November and December is a very exciting time in Europe as ski resorts celebrate the early season snowfalls and begin to open their ski lifts for the best 5-6 months of the year. If you are already counting down the days until you are back in the snow then you are probably thinking of squeezing in a getaway at the start of the season for your ski fix. Discover our top 5 recommendations for the best early season snow and search our winter 2018 ski holidays for the largest choice of winter breaks from over 60 ski tour operators.
1. Tignes, France
Resort height: 2100m
Slopes: 1500 – 3450m
Opens: 25th November 2017
Ski holidays from: 2nd December 2017
The main Tignes villages Of Tignes Le Lac and Tignes Val Claret sit at the high altitude of 2100m with the slopes peaking at 3450m on the Grande Motte glacier making in one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in Europe. Once the glacier has a decent snow base (usually around the start of October) the ski area opens for keen skiers and snowboarders to make the first turns of winter. The rest of the lower slopes in Tignes usually open at the end of November.
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2. Cervinia, Italy
Resort height: 2050m
Slopes: 1525 – 3480m
Open: 28th October 2017
Ski holidays from: 26th November 2017
Cervinia is one of the highest ski resorts in Italy and boasts the best snow record in Italy. With a linked ski area with Zermatt in Switzerland, Cervinia has access to Europe’s highest lifts which makes it perfect for early season skiing with high, snow-sure slopes.
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Iglu Ski in Cervinia in early December 2016
3. Banff, Canada
Resort height: 1660m (Sunshine Village)
Slopes:1646 – 2730m
Open: Mid November
Ski holidays from: 16th December 2016
The 3 resorts in Banff – Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise – are normally the first ski resorts in Canada to open; this is normally in the first few weeks of November. The tri-area averages over 30 feet of snow fall a year and Sunshine Village boasts Canada’s best snow. Delirium Dive in Sunshine village was named as one of the best off-piste destinations in the world confirming the excellent standard of snow in this corner of the globe. Whether you are staying in Banff or Lake Louise village skiers have access to all 3 mountains on the one lift pass with transfers between each resort included in the price.
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Iglu Ski in Banff
4. Ischgl, Austria
Resort height: 1400m
Slopes: 1400 – 2870m
Open: 23rd November 2017
Ski holidays from: 12th December 2017
Not only does Ischgl have great early season snow conditions but they also start the season in style with a big opening party. This season the resort will host a live concert from in front of a backdrop of the spectacular Silvretta Mountains.
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5. Val Thorens, France
Resort height: 2300m
Open: 18th November 2017
Ski holidays from: 3rd December 2017
As the highest ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens is legendary for its exceptional early and late season ski conditions. The resort sits at an altitude of 2300m with the slopes peaking at 3230m. The link to Meribel and the rest of the 3 Valleys opens later in December but skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of the 150km of pistes in the Val Thorens – Orelle area at the very start of the season.
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