Skiing provides a unique exhilaration that you’ll struggle to find with any other recreational sport. It brings you near to nature by allowing you to traverse down a hill of pure white snow. It’s awe-inspiring and provides an even more amazing workout for individuals interested in sculpting their body or burning some extra calories.
There’s nothing quite like the crisp turns or smooth straightaways that the right skiing path can provide. The only challenge is deciding upon what slopes are the best to ski.
When you find the right location to ski, you’ll set yourself up for a slope that you’ll remember the rest of your life. You may even wish to ski down it multiple times or to revisit certain places just to relive the way that cold, crisp air flows past you as you traverse down a particular incline.
No matter what your skill level is, here are five great skiing locations around the world that you’ll want to plan a visit to.
1. Innsbruck, Austria
The terrain around this Austrian town was meant for people to enjoy on skis. The powdered snow, the dark green foliage that pokes out past the snow and the nostalgic town itself makes it one of the best places for a skiing trip worldwide.
It’s no wonder that Innsbruck was chosen to host the Winter Olympics not just once, but twice.
Innsbruck’s skiing season starts as soon as the first few grams of snow hit the ground. The “Old World” charm can be seen from any of the nine ski resorts that Innsbruck maintains, which makes Innsbruck an even more attractive tourism destination.
Once you’ve had your fill of the fine skiing slopes, you can stop in this seemingly outdated town for a hot cup of coffee at a local cafe before learning something about this town’s long history.
Innsbruck, Austria is one of the few places where skiing can happen any time of the year. It’s worth keeping in mind that the best way to see the sights when you’re not skiing is to take the train to see the sights that Innsbruck has to offer.
2. Vail, Colorado, United States of America
Vail is an amazingly small and remote location tucked away in Colorado. It’s one of those hidden gems that you don’t hear about unless you’re incredibly lucky to come across it.
While Vail is relatively small compared to other destinations, it makes up for that with its unique location between the Gore Mountain Range and the Sawatch Mountain Range. This makes it one of the most fantastic skiing destinations because of the jaw-dropping, jagged peaks that line kilometers of heavenly ski slopes.
The best part about Vail for skiing is that the snow powders just right. It’s got the right firmness that allows a pair of skis to just glide through the snow without having to worry about accidentally getting caught on something hidden beneath the snow.
When you’re done skiing for the day, Vail contains plenty of resorts and attractions designed to provide the most luxurious experiences available to visitors. One of the only downsides is that, compared to other skiing locations, there’s relatively few locations such as museums or historical attractions.
The hotels in Vail also tend to become full relatively early, which means that you should book your vacation as soon as possible to ensure that you’re able to enjoy the slopes without serious complications.
3. Telluride, Colorado, United States of America
Of all the locations for skiing listed here, none is quite as rowdy as Telluride. Its jaw-dropping slopes require a high degree of proficiency in skiing to truly enjoy, and the atmosphere you’ll find in town at the local bar or Town Park after your skiing trip will require the same tenacity.
The origin of Telluride pertains to the way that pioneers rushed to the region in hopes of striking gold during the Gold Rush in the 1800s. Telluride is derived from the word “tellurium”, which in turn is the name used to refer to the non-metal element that generally signifies a gold deposit nearby.
This legacy translated into a rowdy town full of people whom still maintain the pioneer’s spirit deep in their hearts. They play hard, and work just as hard as they play. This creates some unique opportunities for you to enjoy after you finish enjoying the countless acres of ski slope that the nearby ranges provide.
As stated before, the slopes surrounding Telluride have a variety of challenges that only those with a certain degree of experience skiing will truly appreciate. There are still some slopes for beginners, but this quality coupled with the crowded December and January months makes Telluride best left to those whom are truly enthusiastic about skiing.
4. Aspen, Colorado, United States of America
Everyone whom knows of skiing has likely heard about Aspen. The slopes here are some of the most unique in the world, but not necessarily just for their challenging nature.
The real thing that makes Aspen memorable is the awe-inspiring, picturesque beauty that it retains. Perfect, white powdered snow tops the nearby Colorado Rocky Mountains year round, but it’s in Winter that the store becomes plentiful enough to create a true Winter Wonderland.
