Ski holidays in November 2013
Make the most of early snowfall
November heralds the start of the ski season, offering cheap, traditional and uncrowded winter sports holidays. Not so long ago, conditions at this time of year didn't allow for snow-covered slopes, but in much of Europe and North America today, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. While high-altitude resorts in Norway and Switzerland offer heavy snowfall throughout November, low-lying resorts in North America make use of state-of-the-art snowmaking facilities, creating artificial winter wonderlands. Other perks proffered by November include uncrowded pistes, fewer queues for lifts, and a greater all-round sense of tranquility. It's true that après ski is less lively, but as most bars and restaurants are still open for business, it's the ideal time for families.
Below are HomeAway's top five November ski destinations: all you have to do is choose where you want to stay! You can guarantee great snowfall by booking European cottages next to glaciers, or enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving with a stay in US lodges. Whether you find yourself making footprints in fresh powder, or enjoying fake frost is up to you! To enjoy affordable, uncrowded and excellent ski breaks, book accommodation through HomeAway, and head for the slopes in November.
Top ski destinations in November
Sogn og Fjordane, Norway
Home to the largest fjord in Norway, Sognefjord, Sogn og Fjordane is an excellent destination for November ski holidays. Norway is a country seemingly made for skiing, with endless mountain ranges, a huge number of ski resorts, and an amazingly long season. While the climate during the summer months is mild, temperatures plummet come winter, ensuring reliable and ample snowfall. There are amazing cross-country tracks, which lead you past fjords, forests and mountain plateaus, and the area proffers a range of cosy, traditional cabins. With few queues, challenging runs and truly spectacular scenery, Sogn og Fjordane is a skier's paradise.
Okemo Mountain Area, Vermont
During the summer, the Okemo Mountain Area is a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts: Echo Lake is brimming with small boats, and Buttermilk Falls are a great place to take a dip. But as soon as the colder weather comes round, Okemo Mountain becomes a true winter wonderland, rated time and time again as one of the best Family Snow Resorts in the US! It boasts 624 acres of skiable countryside, which are accessible via 12 chairlifts, as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, snowboarding and sledding. Combine the resort's facilities with the spellbinding scenery surrounding, and the whole family's guaranteed a November break to remember.
As one of Switzerland's most famed ski resorts, often regarded as the 'Best of the Alps', Zermatt certainly has a lot to live up to. But few tourists would argue that Zermatt doesn't meet expectations: its fearsome slopes, overlooked by the enormous peaks of Matterhorn, undoubtedly offer some of the most advanced runs in Europe. Also widely known to have the longest ski season in the Alps, Zermatt encompasses three skiing areas, accessed by just under 80 lifts and cable cars. Loved by beginners and experts alike, there are wide, gentle slopes where intermediates can easily practice, and formidable black runs to challenge the most advanced.
View Chalets in Zermatt
Les Deux Alpes, France
Nestled in the Isere region of France, Les Deux Alpes is one of the most popular resorts for November ski holidays. Right after the World Snowboarders' Meeting has taken place in October, the area becomes a hotspot for families and groups of friends, with a range of ski runs suited to beginners, intermediates and experts. Novice winter sports enthusiasts should head for the Girose Glacier Mont de Lans, where English speaking instructors can help you get to grips with the slopes; advanced skiers, meanwhile, need look no further than the formidable black runs of La Grave. Combining fantastic après-ski with a range of activities, Les Deux Alpes is a winning destination.
With daytime temperatures in November plummeting to a rather chilly 1°C, you're guaranteed snow-covered slopes with an early ski break in Hochzillertal. One of Austria's foremost ski resorts, Hochzillertal has everything you need from a great winter sports destination: breathtaking scenery, a huge range of ski runs, and something to suit all levels of expertise. There are also plenty of fascinating attractions here, for those who want a break from skiing, that is. There are ancient castles, sparkling glaciers and anthropological findings, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Ötzi. Europe's oldest and best-preserved mummy, he was found on the border between Austria and Italy, and is now housed in Bolzano, just a short drive away.