Do you dream of experiencing a place where skiing isn't just a sport, but rather a deep-rooted culture, a way of life? Skiing has existed in Europe's Alps for several hundred years. First as a means of transportation through the rugged mountains and more recently, in the last century, as a fun way to recreate during the winter months. Throughout France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany ski vacationers can experience dozens of perfectly preserved villages and hamlets boasting original chalets, hotels, inns and restaurants. A Europe ski vacation is also great for the skier or snowboarder who enjoys their leisure time. On-mountain restaurants offer sunny patios, mind-boggling views and world-class wine lists, sometimes making the Alpine dining scene a more popular activity than the topnotch skiing. And guess where the term "après-ski" came from? Apres-ski began in the Alps and can be a quiet drink by a roaring fire or riotous party that lasts into the wee hours of the night.