Top 10 Ski Resorts to Visit in December 2024

3 November, 2023 41 min read

If you are looking to hit the slopes in December this ski season in Europe, you will want to look for high reaching resorts with reliable snowfall. Skiing in December can be considered a little risky but it doesn’t have to be if you choose the right resort. In this blog we take you through the best ski resorts in Europe to visit in December.

The height of the resort will have a great impact on the snow cover early in the season. We recommend choosing ski resorts that have high reaching slopes over 2000m and with cold temperatures. Resorts with low temperatures at the start of the season will also be able to operate their snow cannons which helps to provide additional snow coverage.

The European mountains provide a truly magical setting in December, especially during the holiday season. There’s nothing quite like the experience of hitting the slopes on Christmas morning or welcoming the New Year amidst picturesque mountain villages with spectacular fireworks displays. Explore our top 10 ski resorts to visit in December right here!

1. Cortina, Italy

Official opening date: 25th November 2024*

Cortina is a charming alpine ski town and stands out as one of the best destinations for December skiing. It immerses visitors in a traditional Alpine festive ambiance, showcasing its main square adorned by a majestic, glittering tree. The adjacent streets are bustling with horse-drawn carriages, rustic market stalls, and enchanting bars illuminated by fairy lights, all serving hearty mountain cuisine.

Find yourself with the stunning backdrop of the Dolomites, characterised by mountains with iconic jagged peaks, which only adds to the enchanting atmosphere. Cortina sits at altitudes of between 1,224 and 2,924m and has a total of 40 lifts and 120 km of pistes and therefore offers reliable snow from when it opens in November.

Book ski lessons in Cortina today!

 

2. Verbier, Switzerland

Official opening date: 2nd December 2024*

Verbier is a very popular ski resort to visit in December. Here you will find high altitude skiing, with the renowned Swiss ski town itself sitting at 1500m and the highest point of Mont Fort reaching 3330m. With over 400 km of runs linked by almost 100 lifts, there is more than enough to keep even the keenest of skiers entertained – especially when you throw in the incredible off-piste runs.

Verbier boasts a gourmet dining scene and infamous New Year’s parties. As the clock counts down to midnight, Place Centrale comes alive with DJs, fireworks, and champagne showers. The festive atmosphere welcomes families, groups, and couples alike! Verbier opens for weekends only from November, make sure to check on the official website closer to the time, with the official opening date on 2nd December.

Book ski lessons in Verbier today!

 

3. Morzine, France

Official opening date: 16th December 2024*

Morzine is a fantastic resort to choose when looking for early season skiing in December. With a short transfer time of under 90 minutes from the airport, the resort is an ever popular destination for friends and families alike. You will benefit from access to the whole Portes du Soleil area with over 650 km of runs, including the high reaching slopes of Avoriaz. The village of Morzine sits lower at 1000m, however the highest reaching slopes are at 2002m, with the neighbouring ski area of Avoriaz reaching an elevation of approximately 2,466m.

Morzine puts on a show for its December visitors, with firework displays, Santa visits and carol singers. During your skiing day, there’s enough to keep you busy in between stop-offs at cosy mountain slopeside huts for cheese fondue and vin chaud!

Book ski lessons in Morzine today!

 

4. Ischgl, Austria

Official opening date: 23rd November 2024*

Ischgl is a beautiful Austrian ski resort and offers one of the best places to ski in December with its reliable snow record.

Ischgl stands as one of Austria’s highest ski resorts, featuring a town situated at 1380m and a peak altitude reaching 2900m. With more than 80% of its ski slopes above 2000m, it is an ideal destination for early-season skiing. You will find over 240 km of pistes to enjoy as well as a lively après scene and plenty of bars and restaurants on and off the mountain. The town itself is almost fully pedestrianised and boasts beautiful decorations in December.

Book ski lessons in Ischgl today!

