Experience The Great Diversity Of Europe Winter Travel
Europe winter travel doesn’t have to be ordinary. You may be inclined to associate this idea in your mind with images of deep snow and ski resorts, but there is much more to Europe winter travel than that. Yes, it’s true that the more northerly regions of the European continent do experience bitterly cold winters, and the spectacular and breathtaking mountain ranges, from the Pyrenees of France, across through Switzerland to the alps above Italty and into Austria, contain some of the best skiing in the world … but in the southern coastal regions you will find mild temperatures and sunshine. Unfortunately the United Kingdom is more noted for its rain, than snow, during winter due to the winter temperatures being determined by the Gulf stream.
If you are interested in traveling to Europe in winter, step one would be to decide exactly what you want out of it. Europe winter travel offers the chance to soak up the fascinating history of the continent at a time of year when it isn’t so crowded, although the more popular tourist attractions will attract many tourists all year round. If you happen to live in the north American continent where, as the song goes, “winter in America is cold” Europe winter travel can also give you some welcome relief from it.
You may have traditionally journeyed south to California or Florida for the winter, but did you know you can find the same relief from the harsh north American winter and at the same time, experience something new and interesting if you look towards southern Europe instead?
Take the Canary Islands for example. They are officially part of Spain but geographically are closer to Africa than the European mainland and the Europeans themselves look to it as a popular retreat when wanting to escape the freezing winter. Mediterranean temperatures are mild and remain remarkably consistent throughout the winter, rarely falling below twenty degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, many people will also be going in the opposite direction because they like the snow for the skiing and other winter sports which the Alps are noted for. One of the great things about travelling Europe in winter is, that if you plan your trip well, you can see several countries at very short distance, and some great skiing as well.
Europe Winter Travel and European Transport Systems
Traveling throughout Europe is much less difficult than it once was, and they have designed the transport system to accommodate the severe winter conditions of continental Europe. Ironically, it is in Great Britain where the snow causes the greatest disruption. Because there is relatively little of it, the railway companies and the British government have not invested in the protection and snow clearance systems which other countries have had to do. British railways are regularly disrupted by mild snowfalls which would not even trouble a Swiss or Austrian railway.
If you are planning a trip to the Alps to view the spectacular scenery and perhaps participate in some winter sports, you should not find travel services to be a problem. Visitors from overseas can also but Euro rail passes which greatly simplify the problem of getting from one place to another. The language barrier will not be a problem in most places. In Switzerland, even the natives speak three different languages, so English is very widely spoken. Now that the logistics have been greatly simplified, there has never been a better time for Europe winter travel.
Top Ski Resorts in the Alps
If skiing is your thing, then here’s a list of some of the best places to stay in the European Alps. They include the best slopes, where to stay, where to eat, as well as some of the best ski deals.
1. Davos, Switzerland
Whether you’re just a beginner, or an advanced skier, Davos has it all. From family friendly resorts where you can take the kids and just have fun, to places like the Meierhofer Tälli and the Gruobenalp valleys, where serious skiers can make their way down to Wolfgang/Davos Lake. Take a look at this video, which may inspire you to experience the breathtaking Davos experience.
2. Chamonix-Mont-Blance, France
This resort contains some luxury living, should you choose to stay at the Les Granges d’en Haut. This superb five-star luxury spa hotel is ideally located in a quiet area at the foot of the fascinating Mont Blanc, offering both an oasis of tranquillity and uninterrupted panoramic views of the valley that will surely delight skiers and non-skiers alike. This magical scenery is only surpassed by the outstanding services and the gourmet cuisine served at Le Crystal and La Table des Granges; considered by many to be one of the finest in the region. The hotel also boasts an exclusive spa where guests can treat themselves to vinotherapy massages and treatments.
It is best to avoid the half-term holiday weeks when it can get really crowded both up in the mountains and in town. If you can’t afford luxury accommodation, then the best hotels in town offer great deals and up to a 25% discount for skiers booking a reservation for a minimum 3 nights stay before the season kicks off. Participating hotels are 4, 3 and 2 stars.
Here’s another video which demonstrates the majestic scenery and feel of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
3. Cortina d´Ampezzo, Italy
The Italian Alps afford some memorable experiences to enthusiastic skiiers. If luxury accommodation is your thing, then consider Christallo Hotel Spa and Golf. This historic five-star hotel is one of the finest resort retreats not only in the Dolomites region but Italy. Its location offers guest the chance to enjoy the natural beauty of Cortina and its surrounding mountains without interruption and with a high degree of intimacy and tranquillity.
It has three exceptional restaurants and a fabulous spa that is the home to the famous Transvital Swiss Beauty Centre and a modern FitWell Club that help guest recover from skiing sessions, shopping sprees or even golf as during the summer the hotel boasts its own private course!
You can purchase a Domomiti Super Ski pass, which gives access to more than 50 resorts in the Dolomites. If you’re traveling with children, they offer a free ski pass for minors, upon provision of proof of age – so take a copy of their birth certificates with you.
Here’s a another video which introduces you to Cortina d´Ampezzo.