The Alps

5 reasons to visit the Alps in December

The Alps are a wonderful destination at any point in the year, but in December, resorts transform into magical winter wonderlands. The ski season kicks off and Christmas and New Year approach, bringing with them numerous activities and events across the Alps.

Although it’s hard to narrow them down, in this post, we highlight the top 5 reasons to visit the Alps in December, including:

  • Christmas
  • New Year
  • The beginning of the ski season
  • Family-friendly accommodation
  • Non-ski activities

Why visit the Alps in December?

1. Christmas

If you’ve never spent Christmas in the Alps, you’ll know that it is an unforgettable experience like no other.

Depending on your chosen resort, you can expect visits from Santa, street festivals and torchlit descents. Lit with magnificent decorations, ski resorts offer an enchanting, cosy atmosphere all through the month of December that kids and adults alike will love.

For an idea of what activities and events are happening near you this Christmas, check out our winter guides:

A young boy in a knitted jumper and hat meets Santa
Kids will love meeting Santa in his grotto this Christmas! Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

2. New Year

New Year is also an extremely popular event in the Alps, with resorts putting on impressive firework displays, live music including DJ sets and more torchlit descents by ESF!

Those with little ones can enjoy the early festivities and then head back to their self-catered ski chalet to continue the celebrations. You can even hire a local private chef who can deliver a luxury restaurant experience right from the comfort of your dining room!

Party animals can continue their night at many of the in-resort bars or clubs. Resorts such as Val Thorens, Tignes, Val d’Isère, Les Deux Alpes and Meribel are renowned for their buzzing nightlife scene and will be sure to deliver an unforgettable New Year’s Eve. Do consider, however, that bars will be much busier on New Year and may charge entry.

Firework display behind a chair lift in a ski resort
Enjoy a magnificent firework display in the mountains this New Year’s Eve – photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

Please note that Christmas and New Year are extremely busy holiday periods in the Alps. Make sure to book your stay well in advance to avoid disappointment.

3. The beginning of the ski season

December welcomes the beginning of the ski season in the Alps, with most resorts opening their lifts from the middle of the month (depending on the snow). So if you’re planning on skiing or snowboarding on your visit to the Alps, December is a good time to go.

As well as this, restaurants, bars and shops will be beginning to re-open their doors and holidaymakers can enjoy the exciting atmosphere of a new season bursting into action.

A man in an orange jacket and green salopettes skiing down a slope
Catch the beginning of the ski season in December! Photo by Ben Koorengevel on Unsplash

Find your dream chalet in the Alps


4. Family-friendly accommodation

Families, particularly those with young children, will love visiting the Alps in December. Besides the many fun events and activities held in-resort, there are also child-friendly ski chalets that are the perfect base for your December getaway.

At OVO Network, our range of “Cool for Kids” partner properties are ideal for your family’s winter break.

All OVO Network properties have a baby cot and high chair, but chalets with the Cool for Kids status also offer baby equipment (eg changing mat/table), safety equipment (eg stair gates), kids dining equipment (including a booster seat), bedroom/bathroom extras (eg night light and baby bath) plus entertainment such as games and books.

For slightly older children, our Cool for Kids Extra partner properties will also provide one of the following items:

  • Trampoline
  • Wii/PlayStation and games
  • Xbox and games
  • Swing set
  • Table tennis table
  • Football table

So your kids can enjoy endless entertainment right from the comfort of your rental chalet!

Two young girls play a game in front of the fire at a ski chalet
Kids will love all the entertainment at our Cool for Kids partner properties!

Browse Cool for Kids proeprties


5. Non-ski activities

Not a skier or snowboarder? Not a problem! These aren’t the only activities on offer in the Alps in January. Why not explore some other pursuits? Here are some ideas for new things to try:

  • Snowshoeing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Visit a spa
  • Go ice skating
  • Try dog-sledding
  • Discover ski joëring (horse-drawn skiing)
  • Go ski-touring
  • Go sledging
  • Try e-fat biking (mountain biking on snow)
  • Dine at a Michelin-star restaurant
  • Discover the local après-ski scene
  • Plan a day trip to a nearby town

…and this is only to name a few! Check out our blog post on non-ski activities or ask at your local tourist office for more activities on offer in-resort.

A man and a young boy sledge down a slope
You don’t have to be on skis or a snowboard to enjoy the slopes in December!

We hope you found this guide useful and are ready to start planning your January holiday! If you’re still unsure when to visit, then check out our other guides on when to visit the Alps.

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