Do you know I have never skied? This might just get me out on that white stuff to give it a try. I've also never been to Japan - so just maybe I'll share both experiences at the same time? Thanks Sandra!
Whether you are a ski nut looking for the best powder snow and off-piste tracks, a family guy looking for the perfect family holiday spot or just someone who enjoys the peace and quiet of the mountains, there is certainly a ski resort that’s right for you.
Here are some of the best ski destinations in the world that will provide you with an unforgettable skiing experience.
1. Niseko, Japan
If you are looking for a place that has it all – amazing scenery, fine snow, great culture, exquisite dining options, and anything else you might want for a ski vacation, Niseko is a must-visit.
Located in Hokkaido, Japan, Niseko has some of the best snow powder in the world. With 14 meters of snow per year, this resort provides excellent skiing opportunities from November up until May. There are 69 runs totalling 47 kilometres, with lifts and gondolas able to carry people up the mountain from 8:30 in the morning to 9 in the evening. Besides well groomed pistes, you also get to see the Onsens or natural Japanese hot springs, as well as experience Niseko-style dining with a wide range of options in the 150+ restaurants present here.
To the Japanese people Niesko is a mountain range, but to us overseas it refers to the ski resorts encompassing the "Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido". Did you know Niseko means "a cliff jutting over a riverbank deep in the mountains"? Don't tell me that doesn't sound absolutely divine.
2. Alyeska, Alaska, USA
Just about any ski nut in the world dreams of getting to test the pistes in Alaska. Alyeska is surely a top choice in this isolated state, with its average 16 meters of snow per year. Whether it is ski touring, ski mountaineering, heli-skiing or something else you are looking for, the snow powder is excellent here. While die-hard skiers will definitely enjoy this ski resort, beginners and intermediates will also find well maintained pistes suited to their skills.
3. Revelstoke, Canada
Most people who have been to Revelstoke won’t just tell you how good it is, but how awesome it is. With more than half a million acres of heli-skiing pistes, cat skiing pistes as well as amazing tree skiing, this resort has everything a ski enthusiast needs. The resort base is quite small, but the town of Revelstoke is just 15 minutes away by car.
4. Riksgransen, Sweden
Riksgransen is the best destination for people who might have missed the normal skiing season. Since it is so cold and dark here in winter, the resort actually opens in late February. Pistes are plenty, so if you fancy skiing 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle well up to June, then this ski resort is for you.
5. Meribel, France
If you’re not so much of a ski fanatic and are looking for something more of a family ski resort, then Meribel certainly fits the bill. This resort is one of the many in the Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) ski region in the French Alps. It is a favorite of many thanks to its 600 kilometres of skiing tracks, plenty of chalets, restaurants and other family-friendly places to spend your time in.
6. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is the crown jewel of Switzerland, which is hard to say when the whole country personifies beauty. To many, it is the world’s ultimate ski resort dominated by the mighty Matterhorn. The village only allows electric cars and the streets are narrow and cobbled. Zermatt offers three interconnected Swiss skiing zones, vertical drops of 7,152 feet, 50 on-mountain restaurants, but above all don't miss the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car. It's the highest in the alps and descends into Italy.
7. Whitefish, Montana
Whitefish was a former logging and railroad town and has kept it's rough-hewn character despite the influx of wealthy skiers. Most people arrive by tree and connect by shuttle meaning being car-free is easy. It's a great family friendly destination, excellent for beginners and experts alike.
Sandra grew up in Alaska. The snow didn't scare her. She spends most her travel time finding new places to ski and drink hot chocolate.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
I am far too wimpy and far too uncoordinated to even try skiing. Trust me on this one! But what's awesome about all of these locations is that they're great for all kinds of visitors. I went to Zermatt in the summer and I would love to return in winter to enjoy some snowshoeing and some hot chocolate. Being in Canada, I can't exactly shun winter. If I did, I'd be stuck in the house for 4 months of the year! So even though I'm not a great winter athlete, I always manage to find fun things to do in ski towns.
Very cool! (See what I did there :D) I had no idea that Japan had one of the world's best ski resorts - learning to ski is something which I would love to do, and in Australia, Japan may be the best option for combining a trip with learning to ski. Closer than making our way to Europe or the States. Thanks for the list!
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