 

5. Tignes, France

Official opening date: 25th November 2024*

Tignes is a beautiful ski resort within the renowned Espace Killy ski area and is an excellent choice for December skiing. Tignes is reliable for early season skiing, thanks to the Grande Motte glacier, and as early as late November, the lift links connecting Tignes to Val d’Isere begin to open, granting access to a vast 300 km network of pistes.

Located at a high altitude range of 2100m to 3456m, Tignes frequently has a lot of early season snowfall and maintains comfortably low temperatures, ensuring optimal skiing conditions. Off the slopes, there’s a vibrant array of activities to explore. The town offers a diverse selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs, providing plenty of opportunities for evening entertainment.

Book ski lessons in Tignes today!

 

6. Zermatt, Switzerland

Official opening date: offers year round skiing

For breathtaking views and reliable snowfall, Zermatt is a popular destination for a December ski trip. Zermat boasts a large selection of high-altitude slopes as well as the benefit of year round skiing on its high reaching glacier. Zermatt offers no shortage of high-altitude slopes, with plenty of areas to access thanks to the high lift system and the Theodul glacier providing year-round skiing options. The village sits at 1620m, however the top lift is the highest in the Alps at 3800m.

Zermatt is well known for its iconic backdrop of the Matterhorn which provides a charming and picturesque skiing experience. There is a good chance of reliable snowfall in December, making it a popular destination for December skiing for those keen to kick off their season early. Whether you’re an experienced skier or a beginner, Zermatt promises an unforgettable December skiing adventure.

Book ski lessons in Zermatt today!

 

7. Val Thorens, France 

Official opening date: 25th November 2024*

Val Thorens is another popular ski resort for December skiing, thanks to its high reaching slopes and connecting lifts to the Three Valleys, with more than 600 km of ski runs. A long standing favourite resort for avid skiers, Val Thorens is known for its fantastic variety of slopes, delicious restaurants and buzzing nightlife.

Val Thorens has the highest ski resort town in Europe at 2300m, with top cable car reaching 3266m. This is perfect for early season skiing as you will find reliable snow and cold temperatures.

Book ski lessons in Val Thorens today!

 

8. Zell am See, Austria

Official opening date: 9th December 2024*

Zell am See is one of the top ski resorts in Austria, and benefits from Kitzsteinhorn glacier on the same lift pass, which makes it a great pick for an early season getaway. The town of Zell am See is situated at an elevation of 800m, but you can enjoy skiing at altitudes over 2000m, with lifts on the neighbouring glacier reaching heights of over 3000m.

The town of Zell am See itself is well known for its beautiful lakeside setting and historic town centre – and it’s even more magical during December when everything’s decorated for Christmas.

Book ski lessons in Zell am See today!

 

9. St Anton, Austria

Official opening date: 1st December 2024*

St Anton, located in Austria’s Tyrol region, is incredibly popular among both skiers and snowboarders. It has gained a fantastic reputation for its reliable snowfall and lively atmosphere. As a part of the expansive Ski Arlberg area, which includes nearby Lech and other sought-after destinations, St Anton offers access to over 300 km of slopes suitable for all skill levels, a further 200 km of off-piste tracks and a world-class snowpark.

Additionally, the area boasts breathtaking scenery. It’s no surprise that it stands as one of Europe’s most favoured ski destinations. Furthermore, with its charming Christmas markets, vibrant après-ski scene, and family-friendly environment, it is the perfect resort for a December trip.

Book ski lessons in St Anton today!

 

10. Alpe d’Huez, France

Official opening date: 2nd December 2024*

Last on our list is Alpe d’Huez that offers many benefits for an early winter getaway. These include its glacier skiing and high-altitude location, ensuring ample snow coverage, the existence of Europe’s longest black run – the Sarenne, and a wide array of options for beginners and children.You will find 249 km of skiable pistes and lifts reaching up to 3300m.

Alpe d’Huez boasts a family-friendly atmosphere and is conveniently accessible from Grenoble airport. They also know how to celebrate Christmas in style, with a winter market, festive lights and a variety of activities for all of the family.

Book ski lessons in Alpe D’Huez today!

 

*Opening dates are based on last year’s dates and are subject to change

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