Top 10 Ski Destinations in The World
Whether you already have your own favourite ski destination - a time-honoured resort you’ve been going to since you were little - or you’re new to the ski scene, we’ve edited down the best resorts in the world on both sides of the pond. Chosen for their runs and their après-ski options, here are our top ten:
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
A firm favourite of pros and amateurs alike, Whistler is a bit of a no-brainer and tops everyone’s list thanks to long, long runs and a long, long season. The atmosphere in the village is also unlike any other, with fairytale charm but endless options that are distinctly North American.
Mount Baker, Washington
A haven for hardcore skiers, Mount Baker is one of the only ski areas left that delivers untracked and uncharted powder. Mount Baker is different from others on the list - it doesn’t sell properties and has no overnight accommodations on site. It does, however, have some of the wildest terrain on the West Coast, as well as consistent heavy snowfall. Find accommodations along Hwy 542.
Crested Butte, Colorado
A favourite of US Olympian Wendy Fisher, Crested Butte in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is fun and adventurous without the pretence. Fisher told Wanderlust magazine: “It has a technical element that a lot of ski areas don’t have. If you want to give it some and scare yourself and play and challenge your technique, this is a fun place. But then I don’t want to make it sound intimidating to the average skier, because it also has big open bowls and easier ways down. My boys Devin and Aksel, aged nine and 11, can ski almost the whole mountain and they love it.”
Everything they say is true. For the complete experience – amazing runs and hard-to-beat après-ski lifestyle, Aspen has it all. There are celebrities and people-watching of course, but also a variety of resorts, chalets and mountains (Buttermilk mountain for beginners right up to Snowmass, which is vast and more challenging). Aspen is also a foodie paradise – we love Cache Cache for lunch.
Skiing in South America? Yes, you can. Nestled in the Andes Mountains, Portillo is renowned for its powder and both on and off-piste runs. Another favourite of Fisher, who says that when Portillo has a snowstorm, you can get six feet in one go. She tells Wanderlust: “It has a great après experience because everyone who’s skiing there eats dinner together and goes to the bar late at night. It’s an old-school feeling that you don’t get in a lot of places any more.”
St Anton, Austria
A great resort with a modern infrastructure, at St Anton you can access 280 km of well-groomed terrain suitable for all abilities. The number-one favourite of Olympic skier Graham Bell, the off-piste options are almost endless, but be warned - this is not a place for a shy skier, as a blue run here would be marked as red in any other resorts.
Chamonix Valley, France
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. At the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, it's renowned for its skiing. There are nursery slopes and adrenaline-pumping pistes as well as the strikingly scenic 20km Vallée Blanche off-piste run. Its four separate ski areas are spread out along the valley, so Chamonix requires some planning.
Val D’Isere, FranceAnother favourite of Bell, the Olympian loves Val D’Isere as a late-season destination. “The Tignes glacier means it’s possible to ski year-round in this high altitude resort. These are my favourite late-season destinations, although I’d stay in Val d’Isere, not Tignes, which you can easily ski to from Val d’Isere,” reveals Graham to avis.co.uk. “There’s normally snow there until the end of April.”
Zermatt, SwitzerlandExuding quintessential Swiss charm, Zermatt conjures up images of some of the most recognized symbols of world-class skiing – the Matterhorn, wooden chalets and an all-around fairytale atmosphere. It goes without saying that the skiing is excellent. Try the Kulmhotel Gornergrat – the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps - for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
St Moritz, SwitzerlandThe global capital of winter glitz, St Moritz certainly has a high concentration of luxury shops, places to stay and the most picturesque mountainside restaurants. But there’s plenty of substance to back it all up: its position at 1,856m in the Engadin Valley in southern Switzerland, close to the frontier with Italy, lends it a unique combination of snow and sun reliability.