When it comes to skiing, ski in, ski out is the ultimate luxury. No traipsing anywhere in your ski boots. No awkwardly carrying your skis on your shoulder or realising you’ve forgotten your gloves 5 minutes into the walk. Ski in, ski out means you can step out of the door and away you go. Ski heaven.
Whilst you can find slopeside hotels, chalets or apartments in most resorts, they are often on the mountain or on the very edge of town making trips to restaurants and bars a bit of a trek. Not a bad compromise for not having to carry your skis anywhere. Not ideal either.
The following 5 resorts are ski in, ski out themselves. The whole resort is on the slopes meaning you can be in the centre of town and on the slopes. A win-win and the dream when it comes to hassle-free ski holidays. Plus these resorts tend to be high up in the ski area meaning no dodgy runs back to resort at the end of the day.
Arc 1950 – Les Arcs, France
Ski area – 425km
Les Arcs is a fantastic ski area with 425km of groomed pistes and the resort itself is split between 4 villages. Arc 1950 is the prettiest of these and just so happens to be completely ski in, ski out. There’s a run all the way through the centre of the resort so every building is on the pistes.
The resort was built by the same architects that created Whistler (in Canada). The buildings are low rise and pastel-coloured with a great atmosphere straight off the slopes as well as the pick of our favourite restaurants. There’s also a pedestrian gondola to take you up to Arc 2000 that runs into the night (there’s a handy ice rink up there as well).
Take a look at the video below to see just how ski in, ski out the resort is. This is me snowboarding through the resort filming on my phone:
Ski area – 650km
High up in the Portes du Soleil ski area Avoriaz is completely car-free and compact. The local mode of transport is actually horse and cart. From any accommodation, you’re straight on the slopes with pistes and snow-covered walkways running throughout the town.
The town is purpose-built, but the angular design of the buildings is striking and makes for some great pictures from afar. The wood cladding has aged well. It’s an attractive resort in my eyes. Apres is decent as you would expect of a resort attracting numerous international festivals such as Snowboxx and Rock the Pistes. Plus with over 25 restaurants you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food.
Val Thorens, France
Ski area – 600km
The highest ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens has some serious snow credentials. Part of the largest linked ski area in the world, you’ll never be short of skiing here. You can ski right through the town and being in a bowl you can catch lifts up or ski down from your accommodation.
Glacial slopes, incredible off-piste, there’s a zipline that takes you back into town and the magic carpets in the beginner zone are free (no lift pass necessary).
Plus the apres ski and nightlife is second to none. There’s the highest open-air club in Europe in the cabaret-style apres ski bar Folie Douce. And that’s just the beginning.
Ski area – 265km
In the Grand Massif ski area, Flaine is arguably the family-friendly pick of all the resorts on this list. It’s a purpose-built resort surrounded by tree-lined runs good snow reliability.
Founded in 1969 the core of the village was built when concrete was fashionable so it isn’t the easiest on the eye. But, if you can look past that then you’re in for a treat. The ski in, ski out nature of the accommodation makes up for the aesthetics and you’ll be looking at the views not the buildings anyway.
Split between two main villages with a good selection of bars and restaurants. The ski area is huge, varied and shared with 4 other resorts each with a distinctive character. Plus being only 90 minutes from Geneva, the transfer is a sinch as well.
Ski area – 600km
An unsung hero of the three valleys. Meribel-Mottaret has ski in, ski out accommodation, a huge ski area, decent ski schools, it’s relatively quiet and relatively speaking is less expensive than it’s better-known neighbours.
If you’re looking for the vibrant apres scene of Meribel, you can party for as long as you like down in town as there are buses that run every 30 minutes back up to Mottaret until midnight. Plus there’s plenty of sun-soaked, slopeside bars to catch sundowners in. And Caffe del Mott often has live DJs.
So there you have our favourite ski in, ski out resorts in Europe. If you’re looking for ski in, ski out accommodation, take a look at our collection here.