We’ve got parks built by the world’s best shapers, seriously sick backcountry to explore and, of course, insanely good après-ski.
Here’s our rundown of the very best snowboarding resorts in Europe.
Avoriaz is easily one of the best snowboarding resorts in France, if not Europe.
Since the early days, snowboarding has flourished here – it was one of the first resorts to have a snowboarders-only section with its own park and pipe.
With three major parks, a super-pipe and acres of insane off-piste terrain to explore – and it’s only two hours from Geneva airport, you can see why this French resort is so popular with Brits.
It’s also connected to the vast Portes du Soleil area, including 13 resorts and more than 650km of marked pistes, plus the après scene down in neighbouring Morzine is off the hook.
Just watch out for the long lift queues during holiday weeks.
If you are looking for super steep gnarly runs and extreme off-piste terrain, then Verbier is the place to go. There’s a reason they hold the final event of the Freeride World Tour here every year.
Just a short traverse from the top of the lifts and you’ll find yourself in a open powder field or a super steep chute. The only downside is it’s not cheap – this is Switzerland after all.
If you are heading here for the first time, we would definitely recommend hiring a guide to show you the best hidden gems in the backcountry.
Chamonix is one resort every snowboarder must visit before they die. It’s the epicentre of mountaineering in Europe. Snowboarders here are clad in ropes, carabiners and ice axes rather than baggy hoodies and skinny pants.
Beginners will find this resort intimidating, to say the least. It’s a steep 1,000m+ ascent from the valley floor up to the snowboarding area with panoramic views across Mont Blanc and the town below.
For freeride terrain, there is no better place than Chamonix – the Couloir de Cosmiques off the top of the Aiguille du Midi is often said to be the best lift-served run in world. Warning though, you have to abseil in, so you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for.
The Grand Montets has some awesome terrain to explore, as does the top of the La Tour and Flegere.
Mayrhofen has long been one of the best snowboarding resort for Brits. It has 133km of pistes and is just around the corner from glacier-riding spot Hintertux. However, the reason most snowboarders come here is for the park.
The Vans Penken Park is known throughout Europe as being one of the best all-round snowboarding parks. British pros including Jamie Nicholls and Katie Ormerod head here each year to train and practicing hucking off the biggest kickers.
It’s also home to arguably snowboarding’s most famous festival, Snowbombing. Think boozing all night and riding off the hangover in the sunshine the next day.
SAAS FEE, SWITZERLAND
Saas Fee is a seriously beautiful resort that’s been welcoming snowboarders since the early days of shredding.
It’s on a glacier so you can keep shredding here in the summer – they have an awesome park up there with three half pipes, a boardercross courses and plenty of hits – plus a separate park lower down in the winter.
There’s some rad off-piste to explore but be wary of crevasses. When it’s a powder day, you can still get fresh tracks well into the afternoon. Just watch out for high winds – the resort shuts down completely when a storm blows through.
ST. ANTON, AUSTRIA
St. Anton is known for two things – being expensive and for its awesome off-piste terrain.
Freeriders will be in heaven here at one of the best snowboarding resorts in Austria. There are steep drops, epic trees runs and deep powder to be found all over the mountain.You’ll be slashing freshies for days here.
For those who like to party hard, the après scene here is off the scale. Think oompah bands, lederhosen and many, many steins of beer. Just watch out for the posh British types lingering around the bars, it’s a favourite with that crew.
Set high at 2,100m in the Espace Killy, Tignes and neighbouring Val d’Isere has long been a favourite with snowboarders. Brits love it – around a quarter of its visitors each winter are from the UK.
It’s height means it’s very snowsure – plus there’s a glacier for all year-round shredding, making it one of the best snowboarding resorts in France.
There is so much off-piste to explore – from the hardcore Chardonet bowl to the gentle Toviere area – plus a decent park for freestylers. Oh yeah, and the après isn’t bad either.
Not heard of Ischgl? .
It’s part of the ginormous Silvretta area which has 215km of piste on its own – plus you have the resorts of See, Kappl and Gaültur all within 20 minutes drive and included on your lift pass.
There’s a great terrain park – possibly the longest in the Alps – with a beginner area, public park and king-size park for wannabe pros. Hey, it’s not cheap but guaranteed you’ll have a rad time.
Laax has long been a Swiss snowboarding mecca. Together with neighbouring Flims, it makes up one of the best snowboarding resorts in Europe.
Everything from the Burton European Open to the BRITS is held here. Across the four parks, there are over 90 obstacles, a pro-kicker line and a world-class super pipe which, at 200m, is the longest in the world.
There is some great freeride terrain but you’d better be on first lifts to get it – this powder gets tracked out quickly.
Saalbach is another great resort for park rats. They have no less than three parks – the largest is the Nightpark – with an easy, medium and pro line plus a plethora of wallrides, boxes and rails to get your teeth into (hopefully not literally).
You can even ride this park at night – although you’ve got to have some balls to take on those icy kickers at night!
Aside from the park, there’s 270km of pistes and 70 lifts to take you all over the region – plus plenty of off-piste available from the top of the lifts.
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