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5 reasons to visit the Alps in January

Although school holidays tend to be the most popular period in the mountains, there are countless good reasons to visit the Alps in January too, such as:

  • Quieter slopes
  • Better snow conditions
  • Cheaper holidays
  • A wider choice of accommodation
  • A wealth of activities

Read on to discover more about the 5 reasons to visit the Alps in January…


Why visit the Alps in January?

1. Quieter slopes

With the Christmas holidays over, the slopes become much quieter, creating a much more relaxed skiing experience. Travelling to the Alps in January means avoiding the long wait times and crowds associated with the peak season.

Beginners can benefit from the lack of distractions and focus on building their confidence on the pistes. Additionally, ski schools will have more availability, meaning novices can take the time to improve their skills.

Similarly, advanced skiers can take advantage of powder days, first lifts and fewer people carving up the pistes!

Generally, resorts are much calmer, with fewer queues at lift pass offices, equipment rental shops, ski lifts, bars and restaurants. This means you can spend less time waiting and more time skiing!

A man in a blue jacket skiing down a secluded piste.
Have the slopes to yourself in January – photo by Maarten Duineveld on Unsplash

2. Better snow conditions

Although the weather can never be guaranteed, January tends to be a fairly snow-sure month in the Alps. Expect more powder days, better off-piste skiing, a greater choice of runs and longer days on the slopes.

And it goes without saying, that the higher the altitude of the resort, the better the snow will usually be. Chamonix, Val Thorens, Val d’Isère, Tignes and La Plagne all have good reputations for snowfall in January.

However, as long as it’s a good season for snowfall in general, most ski resorts in the Alps will be well-covered in January. Therefore, you can be far more flexible about your choice of destination compared to booking early or late in the season.

A man skis through fresh powder snow
Make the most of the fresh powder and fresh tracks- photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash

3. Cheaper holidays

Visiting outside of peak times means cheaper flights, accommodation, equipment and ski passes.

This is ideal for first-time skiers who are getting to grips with winter holidays, or those who are flexible and happier to book last-minute trips.

With the chance to enjoy a more budget-friendly trip, you have the opportunity to try more activities throughout your stay.

A man and two women laughing on a chairlift
Enjoy a winter getaway with friends – photo by Glade Optics on Unsplash

4. First-class accommodation

As accommodation is usually cheaper throughout this period, it means that top-quality rental chalets are more accessible.

Properties with features such as hot tubs, saunas, swimming pools and home cinemas tend to be priced more reasonably compared with peak times. This means you can enjoy a luxury holiday more easily.

You may also find it easier to find accommodation compared to peak times when properties are often booked very far in advance.

Discover ski-in ski-out chalets in the Alps

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5. A wealth of 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 of 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.

Dogs pull a sled in the snow
Why not try something new on your winter holiday this January? Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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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About Author

Hi, I’m Amy. I am a Copywriter and Editor for OVO Network. I have lived between the French Alps and UK and love to share my knowledge of the area with readers!

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