The 8 best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps

ski freeride dans les Alpes

Ready to strap on your skis in one of the many ski areas nestled in the heart of the Alps? If you’re a freeride enthusiast, here’s a selection of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps!

Off-piste skiing is all the rage, especially in the Alps. In fact, the configuration of the Alpine mountains during the winter season lends itself particularly well to off-piste skiing. This massive mountain range offers substantial snow cover and steep slopes. As for the ski areas, they take great care of freeride enthusiasts – the other name for off-piste skiing. All to guarantee both pleasure and safety!

Aficionados of this physically and mentally demanding discipline are welcome in the Alps. Whether in France, Switzerland, Italy or Austria. In fact, whatever your preferred ski area, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasures of powder snow, as long as the snow cover is satisfactory! So, ski or snowboard? Make your choice before the snow melts!

Remember: when freeriding, always carry a charged telephone, just in case. But also an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.

Ready to stripe your tracks across the pristine hills of the Alpine foothills? Here are the 8 best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps. Step off the chairlift and let’s go!

1. La Grave, France

ski hors piste dans les Alpes - La Grave

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Dmytro Vietrov

Certainly one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps, La Grave is an institution. This resort is entirely dedicated to off-piste skiing, and freeriders from all over the world flock here! It’s located at the foot of the 3,982-meter-high Meije massif, between the departments of Isère and Hautes-Alpes, on the Route Napoléon between Grenoble and Briançon. Yes, right next to the splendid Ecrins National Park! Suffice it to say that the region has plenty of charm, and is sure to delight lovers of the great outdoors.

It boasts an impressive ropeway, taking beginners and experienced freeriders to altitudes of over 3,200 meters. From here, you can choose between countless off-piste skiing spots, some of which can prove challenging. But don’t worry: all itineraries are signposted, and skiers are advised of their level of difficulty.

If you don’t know where to go for off-piste skiing this winter, come and discover this incredible place.

2. Verbier, Switzerland

Ski hors piste Alpes - Verbier en Suisse

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Gorillaimages

Verbier is, in a way, the Mecca of extreme skiing. This conventional resort offers numerous itineraries dedicated to off-piste skiing. An impressively fast cable car takes you up to a majestic panorama of the 4 valleys. But also of Mont Blanc, France’s national pride, and the Matterhorn, emblem of the Swiss mountains! After a few photos of these behemoths, it’s time to head downhill to Valais’ best-known ski resort.

It’s ultramodern, equipped with the best infrastructures and hosts numerous events. Like, for example, freeride competitions! For example, the Xtreme de Verbier, a famous stage in the Freeride World Tour. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an off-piste skier or not. It’s a breathtaking show, to be admired without moderation during your stay in Verbier!

3. Kitzbühel, Austria

Ski hors pistes dans les Alpes à Kitzbuhel

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Alexander Rochau

Kitzbühel is a legendary ski resort in the Tyrol, east ofInnsbruck. In fact, it’s one of the very first in Europe! With its fifty lifts and sometimes extremely steep pistes, it’s an Alpine institution. The ski area reserves some of its finest lines for off-piste skiing. These powder-covered slopes allow freeride enthusiasts to have the time of their lives all winter long! In fact, the resort is so well known for off-piste skiing that freeride schools have sprung up.

Kitzbühel is one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps. This is because the snow cover is often substantial, ensuring optimal sensations all season long. Let’s not forget another aspect of a ski vacation: the resort’s rich nightlife. Numerous restaurants and unusual activities are available on site. In fact, it’s the ideal place to spend a vacation in one of the most beautiful parts of Tyrol!

4. Chamonix, France

Ski hors piste dans les Alpes à Chamonix - les Grandes Jorasses

Photo credit: Shutterstock / gorillaimages

Chamonix is a mecca for winter sports activities. Skiing, snowboarding and even snowscooting – there’s something for everyone in this exceptional resort! With 170 kilometers of slopes, the ski area also offers numerous areas dedicated to off-piste skiing. It has to be said that the area lends itself particularly well to off-piste skiing. The snow is abundant and often of excellent quality, allowing you to indulge in the pleasures of powder snow. And all in complete safety, thanks to the supervision provided by the many pisteurs and mountain guides!

As you can see, this resort is one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps. This is partly because it gives skiers the impression of being an integral part of nature. And that’s partly because it gives skiers the feeling of being an integral part of nature, enjoying a pleasant sense of solitude in the midst of a pristine landscape!

5. Alagna Valsesia, Italy

ski hors piste alpes Alagna Valsesia italie

Photo credit:
Shutterstock / Alexander Rochau

Italy has rather strict legislation when it comes to off-piste skiing. That said, the Piedmontese resort ofAlagna Valsesia is one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps! Its modest size gives it a warm, authentic feel at the foot of Monte Rosa, but let’s not forget the exceptional quality of its ski area, which lends itself well to freeride. However, a good level of technique is required, as the slopes of Mont Rose are very steep!

A long piste links the top of the ski area, at 3,000 meters, to the village of Alagna, at 1,200 meters. It includes numerous off-piste sections, making it a delight for committed freeride enthusiasts. Given their difficulty, please consult a description of potential itineraries before venturing out!

6. Stubai Glacier, Austria

Glacier de Stubai ski hors piste

Photo credit: Moreimages via Shutterstock

Austria’s Stubai glacier is considered the country’s largest glacier ski area. Nearly fifteen off-piste itineraries are scattered on either side of the conventional slopes. They make this resort one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps! Particularly geared towards freeride, it’s a favorite with amateurs. They come from all over Europe to indulge their passion!

Skiers’ safety is ensured by a wide range of infrastructure and snow control systems. What’s more, the resort’s nightlife attracts a young, party-going population. So if you’re looking to party after you’ve taken off your skis, now you know where to go this winter!

7. Andermatt, Switzerland

ski hors piste Andermatt dans les Alpes Suisses

Photo credit: Shutterstock / makasana photo

Andermatt is a ski resort located between the Oberalp, Furka and Gotthard passes. It lies at an altitude of 1,450 metres, right in the middle of the Urseren Valley! The Urseren Valley is famous throughout Europe for its winter snow conditions. So, powder lovers will have no trouble finding what they’re looking for! It’s a popular place to be, because the resort offers so many possibilities.

Divided into four sectors with almost 120 kilometers of runs, the ski area is ideal for freeride. If it’s one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps, it’s because of its ungroomed areas! What’s more, you can enjoy exceptional panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. We’re in one of the most beautiful parts of the Alps, let’s not forget!

8. Kitzsteinhorn, Austria

Pratiquer le hors piste en Autriche avec une vue sur les Alpes enneigées

Photo credit: Shutterstock / nikolpetr

The Kitzsteinhorn is one of today’s hottest ski areas. Impressive snowfalls ensure plenty of powder throughout the season. And let’s not forget the services offered to skiers, off-piste enthusiasts or not. The lifts are remarkably fast. A must-see resort, you can enjoy all kinds of activities here: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, even relaxing in a sauna or ice climbing!

And what about freeriding? Rest assured, Kitzsteinhorn is one of the best places for off-piste skiing in the Alps. It’s one of the most popular resorts for lovers of great tracks in the snow! The Freeride Info Base is dedicated to freeriders. It provides a wealth of information on snow quality, quantity and so on. Ideal for ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones in all circumstances!