From Monaco to the mountains: a guide to the best ski resorts these school holidays

monaco ski

With snow forecast to fall just in time for the school winter holidays, now is the time to book that last minute trip away for you and your family. But where to go?  

From the classics of Courchevel, Chamonix, Val d’Isère, Val Thorens, Méribel and Megève – and many more in-between – in the French Alps to the timeless St. Moritz, Verbier and Gstaad of Switzerland, not forgetting the glorious Cortina d’Ampezzo or Val Gardena in the Dolomites of Italy, luxury resorts are aplenty in this part of Europe and many are only an hour away from Monaco as the helicopter flies. 

The lively town centre of Courchevel. Photo source: Courchevel, Facebook

Among these iconic winter sports destinations, each has its own distinct appeal and character.  

For a family-friendly atmosphere and activities catering to all age groups, places like Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Cervinia, Morzine and even Davos, which is most well-known for hosting the World Economic Forum, are all good contenders alongside the old favourites. 

If you have older children or are looking to get away to somewhere with a party vibe with friends, look no further than Val d’Isère, a place known among the jet-set for its top-quality nightlife, the live music hotspot of Alpe d’Huez or even Verbier, which was voted as the best ski resort in the world by the World Ski Awards a few years ago.  

And if it’s a challenge that you’re after, Avoriaz, Chamonix, Andermatt, Zermatt and Verbier are among the more adventurous destinations. For an off-piste experience, La Grave, which is about five hours by road from Monaco, is where it’s at.  

La Grave: the pinnacle of black runs and off-piste skiing. Photo source: La Grave, Facebook

For the ultimate in luxury, it has to be Courchevel. This legendary ski haven is already home to numerous top-end hotels and private chalets, such as the award-winning Le K2 Palace, but a new name, a Monaco name, is also in town. At the end of last year, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer announced that it had finalised a deal to buy and renovate the Palace des Neiges.  

See more: SBM marks new era in business, officially purchases luxury ‘Palace des Neiges’ in Courchevel

There’s lots going on more locally to Monaco too. The resorts of Auron, Isola 2000 and Valberg are less than a two-hour drive door-to-door from the Principality, making them a great option for a weekend away.  

Limone Piemonte’s Riserva Bianca resort, found just over the border in Italy, is a little further due to ongoing works on the tunnel that connects the authentic Piedmont village with Tende in France, but it is well worth a visit. One of its real strengths is the value for money. The food is generous, the fine wines are inexpensive and the welcome is top-notch. 

Back in France, the Val d’Allos is just under two and a half hours from Monaco, but, again, it is worthy of the journey. The ski area, which offers access to La Foux d’Allos, Seignus and Pra Loup, is certainly one of the biggest and most varied in the region, and is very popular with French families thanks to its relaxed and inviting ambience.  

The family friendly resort of Val d’Allos is two and a half hours in the car from Monaco. Photo by Monaco Life

The current forecast for the southern Alps suggests snow will begin falling next weekend, while the larger resorts to the north will likely experience snowfall on and off throughout the week.  

For the latest weather predictions in the mountains, click here.

Check out our Instagram reel featuring Val d’Allos below:


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Main photo by Monaco Life


*Originally published on 16th February 2024