North America and Europe are home to renowned ski resorts with fun and challenging pistes for all abilities, from beginners to experienced skiers. They also have excellent off-piste amenities, including dependable ski schools as well as bars and restaurants to unwind after a day blasting down the mountain. Best of all, they have an incredible range of choice when it comes to choosing accommodation and amenities that are suitable for any budget.
France rightly deserves its reputation for excellence as a destination full of top choices for ski holidays. It’s also something of a record-breaker in the ski world, as several resorts sit in the shadow of the towering Mount Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. Also, skiers can experience one of Europe’s largest glaciers at Mer de Glace and one of the highest cable cars in the world at Aiguille du Midi.
One of the most well-known destinations is Chamonix, host of the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924. The area features some of the most challenging runs in the world, such as the descent from Les Grands Montets, backcountry skiing at Valley Blanche and Kandahar at Les Houches. Other popular choices include Grenoble, Annecy, Val d’Isere, Tignes and the glitzy glamour of Courchevel.
One of Austria’s leading ski resorts is St. Anton which boasts an impressive range of runs for all ability levels, along with expert terrain with some of the best deep powder for experienced adrenaline junkies. Nestled deep within the Tyrolean Alps, the resort forms part of the massive Arlberg ski area with approximately 340 kilometres of groomed piste as well as 200 kilometres of deep-snow runs.
Nearby resorts such as St. Christoph, Lech, Schröcken, Stuben, Warth and Zürs can all be accessed and enjoyed with a single pass. Ischgl is another hot favourite as it sits close to the Swiss border and Kitzbuehel is famous for its lively nightlife and major international ski competitions.
Don’t forget to consult our guide for Packing for Skiing Holidays before you leave.
Whistler, British Columbia, is a laid back and sprawling resort with the largest ski area on the continent and it conveniently sits within striking distance of one of Canada’s most vibrant cities, Vancouver. More than 200 runs descend from the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which provide a vertical drop of over 1,500 metres. The season typically runs from late November until late April, although spring skiing is not uncommon into early June. Other majorly popular resorts in Canada include Mount Tremblant and Le Massif in Quebec, Sun Peaks in British Columbia and Banff in Alberta.
The state of Colorado is the pride of US skiing as it boasts some of the best maintained resorts in the country. Vail and Aspen, with their unrivalled grooming and snowmaking facilities, offer a reliably great skiing experience every year as well as providing a wonderfully luxurious atmosphere. For a more relaxed alternative, you can try the former mining town of Breckenridge, which has less crowded runs but equally beautiful scenery.
These are just a few of the world’s most fantastic ski resorts. Sometimes you have to just get on your knees and thank the world for snow!