What could be better than starting the new year in powder snow? In January, the snow is usually plentiful and travel is usually cheaper than over Christmas or New Year’s Eve. So, without further ado, let’s get going on a January ski holiday! SnowTrex has some travel tips ready:
St. Anton am Arlberg (Austria)
Arlberg is one of the most famous ski regions in the world and is considered a powder snow paradise all winter long. Particularly in the core winter month of January, everything is covered in a thick, white blanket here. This results in 306 kilometres of pistes at altitudes of up to 2,811 m in the entire Arlberg ski region – a dream! Après ski is also present in legendary après ski locations like the “Mooserwirt” or the “Krazy Kanguruh”. Those who prefer to take it easy will also find a wide range of leisure activities. The Arlberg-well.com spa centre, the sports and climbing centre arl.rock and Tyrol’s first winter climbing route are just a few of the many possibilities.
At the beginning of the year, Chamrousse is particularly attractive for skiing as the probability of fresh snow is particularly high at that time. About 30 km from Grenoble, the Chamrousse ski resort is located in the Belledonne massif. This Olympic venue faces west, so it gets plenty of sunshine in the afternoon, which is why its name (meaning “red fields”) is quite justified. However, spectacular sunsets are not the only thing that fascinates visitors of this place. Here, winter sports fans ski on Olympic pistes, as Chamrousse was the venue of the 1968 Alpine competitions. 90 kilometres of pistes at up to 2,250 m above sea level as well as a good infrastructure provide families, leisure skiers and snowboarders with everything they need for a fulfilling ski holiday.
Even if many winter sports fans are not yet familiar with it, the French ski area pearl of Valmeinier, not far from the Italian border, is no longer an insider tip. Together with the village of Valloire in the neighbouring valley, it forms the attractive Galibier-Thabor ski area, which boasts 160 kilometres of pistes at up to 2,750 m above sea level. The big plus of Valmeinier (among many others) is the good transport connection. The resort in the beautiful Maurienne Valley is easily accessible by car and by train (followed by a bus shuttle). Divided into a traditional mountain village with stone houses, as well as a modern ski station, Valmeinier offers an atmospheric setting for every taste. The semi-circular valley station in the centre of Valmeinier 1800 combines gastronomy and shops into a family-friendly ski centre. Glide gently down to your deckchair, then sit on the terrace and watch the hustle and bustle on the wide slopes – the start of the year could hardly be more relaxed.
St. Moritz (Switzerland)
One of the top spots in Switzerland is Engadin with its centre, St. Moritz. The high valley impresses with a fantastic landscape, featuring peaks of 3,000 m, mountain lakes and glaciers. In addition, there is a varied culture in St. Moritz, from modern and luxurious architecture to traditional farms and Romanesque churches in the picturesque villages. There is no question that this region’s hub is the glamorous St. Moritz, which lies at a snow-assured altitude of 1,800 m above the Engadin Lake District. In the local ski area of St. Moritz – Corviglia – there are 155 km of pistes at up to 3,222 m above sea level, and in the Engadin St. Moritz region, there are even 326 km of pistes in total.
Tip: If you visit in January, you can even experience various glamorous events in addition to skiing. Sports events such as the “Winterraid” vintage car rally or the traditional “Concours Hippique St. Moritz” jumping tournament are on the programme. For foodies, there is also the “Gourmet Festival”. There is always something on offer here, and European high society is always present.
Val Gardena (Italy)
Val Gardena is one of the most popular ski destinations in the Alps. The famous Sella Group (3,152 m) and the Sassolungo (3,181 m) tower here and form the perfect backdrop for the cosy ski villages of St. Cristina, Ortisei and Selva Gardena. Near Selva Gardena, you can reach the Val Gardena ski area and thus the Sella Ronda, probably the most famous ski safari in the Alps. With the lift pass, the Alpe di Siusi is also accessible, giving versatile winter sports fans a total of 175 km of pistes at altitudes of up to 2,518 m. The unique panorama of the Dolomites with its striking rock massifs alone makes a trip here worthwhile. Add to this the idyllic tranquillity of the villages and the varied ski area and your holiday is perfect.
Isola 2000 (France)
In the Maritime Alps, very close to the French-Italian border, lies the Isola 2000 ski area, where the southernmost 3,000-metre peaks of the Alps are to be found, while also being less than 100 km from the French Riviera. Thanks to its proximity to the sea, you can feel the Mediterranean influences here with lots of sunshine and a mild climate. At the same time, the location of the 120 km of pistes reaching up to 2,603 m above sea level ensures extensive skiing fun. The Plateau de Chastillon, on which the ski village is located, is already considered to be very snow-sure.
Isola 2000 is one of the youngest ski stations in the French Alps and has grown rapidly due to its popularity with both locals and tourists. A large shopping and leisure gallery forms the centre of the station, where all the shops and services that a winter sports fan needs are located. A few metres further down, the district of Le Hameau has been added, where one can live in a particularly cosy atmosphere and enjoy good connections to the ski station via the funicular. If you are looking for an extraordinary mix of a ski holiday as well as Mediterranean flair, this is the place to be.
One of the most famous ski resorts of all time is the sophisticated Kitzbühel, located in the middle of the Kitzbühel Alps. From World Cup races on the legendary Streif to high society events with lots of royal and showbiz celebrities, this place is characterized by winter sports with an international flair. Apart from all the hype about the place itself, the grandiose ski area is the real attraction. Besides the famous world cup course, there are many beautiful carving slopes, a snow park, ski routes and night skiing slopes. A total of 185 km of piste at up to 2,000 m above sea level is accessible with the Kitzbühel lift pass.
In January (and March), the Venet ski resort in Zams organises so-called “Children’s Ski Weeks”. Here, children ages 3 to 6 receive 5 days of ski lessons and equipment hire free of charge – supervision included! This is a great offer for families who are looking for a ski holiday in Tyrol and want to enjoy a total of 22 kilometres of pistes at altitudes of up to 2,212 m in the Venet ski area.
SnowTrex wishes you a great skiing start into the new year, and offers many more suggestions for a ski holiday in January!