Chamonix has what are perhaps the most dedicated skiers in the world. Here, you will often meet eternally optimistic Australian ski bums with dreads, who are lined up in the long queue with genuine water skis (yes, of the five centimetre thick kind), while they wait for the crews to trigger all the usual avalanches.
Bad Gastein and the neighbouring villages of Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein have preserved the area's traditional building style and architecture, giving you a real Alpine feel from when the region hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1958. Its well-known and venerable luxury hotels Salzburger Hof, Whürer's Bellevue and Hotel de I'Europe have attracted ski tourists for many years.
There are few ski resorts in Europe where you can reach the same heights as in Zermatt. The highest point is Klein Matterhorn (3,883 metres above sea level), the neighbouring mountain to its bigger brother of the same name. This point is located right on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It's common for many to feel a little uncomfortable due to the elevation. But this disappears as you tighten your clamps and get a little further down the piste.
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