Weekends in the Alps for Lovers of the Great Outdoors

(2019-08-08 17:19:45)


For adventurous couples who love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors, skiing is an amazing way to share quality time with your significant other. Whether a nervous learner, eager intermediate, or seasoned pro, the thrill of mastering those first turns together — straight-lining a tricky red piste or carving deep turns in fresh powder — make skiing a truly enjoyable shared activity for couples. If you’re lining up a short break or weekend treat with your loved one this coming winter ski season, here are a few factors to bear in mind, to help you enjoy your time on the snow together to the full and make memories to last a lifetime.

Choosing the right resort

Be sure to think carefully about the kind of resort you’d like to stay in; both the town itself and the nearby slopes. If you’re heading to the Alps with romance in mind, we’d recommend you select a resort with a little traditional Alpine character. Choosing a characterful Savoyard town with a relaxed atmosphere means exploring the resort will be a joy – with plenty of artisan and craft shops for souvenir shopping. Perhaps shortlist resorts with a wide selection of non-ski activities to choose from if bad weather should close in, and of course if it’s a weekend break then you’ll need somewhere with a fast airport transfer. Up on the pistes, you’ll need a resort with a range of runs suitable for your ski levels. Read on for a few of our recommendations.

Morzine works amazingly well for short-break ski holidays in the Alps

Destination recommendations

Many resorts in the Alps work well for adventurous couples looking for excitement among the peaks and valleys, and resorts like Morzine, les Gets, Chatel and Chamonix in France, Verbier and Nendaz in Switzerland, and Courmayeur in Italy are absolutely ideal. These fine, pretty and traditional Alpine destinations each boast hassle-free and rapid airport transfer times, charming town centres, and of course a broad offering of intermediate-level pistes to explore together. Whether you stroll along to the elegant piazza in Courmayeur’s town centre and visit the local gelateria for an ice cream together, head to Morzine for its fine selection of traditional artisanal craft shops, or sit down to a romantic dinner for two in one of the welcoming restaurants in Nendaz, you can be sure the snowy peaks will set the scene beautifully.

The pretty village of Lech sits within the Arlberg ski area — widely considered to boast the finest ski terrain in Austria. Home to beautiful historic buildings, peaceful ambiance, outstanding restaurants and varied terrain for all skill levels, Lech is a wonderfully family-friendly destination. For advanced skiers looking to explore further afield, St Anton, Zürs, St Christoph and Stuben are all within easy reach.

For romance among the peaks and valleys, check out the pretty resort of Lech

A haven for off-piste and backcountry skiing in France, Chamonix is a pretty Alpine town in its own right — with a thriving summer and winter scene. Stretching along the Chamonix Valley floor, attractive villages and hamlets such as les Houches, Argentière and les Bois offer guests a diverse array of accommodation options.

The vibrant and car-free ski resort of Saas-Fee sits at a soaring 1,800 metres altitude in Switzerland’s beautiful Saas Valley. Perfect for visitors looking for adventure on and off the slopes, the resort is classically Swiss — with chocolate-box chalets, sun-trap terraces and spectacular valley views. The slopes all sit above the tree line here, so visitors can ski non-stop all the way from 3500m down to village level.

Where to stay?

For an escape to the slopes with your special someone, booking a chalet or hotel with a few special touches of style will help make your good ski holiday great. Upgrade to that en-suite double, then give thought to location for the ultimate in hassle-free access to the slopes and town. Leave the cooking and cleaning jobs at home, with a chalet host on hand to look after you during your stay, and perhaps boost the budget to consider a luxury property – for something truly special. Hotels tend to offer far more flexible arrival and departure dates, although for the winter 2019/20 ski season we are seeing plenty of extra date-flexibility even in catered ski chalets. Travelling from Thursdays to Sundays or Sundays to Thursdays will stand you in good stead to choose from the broadest availability in your Alpine ski resorts of choice.

Quality time with your loved one

With the promise of fresh alpine air, beautiful mountain scenery and the buzz of exploring the snowy slopes together, romance could well be on the cards. That said, things can take a turn for the worse if you’re not careful… the weather could change quickly and leave you shivering on the chairlifts, you might take the wrong route into unsuitable ski terrain or get to a lift to find it shut. But all being well, the slopes are a great place for romance for those with a little forethought. Why not pack a tasty picnic to surprise your loved one with an alfresco dining experience to remember?!

And for a really special experience on the snow, perhaps wait in a mountain bar at the top of the home run, and keep warm with a hot mulled wine as your fellow skiers and boarders slink off home. When the lifts close and you have the piste to yourselves, emerge into the twilight for a seat in the snow and a moment of togetherness before strapping back into your skis for the last run of the day.

In many resorts you can even enjoy an evening descente flambeau – after your ski day you head into a piste-side restaurant for a full evening meal with wine and perhaps a shot or two before heading out onto the moon-lit pistes en masse, flaming torch in hand, and skiing back to resort together.

Alpine adventure away from the slopes

Ice skating is great fun for competitive couples and many resorts today have indoor and outdoor rinks to enjoy. Certainly Morzine, les Gets and Chamonix all do, to name but three. Snow-shoeing is perhaps the very best way to experience the majesty of the mountains away from the slopes, and heading off into the wilderness with your partner for a snow-shoe hike is wonderful fun. Resorts like Meribel, la Tania and Courchevel have all offer very beautiful snow-shoe paths for example, with well-mapped terrain you can either explore solo or with a guide.

Wrapping up warm to explore from the back of a horse-drawn carriage is also a most romantic way to spend quality time together and resorts like St Anton in Austria and Morzine in France both offer the service. And whisking your loved one away for an afternoon of pampering off the piste is bound to go down well, too. The pretty spa town of Brides les Bains sits below Meribel and Courchevel in France, and offers an absolute wealth of spa treatments, hot springs and relaxation therapies. Ski access is easy from there too, as the Olympic gondola sweeps you directly up to the main lifts of Meribel centre.  

If you’re considering a romantic short break to the Alps and wondering where best to make the most of your time with friends and family, we’re here and ready to help. You can call 0203 0800 202 or find us via our handy chat service. We’ll be happy to share our short-break property portfolio with you.