For many families, adventurers, and couples, a winter ski trip is better than any beach vacation on a tropical island. With the snow-covered slopes, exciting snow sports, and après-ski opportunities, taking a trip to a ski resort is the best way to get a break from the daily routine and enjoy an unforgettable experience. Best of all, many resorts offer snow schools, so you can make your winter retreat a first-time ski or snowboard experience for the whole family. Whether you want to ski and snowboard, take the kids snow tubing, or try something daring like heli-skiing, here are the best vacation spots for downhill skiing and winter sports around the world.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort to ski year-round
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is one of Canada’s top resorts. Boasting slopes on several mountain faces of 2 peaks, including a glacial face for year-round skiing and snowboarding, the massive resort has everything you need for an exciting ski trip. In total, the resort has over 200 runs that are suited to beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers and snowboarders. There’s also a Peak 2 Peak gondola that joins the mountains and several other activities at the resort, including mountain biking and snow tubing.
Telluride for enthusiasts
One of Colorado’s incredible resorts, Telluride Ski Resort has consistent snow and challenging terrain in the San Juan Mountains. The resort has over 800 hectares of skiable terrain and a top elevation of 4,000 metres, including hike-to terrain and alpine bowls for extreme enthusiasts, and plenty of runs for intermediate and beginner skiers. For freestyle fun, you’ll find 3 terrain parks with a variety of jibs for introductory to expert skiers and snowboarders. If you want more thrills, you can stay in the ski-in/ski-out village accommodation and ski the steepest runs into the ski village.
Courchevel for the skilled skiier
Courchevel, France is a destination for serious snow enthusiasts. Located within the Les 3 Vallees region, the resort features over 600 kilometres of ski runs and 10 summits for the ultimate adventure experience. Along with downhill skiing, Courchevel boasts some of the best off-piste skiing in the world and among the most difficult black diamonds. You could try steep mogul runs, tight tree skiing, and other challenges to enhance your skills and find thrills. After skiing or snowboarding, you can head to one of the ski villages to enjoy après-ski activities in upscale venues.
Vail starts with lessons for the kids
One of the most famous resorts in the United States, Vail is a top Colorado resort with expansive terrain for every skier and snowboarder skill level. Advanced and expert skiers can try back bowls with glades and bumps, while beginners can take lessons and learn on mellow slopes with well-groomed trails. For snowboarders and freestyle skiers, the resort offers 3 terrain parks with progressive jumps, rails, and boxes.
Cortina D’Ampezzo is a snowboarding paradise
Comprising 5 peaks in the Cinque Torri range, Cortina D’Ampezzo is a stunning alpine setting in Italy that offers incredible skiing and snowboarding. The resort offers 400 kilometres of ski and snowboard trails, numerous ski villages at the base of the range, and direct lifts from the town to the highest summits. Best of all, Cortina D’Ampezzo has terrain for every skill level, most of which is intermediate, so you can hone your skills and the whole group can enjoy the experience. Other highlights include an Olympic ice-skating rink and a bobsled run since the resort once hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics.
Zermatt is an ideal Alps vacation for families
Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s top resorts and home to one of the highest winter sports areas in the Alps and the greatest vertical drop in the country. The resort boasts over 350 kilometres of trails and slopes, 3,883 metres of altitude, and year-round ski conditions. Another highlight of Zermatt is that the southern face of the mountain is in Italy, so you can ski across the Theodul Pass to enter the Breuil-Cervinia trail system in Val d’Aosta. For freestyling, the Zermatt Snow Park has an abundance of challenging jibs for skiers and snowboarders.