The Top 50 Ski Resorts in the Alps 2023/2024: Value for Money, Fun in the Snow, Après-Ski

19/11/2023 - SnowTrex

What sets a ski resort apart? This question crosses the minds of winter sports enthusiasts each year. They value not only the perfect view of majestic peaks but also well-groomed slopes and top-notch après-ski offerings. This is what ensures unforgettable experiences on and off the slopes for ski enthusiasts in winter. SnowTrex now reveals the best ski resorts in the Alps with the best value for money in a comprehensive top-50 ranking.

The Hochkönig ski resort is also one of the 50 best ski resorts in the Alps for the 2023/24 winter season.


Skiing is much more than carving down kilometres of slopes. A perfect ski trip involves the right mix of adventure, comfort, and fun. Therefore, our ranking considers all aspects that make for a successful ski holiday in the mountains: local snow reliability, the number of slopes and lifts, prices for ski passes and accommodations, as well as for lunch and après-ski beer. Along with guest reviews and popularity on social media, this compilation provides you with a guide to finding the best ski resort – tailored to your preferences and needs. For this, you can choose to consider the ranking overall or pick out categories that are particularly important to you.

France Leads the Ranking: Les 3 Vallées is the Favourite for the 23/24 Ski Season

Méribel is part of the largest ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallées (600 kilometres of pistes), the top ski area in the SnowTrex ranking.

The French mega snow resort Les 3 Vallées emerges as the undisputed favourite in the ski season 2023/24. An average visitor rating of 4.6 stars on Google reflects the enthusiastic impressions of skiers. However, it’s not just the size and variety that propels Les 3 Vallées to the top. With an impressive average snow volume of almost ten metres per year, the ski area is a true winter paradise. Snow reliability is basically guaranteed, and the combination of first-class slopes and reliable snow conditions makes Les 3 Vallées an unbeatable highlight of the current ski season.

Visitor Favourites, Après-Ski & Snow Reliability: Highlights at a Glance

Now that the SnowTrex-Ranking has given you an initial impression of our winners, we invite you to explore more about the best ski resorts in the Alps. Whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner, you'll find the perfect destination for your next slope adventure. We hope this information helps you plan your next ski trip and provides you with unforgettable experiences.

Snow Reliability: Guaranteed Fun in the Snow

For winter sports fans, climate change creates a central challenge, as it can lead to a lack of snow and a shorter ski season. Therefore, snow reliability is becoming increasingly important for skiers when choosing a ski resort. Among other things, it strongly depends on the altitude. Historical weather data also provides an indication of snow reliability in the current season, showing how much snow has fallen in a region lately.

In the SnowTrex ranking, the Les 2 Alpes ski resort shines with its snow reliability.

In this SnowTrex-Ranking, the French Les 2 Alpes offers the best combination of snowfall and an optimal altitude. With an average of over 12 metres of fresh snow per year and the highest point at 3,560 metres, this area guarantees an exceptionally snow-secure experience. Equally impressive is the Austrian valley of Gastein, which has recorded an average of almost 14 metres of fresh powder per year over the last four years. For the 23/24 season, these areas are a safe choice for uninterrupted winter fun.

Les 3 Vallées Excels with High Lift Capacity

The time you spend on the slopes is key for a successful ski holiday. Therefore, an important factor in choosing a ski resort is how quickly you can get back to the top of the slope after a descent. This holds true especially for parents with small children who want to avoid long waiting times. But adult snow enthusiasts are no less delighted when the way to the summit is not unnecessarily prolonged. A good number of ski lifts – whether drag lift, chairlift, or gondolas – helps reach the top of the slopes quickly.

With 156 lifts that can transport a staggering 286,013 guests per hour, Les 3 Vallées offers the highest lift capacity in this SnowTrex-Ranking. Covering an extensive ski area of 600 kilometres of slopes, this transport capacity is indispensable.

The Best Ski Resorts for Beginners

It can be wise to plan the next ski trip based on your knowledge and the difficulty levels of the slopes. This ensures many small and big successes in the snow. The following ski resorts, therefore, offer the ideal conditions for ski beginners to discover the world of skiing and refine their skills.

Les 3 Vallées impresses with beginner-friendly slopes, offering a total of 312 kilometres of downhill skiing. Here, ski novices have plenty of space to master their first turns safely and comfortably. In addition, 16 ski schools on-site provide ample opportunities to learn to ski from real professionals.

In the ski resort of Les Portes du Soleil and the neighbouring ski resorts such as Avoriaz, winter guests will find 31 ski schools.

For those who value a broad choice of ski schools, the french-swiss ski resort Les Portes du Soleil is the best choice. Beginners find support in 31 ski schools, so nothing is standing in the way of the first steps on a snowboard or skis. With 310 kilometres of slopes in the green and blue categories, Les Portes du Soleil also offers a similarly extensive selection as Les 3 Vallées.

