"Whether you're looking for a New Year treat or a well-deserved break, there are plenty of fantastic snowy spots in Europe."
There are few better ways to escape the stresses and strains of the festive season than hurtling down a snow-topped mountain, adrenaline racing and wind whipping through your hair. Whether you're looking for a New Year treat or just a well-deserved break, there are plenty of fantastic snowy spots in Europe. What's more, travelling to the airport couldn't be easier by train. With regular services going to Manchester Airport and Liverpool South Parkway, it couldn't be simpler. Taking the train means no pricey airport parking fees and ultra convenience.
If you're travelling to Manchester Airport this winter, book advance tickets on our mobile app and we'll send you an mticket to your mobile phone - how cool is that! Click here for more information about the app.
Where will you be headed this winter? Share your thoughts and tips below - but first, here are Explorer's top five picks for snowy escapes…
1. Pas de la Casa, Andorra
A tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France, Andorra is a great place to head if you're after ski action on a budget. Pas de la Casa promises 150km of slopes for skiers and boarders alike, with ski-in, ski-out hotels, cheap eats and a renowned bar scene all adding up to sure-fire fun. Head to Paddy's or Bilbord for a night to remember…
Best for: Skiing on a shoestring
Get there: Fly to Girona from Manchester Airport in just 2hrs 15mins, or Liverpool John Lennon Airport in just 2hrs 20mins.
2. Levi, Finland
Levi, Finland's biggest and best ski resort, is just 15 minutes from Kittila airport and lies in the Lapland region making it the perfect place for festive family fun. There are reindeer and husky parks where you can take a sleigh ride, and a spa and bowling alley for evening entertainment. For snow surfers, there are 48 pistes, including 10 especially for kids, with snowmobiling also on the menu.
Best for: Family fun
Get there: Fly from Manchester Airport to Kittila in just 2hrs 45mins.
3. St Anton, Austria
With two Winter Olympics under its belt, Austria is world renowned for its majestic mountains. Head to St Anton, 100km from Innsbruck, where you'll find perfect conditions for skiing, a snow park with ramps aplenty for snowboarders to hone their skills upon, and some of the best après ski around. Try the Krazy Kanguruh party bar for a night to remember…
Best for: Après ski action
Get there: Fly from Manchester Airport to Innsbruck in just 1hr 50mins, or Liverpool John Lennon Airport in 2hrs.
4. Val d'Isere, France
Val d'Isere is the place to head for reliable snowy conditions thanks to the fact that it's a glacier resort. A couple of hours away from Grenoble airport, the transfer time is easily worth it, with the highest ski lift an impressive 3456 metres altitude. Along with the expected variety of pistes, here you can also try your hand at biathlon, an Olympic sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, but it's the slopes that make this place popular. Visit and you'll see why.
Best for: Serious skiers
5. Sauze d'Oulx, Italy
Italy may not be as famous for skiing as its northern neighbours, but head to 'the milky way', host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, and you'll discover that what it lacks in fame it more than makes up for in atmosphere and scenery. Sauze d'Oulx is just an hour away from Turin airport and with over 400km of slopes and a buzzing après ski scene, you won't be short of entertainment.
Best for: Beginners and improvers
Get there: Fly from Manchester Airport to Turin in just 2hrs
Where will you be headed this winter? Share your top tips with us below…