For many people, spectacular scenery and peppermint fresh air are the ideal ingredients for romance in the mountains and lounging around in the sun on a beach holiday just doesn’t cut it. Enjoying a ski break with a loved one is a great way to spend quality time together; snuggling in the snow, sharing a hot mulled wine together or holding hands as the chairlift carries you gracefully over the mountains.
Considering where to whisk away your loved one is something to be carefully planned to ensure that the trip is extra special, and old mountain towns such as Morzine, Chamonix, Champoluc, St Anton and Verbier are far more suitable than purpose-built resorts like Les Arcs, Avoriaz or Tignes. Strolling around the resort exploring the pretty town center and dipping into butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and other artisanal shops along the way makes for time well spent together off the pistes.
In Italy one highlight is the resort of Courmayeur, a beautiful old mountain village with sunny aspect sitting near the iconic Mont Blanc. Car-free, stylish and full of character, Courmayeur offers cobbled streets, a beautiful town plaza complete with traditional gelateria, spectacular views and wonderful restaurants to choose from, such as Chalet Proment. The ski area is limited in size but is suitably varied, and the lift pass includes days out in the nearby resorts of Verbier and Chamonix.
Selva is another Italian ski resort of note for a romantic ski holiday. It sits in the Dolomites mountain range and the views are just jaw-dropping. Superb local slopes coupled with amazing forested tree-runs make the terrain a joy to explore, and there are lots of charming mountain huts dotted around for relaxing lunches on the snow. Down in town, visitors can expect lots of local Tirolean charm and a good range of amenities to enjoy. A romantic highlight offered by Selva is the night-skiing on the Alpe di Siusi which takes place three times a week. Sleigh rides, snow-shoeing and ice skating are also ideal activities for couples looking to spend quality time together.
In France, Chatel sits in the Portes du Soleil ski area with a transfer time from Geneva of only 1 hour. Much like its attractive and charming neighbour Morzine, Chatel is a traditional mountain town with a wonderful mix of beginner and intermediate slopes to enjoy and easy access into the rest of the vast ski area. The resort itself is an old farming community; quiet, rustic and charming. Many of the farms are still fully operational in the summer months and lend the place a wonderful, old-time character. There’s a good selection of traditional restaurants there, with lovely Savoyard fare and candlelit corners perfect for a romantic meal for two.
For a spot of pampering, the mountain town of Brides les Bains sits below Courchevel and Meribel in the Three Valleys and is widely known as a center for relaxing thermal springs. Although the gondola lift from here into Meribel takes a long time, driving up is a good option and once there, you have a spectacular skiable terrain to explore. Brides les Bains is relaxed, old fashioned and charming, perfect for a romantic break for two.
Austria is better known for lively après ski than relaxing romance, but there are lots of more low-key resorts well worth considering for a romantic ski holiday. Alpbach has to take the crown as Austria’s prettiest ski resort, and for couples on a romantic ski break it’s superb. Peaceful and relaxed, the town itself is dominated by the old church with chalets dotted around it and with tree-lined slopes and views up to the Stubaier and Hintertux glaciers, the scenery above Alpbach is breathtaking. Couples can enjoy the area’s beautiful walking routes, with over 70kms of track to explore together. There’s even a guided night walk to enjoy together! Visiting Innsbruck and Salzburg is perfectly do-able too. These beautiful cities make for superb daytrips, and could even be the perfect place to get down on one knee!
Kitzbuhel is another wonderful Austrian resort, perfect for couples looking for somewhere truly special. The medieval town center is car-free and the nightlife is buzzing, and visitors can enjoy plenty of non-ski activities and lovely restaurants on and off the mountain. A beautiful village to explore, couples can stroll through town hand in hand perusing the wonderful array of shops and cafes – a lovely way to while away an afternoon in each other’s company.
Like many resorts on this list, the Swiss resort of Zermatt began life as a farming community and it still retains a lot of its traditional charm, but with an added modern edge. Swanky shops and cafes now dot the largely traffic-free center, and it’s a very pretty town to explore on foot. Zermatt offers a lively and varied nightlife for those that want it, and up on the slopes you’ll find some of the best mountain restaurants of anywhere in the Alps (may we recommend Restaurant Heimberg?) The resort is dominated by the imposing Matterhorn peak and staying to the east of town center gives spectacular views. For more sightseeing opportunities you can take a cable car trip up the Klein Matterhorn to take in the breathtaking mountain scenery together from up high. The valley vista from the top of the cable car is truly awe inspiring, and it’s the perfect place for a high altitude kiss! An afternoon’s piste-side lunch with a loved one or snuggling down for a picnic in the snow together are wonderful ways of making the most of your time together in this iconic resort.
Whomever you choose to whisk away and whenever you choose to go these beautiful locations are guaranteed to take their breath away, providing a romantic experience previously reserved for cinema screens and almost impossible dreams.
Anna Campbell is a travel writer based in London with several years of experience in the field. As a seasoned traveler herself, Anna is able to share her experience via blogs published across the web to provide helpful tips to those looking to book their next break.