Heading away on a ski trip together with your loved one is guaranteed to be romantic. Discover snow-covered, enchanted kingdoms and let the open fires and candlelit dinners work their magic. Here are our top five European destinations to fall in love with.
Escapism in Geilo
Skiing in Norway is more relaxed than much of Europe. Geilo has 35km of generally wide, easy slopes, making it a good choice if you’re learning together. For a gentler pace, it’s also a great place to try cross-country skiing, with 550km of scenic tracks. What could be more romantic than gliding peacefully through pine trees, hidden valleys and mountain plateaus?
Cosy up together on a horse-drawn sleigh. Or try a husky sledding experience including a hearty lunch of reindeer stew and waffles with speciality brown cheese. Snowmobiling in Dagali is one for adventurous couples: race one another or take a more sedate safari and spot elk, deer and eagles.
Dr Holm’s Hotel offers luxury, a central location and a spa. Choose one of the original rooms for their romantic, traditional décor. Head for the heated terrace to watch the sunset over the Scandinavian peaks. In the town centre, Hallingstuene wine cellar features a wood-clad interior and atmospheric lighting. Toast your loved one with a choice of over 900 wines. The restaurant above specialises in local game dishes such as grouse, moose and venison.
Refined luxury in Megève
Megève has been one of France’s most stylish resorts since its glamorous inception in the 1920s. It’s just under an hour from Geneva and comprises 300km of pistes. The charming, part medieval old town is car-free, perfect for a romantic stroll. Take a sleigh ride or go skating hand-in-hand on the open-air ice rink.
Les Fermes de Marie is an exquisite, five-star hotel made up of cosy chalet-style buildings with open fires, wooden interiors and hunting lodge decor. The world-renowned spa has indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and saunas and traditional Japanese Ofuro. Treat your partner to dinner at the hotel’s La Salle à Manger, serving Seine Bay Scallops with a fine truffle purée and Brittany turbot studded with truffles, artichokes and anchovies.
Glamorous modernity in Zermatt
Zermatt has all the modern efficiency, combined with traditional charm, that’s at the heart of the Swiss experience. The skiing is sublime, with the highest lift-served terrain in Europe at the top of the Klein Matterhorn glacier. It’s also home to some of the best mountain restaurants in the Alps. Take the funicular to Sunnegga for incredible views of the Matterhorn (a great setting if you’re thinking about proposing). Here, you can also sample local cuisine such as sausages, rösti and strudel, while basking in the sunshine.
Mont Cervin Palace has exquisite suites, outdoor and indoor pools and a luxurious spa. Hotel Cervo is also a modern delight and can cater for weddings. The hotel glows cosily between the trees in the evenings and each chalet has its own private hot tub.
Cosy tradition in Alpbach
Experience all the gemütlichkeit Austria has to offer in the charming Tyrolean resort of Alpbach. Just 45 minutes from Innsbruck, its relaxed ambience makes it ideal for couples. There’s plenty to do off the slopes. Share the unforgettable experience of paragliding, or hold on tight for an adrenaline-fuelled toboggan run. Have an afternoon to yourselves by following one of the scenic walking tracks, passing forests and waterfalls.
At Hotel Romantik Boglerhof you’ll be treated like royalty, with welcome cocktails, a romantic five-course gala dinner, complimentary wine tasting, a torch-lit walk and fondue evening. For a traditional Austrian gastronomic experience, visit Gipfö Hit, serving rustic classics like Knödel (spinach dumplings) and Käsespätzle (cheesey noodles).
Glamour and style in Cortina
Italy is synonymous with romance and is home to some fabulous skiing. Cortina is the queen of its stylish resorts, with nearly 1000km of downhill skiing. The fashionable main street, Corso Italia, is packed with designer boutiques and glamorous shoppers.
To really appreciate the scenery, try the Capanna Tondi mountain restaurant which sits near the top station of the Vitelli chairlift. It serves hearty Italian food in cosy dining rooms with splendid views. Take in the splendid Dolomites and get up close to nature by trying snowshoeing or tobogganing.
Spend cosy nights at Hotel Miramonti Majestic, with its elegant dining room and beautiful canopy-covered beds. The piano bar is the perfect spot for afternoon tea or pre-dinner cocktails. After you’ve sampled the spa, hot tub and swimming pool, treat yourselves to a four-course dinner for two including antipasti, dessert and a cheese buffet.
Craig Burton is Managing Director of Ski Solutions.