Hidden European Ski Resorts

With the reputation, terrain, scenery, and ski legacy to pull the big crowds, it's not surprising that the best European resorts can be like an EU summit on steroids as schussers bold and beginner clamor for room to express themselves. To help solve this dilemma of the much-maligned crowded Continental ski experience, then, we give you three off-the-beaten-piste options to help you escape and discover a slice of real Europe.
Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites  (courtesy, Alta Badia Tourist Board)

Getting to Know Alta Badia
In Italy's upper Badia Valley, part of the dramatic Italian Dolomites, lies a skiers' paradise. The villages of La Villa, San Cassiano, and Corvara are linked by a vast network of trails for every level of skier. The exhilarating descent will take you from a breathtaking vista to the Scotoni rifugio, where you can break for snacks or continue on to a steep section along a canyon, followed by a smooth slide to the cafés and hotels of San Cassiano.

Welcome Back to Sarajevo
The world came to Sarajevo in 1984 for the 14th Winter Olympiad, but what happened to this war-torn city in the '90s is what sticks in the collective psyche. The dawn of the 21st century has provided some closure, however, as well as a resurgent reminder about why the Olympic Committee chose this venue—awesome skiing, friendly locals, fascinating culture, and the X factor that only places like Sarajevo can provide.

Polish Delight
Toss your skis in a bag, book a flight or bus to Krakow, and following the snow lining all the way to Poland's Tatra mountains, on the border with Slovakia, for a taste of an untapped Eastern European winter wonderland. Zakopane, an atmospheric market town, provides the base, three varied resorts the downhill challenge. Word to the wise: Beware the booze.

Published: 13 Dec 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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