run down to Emerald Chair. This is hands down the best Christmas ski resort in Canada.
Contributed by Lesley from Freedom 56 Travel
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Stay At: Lake Louise Inn
Located within Banff National Park, you will find the stunning Lake Louise Ski Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in North America. It is a very family-friendly mountain that’s perfect for a snow holiday with terrain for every one, from cruisy green runs to the challenging back bowls and glades. They have a fantastic ski school with instructors from all over the world.
There is limited accommodation options in Lake Louise since it is a National Park. If you want to experience this winter wonderland setting, staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is worth every penny. This historic hotel is nestled in the mountains right on Lake Louise. In addition to skiing at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, there are a myriad of winter activities to explore. It is a truly magical experience.
One of the highlights is a grand ice castle built on the Lake. It is like stepping into a real life snow globe where you can ice skate around the castle and warm up with a hot drink at the ice bar. You can take a sleigh ride around the lake, go tobogganing, go cross-country skiing, snowshoe across the Lake, making this one of the best family ski resorts at Christmas.
During the month of December you can see Santa on the slopes at Lake Louise Ski Resort, where he will pose for photos at designated times. The Chateau Lake Louise is decorated to the nines with Christmas trees and decorations. You can even request a Christmas tree in your guest room. Activities include campfires, Christmas craft workshops, story time and movie nights. On December 24th, Santa arrives at the Chateau by sleigh for a very memorable Christmas Eve. Spending Christmas holidays at Lake Louise is a once-in-a-lifetime magical experience and an amazing holiday ski resort
Contributed by Dawn from 5 Lost Together
Sasquatch Moutain Resort, Hemlock Valley, BC, Canada
Stay At: Bear Behind Lodge
Sasquatch Mountain Resort (formerly Hemlock Valley Resort) is nestled about 2 hours drive from Vancouver and is a great place for a ski holiday. A small mountain in comparison to nearby Whistler, it is great for families who want to spend a week skiing at Christmas and want to be able to stay on the mountain. Whether condos or homes, there are plenty of options for rentals, making it a great winter getaway for Christmas, especially if you live in British Columbia.
I would say that this is a beginner ski mountain, so all you experts, head to Whistler to get bang for your buck. If you want a great ski atmosphere and friendly people, Sasquatch is a great choice for a quiet ski Christmas. They have loads of fun activities over the holiday from Tree Lighting to Costume Contests and they cater to families. I love that kids under 5 ski for free! This is a great reason to get little ones on the slopes! Sasquatch Mountain also has a tube park and a fun pub for some Apres Ski!
There is no grocery store on the hill, the closest one is about 30 minutes away. A vehicle is required as there is no transit options and make sure you have 4×4 and carry chains. This mountain really caters to those who call Metro Vancouver home, but that does not mean that out-of-towners cannot come and enjoy what it has to offer! Check out the events calendar to see what they have in store this holiday season.
Contributed by Lindsay from Step Into Jordan
Mt Seymour, Vancouver, Canada
Stay At: The Pinnacle Hotel
Mt Seymour is the perfect place to hit the slopes during the holiday season for a few different reasons. First of all, its location is absolutely ideal. From Vancouver city center it is only a short 30-minute drive to the very top of Mt Seymour. This means that you can stay in the heart of one of Canada’s most vibrant cities and enjoy all of the best things to do in Vancouver when you’re not up in the mountains! What more could you want from a Christmas ski resort?
Mt Seymour is also perfect for families on a budget as ski passes are very affordable in comparison to most ski resorts in North America. They offer special rates for those who come after 2 pm or those who come after 5 pm. Adult day passes are priced as low as $36 CAD and kids between the ages of 5-12 passes start at only $21 CAD! So, if all those Christmas presents have you’re strapped for cash, you can still manage a day out on the slopes with your family.
The festive season is especially exciting at Mt Seymour as they prepare for their annual family-friendly New Year’s Eve event. Each year Mt Seymour brings lights and entertainment for families on NYE. Expect tobogganing, snow showing, face painting, crafts, live music and entertainment, and of course, fireworks! The event runs from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm making it early enough for those with young children. It is a ticketed event that sells out almost every year, so be sure to get your ticket in advance, to add that to your best ski Christmas holiday!
