At long last, Winter is coming! Not long to wait until you can take to the slopes and feel that exhilarating rush once again.
Autumn is here though, which means that actually the ski season has already begun for some resorts which is great news for the keen early season powder seekers.
Where can you ski now?
The gorgeous Ruka resort in Finland for example opened its lifts on the 5th of October, making it the first one in the world to open for the season!
Ruka is known to be one of the most snow-sure resorts in all of Europe so you can guarantee that an early start to the season will certainly not mean poor conditions or less powder. It’s the perfect place to head to with the kids during half term, as it’s a super family friendly resort (make sure you visit the Rosa & Rudolph family park!).
Another resort to open in October is the glorious Kitzbuhel in Austria where you’ll find 179km of slopes to explore, suitable to a wide ranging of skiing abilities. You’ll also be able to enjoy an outstanding après-ski and dining culture here, with over 60 restaurants and mountain huts to choose from.
View our ski property listings in Austria if you’re tempted by access to early season skiing whenever you want without the extra worry of booking coveted accommodation!
One more fantastic resort we recommend for an early season jolly is Arapahoe Basin in the breath-taking Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Here you’ll find some of the highest skiable terrain in North America, alongside showstopping natural scenery and a wide variety of slopes to try. It’s also a top notch resort, blessed with all the best facilities and plenty of things to do aside from skiing.
This gorgeous resort should hopefully be open by mid-October, so start packing!
From November onwards – the best spots!
While November is still considered ‘early season, some ski resorts open their lifts and welcome skiers to enjoy prime conditions, shorter queues and perfect powder.
If you’re stateside, head over to the picturesque Victorian town Breckenridge in Colorado, one of the highest resorts in the state. The town is charming and very lively, and the slopes offer something for all -particularly the adventuresome spirits who might wish to tackle the Devil’s Crotch, Breckenridge’s most difficult run. Only thing to be aware of is the possibility of altitude sickness, so come prepared!
You could scoot on over to Vail, Colorado where you can ‘shoop, shoop, shoop’ (as said by Rachel in Friends, season 3) at a lower altitude but at a no less spectacular resort. Vail is one of the most popular resorts in the States, so if you decide to hit their slopes in late autumn, you’re likely to have the place to yourself. And though the snow is not completely guaranteed, if you plan your visit for late November onwards, you’ll be sure to enjoy some excellent conditions.
Check out our plentiful ski property listings in the United States and find your perfect pied-a-terre across the pond.
Hidden gems to try during peak season
In peak season, if you want to avoid the massive crowds and queues, then you need a hidden gem resort – as yet unspoiled by mass popularity. But hurry! The news spreads fast so the following places may not be so quiet and heavenly next year….
Champoluc is a small village in the province of the Aosta valley, Italy, with access to revered backcountry and plenty of intermediate level slopes.
Champoluc is cosy and cheap (one euro for a coffee!) and there are plenty of excellent places to eat, views to knock you sideways as well as great links to amazing ski areas.
There are a few other hidden gems in Italy, so go and see for yourself. We have ski property listings in Italy should you make the smart decision to invest and own a piece of the mountain for yourself.
In France, you can flock to the big wigs like Val Thorens, Chamonix or Val d’Isère (read our guide on everything you need to know about Val d’Isère) you are indeed guaranteed the time of your life, but there are some gorgeous and overlooked spots that really deserve your attention too.
Sainte Foy is one such resort. Nestled in the Tarentaise valley, this resort is quite large (over 41 km of slopes) and boasts all of the amenities, facilities and infrastructure the big wig resorts do, but has the added charm of being a relaxed and laid-back resort that is unspoilt by mass tourism.
We can’t recommend this resort highly enough. It has everything – from a huge variety in terms of skiing terrain, to exquisite restaurants, unbeatable views and an unspoiled natural landscape to explore at your leisure.
The area is developing to meet increasing demand so if you’re looking to invest in an up and coming ski resort that offers absolutely everything your heart could desire at a fraction of the price of bigger resorts, then view our property listings in Sainte Foy, France. Make sure you read our guide to buying a property in France for all the information you need.