The Best Weekend Skiing Destinations

Posted on: 19 November 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

We select our top ten resorts in the Alps for a 72-hour getaway.

If the credit crunch and Christmas have your finances all tied up, your traditional week-long break on the slopes may now be out of reach.

To combat the financial crisis, we’ve chosen the best skiing resorts that are both affordable and enjoyable for a three-day escape.

St Anton

This Austrian party town is closer to Zurich and Innsbruck than people realise. Possibly the best destination for a weekend of hard skiing and après-ski, it provides nonstop on and off slope action. You will need serious rest after a weekend here.

Best for expert skiers; beginners should go elsewhere.

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Close to Geneva. Do not be put off by the French resort’s concrete Bauhaus-style architecture.

The ski area is fantastic, a number of more appealing, chalet-style four and five-star properties are springing up and you can always stay in prettier outlying villages such as Les Carroz or Samoëns.

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France’s Les Trois Vallées are almost ruled out for a quick getaway because of the lengthy transfer from Geneva. But Méribel has an altiport and a plane hop from Geneva can be cheaper than a taxi.

See how many of the Trois Vallées’ 630km of runs you can manage to squeeze in. And stay in a chalet - this is chalet central.

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This gem of a resort is a little further away but still reachable. Just through the Mont Blanc tunnel in Italy, it is less than two hours from Geneva and is great for shopping.

Top for people watching, particularly the finely clad Milanese, who descend at weekends. Perfect for piste-bashing intermediates.

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Val D’Isere

Close to Chambéry, this French resort has some of the best skiing in the world on its doorstep.

L’Espace Killy lift passes cover Tignes too, in case there is not enough to entertain you in Val for 48 hours. Tignes is also more snowboard friendly.

Val has fabulous off-piste but is also ideal for cautious intermediates.

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La Clusaz

Very French and relatively undiscovered by Brits, La Clusaz is less than an hour away from Geneva. It is also set in pretty countryside - the Aravis mountains are softer and smaller than the jagged Mont Blanc massif and dotted with gorgeous chalets.

Lots of Gallic charm. The resort is great for intermediates.

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The French Alpine mecca is a bit of a push for a weekend but it is non-negotiable for the die-hard ski fanatic.

Out of this world skiing and off-piste make it well worth the journey. Stay up the valley in Argentière to be really close to the Grands Montets - the best mountain in Cham.

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This resort in Switzerland is strangely underrated. It is excellent for off-piste hounds and good intermediates and, crucially, is close to Zurich.

A pretty, two-and-a-half-hour train ride, less by car, brings you to a resort with awesome off-piste and one of the longest verticals in the Alps.

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Alpe D’Huez

There is skiing and boarding for everybody at this French resort, close to both Grenoble and Lyons, although it is particularly good for beginners.

Not a classically charming resort but it is in the big league, offering a giant variety of slopes. It is also blessed with plenty of sunshine.

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Zell Am See

This Austrian destination is extraordinarily pretty, located beside a lake and very close to Salzburg.

Kaprun is just up the road, with its glacier offering snow-sure skiing and more slopes. Zell, itself, is slightly limited, certainly for the adventurous expert.

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Are you going skiing in the coming months? Where are you heading? Have you planned a weekend skiing break?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below or share your thoughts with other members in the 50connect forums.

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