There's nothing better than getting in your first day on skis - so why not get out as soon as possible? And here are our top recommendations for that snowsure, high altitude resort that is bound to come up with the goods before Christmas.

The UK in late November/early December can be somewhat cold, rainy and depressing. So why not head for the hills, take advantage of the cheapest prices of the winter and enjoy the first of this season’s snow? Whilst nowhere is completely guaranteed great snow, by choosing one of these top resorts, your chances of hitting the early-season jackpot are significantly increased:

Val d'Isère (France)

Opening date: 26th November (Tignes Glacier open from early Autumn)

Resort altitude: 1850-3456m

Total pistes: 300km

The fact that some of the very first races of the 2016/17 Alpine World Cup season are set to be held in Val d’Isère is testament to years of regular early season snowfall - thanks mostly to the resort’s height. In addition to Mother Nature, Val d’Isere is well-equipped with the Snow Factory - one of the biggest snow-making facilities in Europe - which can produce 1,000 cubic metres of snow per hour. Add to this the all but guaranteed skiing on the Grande Motte Glacier at Tignes, and Val d’Isere is one of the best for reliable and skiable snow.


Hintertux (Austria)

Opening date: Year Round

Resort altitude: 1500-3250m

Total pistes: 60km

The Hintertux Glacier is not only one of the largest ski areas available in the northern hemisphere during spring and summer, but it also is one of only two areas in the world (along with Zermatt) that aims to be open every day of the year. So pre-Christmas skiing is hardly considered early-season. With snow reliability the envy of all its European counterparts, this Austrian resort is perfect for those itching to be back on the slopes again.

Saas Fee (Switzerland)

Opening date: Open from late July

Resort altitude: 1800-3600m

Total pistes: 100km

Set amongst the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, the resort of Saas Fee is a safe bet for good snow conditions from the start of the season. With a glacier at 3,600m and 100km of slopes on offer, even with the lightest of dustings you’re bound to find something open, no matter how early you go. Snow-clad and quiet (it’s car-free), the ‘Pearl of the Alps’ offers the idyllic prospect of tranquility and hours of fantastic skiing in one of the prettiest resorts in Switzerland.


Cervinia (Italy)

Opening date: 29th October

Resort altitude: 2050-3880m

Total pistes: 160km

With access to the open-365-days-a-year Theodul glacier of Zermatt, and snow falling like clockwork at the beginning of November for the last ten years, Cervinia is a top choice for early season skiing. However; this resort will appeal more to beginners and those looking to cruise wide open slopes in the sun. So whilst the snow is reliable. So if you’re looking for a place to learn without the high-season crowds, Cervinia is the ideal destination.


Les 2 Alpes (France)

Opening dates: 22-30th October & 25th November onwards

Resort altitude: 1650m

Total pistes: 200km

Having earned its reputation as THE destination for summer snow, Les 2 Alpes is always one of the first resorts to open. Large, varied and cheap – this resort is ideal on a budget and simply want to live, eat, and breathe skiing. During peak season, this snow-sure resort can be busy, so that early season trip is the ideal time to go.

B Longo