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5 IDEAL SKI RESORTS FOR GROUP TRAVEL

Ski writer Rob Stewart picks his top five ski resorts for groups.


La Clusaz, France

The charming town of La Clusaz lies just over one hour’s drive from Geneva Airport and has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. It has enough nightlife to keep everyone happy, good value restaurants both on and off the mountain and of course some amazing ski and snowboard terrain, made famous by the town’s very own freeski god, Candide Thovex. 

WHY IT'S GREAT FOR GROUPS:

“There’s just something for everyone in La Clusaz. There’s great terrain for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers or snowboarders and although the skiing area isn’t huge, it has varied and interesting terrain, with a good snow record, especially on La Balme. Also, because it’s so close to Geneva, it’s ideal for short breaks and the après scene is nice, but quite relaxed – so it’s geared towards a more mellow scene. Although late night revellers might enjoy the L’Ecluse club that keeps on going until around 4am”.


Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg may not be as well-known as some of the other large Swiss ski resorts, but don’t let that put you off. Engelberg has some serious skiing for experts but, what is often overlooked, is the extensive terrain it offers intermediates. The high altitude glacier and proximity gives Engelberg a long winter season, normally through until May and there’s some of the longest runs in the Alps, up to 12 km in length. The resort is also very accessible from Zurich Airport, being less than 90 minutes away. 

WHY IT'S GREAT FOR GROUPS:

“Engelberg has made its name as a freeride capital over the past ten years as seasonaires (particularly Scandinavians) search for a good balance between value and good terrain in the Swiss Alps in a resort that hasn’t been too over developed. This makes for a good atmosphere in the town, especially on the weekends when the winter are locals are joined by the city visitors. It suits groups with skiers or snowboarders with some experience more – but with fast access from Zurich, amazing piste and off-piste terrain, fantastic views and a rotating cable car, what more could you ask for?”


Sierra Nevada, Spain

Malaga and nearby Torremolinos have a long history of attracting groups of British tourists seeking a fun time on holiday, but it’s often the starting point for a ski holiday in the Sierra Nevada mountains just two hours north of the city. For those non-skiers, it’s also possible to visit the nearby city of Granada, and its famed Alhambra Palace. But despite the unusual location for a winter sports resort, Sierra Nevada has a large ski area, lots of good accommodation and a great snow record. Plus, on a clear day, you can see North Africa from the top.

WHY IT'S GREAT FOR GROUPS:

“Skiing in Southern Spain is pretty special and the isolated (it’s the only ski resort in Southern Spain) but extensive ski area of Sierra Nevada is world class. What’s ideal for groups is the fact there’s a central hub where everyone meets for lunch and restaurants to suit everyone, from fast food to gourmet – all of them providing very good value for money. There’s a fun vibe in town with cosy après ski and some large hotels with pools that really suit groups, couples or families. Plus, if you fancy a couple of days down on the beach, it’s possible to combine the two, especially during the Easter period”. 


Ischgl, Austria

Famed for its nightlife, large ski area with extensive on and off-piste terrain, gourmet restaurants, high standard of accommodation and impressive lift system, this Austrian town in the far western corner of the country claims to be the ultimate ski resort for groups who like to ski and party. You can ski over into Switzerland, dine in some of the finest gourmet mountain restaurants and party in your ski boots until 8pm - because ski boots are banned after then. The perfect excuse to go and freshen up, ready for the all-nighters the resort is famed for! 

WHY IT'S GREAT FOR GROUPS:

“My first impression of Ischgl was that it’s a ski resort on steroids. Everywhere you look there’s state-of-the-art ski lifts jutting out in all directions. Vast swathes of pisted terrain, much of it fairly challenging, spans across several valleys. The off-piste is world class too, with some new terrain opened up purely for freeriders. It’s the perfect resort for high-energy skiers of a good standard who want to be out on the mountain all day, party afterwards and enjoy the high standard of accommodation and food in-between”. 


Morzine, France

Right in the heart of one of the world’s largest ski and snowboard areas, Portes du Soleil, Morzine is perhaps the most vibrant resort in the network of lift-linked towns that span France and Switzerland. Just over one hour’s drive from Geneva Airport, it’s a popular destination for British skiers and those on short breaks. The atmosphere in town after skiing is friendly and bustling, with lots of bars and restaurants, from traditional French to British run craft breweries. There’s a great atmosphere and groups love the variety of activities on offer and extensive ski terrain that has something for everyone. 

WHY IT'S GREAT FOR GROUPS:

“Morzine is just one of those places that I seem to go back to again and again. It’s always fun with a group of friends and although the ski area is so extensive, there’s several key hubs that are easy to meet up in for lunch if the group splits up. Après ski options are growing – there’s the new Folie Douce in Avoriaz and the popular Happy Hours in Ardent. Both require transport back to Morzine but it’s well organised and means you don’t outstay your welcome! Generally prices are good value too, better than some of the larger resorts in the French Alps. For a group weekend away, it’s hard to beat”. 

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