Contributed by Bailey from Destinationless Travel
Sunshine Village, Alberta, Canada
Stay At: Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Sunshine Village resort located in Alberta Canada may provide some of the best nostalgic Christmas vibes you can imagine. This fun Christmas ski resort is family-friendly and nestled in the Canadian Rockies which provides some amazing skiing and snowboarding terrain. The kids will love the gondola ride up to the main ski area and a heated chair lift too! The resort is set up with kids ski lessons, daycare, rentals and food services at the resort. In the past, Sunshine Village had promos to ski for free if you dress up as Santa, Mrs. Claus or Rudolf if you are up for some fun on the slopes and want to enjoy a skiing Santa moment.
You can either stay at the resort or stay at the world-renowned city of Banff which is only a 20-minute drive from Sunshine Village. Banff is probably where you will most likely spend your time off the slopes or on rest days. Enjoy all the Christmas festivities that Banff has to offer with the hotels, streets and shops which are all geared up for Christmas. Sleigh rides, Christmas lights, hot chocolate, beaver tails (a Canadian version of a donut) and so much more. Usually, each of the hotels has a line up of special activities going on for kids and families to participate in or entertainment. Sunshine Village and the Canadian Rockies will give you a special white Christmas and get you into the holiday spirit in this winter wonderland.
Contributed by Nicole from The Passport Kids
Best Ski Resorts for Christmas in Europe
If you’re taking a Christmas ski trip, there are few places that are more charming that Europe! You’ll get a traditional holiday ski trip, and you can easily combine that with visits to Christmas markets and fiars, for a truly memorable family ski trip!
Stay At: Hotel Kaiserhoff
Our friend Lee might be slightly biased since he learned to ski there but Kitzbuhel, a little town nestled in the Austrian alps, is the best ski resort to visit around Christmas time. Why, you might ask? It not only offers some of the best skiing in Austria but the picturesque, cobbled stone streets of the town come to life from the end of November, as the Christmas market pops up and a veritable feast of festive activities commence. This is one of the best European ski resorts at Christmas!
Kitzbuhel’s ski slopes might not be the best for beginner adult skiers, as the pistes are more geared towards those who can make their way down a red or black-flagged run. However, the ski schools are perfect for kids and the number of activities for children (and grown-ups alike), make this the ideal winter wonderland.
The ski Christmas market, hosted through the main streets of the village, is cozy and convivial – you’ll brush shoulders with locals downing mugs of mulled wine while also enjoying the typical treats of reibekuchen (potato cakes), lebekuchen (gingerbread in chocolate) and Austrian sausage. The town comes alive with campfires for kids, storytelling nights at the museum and the petting zoo is a marvel all year round. Particularly great for the young ones is that during the Advent season, the streets become a walkable Advent calendar as a new themed window is opened each night along the main alleyways! The nearby Rasmushof farm also hosts a Christmas alley, with 40 towering fir trees made up as Christmas trees; a twinkling, beautiful sight for anyone visiting the town.
Contributed by Lee from The Travel Scribes
Les Arcs, Auvergne Rhône Alps, France
Stay At: Aiguille Grive
Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski ski area, the second-largest ski resort in the world. Accessible from Lyon and Geneva, the resort is unique as it has several sites ranging from 1600-2000 meters all in one destination. Additionally, Les Arcs has 262 runs over a multitude of pistes, ensuring everyone from beginners to enthusiasts can enjoy this winter wonderland!
For those looking for a white Christmas, Les Arcs is the perfect European ski holiday. There’s plenty going on to keep the whole family happy, and each of the 5 villages hold après ski events. Everything from firework displays, sledge rides, snowman building contests, and reindeer visits. There is even a Christmas Marshmallow party, followed by a fabulous street parade and an opportunity to visit an igloo ice bar.
The most unique Christmas ski event has to be the traditional torchlit descent. Up to 100 children ski down the flood-lit slopes led by instructors to meet Santa Claus at the bottom. For the parents, expect hot chocolate, vin chaud (mulled wine), candy canes and gingerbread whilst you wait for your excited children to return.
If one Santa visit isn’t enough, get in contact with the tourist office and they may even be able to arrange for Father Christmas to visit your ski chalet!
Contributed by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within
Stay At: Arenas Resort
If you’re looking for a great little ski resort village for the family at Christmas, the small village of Wengen in the Jungfrau region makes a great spot. Wengen is a car free village, so families can walk around safely without being concerned about traffic. Plus it’s just magical in Wengen at Christmas with lovely decorations lining the streets and there usually is a Christmas market on into town too.
