There’s a great choice of snow and après ski when you opt for Geneva as your base. Did you know that you can get from the city centre to the slopes and back again to enjoy its bars and restaurants on the same day? That’s how easy it is.
And if you want to stay at one of the many world-class resorts within easy access of Geneva, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From Portes du Soleil to Chamonix, Val d’Isère to Verbier, Zermatt to Gstaad or Courchevel to Megève – just decide which one’s best for you this winter.
All of these famous resorts are a reasonably short driving distance from Geneva and many people choose to hire a car at the airport or arrange transport from their accommodation in the city. Others find that the easiest way to get to the resorts is to pre-order a private car with a driver.
If you’re on a budget, however, it probably makes more sense to stay at your resort and public transport – bus and train – is available from Geneva Airport to several resorts. There’s a winter playground to suit everyone when you fly into Geneva from Southampton Airport – and do try to spend at least a day exploring the city itself.
First-time visitors will fall in love with Lake Geneva and its fountain, and there’s plenty to explore in the Old Town too with its winding back streets and medieval architecture. Head for the chocolate shops, gaze longingly at that beautiful Rolex in the jeweller’s window and enjoy the local cuisine. Bliss!
Courchevel has a reputation as the resort of choice for the rich and famous but as well as boasting a lot of top-end hotels and restaurants, it’s a brilliant location for beginners and those looking to hone their technique.
The resort is made up of five different villages at various altitudes, each with their own beginner ski area, at least one free ski lift and different grades of piste. Beginner zones are gently sloping and will allow you to practise your turns before deciding whether or not to venture further up the mountain.
Megève, with its cobbled streets and village-type character, has a distinctive charm but lots of things to do and see – plus it never feels too crowded. It’s one of the most beautiful ski resorts in France and popular with families thanks to plethora of family-friendly restaurants, availability of childcare and, importantly, excellent skiing for beginners and intermediates.
Other facilities here include Le Palais sports centre which has separate indoor pools for adults and children, saunas, a steam room, indoor hot tubs, gym, ice rink, indoor tennis and gym. Away from the slopes you can also take a trip in a horse-drawn sleigh. It’s not surprising that Megève holds the French national ‘Family Plus Mountain’ award for its high standards of service and facilities for families.
Val d’Isère has long enjoyed a reputation as being a fun resort so it’s great for couples who want to enjoy excellent skiing but have some other experiences too, such as husky sledding and snowmobiles.
It’s a romantic setting too, thanks to its chocolate-box chalets and traditional village feel. You’ll find luxurious spas here too when you want to take a break from the slopes and the hustle and bustle of Val d’Isère’s vibrant après ski scene which includes great restaurants and bars.
Chamonix is a perennially popular resort, catering for skiers of all levels of experience. With its stunning backdrop of Mont Blanc, it’s no wonder winter sports aficionados flock here year after year. Even the ski instructors and mountain guides come here to learn their trade!
It’s also proud of its reputation as one of Europe’s liveliest resorts where the atmosphere and après ski are as important as the skiing. Bars and pubs often have live music and with Chamonix also attracting top DJs, you might even find yourself dancing until dawn in L’Amnesia, the resort’s main nightclub, which is often open until 4am.