The annual school skiing trip is a much-anticipated tradition for students and teachers alike. It’s a time when students can take a welcomed break from their studies, relax, recharge and enjoy an experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
Each year schools work tirelessly to ensure that any skiing trip is well-organised, full of engaging activities, fun – and even a mite educational for their students.
Planning a school skiing trip is no small task. But before even the logistics are considered, there’s the unenviable task of deciding where to go. France and Italy are spoiled with picturesque peaks and resorts that offer not only some of the best skiing conditions in the world, but welcoming accommodation and a wealth of activities for students.
So, before you dive headlong into a Google search, weighing up the pros and cons, and making phone call after phone call, take a minute and read our guide to four of the best ski resorts in Europe.
Val Thornes, France
At 7,500 metres, Val Thorens is not only the highest resort in the Trois Vallees region, but the highest in all of Europe. With a fresh blanket of snow virtually guaranteed all year round, Val Thorens is renowned for being one of the best places to ski in France.
Val Thorens’ heritage stretches back over forty years. Its concrete edifices of yesteryear have been completely redeveloped and modernised. Contemporary architecture in the Savoyards-style now dots the landscape – and it offers some of the most inviting skiing accommodation in all of France.
Visitors are treated to consistent snowfall and excellent skiing conditions all year round. You can choose from one of five ski schools, each of which welcomes parties every season. The English-speaking Ecole du Ski is the largest ski-school in France and plays host to schools from across the UK, and Europe each season.
Schools from across Europe migrate to Val Thorens each season. This gives students a great opportunity to mix with kids their own age, develop their social skills and make lifelong friends.
Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix offers a broad range of skiing to suit all experience levels
Chamonix – Mount Blanc, France
One of the most spectacular sights in nature, Mont-Blanc is the Alps’ highest peak and forms part of the French border with Italy. Reaching an altitude of 4,810 metres, Mont Blanc more than earns its reputation as the ‘white mountain.’
The site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, the rugged terrain of Mount Blanc has provided world-class skiing ever since. Chamonix is home to the charming villages of Les Praz, Les Bossons, Les Moussoux, Argentiere and Les Pelerins, each of which offer great accommodation for school trips.
Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix offers a broad range of skiing to suit all experience levels. Novice skiers have ample space and opportunity to develop their confidence and skills on the snow. Seasoned skiers can take to the red slopes before heading off to the Brevent sector to test their skills.
Hotel Mont-Blanc Chamonix is a relaxed, comfortable place to rest your head for the night. Perfect for that après ski evening with a warm mug of coco in your hands and able to accommodate large parties, Hotel Mont-Blanc Chamonix is a mere few minutes from the pistes – making it perfect for those early morning starts.
Let’s not also forget that Chamonix is a large town where the fun never stops. With plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes, there’s much for students to enjoy when not on the slopes. There’s even a half-day educational trip up to the Mer du Glace where students can learn much about the famous peak.
Located on the pass between Lake Como and Dolomites and offering plenty to keep students engaged and entertained on and off the slopes, Aprica isn’t just an enviable school skiing trip destination, it’s one of the best ski resorts in Europe.
Boasting an enviable amount of snowfall, facilities for skiers or all ages and abilities and a lively and welcoming Italian atmosphere, Aprica is the perfect resort to keep students entertained all day – and even into the evening.
The resort has extensive facilities and slopes for novices, without neglecting those who only want to reach the peak summit before hurtling down with the wind in their face and a great big smile on their face.
The Superpanoramica run descends over six kilometres and is popular with novice skiers, helping them to build their confidence in the snow. Experienced skiers can take a succession of lifts at Dosso Paso where they’ll find open snow fields just above the tree line. The perfect piste to test student’s mettle, the Benedetti black run features a 2.3km vertical drop where an adrenaline-fuelled run is the best way to cap off a skiing trip to remember!
When the evening draws in, the neighbouring villages play host to a wealth of attractions. Students can learn about Italian culture and heritage, broadening their horizons and retire for the night peacefully, yet eager for what the next day will bring.
Featuring over 100kms of skiable terrain, Bardonecchia offers world-class skiing facilities for students of all ages.
Home to the first ever Italian Skiing Championships, Bardonecchia surely top of the podium when considering the best places to ski in Italy. Featuring over 100kms of skiable terrain, Bardonecchia offers world-class skiing facilities for students of all ages.
Novice skiers can learn from English-speaking instructors on the slopes of the Campo Smith before graduating onwards and upwards to the red and blue runs of the Melezet. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can take on the legendary Fisi 50 World Cup red run of the Colomion – which promises to be an exhilarating experience even for those with years of experience under their belts.
When dusk falls, settle in for the night at the Villaggio Olimpico. Having entertained athletes during the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Villaggio Olimpico has since undergone a significant upgrade to ensure that guests enjoy the most comfortable stay possible whilst still retaining its sporting legacy.
Students can take advantage of an on-site swimming pool, Turkish bath and gym. There’s also a large recreational and games room, complete with tennis and pool tables, giant screen theatre, and even a piano bar for teachers to unwind after a long day on the slopes.
France and Italy are home to some of the best ski resorts in Europe – which makes picking a resort destination that’s certain to delight students quite challenging!
Just take some time and discover for yourself what each of these four separate resorts offer and you’ll sure see that the vast choice of destinations for your school skiing trip is only choice of just four.
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