Soft and fluffy snow carpet all around you, a rush of adrenaline through your veins as you strap your feet onto the skis, ready for adventure: these words are sure to resonate with any true ski lover. Over the years, ski holidays have gained immense popularity. We have here a list of the 8 most popular ski destinations across the globe which you must explore if you are a fan of the sport.
- Banff, Canada
Banff has something for everyone. There are restaurants and pubs, with shops selling skiing gear spread all over the town. The skyline of the town looks amazing as you spot the peak of Cascade Mountain. As you walk away from the town, you might spot a stray bear, wolf or an enthusiastic skier planning the next day. You can get a tri-area lift ticket that is applicable for the three amazing ski areas covering a whopping 7500 acres of snowy terrain- Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mount Norquay. There are three skiing resorts in Banff, which is in the center of Banff National Park, and all three of them (Ski Big 3) share a single ski ticket. Banff is one of the cheapest ski destinations where the ski package also includes skiing lessons.
- Golden, British Columbia, Canada
Golden is known more for its national parks, with six of them very close to each other in this area. The skiing circuit here is one of the best in the world. Swiss guides at the start of the 18th century had taught the locals not just to ski but also to explore the gorgeous mountains. It is one destination you must try for heli-skiing and cat-skiing. Virgin snow, champagne powder and a fabulous terrain: Golden offers all of these and much more. To the east of Golden are the Selkirk Mountains with Roger’s Pass which is known as one of the ski-touring capitals. Then there are the Rocky Mountains where you can do long ski runs on the majestic peaks of the Rockies.
- Park City, Utah, USA
Park City together with Canyons Resorts makes for one of the largest ski areas in the United States. The Quicksilver Gondola that goes over the Pinecone Ridge connects these two. There are more than 300 trails and 41 lifts to explore in the Wasatch Mountains. Out of the 265 km of skiing terrain, only 8 percent of it is for beginners. If you are planning your ski holidays in January you would get to be a part of the famous Sundance Festival that takes place here at this time. Don’t forget to share a drink with the locals at the High West Saloon which in the only ski-in distillery in the world.
- Les 3 Vallees, France
With its 600 km of skiing terrain between the three resorts – Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens, it is one of the largest skiing destinations in the world. There are skiing possibilities for everyone: beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. Meribel is centrally located and is made the base by most visitors to the valley. It gives easy access to Val Thorens and Courchevel along with the smaller resorts of La Tania, Les Menuires, and Saint Martin de Belleville. Meribel is not only known for excellent piste but also its nightlife. There are several restaurants, bars and shops to explore once you are done with your tryst with the piste.
- Val d’Isere and Tignes, France
Together, Val d’Isere and Tignes offer some 300 km of skiing terrain. Val d’Isere is one of the preferred spots for skiing in the Alps as it gets reliable snow every season. Unlike most skiing destinations, the commute required in Val d’Isere is minimal as the town is right at the base of the slopes. Skiers need to take only one pass for Val d’Isere and Tignes, both of which are two connected but independent mountains. France has the honor of having the three largest skiing resorts in the world and Val d’Iseres Tignes holds the third place in the country. Another good reason why you must upgrade your skiing gear!
- Chamonix, France
Don’t we all love France for all good reasons, which include gorgeous skiing terrains? One lift ticket here gives you access to eleven ski zones and each of them is equally fabulous. Chamonix is very close to Italy and Switzerland border, a distance you can easily cover by a short car journey. The town has a lot of world-class ski instructors so you can plan your ski holidays to Chamonix even if you are an amateur skier. There are all kinds of ski slopes here from the softer ones to ‘make you pee your pants’ types. It is known for being home to the highest mountains in Western Europe, the Mont Blanc with its majestic height of 4,810m. If you are interested in off-piste and skiing on freeride terrain complete with glaciers and tree-skiing then Chamonix is where your next ski holiday should be.
- Niseko, Japan
Japan doesn’t generally pop as the first name when it comes to adventure sports but Niseko makes it to the list of top skiing destinations because of several reasons. You get to ski through thick powder while the snow-monsters (the snow-clad trees juhyo) make for the perfect hurdles. Mount Niseko has four extensive skiing terrains which are enough to satiate your ‘powderlust’. All the four skiing resorts here are interconnected, giving the skiers plenty of skiing options. Niseko receives an average of more than 15 metres of snow every season and its powder bowls, off-piste, backcountry, night-skiing and tree skiing are alluring for all kinds of skiers from novice to pros.
# 8. St. Anton, Austria
St. Anton offers some challenging skiing terrains along with some incredible apres. Known for its excellent off-piste, a ski pass here gives skiers access to the extensive 305 km of skiing terrain in the Ski Arlberg area. Four lifts connect St. Anton to Lech and Zürs and this makes Alberg the largest linked skiing area of Austria. The slope of St. Anton might be a little steep for beginners who can try the softer Nasserein slopes. Valluga bowls are where the experienced skiers and snowboarders head to after a fresh fall. End the day on yet another high note by sharing drinks with your buddies at the famous Moosewirt or Krazy Kanguruh bar.
All these skiing locations are alluring not just for the thrill quotient they offer but also for the scenic panorama that is a part of the skiing adventure. So pack your bags and off you go to the lands of piste and powder.