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By Samantha Coles | January 23 2020
Vacation time is precious. You want to get the most out of it, and keen skiers will know the deliberation all too well — Switzerland, France or Italy? If you want to hit all the major European resorts in one smooth itinerary, Leo Trippi has just the thing.
The travel company and ski chalet maestros are pros at creating custom trips and have been operating in the market since 1882 — Leo Trippi himself operated some of the most iconic destination hotels in the Engadin and Italy, and his great-grandson, Florian Steiger, is the company’s current director.
The itinerary here offers a taste of what you can expect, but each element can be customized. The only thing you need to decide is which ski suits to pack and what you’re going to drink at après.
Arrive in the über-glam town of St Moritz, Switzerland. Settle in at the Carlton Hotel above Lake St Moritz and enjoy Michelin-starred dining, the spa and wellness facilities or boutique shopping. Corvatsch is one of the main ski areas; the high altitude and north-facing slopes make for excellent conditions — spend day two exploring the terrain. The next day, enjoy the sunny slopes of Corviglia, with steep and scenic runs overlooking St Moritz.
Board an Airbus Ecureuil B3 Helicopter to the Hufifirn — the journey alone is breathtaking, and you’ll take a three-hour flight to Linthal before heading back up to the Hufifirn to ski down to Val Russein. Rest up in The Chedi hotel in Andermatt for two nights. On day five, you’ll visit the largest ski area in central Switzerland, including colossal, 9,715-ft Gemsstock mountain, the Bernhard Russi black run and the famed off-piste routes of Giraffe and Geissberg.
Board the helicopter once again and soar to the top of Zermatt to ski in Glacier Paradise, then cross the border to Italy for a hearty and well-earned lunch. Ski in Cervinia before heading back to Zermatt to spend the night at The Omnia — the impressive hotel is situated on top of a rock in the heart of the Visper Valley. Spend the next day skiing the renowned Matterhorn glacier runs, the Sunnegga-Rothorn and Schwarzsee.
Fly to the top of Verbier to hit the formidable Les 4 Vallées — daredevil skiers can go off-piste to revel in the spectacular scenery and zip down black runs. Reward that bravery with an afternoon of wine tasting at Clos de Tsampéhro before retreating to your home for the night, Chalet Renee in Crans-Montana. Relax in the three-story chalet’s hot tub before settling down for a special dinner — Leo Trippi can fly in a chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant to create a divine dinner using the freshest produce. Be sure to have a nightcap around the roaring fire.
Crans-Montana is perfect for skiers of all abilities: There are runs for beginners, powder skiers and a challenging descent at La Toula for advanced skiers. At over seven miles, the Piste Nationale is one of the longest slopes in the region. For your final dinner, you’ll visit Chetzeron, a former gondola station turned incredible hotel; it has the most fantastic panoramic views across the Rhône Valley and the Alps. Before you depart, a helicopter will take you to the top of Glacier 3000 in Villars les Diablerets, where you’ll enjoy some of the highest slopes in the Vaud Alps, 70 miles of breathtaking scenery and the challenging black run of Combe d’Audon. With an alpine glow, well-worked legs and memories to last a lifetime, you’ll board the helicopter for your journey to Geneva before flying home.