As far as skiing goes in Aspen, there are four main courses that draw skiers here. Each course has a different degree of challenge, which makes it friendly for beginner skiers while giving the most experienced daredevils slopes that won’t leave you snoring.
When you’re done with the slopes in Aspen, there’s still plenty more to do. You have countless high-end shopping malls, museums, art galleries, festivals and parties that will keep anyone visiting entertained enough to desire to take at least one more trip to Aspen after departing from it.
5. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
No list would be complete without mentioning Whistler or her amazing nearby surroundings. Whistler’s natural beauty gives Aspen a run for her money with sparkling lakes, golf courses that stay green year round, hiking trails, restaurants and, least of all, snow-capped mountain peaks that are filled with as much beauty as they are adventure.
The largest hotspot in Whistler is likely one of the coldest. The Whistler Blackcomb Mountain resort spans over 32 square kilometers and receives an average of more than 12 meters of snow annually. This allows it to have some of the most attractive skiing slopes around the world regardless of the season that you choose to visit it.
The beauty of Whistler’s slopes comes with a rugged, untamed nature. Unlike other ski slopes on this list, grizzly bears and other wildlife are a common sight for skiers that experience Whistler’s slopes. This coupled with the risk for avalanches can make Whistler dangerous for the unprepared, but it can also be rewarding for expert skiers seeking a different type of challenge.
If you tire yourself with the slopes of Whistler, then there’s always nearby activities to enjoy. Museums, art galleries, ice skating, concerts, fine dining and Olympic Park are just a short list of the many things that Whistler has to offer.
6. Courchevel, France
The single largest area for skiing in the world is formed by the Meribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens in an area known as the Three Valleys. This area is accessible from Courchevel, which makes it one of the places that you must visit to really have an amazing time skiing.
The area has over 300 pistes, which gives everyone plenty of room to go skiing. The slopes even have varied levels of skill, which makes the slopes at Courchevel just as friendly for entire families as places like Aspen.
When you’re done skiing down the slopes in Courchevel, there’s plenty of shopping to be done. Nearby outlets for some of the largest designer brands are here. This includes Valentino, Hermes, Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci.
There’s also countless cafes reminiscent of France, and it’s relatively easy to take a bus or train from Courchevel to Paris to see countless historical sights like the Louvre museum and The Eiffel Tower. This makes Courchevel a particularly accessible spot to begin your vacation, as it can facilitate viewing the rest of France while still giving you ample opportunities to ski to your heart’s content.
This makes Courchevel the perfect vacation spot for skiers of all levels whom love fashion, fine cuisine and culture.
7. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt contains the most exclusive ski resorts and hotels. Make no mistake that it’s likely the most luxurious skiing location on this list.
There’s good reason that the hotels become full early with reservations; there’s no cars, the mountain railways and ski lifts give amazing views of the magnificent powdered landscape, and there’s over 300 kilometers of pistes for you to enjoy.
Top this off with the fact that Paradise Glacier is the highest spot reachable by cable car in all Europe, and you’re in for an unforgettable experience while going up or coming down the mountain.
When you’ve tired yourself out with the unforgettable and truly magnificent slopes that Zermatt has to offer, there’s a plethora of things to do. You can take multiple scenic train rides, explore the Forest Fun Park, see all the history that the underground Matterhorn Museum has to offer, or view the beautiful St. Mauritius Church that hundreds of thousands of people visit each year.
Zermatt becomes one of those unforgettable locations that you might otherwise miss. When you visit it, you’ll certainly never forget the awe-inspiring scenery that you can see here.
Finding the Most Rewarding Ski Spots
While these ski spots may seem like the end-all, be-all to skiing slopes, there’s still plenty of other places that the world has to offer. Each spot has their own unique challenges and proficiency requirements, so it’s important to always prepare yourself before you embark on any particular skiing trip.
When you do find a place you want to ski, there’s two things that you have to remember: stay safe, and have lots of fun. You’re bound to have an unforgettable time when you do.
You can visit our adventure activities section to find even more great things to do around the world, be sure to also check our out hotel page if you require accommodation.
Image citations go out to: Pixabay