The Best Ski Resort for Advanced Skiers

4 Vallées in Switzerland is a dream destination for experienced skiers and snowboarders. Out of a total of 412 kilometres of slopes, a whopping 103 kilometres are black slopes. The largest ski area in Switzerland also offers an elevation difference of 2,509 metres, ensuring adrenaline-packed fun in the snow. 4 Vallées is highly popular among experts and freeriders. Tree-free slopes with delightful powder snow invite you to showcase your skills. Every year, the elite of the freeriding scene gathers here for the Freeride World Tour. Therefore, 4 Vallées rightfully lands on the seventh place in this ranking.

Accommodation, Ski Pass, Lunch: Berchtesgaden Impresses with Best Value for Money

Those heading to the Alps for a ski holiday must account for various expenses. These include accommodation, meals, the ski pass, and, after a day on the slopes, perhaps a visit to après-ski parties. Therefore, it's worth having a look at the average prices of individual ski resorts beforehand.

In the Bavarian region of Berchtesgaden, you find the best value for money in this SnowTrex-Ranking. Here, a holiday apartment for two people and seven nights averages at £722 per week, making it an ideal destination for self-caterers. For a hotel with breakfast, the average cost is just about £877. The six-day ski pass is also the most affordable here at £151. It's important to note, though, that Berchtesgaden, with 44 kilometres of slopes, is one of the smaller ski resorts in this ranking.

In Berchtesgaden, ski guests can not only enjoy the view of the Watzmann, but can also look forward to favourable accommodation prices.

For those who value getting a lot of skiing pleasure for little money, the French Les Sybelles can be a real alternative, where a holiday apartment averages at £859 and where 310 kilometres of slopes are waiting for you. However, the average price for a hotel is higher in Les Sybelles, on average a total of £1,825 for two people per week.

The highest accommodation costs are found in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise ski resort. Holiday apartments around the famous mountain average at £3,233, while a stay at a hotel, including breakfast, is even pricier. A party of two must expect to pay £2,690 for a week on average.

The Cheapest Après-Ski Beer is in Germany

Germany lives up to its reputation as a beer nation, even when it comes to après-ski. For only £3.40, you can get half a litre of the hearty après-ski drink in the German ski resorts Oberstdorf Kleinwalsertal and Berchtesgaden. For comparison, the most expensive beer in our ranking costs £8.40 in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise in Switzerland.

The Most Affordable Lunch is Enjoyed in Sulden

Creamy cheese spaetzle, a hearty schnitzel, or sweet yeast dumplings: After a morning in the snow, you deserve a culinary break in one of the romantic ski huts. The most affordable offer for a main course at lunchtime is found in Sulden. In this Italian ski area, main courses are available for an affordable £9.60 – allowing you to refuel for the next round on the slope. Visitors to Davos Klosters Mountains should be prepared for a different price range, since a lunch will cost around £31.50 in one of the many huts in the area.

The Visitors’ Favourite is Val Gardena

Social media and online reviews allow holidaymakers to get a good impression of their destination in advance. This creates a new dimension of transparency and enhances the anticipation of the upcoming holiday.

The ski resorts with the best response from visitors are in Italy. The official Instagram account of Livigno impresses with a proud 159,000 followers and a solid visitor rating of 4.5 on Google stars. Similarly, Val Gardena delights with over 100,000 followers and an almost perfect visitor rating of 4.8 stars on Google. The home of the famous World Cup slope also receives 4.5 on Google stars for its après-ski offering, making it the visitor favourite in this ranking.

The Val Gardena ski resort in the Dolomites is also very popular on social media with over 100,000 followers on Instagram.

In addition to these two ski resorts, only four other areas have managed to reach more than 100,000 followers on Instagram: Sölden, Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm, La Plagne, and the Silvretta Arena in Ischgl and Samnaun.

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental Impresses with Après-Ski & Culinary Delights

Whether it's a blast at après-ski or culinary delights at lunch: a hearty stopover at a ski hut is an integral part of the skiing holiday.

The Austrian SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental emerges as the winner in this category.
With 32 bars, this is where you'll find the most après-ski locations, boasting the best gastronomy rating with 4.5 out of 5 stars. If good food and a diverse après-ski offering are important to you, Wilder Kaiser-Brixental might be your perfect location.

In the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, skiers and snowboarders can look forward to plenty of action on the slopes as well as a wonderful après-ski programme.

Winter sports enthusiasts who place special emphasis on the quality of après-ski offerings will also find excellent venues in other ski resorts in the Alps. In total, eight ski resorts have received 4.7 stars for their après-ski offering. Two of them, Silvretta Montafon and Saas-Fee, offer not only quality parties but also a wide range of evening entertainment with 22 bars.

