If you are already tiring of the short days and long dark nights, then Christmas in a sunny ski lodge on a powdery white mountain slope can sound magical.
There are few scenes more festive than brilliant white slopes, pretty wooden chalets with their roofs iced in snow and cosy cafes lit with candles.
Plus, many of the ski resorts have Christmas sewn up, with beautifully decorated trees, inches of snow, warming hot chocolates and twinkling lights. And even if you’ve never worn a pair of skis in your life, there are plenty of resorts – like Megeve – which cater to the non-ski crowd to go to enjoy the apres-ski lifestyle (and patisseries and shopping!)
Ski trips are one of the fastest growing types of timeshare holidays for younger families who love active breaks, so If you’re thinking of joining the crowds and hitting the slopes this winter, then here’s our pick of where to go for ski season…
With its horse-drawn carriages, pretty boutiques, ice rink and huge tree bedecked in Swarovski crystal decorations Megeve has a magical atmosphere at Christmas. Plus, Father Christmas always finds time to visit the square – the perfect ski destination for families to escape to.
Zell am See, Austria
Wander the Christmas market at Zell am See with a mug of mulled wine in your hand, and you can’t fail to feel festive. You’ll even be surrounded by Christmas carolers, while the frozen lake is perfect for ice skating…if you dare!
Hemsedal is one of Norway’s largest ski areas, thanks in part to its luxe apartments equipped with private saunas. When tourists arrive in the village over Christmas, it’s tradition to head into the woods armed with a saw, pick your Christmas tree, chop it down and take it back to your apartment to decorate.
Samnaun boasts uber high-altitude skiing, and is also a tax-free haven, making it ideal for last-minute Christmas shopping. We also recommend heading over to Ischgl in Austria, where you can enjoy the free ‘Ischgl Mountain Christmas’ concert on Boxing Day, with the Paznaun children’s choir singing Christmas songs from around the world.
One of Austria’s most atmospheric ski resorts, Christmas here has to be seen to be believed. Wander around the Christmas market, taking in the delicious sights and smells, or enjoy a torch-lit walk around the lake, celebration gala dinner on Christmas Eve with live music and a vanilla and cinnamon massage.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a round-up that includes Santa’s very own home in Lapland. While there may not be much daylight in Levi, the slopes are floodlit and the warming huts welcoming.
Take a reindeer or husky sleigh ride through the snow-laden forests, say hello to Santa and his elves, enjoy an afternoon of games and activities at one of Santa’s workshops and then top off the perfect day with a Christmas feast of turkey and all the trimmings.
As one of the most family-friendly resorts in the Alps, Les is ideal for a Christmas celebration. Enjoy unique attractions including a chocolate workshop and mechanical music museum, or visit Santa and his elves as they take to the slopes.