It’s probably the combination of blue sky, white snow and green valley that’s quite so uplifting and means there is nothing more beautiful than a ski resort.
And not just in winter. When the spring flowers bloom in the meadows and the streams cascade down the mountains, what scenery could be more calming? But which are the most beautiful ski resorts in Europe?
What makes a perfect view?
What makes the prettiest mountain view? Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s not just about the aesthetics.
By instinct, humans are programmed to most appreciate a landscape we think we could survive in. So, the possibility of finding shelter or at least shade, a tree to climb in case of danger and a supply of water.
Then there are more personal preferences. While some of us prefer a sunrise, so should opt for an east-facing slope, others prefer a sunset, gazing west. For some, looking out over valleys from high in the mountains is more beautiful, while others prefer a mountain to loom over them.
Which do you prefer? Here are some that the team at Snow Only rank as the most beautiful ski resorts in Europe.
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Speaking of mountains looming over you, when it’s the Matterhorn your resort already has a big, beautiful advantage. Zermatt is at 1,600metres already, with the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn extending another 3,000-or-so metres above that.
Don’t bother taking your car to Zermatt as it’s car-free, but you can enjoy the view while ascending on 54 different lifts and railways or descending over 360 kilometres of pistes and a similar length of mountain trails. Now that’s what we call a picnic outing.
Wengen and Grindlewald, Switzerland
No list of most beautiful resorts can miss out Wengen, the village of around 1,300 people and its nearby counterpart on the same train line, Grindlewald.
They are in the Jungfrau ski region, set between the Eiger and Lake Thun. While covered in snow, Wenger is particularly pleasant for skiing, getting plenty of sunshine hours, while in spring the waters rushing down to Lake Thun offer canyoning and other adventure opportunities. That includes mountaineering, of course, or maybe just gazing up at the Eiger imagining it!
Nestling beneath Mont Blanc is the French resort of Megève, as elegant and swish as any French town you could hope for, but relatively easy to reach from Geneva.
Within Megève, the Mont d’Arbois area is particularly attractive, and has the luxury trappings to match, including the Four Seasons Hotel, Michelin-starred restaurants and Mont d’Arbois golf course. The village of Le Jaillet is also enchanting to gaze out from, or to spend time shopping and dining.
If you’ve never been to Arabba, you’re in for a treat, not just for the eyes but for the pocket too. It’s a quieter and less showy sort of resort, where you’ll be able to enjoy the skiing and the views in a more relaxed ambience. You’re close to other drop-dead gorgeous Italian resorts too, including Alta Badia.
Arabba is in the Italian Dolomites, close to the Marmolada glacier in the Veneto region of Italy. If you take the option of flying into Venice airport while visiting your property, you have the chance to enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This is also likely to add to its rental appeal and value too.
St Martin de Belville, France
Set in the popular 3 Valleys ski area, St Martin de Belville was a village largely ignored until 40 years ago, but is now a popular and attractive resort. From here you can ski in famous resorts such as Courchevel and Val Thorens.
But what about the village itself? It’s at 1,450 metres, but has ski lifts up to 2,400 metres. The population is around 3,000, usually living in traditional stone and wooden houses down attractive cobbled streets. There is plenty to do, including some excellent restaurants, yet it feels a little different to the hectic ski scene of the 3 Valleys.
Start looking for your ski property today
To get the process of buying your ski property underway, why not take a look at our handy ski property buying guides? They lay out the buying journey step by step to make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.