DECEMBER marks the start of the ski season in Europe and resorts are reporting bumper snowfall as chairlifts spin into action.

And London Stansted has Europe well and truly covered when it comes to providing the perfect gateway to some of the top ski resorts in the Alps.

Geneva, Chambery, Grenoble, Turin, Innsbruck and Zurich are just some of the major ski destinations on the airport’s doorstep.

Chelmsford Weekly News: A skier rides down a winter slopeA skier rides down a winter slope (Image: N/A)

However, if you’re looking for something a little bit different this winter, the popular airport has compiled a list of the lesser-known resorts you can get to from Stansted.

With tax-free skiing in Andorra, increasingly popular ski markets in Bulgaria, Finland, Slovenia and Poland there is something for every budget from the airport this winter.

Here are nine European ski resorts which aren't on everyone's radar.

Ruka, Finland - Fly to Rovaniemi

Scandinavian ski resorts offer a very different kind of ski holiday to those found in the Alps.

One of the best places to try is Ruka, in the far north of Finland just shy of the Arctic Circle.

With its family-friendly slopes, lovely views from the summit, and an abundance of other activities, Ruka is a great choice for snow lovers.

Why not tag on an extra day in the city of Rovaniemi which has a Santa Claus village giving children and grown-ups alike the chance to meet the man himself. 

Voss, Norway - Fly to Bergen

As one of the country's largest ski resorts and an extreme sports capital, Voss boasts 40km of slopes with excellent snow conditions.

With 11 lifts and 24 slopes for all levels, including an international giant slalom run and off-piste areas, the resort offers something for everyone.

Cross-country and freestyle skiing are popular in the surrounding mountains, while evening skiing is offered three times a week.

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia - Fly to Ljubljana

Chelmsford Weekly News: Kranjska Gora, SloveniaKranjska Gora, Slovenia (Image: N/A)

Eastern Europe offers plenty of options, and Kranjska Gora in Slovenia is one of the best, especially for beginners and early intermediates.

This resort gives you a lot for your money, both on and off the slopes, so you're guaranteed to have a good time.

Its location in the Julien Alps, near the borders of both Italy and Austria, rivals any of the typical Alpine views.

Zakopane, Poland - Fly to Krakow

Nestled between the Tatra Mountains and Gubalowka Hill, Zakopane is Poland's winter capital.

With its well-groomed runs and affordable price tag, this resort offers 20 ski lifts across 16 slopes that are perfect for beginners. 

Sierra Nevada, Spain - Fly to Malaga

Located in the Penibaetic Mountain Range, Sierra Nevada holds the title of being the most southerly ski resort in Europe.

Enjoy a break from the slopes and explore Granada's historical city where you can tour the Alhambra palace and learn about local culture.

With an altitude of 2100 metres, the area has a long season for skiing, offering snow from late November until early May.

Vitosha, Bulgaria - Fly to Sofia

Chelmsford Weekly News: Vitosha, BulgariaVitosha, Bulgaria (Image: N/A)

The Vitosha ski resort is situated 1800 metres above sea level just a short drive away from Sofia.

The range offers many slopes and ski schools to keep the kids entertained while you conquer some of the steeper runs.

Visitors can choose from chalets and hotels located along the mountainside or venture down to the nearby Simeonoro and Dragalevtsi area for more accommodation.

Predeal, Romania - Fly to Bucharest

Some of the most famous runs in the country can be found in the Predeal mountains.

Its location enables you to combine a skiing trip with a tour of Sinaia's Peles Castle and the picturesque Brasov.

After exploring the runs at your doorstep, Predeal is ideally situated for exploring neighbouring slopes Azufan and Poiana Brasov.

Jasna Nizke Tatry, Slovakia - Fly to Krakow or Propad

Chelmsford Weekly News: SlovakiaSlovakia (Image: N/A)

Jasna is Slovakia's largest ski resort with 49 kilometres of marked trails and the second highest peak in the Low Tatras.

There are both alpine slopes and regular slopes here, making this place perfect for all skill levels, including freestylers with its snow parks and freeride areas. 

Soldeu/El Tarter, Andorra - Fly to Barcelona, Girona and Toulouse

The two adjacent villages share 130 miles of runs, the principality's largest ski area.

Soldeu boasts convenient access to the slopes, traditional hotels, a good selection of restaurants and some shops.

In El Tarter, there are modern hotels and a gondola that allows access to the slopes. 

Visit for more information on booking flights from London Stansted to any of these destinations.