Known as the motherland of France, the 10-mile valley features five ski areas and lift access to some of the most challenging steeps on earth. One cable car, Aiguille du Midi, rises 9,187 feet to the nose of Aiguille. Here you get access to Mont Blanc, Vallee Blanche and Couloir de Cosmiques. After an intense day of skiing, head back to the bustling town and drink a cup of hot vin chaud (hot, mulled wine).
St. Anton, Austria
St Anton features 200 miles of runs in near 440 miles of back-country terrain. For those without back country skills hire a guide from a local ski school. Another option is the neighboring valley, Lech, which offers various ski lifts.
The spectacular scenery of the surrounding alps is a must-explore on skis, and offers a stunning view at the various countryside restaurants and shops. With 71 lifts, they roam to 156 miles of trails on the 10,000 foot peaks. Off-piste and heli-skiing are available for those who are bold and daring. Bring loads of cash, as this is one of the most expensive resorts in the world.
The slopes, hahenkamm and Kitzbuhler Horn, are stellar and skiers have access to 105 miles of combined trails. Known for downhill skiing, Streif is considered one of the most difficult in the world. But the best aspect of Kitzbuhel is the 700-year old town. Medieval architecture, inexpensive lodging and ridiculous nightlife is what makes this one of the best in the EU.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Ski in high bowls all day – eat, drink and be merry at night. This stylish, chic town is surrounded with dramatic peaks and rock formations. Slopes are open to all abilities and welcomes snowboarders and skiers alike.
La Grave, France
This mecca, big-mountain pursuit is ideal for ski mountaineering. This is recommended for those with technical skills as the no-frills slopes do not have ski patrol. The 7,000 vertical slopes comprise of glaciers, cliffs and couloirs. Grand for pure wilderness, La Grave is home to a petite 500-person town.