It is getting a touch frosty out there, but we all know that we can’t rely on the British weather to deliver us a white Christmas. So the best way to be sure of snow is to take one of these Christmas ski holidays – or perhaps fit one in just before the big day.

December is a great time of year to visit the mountains. Not only is there snow, but there are also Christmas markets, spiced vin chaud and all that warm and fuzzy festive spirit to revel in. Here are our top five places where you can make skiing your early Christmas present to yourself and/or the family.

Christmas markets and skiing in the Tirol, Austria

Hintertux, Austria - Christmas ski holidays With its picturesque villages and mountains blanketed in snow, Austria’s Tirol is straight out of a scene from a Christmas card. For a day off from skiing head to the nearby city of Innsbruck and browse its traditional Christmas markets.

Ischgl is great for December skiing and this party town usually has plenty going on earlier in the season too. Opening in November every year Lech is also a good bet, as is Sölden with its double helping of glaciers. And of course there’s the Hintertux.

Austria does atmospheric Christmas ski holidays very well. Sip mulled wine under the twinkly lights and forget all about shopping centres and drizzle.

Getting there:

There are loads of operators offering Christmas ski holidays to Austria – Inghams, Crystal and Ski Total as well as Iglu and Ski Solutions all have good deals.

You could stay at the 4-star Hotel Montanara in Ischgl and enjoy a three night stay with three days skiing from £558 with Skiweekends.com. They also offer ‘City and Ski’ breaks where you take accomodation in Innsbruck and then travel easily to all of the surrounding ski areas (they share a lift pass).

 

Food, wine, skiing… it has to be France

Val Disere Ski resort - Christmas ski resort If you’re short on time and want to make a quick dash across the channel for some pre-Christmas skiing, then France has its fair share of snow-sure December ski resorts (especially this year). Tignes and Val d’Isere are both good and high and open in late November. With Tignes offering Glacier skiing on the Grande Motte.

Val Thorens is another safe bet, being the highest resort in the Three Valleys. All that rich French food and wine will get you in training for festive feasting too. And you can stock up on some good vintages to enjoy over Christmas.

Getting there 

All the major operators go to these French ski resorts and for pre-season and Christmas ski holidays there are some great deals to be had.

Whether you would like a luxurious stay with Butler & Lloyd, a fully chaperoned family experience with Ski Famille or a short break with Ski Weekends. Check our deals page for the latest offers.

 

The Northern Lights and Colorado 

Now here’s an interesting idea – Combine a Christmas ski holiday to Colorado with a city break in Reykjavik. Iceland’s capital has loads going on in December, with concerts, markets, crafts and events all around the city. This is a very good year for seeing the Northern Lights too.

Over in Colorado, and a decent three hour transfer from Denver airport, is Copper Mountain. This is one of Colorado’s most modern and affordable resorts, with an excellent December snow record and superb terrain for all levels.

Getting there
Iceland Air have great prices for flights to the states with free stopovers in Reykjavik when you fly out of the UK.

 

Skiing in the official residence of Santa Claus

Lapland - Christmas ski holidays For a proper fairytale Christmas ski trip with the kids, you can’t get much better than Lapland. It’s the home of Father Christmas after all.

As well as lashings of snow, Lapland offers husky dog sled rides, reindeer races and snow-mobile rides through its pristine Arctic wilderness. Winter is the best time to spot the aurora borealis too.

Getting there

Crystal and Ski Lapland both operate special Christmas ski holidays to Lapland. And here’s a nice little offer from Ingham’s – £599 per person, including flights from Manchester.

 

Ski and shop in Canada and USA

Steamboat-Winter-carnival.jpgCombine a shopping trip with skiing in the USA or Canada. Hit the wintery streets and malls of New York, Montreal or Vancouver, check out their extravagant Christmas lights and shop away.

Some of the best snow-sure pre-Christmas ski trips are to be had in the resorts of North America. Try Steamboat in Colorado; Whistler (higher up the mountain); Lake Louise, Banff or Fernie in Canada.

Getting there
Flexiski have some good offers for Christmas ski holidays to Canada. Take a look at their site for the latest or give them a call for last minute Christmas ski holidays.