Wengen itself doesn’t have a lot of slopes, but it is a great place to learn as there a range of snow schools in Wengen as well as some smaller ski slopes which are perfect for both skiing and sledding. There are two different ski schools in the village and children can learn to ski safely in the beginners area – children as young as 3 can participate. This is a great Swiss ski resort for Christmas since the charm is everywhere.
However, if you’re skills are a little more advanced or once you get a little more confident there are 206 kilometers of ski slopes around Wengen in the nearby areas of Grindelwald-First, Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen and Murren-Schilthron. Combined these regions have over 200kms of ski slopes and 70kms of sled runs. All areas are easy to reach from Wengen via a combination of cog rail and cable cars.
You can hire everything you need including snow gear right from within the Wengen Village. Even if you’re kids aren’t really into skiing, you can hire a sled as there are plenty of little hills around the place perfect for it.
Also when you’ve had enough of skiing there are plenty of great family activities and day trips in the surrounding area including going to the top of Schilthorn and Jungraujoch.
Contributed by Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels
Stay At: Hotel Arlamow
Arlamow is probably one of the best ski resorts to visit this Christmas, especially if you are travelling with kids. Located in Bieszczady Mountains, in the heart of the Carpathian wilderness in Poland, Arlamow Hotel promises breathtaking views of pristine hills and valleys while indulging yourself a luxurious accommodation that will not break your budget.
Enjoy carefree holidays with your loved ones in a hotel that has facilities that cater to children of all ages. At the resort’s Kids’ Club, you can leave your children in the capable hands of qualified staff as they take part in various educational and entertaining activities. This will give you a lot of time to sit back and relax at the resort’s in-house spa which is equipped with 16 treatment rooms, a Jacuzzi, and steam bath. You can also spend some time by the pool with your family, knowing that your children are safe in the hotel’s paddling pool. You may even want to consider enrolling them in swimming lessons that are provided by the hotel.
Creating the best venue for your Christmas holidays, Arlamow Hotel has a Christmas and New Year package that includes a 10-day stay for the family. Take part in their Christmas dinner and party and their New Year’s Ball surrounded by atmospheric snow-covered mountains, the perfect White Christmas that songs are made of.
Contributed by Karolina from The Lazy Travel Blog
Stay At: Anteleo Dolimiti
Civetta Ski Region is wrapped around the Civetta Mountain and consist of four locations: Zoldo, Palafavera, Alleghe, and Selva di Cadore. Our pick for a place to stay was Val di Zoldo, a small town in the province of Belluno at the feet of Civetta Mountain.
We have visited the Civetta Region in February 2019 with the whole family. Clear sky, sun shining, great weather, perfect food and relax – those are the reasons why each year we choose Italy as the place for winter holidays.
The biggest enthusiasts of Civetta are our kids – they love this place as the slopes are not too demanding. In total, you will find there 22 lifts and 72 kilometers of slopes. Majority of tracks are blue, few red ones, and 4 black slopes for skilled skiers. Honestly, I think that even the red slopes are not too demanding. The best recommendation comes from my daughter. She is just a beginner, and she had no problems with skiing on all tracks. No fear – just great fun. This helped her to increase her skills.
Just to wrap up – Civetta Ski Region has beautiful views, great ski tracks and it’s not so crowded as other Italian resorts. If you hate crowded ski resorts, this place is perfect for you.
Contributed by Lucas from The Lean Traveller Guide
Val di Sole, Trentino, Italy
Stay At: Hotel Val Di Sole
Val di Sole is a beautiful valley located in Trentino, in northern Italy, that is perfect for a winter holiday and one of the best destinations for ski lovers. December is a perfect month to visit, as that’s when snow starts falling regularly. This means that the slopes get excellent quality snow that make it perfect for skiing or snowboarding, and the whole area gets a beautiful, fairy-tale atmosphere.
Val di Sole counts on a whopping 150 km of slopes of varying length and difficulty, most of them connected one to the other. Scattered throughout the slopes you’ll find a series of “rifugi” which are perfect places to stop for a meal or a drink (make sure to try bombardino, a thick, creamy drink that is guaranteed to boost your energy level).
Speaking of food – like in the rest of Trentino, food in Val di Sole is absolutely delicious. Among the dishes you should try there are canederli – sort of bread and sausage dumplings served in broth. Make sure to spend a day at Agritur Solasna, where enrolling in a cooking class will allow you to learn to master the art of making canederli and other local specialties in a cozy local environment.
