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If you’re planning a group ski holiday, the odds are you won’t be looking for a bit of peace and quiet, but for something rather more sociable. With the help of our friends at Inghams we recommend you give one of these a try.

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Mayrhofen

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr 

Mayrhofen is an attractive, traditional-style, big village in the scenic heart of the Austrian Tyrol. It’s one of Austria’s key destinations for mountain tourism and a longstanding favourite with Brits, drawn to its great blend of authentic Tyrolean ambiance, good skiing, and lively nightlife.

 

This begins on-mountain as the slopes close, before shifting into the valley where a lot of venues will be rocking from early evening until the early hours of the morning. It has two main ski areas, giving 139km of runs, and is perfect for confident intermediates – but it also has Austria’s steepest pisted slope, the short but famously fearsome Harakiri. 

 

Pas de la Casa

Nearest airport: Barcelona

Transfer time: 3hr 30mins

Part of the extensive Grandvalira ski domain, in Andorra, Pas de la Casa offers 210km of great intermediate slopes that sweep invitingly down to the resort centre, but is arguably an acquired taste. Not your typical sleepy resort, the town, situated on the French border, is a hive of activity, packed with tax-free supermarkets, shops, restaurants, cafés and bars.

Pas is also renowned for its very lively après so probably  best suited to young or young-minded ski and snowboard holidaymakers, particularly beginners and intermediates. Calmer heads can be found over the hill (literally) at Soldeu or nearby Grau Roig. 

 

Val d’Isère

Beautiful Val d'Isere, France, at night.jpg

Nearest airport: Chambery

Transfer time: 2hr 15mins

Brit favourite, this pretty French party town is also one half of a cracking snow-sure ski area – linked with high-altitude Tignes, it forms the 300km Espace Killy. The skiing here is top-notch: the varied slopes cater for all abilities, from beginner to powder-hound, and its two famous challenges – the black Face piste and the red OK piste (used for the Criterium de la Premiere Neige races) provide plenty of scope for bragging rights. For a beer or two, Val d’Isère hosts the original Folie Douce, and is also home to another après icon, the famous Dick’s Tea Bar. 

 

Cervinia

Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

Sitting in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, Cervinia's lofty location – 2,050m in the village and 3,480m at the top lift – is already boasting great snow this winter. On a bluebird day, Italy’s most snow-sure resort is a joy for beginners and intermediates: its 150km of runs are mostly blue and red, so experts are better off heading up and over the Swiss border to Zermatt, though the high-altitude link is somewhat exposed.

Brilliant for groups on a budget, the après scene is mostly pub-based and all occurs down in the village - happy hours just after the lifts close are generally fun and quite animated, and it’s all liveliest at the weekends.

 

Kitzbühel

A perfect day for skiing in Kitzbühel.jpg

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr 

Kitzbühel is one of the world’s leading Alpine resorts, famous for its historic Hahnenkamm downhill ski race and its charming old town. But while the experts might head to the Strief to ski in the tracks of Klammer and co, intermediates are the ones who really have it their own way here, with the overwhelming majority of the resort’s 215km of runs shaded blue or red.

Après is buzzy – it kicks off at the legendary Streifalm and fans out into the town where a host of bars cater for all tastes. Kitzbühel may have low altitude – nothing above 2,000m – but the gentle lower slopes don’t need much snow to offer some great skiing.

 

Soldeu

Nearest airport: Barcelona

Transfer time: 3hr 30mins

Not all ‘best for groups’ ski resorts are the same! Soldeu is probably Andorra's best all-round ski resort: its local Soldeu-El Tarter ski area has long boasted the most extensive linked slopes in Andorra, it’s also now joined with Pas de la Casa as part of the new 200km Grandvalira ski area, and it’s home to a highly-rated and Brit-friendly ski school.

The village offers high-quality accommodation, excellent facilities, and a lively après ski scene. It has worked hard to reinvent itself to move on from its early years as a budget destination and has now successfully established itself as Andorra's most upmarket resort. 

 

Chamonix

Chamonix group skiing.jpg

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 15mins

Chamonix isn’t your average ski resort. This historic French valley town at the foot of Mont Blanc draws masses of aspiring advanced skiers and boarders, intent on ticking off one of the most famous high-mountain off-piste routes in the Alps: the Vallée Blanche.

However, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy Chamonix! There are other more conventional ski areas in the valley, but the resort is extensive, so getting around requires some forward-thinking. The nightlife can be as lively as you want it to be, though Chamonix is a mecca for the ‘ski-hard, play-hard’ crowd. 

 

Sauze d’Oulx

Nearest airport: Turin 

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins: 

Sauze d'Oulx offers some of the most attractive and enjoyable snow sports terrain in the Alps, with plenty of room for adventurous intermediates who can make the most of the vast Milky Way domain.

Sauze’s lively nightlife is its other big attraction for many young-minded visitors and Sauze d’Oulx has a longstanding reputation for lively après ski. Though the afternoons are quiet, the evenings are generally always animated, with plenty of live music. 

 

Méribel

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Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 2hr 30mins

Méribel, nestled at the centre of the epic Three Valleys ski area in the French Alps, is arguably the best all-round ski resort in the region and is rightly popular with British skiers and snowboarders of all abilities and ages. Its wooded setting lends Méribel a pleasant Alpine village ambiance, to enjoy when you're taking a break from the first-class skiing. 

From mid-afternoon onwards, the music volume rises, quickly building into one of the most animated après-ski scenes in the Alps, for which Méribel is justly renowned. The Folie Douce and the Rond Point (Ronnie), perched on the eastern slopes just above town, are the liveliest piste-side venues. 

 

St Christoph 

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

This ski-in, ski-out little gem is the exception to the unwritten rule that group-friendly resorts have to be big and lively. The high-altitude (1,800m) Austrian resort of St Christoph isn’t really a resort at all. A tiny, postcard-pretty, snow-covered hamlet with a handful of hotels, it’s part of the vast Arlberg ski area, with access to 304km of slopes, lift-linked to St Anton.

If you want all the extensive après St Anton (or neighbouring Lech) have to offer, be prepared to get a taxi back to St Christoph. This trip is for cosy group holidays – and don’t miss lunch at the Hospiz Alm, where you get to the loos via a helter-skelter!

 

Explore these, and many more resorts at inghams.co.uk

 

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