The top 10 Ski Resorts on the Planet
From climbing glorious mountain peaks, to carving fresh powder, and sitting back in the blissful sunshine with a beer or hot chocolate, nothing quite takes the breath away like a winter sports holiday. With air travel getting cheaper, improved lift technology, more resorts open and better
snow than ever, 2012 has seen skiing and snowboarding become a truly global venture, even for the thousands of once-a-year skiers and boarders in the UK. The world truly is your oyster, but with so many resorts to choose from and great all-inclusive ski holidays available, it’s hard to know which have got the white stuff. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 best ski resorts on the planet.
If you’re the type of skier who wants action from the moment the lifts open, with good snow guaranteed, then this resort is for you. Perhaps not the prettiest in the Alps, the Espace Killy
(which includes Val d’Isere) makes up for it with some of the best pistes in France.
One of the famed Trois Vallees resorts, alongside the very Brit-centric Meribel and the high altitude Val Thorens, Courchevel offers three ski areas in one. A favourite with families, it’s also got some great après-ski action too, so it’s perfect for all comers.
Without doubt, the jewel of the Italian Alps, former Winter Olympic venue Cortina was home to Italian slalom hero Alberto Tomba. With that sort of pedigree, you know it’s going to pack a punch.
It is one of the world’s first major ski resorts, there’s plenty of tradition here too, and it’s favored by families and the stylish set too.
If skiing holidays for you are all about the glamour, then there’s only one resort for you; the playground of the rich and famous that is Aspen. But it’s not all about cash, this resort in Colorado also happens to offer some of the best all-round skiing on that side of the Atlantic.
A favourite with the glamour set. Situated in the shadow of Europe’s largest peak, Mont Blanc, France’s Chamonix is all about the luxury, with a huge collection of top hotels and great après ski all in an extremely picturesque alpine setting. Plus some great winter sport action too.
Ranked by many winter sports lovers as the best resort of the lot, Whistler, in British Colombia, certainly offers some of the best skiing on the North American continent. The town combines a beautiful village feel with rolling mountains that are a must visit-location for off-piste skiers, and wide, open slopes that are great for beginners.
One of Europe’s liveliest resorts, St Anton is definitely one to visit if the emphasis is firmly on the apres in apres-ski, with a real mix of quality bars, clubs and restaurants beyond the sometimes tasteless ski resort fare. There’s great fun to be had on the slopes too, with St Anton a favourite among the boarder community.
Japan might not be the first country you think of when it comes to planning a skiing holiday, but it actually offers some of the best and least crowded ski areas in the world, not least Niseko. This is a resort for real action lovers, with some of the best off-piste combined with the chance to experience Japanese culture.
If you’re looking for a truly traditional alpine getaway, few resorts can match the picturesque beauty of Zermatt. While other Swiss resorts (Gstaad, St Moritz) are packed with the five-star hotels, this is the place to come for a truly authentic European skiing experience and some of the best skiing in Switzerland.
When it comes to resorts of global stature, there are few more famous than Vail, Colorado. With the largest ski area in the USA, you’ve got 5,300 acres of skiable terrain at your disposal. Put simply, ski resorts don’t get much bigger than this.