From the fresh snowfall to the quiet slopes, January is a great time to head to the mountains. Here are our top reasons to start your year with a ski trip.
Good snow conditions
By January, most resorts should have a good amount of snow on the slopes. And it’s usually one of the coldest months of the winter, so the snow cannons can be used to top up the white stuff if nature doesn’t provide the goods.
January is generally one of the quietest months in ski resorts, so the slopes are less likely to be crowded and the lift queues should be shorter too. If you’re a beginner, you’ll have plenty of space on the piste to perfect your parallel turns. And experts can rack up the miles and ski first tracks in fresh powder.
And because fewer people are travelling, prices tend to be lower in January. Keep an eye out for great deals on things like flights and accommodation, lift passes or ski equipment.
Newer equipment to hire
The latest gear usually arrives in hire shops at the beginning of the winter. So if you go on holiday in January, you could be one of the first to try out some shiny new skis.
Hit new heights in the New Year
Whether your New Year’s resolution is to try something new, or you want something else to look forward to after Christmas, a ski trip is a great way to start the year on top of the world.
Where to ski in January
Eager for an early-season ski holiday? Here are some of our favourite resorts to visit in January.
Glitzy Kitz really comes to life in January when the Hahnenkamm, the world’s most famous ski race, is in town. Join the party atmosphere and watch the world’s best ski racers take on the Streif downhill course, reaching speeds of over 70mph. Kitzbühel isn’t just for the pros though – there are 230km of piste to explore, dotted with over 50 mountain restaurants so you’ll always have somewhere cosy to warm up at lunchtime.
Les Arcs, France
This resort is made up of four separate villages, and most of the ski area is over 2,000m so snow conditions are reliably good. Unlike most high-altitude resorts, which don’t usually have any trees, you can find plenty of tree-lined slopes above the hamlet of Peisey Villandry, at the base of the ski area – so if clouds roll in and the snow starts to fall, head here for some shelter and the best visibility.
Explore 270km of runs in the Skicircus – it’s Austria’s third-biggest ski area and has heaps of varied terrain. The lower temperatures in January can often mean runs are icy and harder to ski down. But Saalbach is known for being a sun trap and has lots of south-facing slopes where you can find softer snow. It also has one of the best lift networks in Austria, with fast, modern gondolas and covered chairlifts that have heated seats to keep the cold at bay.
Alpe d’Huez, France
Another high-altitude French resort, Alpe d’Huez is known as the ‘island in the sun’. It averages over 300 sunny days a year, so you’re bound to have some bluebird conditions in January. And the clear weather and good visibility make it a great pick for beginners and intermediates looking to build their confidence.
Soldeu, in the Grandvalira ski area, is home to high-end accommodation without the high-end price tag, so look out for some great deals in January. The snow record is excellent too – January 2017 hit a four-year high, with nearly a metre of fresh powder falling that month.
Want a piste of the action next January? Check out our latest deals and find the trip that’s right for you.