Val di Sole villages become incredibly atmospheric at Christmas, with markets and shops beautifully adorned for the celebrations. The nicest one is by far Ossana, where nativity scenes of all styles and dimensions are scattered around the village.
Contributed by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Levi Ski Resort, Kittilä, Finland
Stay At: Break Sokos
Levi Ski Resort, located above the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, is a true winter wonderland. The skiing in Levi is really unique, as the slopes are lit by floodlights, due to the short daylight hours in the winter months. It usually isn’t crowded, making it a great place for kids and families to learn how to ski. Sledding is also available, and ski instructors are very experienced in teaching children, as Levi is such a popular European ski destination for families.
There are so many fun activities to do in the area, including reindeer sleigh rides, a visit to a husky farm, 4WDing through the snow, and Christmas dinners, where guests can meet Santa himself. The region is also home to the Sami people, and there are many opportunities to learn about the traditional arts and crafts, culture, and history of the Sami, so do include that on any trip to the region. The whole area, including the village, really feel like you’ve stepped into Santa’s homeland- wooden cabins dripping with icicles, log fires, and a festive atmosphere that families and kids of any age will love.
Contributed by Katie from The Accidental Australian
Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau, Tyrol, Austria
Stay At: Alpbach Lodge Chalet
The Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau in the Austrian Tyrol is one where family memories are made at Christmas. Not only does it offer great family-friendly skiing, but all the off-piste elements for a wonderful Christmas holiday too.
The village of Alpbach, at the centre of the Alpbachtal Wildschönau ski region, has been named Austria’s prettiest more than once. At Christmas, the town with its unique stone and wood chalets is turned into a winter wonderland by festive lights and snow-capped mountain peaks. If you’re really lucky, it may snow right down in the village too.
Getting to the ski runs from Alpbach is easy via a free ski bus to the gondola stations. You are spoiled for choice between the Alpbach and the Wildschönau ski areas, both accessible from one lift station at Inner Alpbach.
Small kids will love the practice slopes and the fun park on the Alpbach side of the Ski Juwel. You can also book them into a ski school where they are entertained and fed while you enjoy some time alone with your partner. And for a break in skiing, there are some great sled runs to try.
In the evenings, various activities are organised for guests staying in Alpbach. How does a hike by lantern light sound, or drinking a glass of Glühwein or punch in a romantic Christmas market atmosphere? In Austria, the Christkind or Christ Child brings the presents on Christmas Eve. If you’re lucky, you may even see the angelic figure arriving or leaving!
Contributed by Linda from Travel Tyrol
Best Resorts in Asia for Christmas Skiing
Ski Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Stay At: Hilton Garden Inn
Finding Christmas in the Middle East can be a bit of a chore, but ski Dubai is an absolute MUST if you’re in the Middle East around Christmas. From their penguin experiences, to skiing and tubing, it’s a true gem. What’s it like skiing at Ski Dubai? Well first off, you must know that Ski Dubai is located inside of a giant mall, the Mall of the Emirates. It’s got 2 chairlifts as well as a surface lift. Because it is really small, you probably don’t need to ski for the entire day, but I’d recommend skiing for a few hours and then taking some time to go tubing or see the penguins.
With your admission, you get a helmet, ski rentals, and a jumpsuit, so the only thing that you need to bring is your own gloves (you can purchase them there as well). We put our younger kids in ski school, and since the slope was really gentle, it was a great experience for them and they felt like they could really ski. The instructors were kind and encouraging which is exactly what you hope for when kids are just starting out.
The biggest surprise for me was the snow – it felt REAL! Now, the snow at Ski Dubai is obviously artificial and isn’t going to be soft and powdery, but it felt very similar to early spring skiing, back at a resort in the Rockies, so that was an exciting surprise. Ski Dubai is the best Christmas activity in the UAE, and this is one of the most unique Christmas ski resorts in the world.
The Vintage, Gulmarg India
The Vintage Gulmarg is nestled in the Himalayas, just 50 km from Srinagar which is the nearest airport. From Srinagar, you can get a regular taxi service to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is famous for skiing in India and other snow-related activities.
The Vintage Gulmarg is a 4-star luxury hotel providing luxurious rooms and suites with a spectacular view of the Apharwat mountain range and Gulmarg Golf course. They provide various snow activities like Skiing and Snow-boarding, Ice-Skating, Gondola ride, and Heli-Skiing. They have a lounge to enjoy a game of cards and a gift shop to buy souvenirs. The hand-made Kashmiri shawl is a unique gift. They have four restaurants with sitting areas in the garden and terrace. They have in-house spa facilities too.
