Top European destinations for school skiing
With the start of the ski season fast approaching, many schools will be making final preparations for the eagerly-anticipated ski trip - the highlight of the school calendar for many excited students! Most of these groups will be heading across the channel to destinations in Europe, with many resorts already enjoying widespread snowfalls in recent weeks - bring on the snow!
But with so many fantastic European ski resorts to choose from, how do you make the right choice for your school ski group?
Zell am See in Austria was recently voted "Best Ski Resort" at the School Travel Awards 2016 and it's easy to see why; PGL school groups love everything from the gentle tree-lined pistes for beginners to the challenging World Cup Downhill pistes for the more advanced skiers. The picturesque, traffic-free town centre is also a lovely place to explore in the evenings.
Here are four more tried-and-tested, school-friendly ski resorts - popular with PGL groups - that you may like to consider:
Best resort for Large Ski Area - Salzburger Sportwelt, Austria
A great value option for school groups and there is so much space for your skiers to enjoy here, with over 350km of pistes! This huge ski area combines the valleys of Flachau, Wagrain and St Johann im Pongau to offer fantastic skiing for all abilities - ideal if you are bringing a large group with mixed competence levels.
There are plenty of blue and red runs for beginners and intermediates, with the more advanced skiers able to enjoy the challenging blacks higher up the mountain.
We have a number of great accommodation options within walking distance of the 3 main lifts in Wagrain - these also come with free entry to Wasserwelt for the 2017 season - a fantastic option for the evenings!
Best resort for Guaranteed Snow - Passo Tonale, Italy
For groups travelling early or late season when snowfall is a little unpredictable, it's best to stick to the higher, glacier resorts. Passo Tonale is a beautiful, snowsure destination for school groups and with lifts up to 3069m, it's one of Italy's highest resorts.
The well groomed slopes offer good progression for beginners and intermediates, and for the more advanced, the challenging 4.5km black run of Il Paradiso is an experience not to be missed!
There's plenty to do in Tonale with a number of shops and restaurants - there's also an outdoor ice rink for some evening fun. Find out more about Passo Tonale.
Best resort for Local Evening Entertainment - Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
For school ski groups looking for plenty to do in the evenings, Saalbach-Hinterglemm is a great value ski resort, offering a wide variety of evening entertainment options including llama trekking, Austrian bowling, indoor and outdoor ice skating, ice hockey matches and swimming / spa venues.
There is good skiing here for all abilities. An efficient lift system covers both sides of the valley and the addition of the Tirol S gondola last year now offers access to Fieberbrunn, linking the Salzburg and Tirol regions to create a large ski area with over 270km of pistes.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is one of PGL's most popular resorts for school ski groups and we have a wide range of accommodation options to choose from.
Best resort for Beginners and Intermediates - Dachstein West, Austria.
As one of Austria's lesser-known ski resorts, the wide slopes of Dachstein West are less crowded, with modern lift systems and mostly intermediate runs. There are easy slopes at the practice lifts in the valley and up in the ski resort itself which are ideal for beginners. Those who progress quickly, can move on to the many beautiful tree-lined intermediate slopes here.
The area combines the four resorts of Gosau, Russbach, Zweiselalm and Annaberg - an extensive ski area in a UNESCO Natural Heritage site - a stunning landscape which is sure to inspire your students!
Find out more about Dachstein West.
For an overview of all PGL ski resorts, please visit PGL Ski & Snowboard.
By PGL Travel.