Methodology

For this ranking, 50 popular ski resorts in the Alps were selected, renowned among skiers for their exceptional reputation. Skiing is more than just speeding down the slopes; a perfect skiing trip encompasses adventure, comfort, and enjoyment. Our selection of the best ski resorts considers various factors in the categories of "Skiing," "Cost," "Gastronomy," and "Popularity," all of which are of interest to skiers.

To enable a comprehensive comparison of the individual values of all examined ski resorts, the result data were normalised on a point scale from 0 to 100. The ski resort with the best result in each respective factor was awarded a score of 100. Conversely, the ski resort with the poorest result received a score of 0. All other ski resorts were measured against these extreme values for each factor, thereby establishing a ranking. Since the enjoyment of skiing is the paramount aspect of skiing, the factors in the "Cost," "Gastronomy," and "Popularity" categories were given less weight in the calculation.

Data collection took place between September and October 2023.

Skiing

The most important aspect when choosing a ski resort is the quality of the ski experience itself. Therefore, this analysis puts a considerable emphasis on relevant factors such as snow fall, the total number of slopes and the overall capacity of lifts.

Snow Reliability

Sufficient snow is essential for a successful ski holiday. A forecast for snow reliability can be made based on the highest point and historical weather data.

Highest Point: The higher the ski resort, the higher the likelihood of sufficient snow during the peak season. Source: SnowTrex

Snowfall in the Valley: Average annual snowfall calculated from the available snowfall data of the last four seasons (18/19, 19/20, 20/21, 21/22). The data pertains to the respective valley location near the ski resort. Source: SnowTrex

Capacity

Total Lifts: The more lifts available, the better guests can distribute themselves on the slopes, leading to more time on descents, an overall smoother skiing experience, and enhanced safety. This number represents the total amount of drag lifts, chairlifts, and gondolas. Only the total number of lifts contributed to the ranking. Source: SnowTrex

Transport Capacity per Hour: The more visitors that can be transported per hour, the more relaxed the skiing experience. The figures are based on the official information provided by the individual ski resorts.

Number of Ski Schools: A ski school helps both beginners and advanced skiers to develop and enhance their skills. Source: Google Maps

Ski Slopes

Total Kilometres of Slopes: The more kilometres of slopes a ski resort offers, the more skiing pleasure and variety it guarantees. Additionally, the slopes were rated by difficulty (blue and/or green, red, black), primarily aiding beginners and advanced skiers in finding the suitable ski area. Only the total number of kilometres of slopes contributed to the ranking. Source: SnowTrex

Green & Blue Slopes: These slopes are particularly gentle and easy, perfect for first experiences on skis or snowboards. The differentiation between green and blue slopes only exists in France. In all other countries, all beginner slopes are categorised as blue. Source: SnowTrex

Red Slopes: Providing more incline and featuring various terrains and obstacles, red slopes make the skiing experience more interesting. Source: SnowTrex

Black Slopes: Often characterised by steep slopes, narrow passages, and challenging terrain, black slopes pose a challenge for experienced winter sports enthusiasts. Source: SnowTrex

Difference in Elevation: The greater the difference in elevation, the longer a descent can be, offering more challenges and diverse terrain for skiers. Source: SnowTrex

Cost

Holiday Apartment: Without suitable accommodation on-site, a ski holiday becomes challenging. The prices mentioned here refer to a holiday apartment within a five-kilometre radius for seven nights and two guests. The data is based on the average price from Booking.com.

Hotel: The mentioned average prices refer to a bed and breakfast for two guests within a five-kilometre radius of the ski resort during the peak season (late December to February). The data was collected by aggregating the average price from Booking.com.

Ski Pass: No skiing enjoyment without a ski pass. The costs refer to a 6-day ski pass in peak season; online and early booking discounts were not considered. If no peak season price was available, the price for 6 days from December 30, 2023, onwards was used. Source: Respective ski resort

Beer Price: During après-ski, no one should suffer from thirst. The information comes from the local menus of bars and refers to 0.5 litres of the respective drink. Source: Google

Lunch: Prices for winter 2022 or later. The prices refer to the average value for main courses, taken from menus of local ski huts. Source: Google Maps

Gastronomy

Bars: Number of local bars. The greater the selection, the greater, the more offers for every type of après-ski fan. The number of bars was determined using Google Maps.

Gastronomy Rating: The information pertains to the average visitor rating of the culinary offerings of the respective ski resort on TripAdvisor.

Popularity

Instagram Followers: The number of followers of the official Instagram account of the ski resort provides an impression of how popular a ski resort is among winter sports fans. Data collection date: 10/11/2023

Ski Resort Rating: The feedback of other skiers is invaluable, especially concerning the quality of a ski resort. Ratings indicate how other skiing enthusiasts assess a specific area. Source: Google

Après-Ski Rating: The best ski resorts also offer a great time off the slopes with après-ski. The average visitor rating indicates where there is particularly enjoyable evening entertainment. Source: Google

For reasons of transparency, SnowTrex has decided to also publish the raw data of the ranking. The data sets can be found here.

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