Some places nearby to the resorts are Khilanmarg, Alpathar Lake, Maharani Temple, and St. Mary’s Church. During Christmas Snow Carnival of Gulmarg is a major attraction. The whole place is decorated with lights, small shops and markets, gaming stall, huge Santas and many snow activities like yak safari, snowmobile riding. There are cultural and musical shows for the tourists too. The ski resort at Christmas also has Christmas parties and New Year Gala. The ambiance and hospitality of the place are amazing you would have a great Christmas with your family. They also have an in-house Christmas tree and gifts distribution. There is also a church nearby if you wish to pray and spend time there.
Contributed by Shalini from Eager 2 Travel
What to expect when skiing at Christmas?
When you take a Christmas ski trip, there are a few things that will be very different than skiing at other times of the year. The first thing that you’ll notice is that Christmas ski resort prices are higher. You’ll oay more for Christmas lift tickets, Christmas ski town lodging, and even Christmas snow activities.
The other thing that’s different about skiing at Christmas are the crowds. Skiing at Christmas is the most crowded time of year to ski. In fact, if you’re skiing with young kids, I recommend NOT skiing at Christmas, or skiing the week before Christmas instead of after (the week before Christmas is usally much less crowded). When you ski in Christmas crowds, make sure to put a plan in place if you get separated and have designated meeting points in case people get lost. I also recommend dressing kids in bright kids ski coats so that they’re easy to find if they get lost (and take a picture of them in the morning, in case you need to show it to others to help you find a lost child on skis).
How To Save Money Skiing at Christmas?
One of the best ways to save money on a Christmas ski holiday is to find cheaper lift tickets. Often it’s cheaper to buy a season ski pass in the fall than to pay Christmas lift ticket prices (just make sure that you get a pass that isn’t blacked out on the days you want to ski). If you don’t want to pay for a season pass, then I recommend skipping the big ski resorts. If you ski at a small ski resort at Christmas you’ll not only have less crowds, but the prices will be cheaper as well.
When is the best time to book a Christmas ski trip?
It’s best to book a Christmas ski trip as early as possible, ideally 6-8 months in advance. Christmas is a peak period for ski resorts, so accommodations and amenities fill up quickly. Early bookings might also secure better deals on lodging and other reservations. Make sure to also reserve your spots in ski school as early as possible!
Will there be guaranteed snow during Christmas?
Unfortunately, snow is a variable that resorts have no control over. Some years, you’ll have 6 feet of snow, and other years you’ll only have 6 inches. It’s something outside of most resort’s control, so if you’re worried about a resort not having now at Christmas, go somewhere with colder temperatures and good snowmaking abilities.
Should I book Ski-In Ski-Out Accommodations at Christmas?
Absolutely YES! Christmas at a ski resort is magical, but things can get crowded and hectic on the roads. By booking ski-in Ski-out lodging, you can assure that you can avoid some of that chaos, by just going straight to and from your room after your ski day. I highly recommend booking your ski-in ski-out lodging as early as possible since it nearly always sells out.
Many resorts offer ski-in/ski-out accommodations for direct slope access. These are often in high demand, so book early. They provide convenience but might be pricier than off-slope lodgings.
How Do We Prevent Altitude Sickness During a Ski Trip?
The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to gradually ease into activity once you arrive at the resort. Take a day or 2 to have mild to moderate activity. Stay well hydrated and sleep plenty. Whatever you do, don’t ski on your first day at the resort if you’re coming from a much lower altitude.
Are There Package Deals To Save Money?
Many ski resorts have some sort of package deal where you can get lessons, rentals, and lift tickets at a reduced price. Other lodging might offer discounts on restaurants if you stay on site. Generally if you’re looking for deals to save money, it’s best to ski at another time of year besides Christmas when crowds are less and resorts are more incentivized to provide deals.
Should Beginners Take Ski Lessons at Christmas?
If you’re a beginning skier, taking a ski lesson is always the best idea. However, ski school during the Christmas holiday is usually overcrowded and busy. We highly recommend trying to do a small ski trip before Christmas, taking a few lessons, and just enjoying the Christmas ski trip without the ski school crowds.
There you have it – some of the absolute best ski resorts to spend Christmas at this year. It’s a guaranteed way to add some magic and fun to your holiday this year!