091 594747
Fahy Travel, 2 Bridge Street, Galway

​Destinations: Lets Go Skiing!

Situated between France and Spain, high in the Pyrenees, the ski season here runs from December through to April. Although Andorra is a small principality, it has invested hugely in, and rightfully boasts, a 200km connected ski area. The currency here is euro, and they speak Catalan.

The slopes here offer a wide variety to suit beginners and upwards, and are regarded as having some of the best ski schools in Europe with BASI-approved English-speaking instructors and excellent value lessons.

Whether you’re bringing the family, are looking to party hard or fancy a girlie ski, spa and shopping break, there’s something for everyone. Grandvalira is the country’s biggest ski area, linking party hotspot Pas de la Casa and luxurious and family-popular Soldeu with 210km of piste.

One of our favourite things about Andorra is that you can take time out and spend a day in the capital, Andorra La Vella. Luxuriate in the Caldea Spa with its 25,000m² of hot springs, thermal spas, jacuzzi and saunas or browse the city’s many shops!
The Austria ski season goes from December to April, and the lower altitude is accommodated for with snowmaking. It’s got the best lift systems in the world, giving speedy and seamless access to linked ski areas with tree-lined slopes, where most areas have plenty for all abilities. The currency here is euro, and they speak German.

The ski areas in Austria are fast growing; Arlberg is the biggest, joining St Anton and St Christoph with more than 300km of runs across several mountains. Next is the SkiWelt, bringing together Söll, Scheffau and Ellmau with 279km of piste in total. Then comes the Skicircus, linking Saalbach with 240km of snowy valleys and peaks.

Beginners can do well here, and kids can be instructed in Scheffau. For intermediates, three-quarters of Schladming’s runs are red, Ellmau’s slopes are helpfully tree-lined and Obergurgl, as the highest ski resort in Austria, can almost always guarantee good snow conditions.

The best part? You’re in the home of après – it’s jolly, fun and cheaper than in other countries. St Anton is famous for the lively Mooserwirt or Krazy Kanguruh, while Ischgl offers more high-end nightlife. At Christmas, the towns come alive with festive atmosphere where you can sip glühwein and browse the markets.
Bulgarian resorts are open from December to March. With some high-altitude skiing and good snowmaking coverage, conditions should make for a great ski holiday. It is both a great place to learn how to ski and is great value. The currency here is Bulgarian lev and they speak Bulgarian.

Bulgaria’s ski resorts are best suited to first timers, beginners, and intermediate skiers, with plenty of tree-lined beginner and intermediate slopes. It has excellent ski schools, and the instructors speak good English.

Pamporovo’s 37km of piste is mostly green and blue rated and it has a superb ski school, so it’s the perfect place to get started. Borovets and Bansko are Bulgaria’s largest ski areas but with only 5km and 3km of black runs, advanced skiing is limited.

Take the kids to Bankso or Pamporovo – there’s a range of family-friendly hotels. If you’re after après, Borovets is full of lively bars so you can celebrate all night. The drinks are much cheaper than the rest of Europe so it’s great on a budget too.
French resorts generally open from December to April, and every month has its pros. In December, there are festive activities, January is the quietest and has the best deals, families often go over February half-term, while in March and April, the days are sunnier and lifts stay open later. The currency here is euro and they speak French.

France’s big ski areas set it apart. The Three Valleys tops the list as one of the world’s largest ski areas, with over 600km of pistes, and includes Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens. Les Arc's tree-lined slopes are perfect for building confidence, and high-altitude Paradiski is an intermediate’s paradise.

La Plagne and Flaine are purpose-built resorts with a family-friendly feel, and for those seeking après Les Deux Alpes has a range of bars, while Méribel and Mottaret are the centre of the Three Valleys’ après scene.

France is a firm favourite for ski holidays, loved for its excellent food and diverse, easy-to-reach resorts. It boasts the biggest range of accommodation types from traditional to tailor-made, luxury to budget-friendly.
In Italy, the ski season runs from December to April and is generally quieter than France or Austria, so you can look forward to empty slopes during the week – especially if you avoid peak school holidays like Christmas.

There’s a wide variety of scenic skiing and homely accommodation, often in convenient and purpose-built resorts. The currency here is euro and they speak Italian.

For beginners, Bardonecchia’s well-groomed runs are a good starting point, while intermediate skiers love La Thuile and Passo Tonale’s range of reds. Prefer to snow board? Cervinia has few drag lifts and barely any flat sections, and there are rails, kickers and jumps for all abilities.

Skiing in Italy is about short lift queues, well-groomed pistes with great snowmaking and diverse ski areas. It has three large, linked ski areas including the Dolomiti Superski, which covers 1200km of piste in the UNESCO-protected mountain range. Over in the Milky Way, the 400km area spans resorts ranging from the lively Sauze d’Oulx to the more family-friendly Sestriere.
The main ski season in the Swiss Alps is from December to March. Christmas, New Year and half-term are the most popular weeks, so expect a fun and lively atmosphere. January and March are quietest and cheapest – choose January for better snow, or pick March for sunny slopes and milder weather up to 5°C. The currency here is Swiss Franc and they speak German, French, Italian and Romansh. German is the majority language, but generally they are region dependent.

Switzerland’s home to some of Europe’s best ski resorts, connected to some of the world’s most famous mountains and host to some world-class ski schools. The only catch is the price: Switzerland is noticeably more expensive than the rest of Europe. However, it has a surprising range of self-catering apartments and half-board hotels that span from two to five stars.

For beginners, Saas Fee has long, gentle, and quiet nursery slopes, and fun activities to keep kids happy. For intermediates, Grindelwald’s varied slopes are one of the best suited. The Jungfrau area is made up of 213km of varying pistes – from challenging steeps to gentle beginner slopes and even an epic freeride zone – linking Grindelwald and Wengen by lift and cogwheel railway to the Jungfraujoch peak, known as the Top of Europe.