The ski itch is getting stronger by the day as we approach the winter months. Discover a few of our favourite European ski resorts that are great for early season skiing.

Early season getaways can be a great time to go skiing because the resorts aren’t incredibly busy before the festive period. Whether you can’t wait to get out on the slopes as soon as possible or want to ensure guaranteed skiing in December, these resorts are your best bet. 


Cervinia, Italy  

Opening date: 20th October
Resort altitude: 2050-3880m
Total pistes: 160km 
From Cervinia, you can access year-round skiing at the Theodul glacier in Zermatt. The Italian resort has had early snowfall for the last ten years, so it’s one of the more snow sure resorts at the beginning of the season. Cervinia is an ideal destination if you’re looking for cruisy wide open pistes and escaping high season crowds (and costs) of its Swiss neighbour. 
Watch out for: World Cup Snowboard Cross action is underway in resort from 21-22 December, exhilarating racing action in the lead up to Christmas. 

Like the look of Cervinia? Why not ski with our Ski Club Leaders in resort! 

Val Thorens, France

Opening date: 17th November 
Resort altitude: 1850-3220m 
Total pistes: 150Km
Thanks to its high attitude Val Thorens can open earlier than most French resorts. The Three Valleys will open completely on the 9th December but Val Thorens has enough runs to keep most skiers happy. The varied terrain is great for an early season adventure, and if you are lucky enough to find yourself in resort on a powder day the wide-open faces and big mountain terrain are a freerider’s paradise! 
Watch out for: On November 24th, over 60 ski brands are in resort for the La Grande Premier event, which is a great chance to test out the new kit for this season! 

Need a guide? Book an Instructor Led Guiding session on or off-piste this season in Val Thorens!


Val d’Isere, France 

Opening date: 24th November 
Resort altitude: 1850-3456m 
Total pistes: 300km 
Val d’Isere is one of the best resorts for reliable snow. Not only does it have a good early snow record it also has its own snow-making facility called the Snow Factor that produces 1,000 cubic metres of snow per hour. A connection to Tignes serves up almost bottomless piste miles and the Grande Motte Glacier ensures that skiing is always on the menu – whatever the conditions! 
Watch out for: In December the World Cup skiers are in town for the “Criterium de la Premiere Neige” so the resort will be already rocking with excitement. 

Hintertux, Austria

Opening date: Year Round
Resort altitude: 1500-3250m 
Total pistes: 60km 
Hintertux along with Zermatt is one of the only ski resorts in the world that is available to ski every day of the year. The snow reliability is second to none so it’s perfect for those raring to get on the slopes early. A lot of racers use the glacier to clock up some mileage before the full World Cup race season. 
Watch out for: On November 23rd, the first round of the Telemark World Cup starts. Take a look at the world’s best racers that use the old school Norwegian technique. 

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Opening date: 14th July  
Resort altitude: 1800-3600m
Total pistes: 100km 
Saas Fee has great early season skiing due to its location amongst the highest Swiss Alps and has a glacier at 3600m with 100km of slopes below. There’s always the chance of light dustings even in summer, so when winter comes round, there’s always lots of lifts turning. Saas Fee is very peaceful due to its car free village and picturesque views, perfect for families? Old People? SCGB members?. 
Watch out for: The Saas Fee Christmas market is one of the most beautiful around Europe, so the Swiss resort is worth a visit in December. 

If you are looking to ski in December why not look at Freshtracks holidays. To keep track of the latest snow conditions check out the Snow & Weather page.