Winter has its charm. Although it's cold outside, long summer walks and adventurous hiking experiences can be successfully replaced with the great array of activities on snow slopes. Downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating outdoors and snowshoeing are just some of the winter sports that can be practiced on slopes around the world. But a ski vacation isn't just about the slopes: fresh air, breathtaking views and places to rest when the ski lifts close for the night are no less important. If you need ideas for your next vacation, then check our top, it will inspire you for sure! From Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy to Mont-Tremblant in Canada, cities from around the globe boast a number of world-class ski resorts to choose from when planning your next downhill expedition.
1Aspen, Colorado, USA
Aspen is one of the world's most glamorous ski resorts in the world, this is because it hosted the World Alpine Ski Championships in 1950, and because it is popular with celebrities such as Kevin Costner and Antonio Banderas. Located in central Colorado, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are renowned for intermediate and expert terrain while Buttermilk is an entire mountain devoted to beginners and intermediates. You'll find more than 5,300 acres of terrain and endless dining, nightlife, and shopping. There is a wide range of lodging accommodations, from the elegantly deluxe to the simply comfortable. These are more than enough reasons to visit one of the world's most famous and exciting mountain resorts.
2Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Cortina d'Ampezzo, also known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, has been a winter sports mecca since the 1930's, attracting thousand od tourists and celebrities each year. Its fame dates back to 1956 when the resort hosted the Winter Olympics. Located amidst the magnificent Dolomites, Cortina is a lively alpine village where Italians come to be seen, to show off their Ferraris and to linger over an espresso. Cortina boasts a wide variety of slopes for all abilities, matched with an abundance of off-snow activities. There are nearly 140 km of slopes, including Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore. Also a wide range of shops, hotels and restaurants can be easily found. Every year, the resort hosts international sports events like the Alpine Ski World Cup, the Tour de Ski, ice hockey and curling championships, and Cortina Winter Polo.
Kitzbuhel is considered the Pearl of the Alps and is the most famous holiday resort in the Austrian Tyrol. Skiing began here in the winter of 1892.This 700-year-old village offers visitors the charm of an alpine village. It is steeped in history, wonderfully charming, always lively, and delightfully magical. Situated along the river Kitzbühler Ache, the fashionable resort of Kitzbühel presents a modern state of the art ski circuit covering 165 km of pistes for experts and beginners alike. Non-skiers can enjoy well-prepared walking paths or join an excursion to the historic cities of Salzburg or Innsbruck. A good choice of hotels, bars and restaurants makes for a great apres-ski environment at Kitzbühel.
4Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Mont Tremblant is the more famous destination and tops many lists as the best ski resort in Eastern Canada. Located in the Laurentian mountain range, Mont-Tremblant boasts two excellent ski mountains: Mont Tremblant - the highest peak in the Laurentians - and Mont Blanc. Tremblant offers guests 600 acres to ski and ride on with 121 acres of glades. Thirteen lifts service 94 runs. Additionally, the surrounding Mont Tremblant National Park, encompassing 373,000 acres, offers snowmobiling and dog-sledding. The resort has a European designed village at the base offering ample accommodations, from the practical condominiums, suites and hotels to the luxurious Club Intrawest with Tibetan carpets and soaker tubs. Also there can be found a wide range of shops and places where to eat.
5Stowe, Vermont, USA
Stowe si one of the most popular ski resorts in northern Vermont; it provides quality skiing and riding for all levels of family abilities. The four seasons ski resort is located near the town of Stowe in northern Vermont just 40 minutes from the states largest airport. The skiing area is comprised of two peaks - Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s highest peak at 4,395 feet) and Spruce Peak, which receive an average of 333 inches of snow annually. The resort offers a wide variety of trails, from double-black diamonds on Mt. Mansfield's Front Four to the beginner terrain on Lower Spruce Peak. There are also trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at the Cross Country Ski Center. Here can be found a wide range of dining and lodging options for every taste, from quaint B&B inns to drive-up motels and luxurious destination spas.
Zermatt is one of the best known and most exclusive ski resorts in Switzerland. Ideally located at the foot of the Matterhorn, Zermatt holds the world's second biggest lift-served vertical drop and receives huge snowfalls thanks to its altitude. Almost one-third of the 4,000 m mountains in the Alps are grouped around this wanderful resort. The ski area is the highest in the Alps and one of the best developed and most convenient in the world, ensuring thrilling sporting experiences on the steepest slopes in the world 365 days a year. The Paradise Glacier is the highest spot in Europe reachable by cable car and offers a superb 360° view of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps. There is a wide range of options from 2* to 5* hotels, apartments, and chalets. Zermatt offers a wide range of nightlife to suit most tastes. There is a wide range of cafes and bars offering a lively atmosphere.
Courchevel is one of the most prestigious ski stations in all Europe. Together with Meribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, in the Three Valleys, it forms the world's largest ski domain, an area with 372 miles of trails and slopes that are interconnected with 198 lifts. Situated at the gateway to the Vanoise national park, Courchevel is built on four different levels, from 4,290 to 5,940 feet. The highest cluster of buildings at Courchevel 1850 (metres) are the most fashionable with luxury hotels and chalets and an energetic night life. Much of the accommodation allows skiers to step out of the door, after breakfast, and into their skis to embark on a journey to see how much vertical they can log or how far across the Three Valleys they can go.
8Banff-Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Banff National Park is home to three of the world’s finest ski resorts: Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village. The three resorts offer almost 8,000 acres of skiable terrain on one convenient, tri-area lift ticket. There’s terrain to suit every level and desire, from beginners to experts, from skiers to snowboarders, from piste to powder. Located in Banff National Park, near the village of Lake Louise, the amazing ski resort has stunning mountain backdrops, lack of lift lines, friendly local hospitality and dry, light snow. There is a wide range of accommodation options from simple yet comfortable hotel-style rooms to luxurious frontier-themed full service lodges to well-equipped condominiums; a wide array of bars, fine dining options and reasonably priced restaurants.
9Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
Chamonix is one of the world’s most famous ski resorts; it sits atop the highest peak in the Alps and the second highest in all of Europe (top elevation 4,810 m). The resort is known all over the world for its challenging runs, steep, off-piste powder and spectacular mountain scenery. Its legendary 20 km Valley Blanche is a high off-piste run, the longest in Europe, and a rite of passage for ballsy skiers on their way to becoming experts. The resort is a large, yet attractive town offering both traditional charm and a lively nightlife. Chamonix Mont-Blanc offers a wide range of accommodation in either hotels, chalets, apartments, gites, bed & breakfasts or campsites. There's also a wide choice of places to eat in Chamonix and rest after a long day on the ski slopes.
10Baqueira Beret, Spain
Baqueira Beret, usually referred as The Pearl of the Pyrenees is the finest ski station in Spain; it boasts state-of-the-art ski lifts, more km of piste than any other, and its strategic orientation pretty much guarantees good snow. Nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees, Baqueira Beret has direct access to 120km of downhill skiing, with 78 individual pistes, served by 33 ski lifts. Both winter sports lovers and romantic getaways will find something to do on the Spanish slopes. Beginners will enjoy learning to ski on the fantastic nursery slopes just above Baqueira before advancing on to the more challenging blues. There are available many bars and restaurants with a warm family atmosphere, a wide variety of accommodation and multiple spas that will make the best of your stay in a perfect destination for the most discerning.