It's no doubt that skiing has become a mainstream winter activity for all. With ski resorts growing by the day to accommodate its forever growing popularity. From an increase in restaurants, hotels and most recently an improvement or introduction to apres ski entertainments.
This definitely makes determining where to plan for your next or even first ski holiday difficult, especially with all these constantly improving facilities. However, when it comes down to it, all skiers want is buckets of snow and beautiful terrain for it to land on.
In this Blog we will cover what our personal recommendations are, what they have to offer in terms of quality of slopes and facilities. As well as any unique characteristics the ski resorts have to offer. Covering, some of the Skiing power houses in Europe and North America. To up and coming contenders, from all over the world.
Number 1 - Vail, Colorado
Let's start off with arguably one of best and largest SKi resorts in the hole of the U.S.A.. Meaning Vail is home to enough terrain to keep any skier busy for weeks. Not only that, Vail is filled with some of the best alternative options to skiing, delightful restaurants and cuisines, as well as luxury hotels .
Vail is also a great resort for all ranges of levels of Skiers. If you're just starting off, Vail is without a doubt in our opinion also one of the best places to receive ski lessons. Especially if your travelling from the U.K., as all instructors will obviously speak fluent english, duh. Furthermore, all other skiers and employees working on the mountain are more likely to speak english, then at other ski resorts especially around Europe. Making the whole experience just generally less stressful for beginners, who might not understand how everything works.
If you're already a pro, Vail is even more appealing. Home to some of the world's best terrain parks as well as piste. With an average of 350 inches of snow each season and over 5,000 acres of Skiing, along with 31 lifts to connect it all. It's without a doubt that Vail is undoubtedly one of the most appealing ski destinations in the world.
Number 2 - Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is not only Europe's highest ski resort, but also one of the most scenic, especially on the slopes. With its iconic Landmark the Matterhorn as a backdrop, this plays a huge role with the resort popularity.
In terms of quality of skiing Zermatt is renowned for its long and convenient runs. With some ending right in the village, which is perfect after a long day in the boots. Furthermore, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride. is one of Zermatt's most unique and best skiing experiences. As the glacier, makes all year round skiing, due to its impressive altitude of 4,880 meters.
Whilst Skiing in Zermatt might seem intimidating for beginners, don't worry. Wollis park. offers a lot gentler terrain, while still witnessing Zermats stunning views.
Number 3 - Niseko, Japan
While the Number of Ski resorts are growing massively throughout the country of japan, however Niseko is undoubtedly one of the most stunning and well developed ski resorts around. Niseko village is actually also only one of the four interlinked ski resorts in the area, which all grouped together are referred to as Niseko United. With their terrains combined, it provides one of the most extensive and unique ski experiences. With many of the trails facing the world famous volcano, mount Fuji.
In terms of the actual trails itself. You will find great groomed trails, ungroomed powder, snow parks and some of the most unique off piste in the world, as you soar in and out of thick power and trees. Making it truly an amazing experience for experienced skiers. This doesn't mean Nisekos options for less experienced skiers isn't up to scratch either. With over two third of its trails actually advertised as beginners to intermediate slopes. Furthermore, Niseko is home to an outstanding program of ski and snowboard lessons (available in English) that has earned it the title of Japan’s Best Family Ski Resort in the Ski Asia Awards.
Number 4 - Val d’Isere
By far one of the most well known names within European Skiing, is Val d’Isere. A constantly evolving skiing paradise, with not only great modern facilities but an authentic traditional feel.
In terms of quality of SKiing, Val d’Iseres options are second to none. Linked with Tignes, plays a huge role in this. WIth their powers combined, it creates an hugely extensive amount of runs, ranging dramatically in their difficulty and terrain. Being home to the Infamous La Face as well. Which will test any level of skier, with its steep intimidating entry point.
Most famously however, Tignes is home to some of the best apres Ski in Europe. Which in my opinion is recent years has clouded the expectation of quality of runs. This is not correct though, and is why Val d’Isere is on this list. Due to its great variety of both fabolous Skiing and very lively Nightlife.
Number 5 - Telluride, Colorado
When it comes to SKiing in Colorado, large resorts like Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail often take the spotlight for best ski holidays. However, if you’re an experienced skier and looking for a resort with some of the most challenging terrain in Colorado, Consistent snow and stunning views. Telluride is the place for you.
Due to the resort being part of the San Juan mountains, renowned for its steeper more dramatic characteristics. In comparison to Northern Colorado's gently sloping trails. Giving both Telluride great variety but also some insane difficulty in some areas. Especially if you take a day trip to Silverton. Home to some of the best backcountry skiing in the world. It is only accessible by guide only and only has a single lift. Making it a very unique experience.
Furthermore, the resort isn't just for experienced skiers, with skiing for all levels also being available. MAking it also appealing for families. Not to mention its stunning local town. Which is full of both history and luxury, was once a mining settlement. Giving the resort a lot more character then other newly developed Ski resorts.
Number 6 - St Anton
While most of the popular ski destinations are based in the Alps. St Anton in Austria definitely has a lot to say for itself. Earning a well deserved reputation of being one of the most sought after ski resorts in Europe.
Great options are also available for beginner skiing, as well as more experienced skiers. WIth St anton being home to a combined total of almost 100 red and black runs, it's a great option for ace skiers, looking for a great variety of runs.
St Anton is also considered the mecca for apres, With Moosewrit being a renowned spot in the mountain for table dancing and one of the largest open air dance floors in the region.
Number 7 - Whistle, Canada
Whistles is a stunning resort based on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia, filled with dramatic mountain scenery, and recently some of the best apres scene in North America. With Whistler resort itself being a big place, it's also constantly growing. Due to its recent recognition from massive events, such as the 2010 winter Olympic and paralympic games, which brought millions of dollars to be used for improvements and expansion. However, the resort itself still possesses its traditional and natural charm in some areas.
In terms of hitting the slopes, Whistler Blackcomb is now part of Vail Resorts group. Boasting an impressive 200 runs, 37 lifts, two mountains to choose from, is what makes Whistle the largest winter sports area in North America. Topped of with all its new technical facilities to get your around and world class grooming.
All in all you can't go wrong with a ski Holiday to Whistler. From its mesmerising views that stretch all the way to the pacific ocean, charming resort village or its variety in levels of terrain. It ticks all the boxes for experts, families and casual skiers.
Number 8 - Alpe D’huez
Alpe D’huez is what we would consider a great all rounder. With a great run selection, a good variety of bars and a perfect resort for families.
The resort is als filled with some of the best options of alternative activities from just regular skiing. From Night skiing, ice driving and husky rides. This is just a taste of what the resort has to offer.
Alpe d’huez is home to the longest black piste in the alps. Masking it is an unmissable skiing experience, to both test one's skills as well as their nerve. Not to mention the fact that the resort is known as the ‘island in the sun’. Referring to its regular, blue sky days.