(CNN) — Selecting essentially the most stunning ski resort in the Alps is like choosing the prettiest diamond.
Pristine peaks and glowing snow make for a pretty bundle — even with a few of our man-made “creations” — however some simply carry their magnificence just a little bit higher. The setting, the structure, the ambiance, the character — all of it in some way provides as much as greater than the sum of the components.
These 10 Euro treasures will spark on the spot alpine urges:
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
Distinctive promoting factors: Famed Valais village, world-class snowboarding, wealthy mountaineering historical past, iconic pointy peak.
Zermatt is one-part cultural throwback to one-part Swiss sophistication, the place century-old barns perched on stone stilts to maintain out mice rub shoulders with cutting-edge creations.
A cog railway chugs as much as the slopes round Gornergrat and provides stupendous views of the Monte Rosa vary, whereas the cableways as much as the Klein Matterhorn give close-up views of the icon itself, plus entry to Cervinia in Italy.
2. Grimentz, Switzerland
Distinctive promoting factors: Chocolate-box chalets, unspoiled valley, geraniums.
Grimentz sits in the Val d’Anniviers, a aspect shoot of the good Rhone Valley. At its southern finish sits the “Nice Crown” of four-thousanders (summits over 4,000 meters above sea stage), together with the Weisshorn, Bishorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn, Matterhorn and Dent Blanche.
Maison Bourgeoisiale, 3961 Saint-Luc, Switzerland
3. Wengen, Switzerland
Distinctive promoting factors: Basic Swiss village ringed by well-known summits.
The village, which might solely be reached by cog railway or cable automobile, gazes out throughout the deep Lauterbrunnen valley and up in the direction of the well-known 4,000-meter peaks of the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau.
Wengen, all grand previous chalets and children sledding to high school, is dwelling to the well-known Lauberhorn downhill race on the World Cup circuit. The run passes via a tunnel of one other cog prepare as much as Kleine Scheidegg at 2,061 meters, the place you’ll be able to eyeball climbers on the Eiger’s north face out of your lunch desk.
Definitely worth the journey: A prepare from Kleine Scheidegg heads up via the Eiger, stopping to let riders look out a window in the rock onto the north face itself, earlier than reaching the Jungfraujoch (3,454 meters) on the head of the huge Aletsch glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage web site well-known for snowboarding and climbing.
4. Kitzbuehel, Austria
Kitzbuehel hosts the Hahnenkamm ski race in winter and the Austrian Open tennis event in summer time.
Kitzbuhel Tourism/Bernhard Spoettl
Distinctive promoting factors: Tyrolean attraction, cobblestone streets, ski racing Mecca.
Kitzbuehel goes loopy throughout race week. Schnapps-fuelled fans roar on their faves and later squeeze into the notorious Londoner pub to down beer served by the U.S. and Canadian ski groups. The remainder of the time Kitz is a sublime charmer with a centuries-old heart surrounded by the gentle summits of the Wilder Kaiser mountains.
5. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Cortina hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and was the setting for a sure James Bond flick. While you set eyes on her, you would possibly want Cortina had been “For Your Eyes Solely.”
6. Lech, Austria
Distinctive promoting factors: Outdated-school class by royal approval.
7. Saas-Payment, Switzerland
Distinctive promoting factors: Excessive-mountain setting, ye olde picket granaries, in-your-face glaciers.
Fabled 4,000-meter peaks such because the Dom, the Taschhorn and the Alphubel dot the skyline, and it’s from right here that the prolonged model of the Zermatt-Chamonix Haute Route begins. The widely intermediate ski runs move downhill alongside glacial tongues pocked by gaping crevasses.
8. Alpbach, Austria
Distinctive promoting factors: Cute, quintessential, unassuming.
All higher flooring of latest buildings have to be clad in wooden to protect the bygone really feel. The cutesy homespun look — farming remains to be very a lot alive — has landed the prize as “Austria’s most stunning village” — and the competitors for that one is hard.
The snowboarding is usually mild and low — the village solely lies at 1,000 meters above sea stage — however this Tyrolean treasure lives as much as the identify of the ski space it shares with the neighboring Wildschonau valley — Ski Jewel.
9. Megeve, France
Distinctive promoting factors: Mont Blanc views, fashionable heart, scent of pine.
The picturesque cobbled heart offers an genuine air, whereas cruising the splendidly wooded decrease slopes fills your nostrils with the pleasing scent of pine.
10. Courmayeur, Italy
Distinctive promoting factors: Huge-mountain surroundings, historic city, eating places, Mont Blanc.
The snowboarding begins from a sunny plateau above the city with stupendous views of greater than a dozen of Europe’s highest peaks. Courmayeur is thought for its myriad mountain eating places providing easy Italian fare, whereas the historic heart is a superb place to hit for dinner.
Definitely worth the journey: For the last word high-mountain expertise, you will get a information and take the Skyway Monte Bianco cable automobile to Punta Helbronner (3,462 meters) to entry the well-known 20-kilometer Vallee Blanche glacier run right down to Chamonix in France.
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