All ski resorts offer something unique. Here at Oxford Ski Company we’re passionate about showcasing those hidden, off the beaten track, small ski resorts that are a little less well known. Think untouched powder, half-filled cable cars and secluded mountain restaurants. Choose from boutique hotels in traditional towns or cosy chalets in quiet villages. With social distancing hugely important this year, we put the spotlight on our pick of small ski resorts that have access to some of the largest ski areas in Europe.
At 2100m above sea level, this high-altitude resort is positioned in the Rhone-Alpes region of south-eastern France and offers some of the best snow conditions in the country. Made up of five villages, all with their own individual charm and stunning scenery, Tignes is a small ski resort which is popular with all ages and abilities. There are a mixture of luxury chalets which are the perfect size for families, and the four excellent nursery slopes in resort will be a hit with beginners and children alike. Nearby Val d’Isere is within easy reach, allowing Tignes to enjoy a fantastic location with one of the longest winter seasons in the Alps. The Apres-Ski is excellent too, you can take our word for it.
Located in the Dolomites in northern Italy, San Cassiano makes the perfect base for an alternative skiing holiday. Its diverse natural terrain and breath-taking mountains offer some of the best scenery in the country, so it’s not hard to see why the Dolomites is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort gives access to the Selaronda ski area and the wider Dolomiti Super Ski, offering huge areas of snow despite being a small ski resort. Food and hospitality is top notch in this charming Italian town, with three Michelin-starred restaurants at the heart of the resort, and San Cassiano’s luxury boutique hotels are the perfect place to unwind after a busy day’s skiing.
Perhaps the most exclusive and luxurious small ski resort in Austria, Lech is located at one end of the famous Arlberg ski area and is linked with Zurs and St Anton. Made up of a unique blend of high-end chalets, hotels and apartments, many properties in Lech are ski in ski out. Lech’s bright, sunlit slopes are just 1450m above sea level, but what the resort lacks in height it certainly makes up for in charm and exclusivity. Frequented often by the Austrian royal family, Lech is a resort that stands out from some of its other Austrian counterparts, and is a great choice for a lesser known luxury skiing holiday.
Positioned below Val Thorens at the same height as Meribel, St Martin de Belleville is often referred to as the ‘hidden jewel’ of the Alps. Enjoying a popular location in the Three Valleys, this traditional French village is bigger than it looks and is home to cosy Alpine chalets with panoramic mountain views. There are over 600km of pistes to ski from, many of which are suitable for beginners and advanced skiers, and an array of café’s, bars and restaurants are ready to welcome you off the slopes. St Martin is picturesque and quiet, with excellent mountain views, striking architecture and relatively car-free streets which are a world away from the hustle and bustle of some of Europe’s larger ski resorts.