For outgoing couples who thrive in the great outdoors, skiing is a wonderful way of spending quality time with the one you love. Regardless of your proficiency, the satisfaction of perfecting those first turns together and the joy of navigating a new area make skiing a truly enjoyable shared activity for couples. If you’re considering hitting the slopes for a short break with your partner this winter, there are a certain few things to bear in mind which will help make sure you make the most of your time on the snow, and come away with memories to last a lifetime.
You’ll have to give due care to your choice of destination regarding the resort itself as well as the slopes available in the area. If you’re looking for a little romance then it’s advisable to choose somewhere with charm and character. Selecting a pretty, traditional resort with a relaxed atmosphere means you’ll have a captivating mountain town to explore together, perhaps with a range of artisanal and craft shops for souvenir shopping! Ideally you’ll have a good range of non-ski activities available in case of bad weather, and of course if it’s a weekend break then you’ll need somewhere with a fast airport transfer. Up on the pistes, you’ll need a resort with a range of runs suitable for your ski levels.
Many resorts in the Alps tick these location requirements, but prime examples include Morzine, Les Gets, Chatel and Chamonix in France, Verbier and Nendaz in Switzerland, and Courmayeur in Italy. These resorts all offer swift transfer times and pretty town centres, with a good range of intermediate-level slopes to enjoy. Whether you stroll off to Courmayeur’s stunning piazza in town centre and visit the wonderful gelateria for an ice cream together, or opt for Morzine with its wonderful selection of artisanal shops, or settle down to a romantic evening meal in one of the traditional Swiss restaurants in Nendaz, you won’t be stuck for snuggling activites.
Choosing a chalet or hotel
For a romantic with a loved one it’s a given that you need to book something with a little class! A property offering a large double with en-suite facilities will be a good start, then perhaps consider a location providing hassle-free town and ski access. Choosing catered accommodation will mean you won’t have to cook and can enjoy more time together, and spending a little more on a more luxury property would be money well spent. For those who would rather spend their spare time snuggling rather than slaving over the stove.
Date choice is also important – hotels are usually very flexible regarding arrival and departure dates so they work well for short breaks. Chalets, on the other hand, generally run weekend to weekend throughout the season and short breaks can be tricky. The best thing to do is go Thursday to Sunday or Sunday to Thursday, in order to stand the best chance of making a chalet work for your trip.
Romance on the slopes
Crisp, fresh, clean air, stunning scenery and the exhilaration of sharing the mountains together are the perfect ingredients for a romantic break.
Aside from the more obvious suggestions like wrapping up warm enough and researching ski routes in advance, you could surprise your loved one by pulling a pre-prepared lunchtime picnic from your backpack; A picnic on a peak at 2000 metres has to be a winning ingredient to any recipe for romance. If you want the feeling of really having the slopes to yourself, get to the top of the home run and enjoy a mulled wine in a mountain bar until the lifts close and all other skiers have gone home. Then, as the sun sets, emerge into the twilight for a seat in the snow and a moment of togetherness before strapping back into your skis for the last run of the day!
In many resorts you can even enjoy an evening descente flambeau – after your ski day you head into a piste-side restaurant for a full evening meal with wine and perhaps a shot or two before heading out onto the moonlit pistes en masse, flaming torch in hand, and skiing back to resort together. That truly is an amazing memory to share!
Couples’ activities away from the pistes
If you can keep your hands to yourself, there’s a wonderful range of non-ski activities to enjoy together off the mountain as well! Ice skating is great fun for competitive couples and many resorts today have indoor and outdoor rinks to enjoy. Certainly Morzine, Les Gets and Chamonix all do, to name but a few.
Snow-shoeing is perhaps the very best way to experience the majesty of the mountains away from the slopes, and heading off into the wilderness with your partner for a snow-shoe hike is wonderful fun. Resorts like Meribel, la Tania and Courchevel have all offer very beautiful snow-shoe paths for example, with well-mapped terrain you can either explore solo or with a guide.
Wrapping up warm to explore from the back of a horse-drawn carriage is also one of the most romantic ways to spend quality time together and resorts like St Anton in Austria and Morzine in France both offer the service. Treated your loved one to an afternoon of pampering off the piste is bound to go down well, too. The pretty spa town of Brides les Bains sits below Meribel and Courchevel in France, and offers an absolute wealth of spa treatments, hot springs and relaxation therapies. Ski access is easy from there too, as the Olympic gondola sweeps you directly up to the main lifts of Meribel centre.