New annual research by ABTA has uncovered significant changes in ever evolving winter holiday trends and increase in the popularity of winter sports holidays this year. 15% of people taking winter holidays are opting for a sports-themed holiday: a 5% increase on last year.
The resorts which were the most in demand were ones that offered additional activities to skiing and snowboarding, including fitness and spa treatments. Travelers seeking bargains are likely to venture to up-and-coming destinations including Poland and Bulgaria. But France, Italy and Austria remain the most popular destinations, with some of the biggest and most famous ski areas in the world.
Here are the Top 5 Ski resorts:
1. Espace Killy, France
In the Tarentaise Valley, the Espace Killy ski area incorporates Val D’Isere and Tignes, providing 300km of world-class pistes. With access to two glaciers, two well sculpted snowparks and arguably the best off-piste in Europe, this is tough to beat. The two resorts are linked seamlessly, providing easy access to the expansive area.
Tignes also plays host to the European Winter X-Games in March each year, adding to its appeal as a vibrant holiday destination.
2. Trois Vallées, France
As one of the best-known areas in the world, the Three Valleys boasts a massive 600km of pisted runs, numerous snowparks, diverse terrain and 183 ski lifts.
The area is made up of three main resorts: Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens, which are each made up of smaller villages. Val Thorens is particularly popular, with its peak of 3200m.
3. Sauzed’Oulx, Italy
In the province of Turin, Sauze d’Oulx (pronounced ‘Sow-Zee-Doo’) is famous for its thriving nightlife. This party-mad haven also provides 400km of pistes that are perfect for intermediates and families.
The resort is a part of the Milky Way, linking it to Montgenevre, Claviere, and Sestriere.
4. Kitzbuhel, Austria
This medieval town in Tyrol is an archetypal picturesque Austrian resort. Its ski area caters for all abilities and has 168km of pistes.
Its downfall is the low altitude of the town itself at 761m, but this is made up for by the vibrant buzz of the large town, with excellent nightlife and atmosphere.
5. St Anton, Austria
Exciting and challenging, St Anton is known for its off-piste, its parties and its easily accessible and varied terrain. This is a notably pretty town which offers guaranteed snow and endless free-riding.