Mountain matchmaker: the best peaks for pro skiers, spa lovers and more

Going to the mountains with a mixed ability group? With resorts diversifying beyond downhill, there’s never been a better time to find a slope to suit everyone.Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Snow park in Trysil, Norway where a group is getting read to snowboard down the mountain
Snow park in Trysil, Norway where a group is getting read to snowboard down the mountain
photo by Ola Matsson

1. For multi-sports addicts
Where:
Trysil, Norway.
Why: Norway’s largest ski area, Trysil makes a great base for families, with lots of gentle slopes, a good ski school and plenty of winter pursuits, including dog sledding, sleigh rides and snowmobiling.
How to do it: Ski Solutions has a week’s half-board at the Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil from £705 per person, including flights and transfers.

2. For families with mixed-ability skiers
Where:
Val Thorens, France.
Why: Europe’s highest ski resort — part of the Three Valleys ski area, the world’s largest — is as snow-sure as they come, with 370 miles of slopes, including mellow terrain for beginners and intermediates plus epic off-piste.
How to do it: Ski Solutions has a week’s chalet-board at the Chalet Caribou from £699 per person, including flights and transfers.

3. For non-skiers
Where:
Cortina, Italy.
Why: Non-skiers in chic Cortina D’Ampezzo are spoilt for choice. As well as horse-riding and ice hockey, activities on offer include curling, bobsleigh and the chance to spend the evening stargazing at an observatory.
How to do it: Iglu Ski has a week’s half-board at the Hotel Majoni from £879 per person, including flights and transfers.

4. For big backcountry
Where:
Chamonix, France.
Why: The heartland of big-mountain skiing, there are countless off-piste itineraries in the Chamonix Valley, but few as revered as the Vallée Blanche, which descends from the Aiguille du Midi. Be sure to tackle it with a mountain guide.
How to do it: Sno has a week’s half-board at Heliopic Hotel & Spa from £988 per person, with flights and transfers.

5. For spa-lovers
Where:
Bad Gastein, Austria.
Why: With thermal baths dating back to the Middle Ages, Bad Gastein is ideal for those who like to start the day hammering down the slopes before soothing aching muscles in spa baths. Base yourself in Bad Hofgastein, home to the Alpentherme spa.
How to do it: Crystal Ski has a week’s half-board at Hotel Österreichischer Hof from £755 per person, including flights and transfers.

Published in the Winter Sports guide, distributed with the November 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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