Quick Weekend Ski Trips

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I have been addicted to snow since the age of 9. My first ski trip was in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Yep Cyprus has snow. Since then I have had the privilege of boarding on The Snowy mountains, Colorado, Australia and plenty of Alpine resorts in Switzerland, France and Austria. There was a day when a 10 day ski trip was doable but as the age kicks in, 6 days is a challenge and you're happy to settle with a few 3 day trips. When you have 3 or 4 days it is essential to have good flight times and a quick transfer to your resort. Here's my quick guide to last minute weekend getaways with less than 2 hour transfers from the airport:

1. Ski Welt

Not only this resort but the whole of the Ski Welt is an option. Many of the resorts offer 100% snow guarantees due to an impressive snow cannoning system. The slopes are well maintained and the lift networks like all in Austria are uber efficient.

How to get there

Flight from Dublin to Salzburg (80 km), Innsbruck (100 km) and Munich (120 km)

Pros:

  • Snow guarantee
  • Leave Dublin in the morning and be on the mountain by lunchtime
  • Plenty of accommodation off season
  • Food at Huttes is usually excellent
  • Loads of untracked snow
  • Apres ski

Cons:

  • Austrian Food not the greatest
  • Accommodation less likely to be available for 3 nights in peak season
  • Lot of dutch skiers
  • Dutch mountain music
  • Snowboarders are a minority
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2. Chamonix

One of the oldest resorts in the world it genuinely is a mecca for skiers. Mount Blanc overlooks the town.

How to get there

Geneva airport is 60minutes away with plenty of transfers available

Pros:

  • Lovely village
  • Amazing restaurants
  • Mount Blanc - seasoned skiers can actually ski Vallee Blanche
  • A bucket list item for many

Cons:

  • Buses - the resort is spread out and you have to wait for buses a lot
  • Lifts - Chamonix never really update it lifts in 100 years they are slow and lifts are crazy
  • Ritzy - everything is expensive here
  • Craic free apres ski
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3. St Anton

Austrian Uber resort. It is a high altitude resort based on a plateaux. This makes the snow almost guaranteed. The runs are varied and the lift networks outstanding with lots of heated seats in lifts. The strategically placed apres ski bars can lead to death! Check out the Krazy Kanguruh.

How to get there

Innsbruck 100km away

Pros:

  • Great resort
  • Great apres ski
  • Tons of snow

Cons:

  • Apres ski can lead to death
  • Flights to Innsbruck are less frequent
  • Can get very busy
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4. St Lary

Not the biggest resort in the world but still fun if you only have a few days. If you pick the right time for the Pyrenees, they're ideal. Word of warning if the snow isn't there it is going to be really bad so bring your swimming gear. One of the longest slopes in the Pyrenees is here. The lift network is typical for a resort of this size.

How to get there

Toulouse airport is 150km away / Lourdes airport 80km away

Pros:

  • Picturesque resort
  • Village has nice shops and restaurants
  • Thermal village - so if the snow isn't there you can hit the pools
  • Lots of locals (Spanish and French)

Cons:

  • Not many runs
  • Francophiles hate renting accommodation outside of Sat to Sat
  • Very few snow making facilities
  • Harder to get there without car rental
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5. Verbier

Absolutely amazing resort, this is free riders paradise. You can heliski, hike or just be ambitious with your traverses to find untouched powder.

How to get there

160km from Geneva

Pros:

  • High altitude resort
  • Amazing free ride mountains
  • Tons of fancy villas

Cons:

  • All winter is peak season
  • hard to get 3 nights
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Written By

Graham Kinsella

General Manager Lovin Group

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