Skiing is about the whole experience – long gourmet lunches with friends, après-ski spots, and laid back mornings. With every trip, you enter a world of both speed and leisure. You enjoy untamed landscapes, stylish small villages and cascading champagne.

Of course you must be well prepared and accessorize accordingly to the cold weather and crisp winter sun. These days, winter kits are designed to appeal to skiers and lodge-lovers alike. It’s a mix of active-wear and layered knits lined with fur that keep you warm and enhance your performance. But most importantly, it has the ability to transition effortlessly from the icy slopes to the chalet. Even though ski wear becomes more technologically advanced with each passing season, the après-ski look cannot be complete without the perfect pair of winter sunglasses. They are a stylish statement and also a trustworthy defense against the low-lying sun.

But that’s enough about what to wear and what to do; let’s talk destinations. Europe is a great choice for short ski breaks, where you can get both stunning slopes and great après-ski fun. We’ve rounded up a list of the 10 European destinations ready to appeal to any ski aficionado.

photo: chamonix.com

CHAMONIX, France – Chamonix sits shadowed by the sensational Mont Blanc. It’s a wonderful destination if you’re up for dazzling white slopes; the lively ski village streets making for a fantastic après-ski scene.

photo: kingtur.ru / whitelines.com / mypremiumeurope.com

Courchevel, France – Courchevel 1850 has long been the flagship for exclusive ski holidays in France. The best time to go is in March, when you can catch the sun on one of the many breathtaking mountain restaurant decks and, of course, be seen. Courchevel became fashionable in the recreational skiing boom of the 1960s, and in recent years it has been extremely sought-after by a certain international elite, including the Beckhams, Giorgio Armani, George Clooney, and a list of Russian oligarchs.

photo: luxurylifedesign.blogspot.com / tourismesuisse.com / skiinluxury.com

 VERBIER, Switzerland – One of the world’s most famous ski resorts, the Swiss town of Verbier attracts a huge number of tourists every year. An attractive, modern resort built in a traditional style, with some of the best off-track skiing that can be reached by lift and some of the best après ski in Europe. Also, keep in mind that Verbier’s nightlife is as legendary as its skiing, and there are places fir for every taste.

photo: welove2ski.com / static2.morznet.com / apartment-morzine.com

MORZINE, France- Whether you’re looking for a ski-ing or snowboarding holiday, Morzine is a long-established year-round resort that’s easy to like. It strives to deliver a more stylish, contemporary and modern approach to luxury holidays.

photo: Getty Images / gstaad.ch / feeldesain.com

GSTAAD, Switzerland – Situated in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland, Gstaad  is one of the most prestigious ski destinations in the Swiss Alps, with top ski hotels and a charming ski villages full of history. Skiing began here in 1905, the resort offering après ski fun all in one with the most exquisite alpine beauties.

photo: worldsnowboardguide.com / stmoritz.ch / myprivatevillas.com

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – The glittering town of St Moritz is famed for being one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the Alps. And as St Moritz is the place for being seen – après-ski time is always fairly lively.  Famed for its therapeutic springs, the town has some impressive spa resorts. Majestic and sophisticated, it represents the epitome of style and class with lots of sunshine and great skiing at high altitude.

photo: igluski.com / apelsin-tour.com / telegraph.co.uk

VAL D’ISÈRE, France – From the famous ‘La Face’ black run to the fabulous après-ski scene, the ski resort of Val d’Isère is a pleasant mix of great skiing and lively chic- a high altitude domain with an unrivaled snow record from late November until May.

photo: mychaletfinder.com / villeinitalia.com / dolomitisuperski.com

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO – Set amidst the stunning Dolomites, in Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo is gorgeous, glamorous and peaky.It defines Italian ski chic with a traffic-free town centre, where up-market designer shops await. Framed by the magnificent alps, this wonderful resort is more about the fashionable aprés-ski than the skiing itself.

photo: skisolutions.com / ischgl.com

ISCHGL, Austria – This fashionable alpine village is home to some of the best skiing in Austria. Situated high in the Paznaun valley in the heart of the Silvretta mountains, Ischgl, with its stunning scenery and efficient high altitude lift system, is a resort of unique paradise. Renowned for its superb après-ski, Ischgl is a lively and compact village with a wide range of bars and nightspots.

photo: wheretoskiandsnowboard.com / kingsavenue.com / ski-i.com

LECH, Austria – An unforgettable destination located on the banks of the river Lech, the mountain village has grown into one of the country’s most exclusive ski resorts. Frequented by royals and celebrities alike, Lech Village  is taking alpine opulence to new heights. The resort  is very romantic, giving an upscale vibe with its Austrian chalets, chic shopping, bars and ski hotels.