The chances of a white Christmas in Ireland this year are 5/1 if you live in Dublin or 4/1 if you live in Shannon according to Ladbrokes. So unless you’re planning on hitting the dry slopes up at Kilternan Ski Club you won’t want to hedge your bets on the chance of skiing here any time soon.
Not to worry, there are literally hundreds of options for skiers just a few hours away in Europe. While you may think you can’t go too wrong as long as you have plenty of snow, it’s always nice to know what else a destination can offer you.
So whether you’re a beginner looking to learn or a pro who can’t wait to tear it up off-piste, you’ve got to know where the hottest (or should we say coldest!) destinations are.
Here are three of our favourite ski destinations for 2016.
1. Best for families: Les Trois Vallées, France
As the biggest linked ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées is perfect for a group of skiers with different abilities. More than 600km of slopes criss-cross the French Alps linking the eight different resorts of Les Trois Vallées.
Kids can learn on the Inuit piste in the Méribel resort, while more advanced skiers will have no trouble finding a slope to match their ability in this winter wonderland.
No matter how long you go for, you’ll never find the time to experience all of the wonders Les Trois Vallées has to offer. You might just find yourself coming back because the resorts all stay open until at least late April, so they’re an option for midterm or Easter too. Topflight.ie have prices starting at €480 per person in Méribel Valley.
2. Best for luxury: Lech, Austria
Sticking with the Alps, Lech is one of the most famous skiing areas in the world. In fact, it is said that Princess Diana used to ski there. If you go to Lech, you will get the real ski experience. Good quality snow is a near guarantee in this part of Austria, something that is often overlooked by novices when booking.
Thanks to the new gondola link to Warth, Lech has never had this many skiing options. All the while, its proximity to Zürs only adds to the attraction. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, then you can try going off-piste, which is extremely popular in this area. Just remember to take the proper precautions.
As one of the most truly charming resorts in the world, it’s no wonder that Lech is so popular year after year. And the lively après-ski scene certainly doesn’t do its reputation any harm.
3. Best for value: shop around
You may think you’ve found the perfect ski trip. But by the time you add on the cost of ski hire, lift pass and lessons it can really add up. It’s also well worth looking out for deals with lift pass and ski hire included or booking accommodation and budget flights separately.
Snowtrex.ie allows you to book hotel and ski passes and has deals in Chamrousse in France from €99 per person. This includes a lift pass valued at €168.20. The nearest airport is Grenoble which is served by Ryanair. Obviously there’s a little more work involved in putting a trip together yourself but this is a good option if you have the time to research it.
Before you head off skiing don’t forget your Travel Insurance from 123.ie. We’ll cover you for skating, skiing and even husky-sledge driving!