When winter comes along (or even long before it does), the great crisis facing skiers and snowboarders out there is where do they head for vacation this year. While local hills and clubs may offer enough to stave off insanity, unless you live in one of the major mountain regions of the world it’s hard to be satisfied with the bunny hills. After all, it’s not just the skiing you crave but the overall culture that comes with it, one of luxury and laid back good times.
If you find yourself in Europe this winter with a craving for hitting the slopes you won’t be short on options but you may need some help narrowing down your search. In the heart of Europe are the alpine resort areas of Meribel and Verbier – two excellent destinations where you really can’t go wrong when it comes to skiing or snowboarding. They are very similar destinations but they do have a few differences that may appeal to you directly, especially if it is luxury you are after. Consider visiting www.purpleski.com for more information on either site.
Located in the French alps, this grouping of communities is great for anyone looking to enjoy the ski culture with the quaint beauty of traditional ski chalets nestled amongst the woods. When linked up with the neighbouring ski resorts, Meribel can boast to be part of the largest ski system in the world at more than 600km of pistes, which you can read more about on the official tourist guide of Meribel.
After a day of hitting the slopes, retire to your chalet for some world class cuisine at a variety of price points, all set against the magnificence of the alpine backdrop. Take in spa treatments, amazing shopping, hope on a snowmobile or soar into the sky for some heli skiing the following day – Meribel has a ton of options. It’s a great place to get away from whatever your every day is but if you are looking to retreat from other English speakers, Meribel may not be your best choice as it is quite popular among Brits. On the other hand if this is what you want, you’ll feel right at home.
Located in Switzerland, Verbier is the main resort in the 4 Valleys – Switzerland’s biggest ski area only 2 hours from Geneva. It has the chalets like any other ski resort area, as well as budget accommodation for families and individuals alike. It has some truly magnificent hotels for those looking for spectacular luxury, but with the Swiss Franc being quite strong it may be a bit ridiculously priced for most travellers.
Verbier has great ski conditions for all who visit, regardless of ability, making it popular among travellers from all over the world. With breathtaking vistas and truly inspiring trails, it’s easy to see why this region is so famed for its skiing and winter activities.The vibrant ski culture setting will definitely win you over after you are off the slopes but the options for shopping and other après ski highlights are a bit lacking, particularly when compared to Meribel.
In the end it’s all in what you are looking for – if it’s a great skiing experience you can’t go wrong with either location, but if you want the total package, be sure to choose Meribel. Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are about these two great ski destinations!