Ski resorts are constantly looking for ways to make your holiday even better – expanding their slopes, building faster lifts and opening new places to eat, drink and party. Check out our round-up of the best additions for Winter 18/19.
Mont Valaisan – La Rosière, France
As if La Rosière wasn’t tempting enough, with its link across the border to La Thuile in Italy, it’s now opening up a whole new area. Mont Valaisan adds five pistes, two chairlifts and a freeskiing zone. And it’ll boost the highest point in the Espace San Bernardo ski area from 2,642m to 2,800m – snow-sure slopes, here we come.
Ordino Arcalis – Canillo, Pas de la Casa and Soldeu, Andorra
Grandvalira is getting even grander this winter. The Ordino Arcalis sector is joining the ski area, adding 30km of slopes to the already impressive 210km shared by Canillo, Pas de la Casa and Soldeu. That means 16 new lifts, an extra family area and 28 fresh runs to explore – including two black runs, 10 reds and the longest green in the Pyrenees.
Valkids – Val d’Isère, France
What’s more fun for families than a ski resort? A kid-sized ski resort of course. Val d’Isère’s Valkids area is designed to be a miniature mountain for little ones aged four to 10. They can go behind the scenes to ‘drive’ a cable car and learn about snowmaking and mountain rescue, before whizzing down fun slopes. And while the kids are at work, parents can sit back and relax in deck chairs.
Village-2-Valley gondola – Ruka, Finland
Forget bus journeys round the mountain – now there’s a direct lift link from Ruka Village to the opposite side of the fell. And it’s just in time for the opening of the new Ruka Valley base station there. The Village-2-Valley gondola will whisk you from the foot of the village slopes to the peak mid-station, and then down the other side. Spend the 6-minute ride gaping at incredible views of the Finnish wilderness.
Martinovi Baraki Express chairlift – Borovets, Bulgaria
The Hotel Rila is a popular pick in Borovets, with a chairlift right out front to get you straight to the slopes. And this year, you can be up there even quicker. The old lift’s been swapped for a high-speed 6-seater that can fly three times as many people up the mountain at double the speed. At the top, take your pick from blue, red and black runs. And it’s open for night skiing too.
Gondola and chairlifts – Whistler, Canada
Defending its status as one of the best resorts in the world, Whistler has funnelled $66 million into new lifts this year. Gone are the old Wizard and Solar chairlifts, replaced with a gondola that links the Upper Village with the famous Peak 2 Peak gondola. And there’ll be no waiting around – able to carry 4,000 people per hour, it’s got the highest capacity in North America. Other upgrades include the Emerald Express chairlift and the Catskinner chairlift, both of which are now quicker and have more seats.
Food & drink
La Folie Douce – Avoriaz, France
If you’re a keen skier, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of La Folie Douce. An après institution in the French Alps, it’s set to open its sixth venue on the slopes of Avoriaz. Don’t miss the wild après sessions every afternoon – think heart-pounding music, dancing on tables and sun terraces with amazing views. And to keep you going, grab a bite to eat at La Petit Cuisine or La Fruitière.
Things to do
Alpine coaster – Alpe d’Huez, France
There’s more than one way to get down the mountain in Alpe d’Huez. Ditch the skis and grab a mate for a ride down the alpine coaster. While your buddy steers, you can don the virtual reality goggles. You’ll spin and jump through alpine pastures, over waterfalls and down toboggan runs as you race along the 1km track. Now that’s an adrenaline rush.
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