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Top 15 Best Ski Resorts in the World

By Brody Patterson


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Winter is here, so it’s time to dust off your skiing gear and start planning this year’s mountain vacation. Out of ideas on where to go? Maybe this will help!

15. Alyeska, Alaska

Alaska has the rugged landscapes and the snow to be a great destination for ski lovers, unfortunately it is its inaccessibility which has stymied its development in this regard. It seems, however, that the Land of the Midnight sun has drawn all of potential and poured it into the great resort of Alyeska, 40 miles south of Anchorage.

Its best features are closely related to its special location: few crowds, few trees, and about 12 hours of daylight in March, all making this a great spot for those willing to go far for a great ski experience.

14. Baqueira Beret, Spain

Baqueira Beret is Spain’s most popular ski resort. Set in the Aran Valley, part of the Pyrenees, the retreat has a little bit of something for everyone. Families and casual travelers will enjoy the multiple of beginners` slopes, dog- and horse-pulled sleds, and wide selection of restaurants. Advanced skiers, on the other hand, will definitely find the areas many black pistes fun and challenging.

13. Wanaka, New Zealand

The southern continents aren’t particularly inviting when it comes to wintersports – but there are exceptions. One of them is New Zealand’s Wanaka, which offers a full range of activities from alpine skiing, to cross country skiing, to snowboarding.

What’s particularly great about it is the fact, given its location in the Southern Hemisphere, its ski season lasts from June through October, making it the perfect destination for those who simply can’t wait till winter to hit the slopes.

12. Telluride, Colorado

Telluride is a former silver mining town in southwestern Colorado, which is now popular for a different bright and shiny substance. Though quite secluded, the place is becoming increasingly accessible thanks to more flights from places like L.A., Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta to the nearby city of Montrose. Still, the charming, ‘ski town’ atmosphere – it’s often voted American’s best – is one of its major selling points.

11. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is another delightfu little town with superb surroundings which has, over time, drawn many of the world’s rich and famous to its sophisticated hotel and great slopes.

Its picturesque location has made it a favorite among movie producers, with scenes from films such as the classic 1963 Pink Panther, Cliffhanger, and the James Bond installment For Your Eyes Only being shot here.

10. Niseko, Japan

Located on Japanäs northernmost island of Hokkaido, Niseko is probably one of the few places on Earth happy to be close to Siberia, as cold weather fronts from the area ensure generous snowfalls and very long ski season (from late November to early May).

On the flipside, snow storms are also frequent here, but there are plenty of more sheltered tree runs to offset this issue. Niseko also offers great conditions for night skiing, with the area reportedly being Japan’s largest lit area.

9. Åre, Sweden

While the Alps contribute the most to Europe’s range of skiing destinations, the perennially snowy landscapes of Scandinavia also provide an excellent setting for wintersport enthusiasts – and probably the best resort in the North is Åra, in Sweden.

A great spot for thrill-seekers of all skill levels, Åre has everything from expert-level black pistes, to challenging off-piste slopes, to easier slopes for children and beginners. For true daredevils, heli-skiing is also available.

8. Zermatt, Switzerland

Located in southern Switzerland, nestled between the tall peaks of the Pennine Alps (among which the Matterhorn is without a doubt the most famous), Zermatt’s quaint charm is in stark contrast to its majestic neighbors. However this is Europe highest ski resort, where lifts take you close to the very top of the mountain, which definitely makes for a challenging, unforgettable experience.

7. Vail, Colorado

Remarkably, Vail is a town built around a ski resort, and not the other way around! It has grown into one of the largest resorts in the world, boasting more than 5,200 acres of skiable terrain, seven famous Back Bowls spanning seven miles, and intermediate gladed terrain in Blue Sky Basin.

Equally rewarding for professionals (the US ski team trains in Golden Peak), as well as amateur ski enthusiasts, it should certainly be on the travel list of winter sports aficionados the world over.

6. Kitzbühel, Austria

Kitzbühel is not only a charming Tyrolese medieval town, but also one of the world’s most famous and popular ski resorts. Its excellent natural features are complemented by equally impressive range of facilities, with multiple gondolas, lifts, and runs, as well as accommodations for every budget awaiting travelers from all over the world.

5. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is the Manhattan of winter activities. The small Colorado town gained prominence during the 70s as a counterculture hub, but now the resort if home (well, holiday home at least) to Hollywood celebrities and millionaires. But even without the glitz and glam, Aspen is very respectable when it comes to the pure skiing experience, featuring terrain and facilities for all skill levels.

4. Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler is Canada’s premier winter resort town, in the southern Pacific Ranger of the Coast Mountains, in the province of British Columbia. Known for its pristine natural surroundings and its award-winning pedestrian village, Whistler doesn’t lack a certain grandeur.

It gets huge amounts of snow, has a large number of runs and long vertical drops – and also hosted many of the outdoor events during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, which certainly adds to its prestige.

3. Chamonix, France

Chamonix is one of the best and most well-known ski resorts in Europe, with a solid position on every adventure bucket list. Being one of the oldest ski resorts in France certainly helped establish its fame. As did the proximity magnificent Aiguille du Midi mountain (part of the Mont Blanc massif). The world-famous Vallée Blanche off-piste ski route is also there, offering the beast views in Chamonix, as well as a challenge even to experienced skiers.

2. St. Moritz, Switzerland

If Aspen is the Manhattan of ski resorts, than St. Moritz can only be compared to Mote Carlo. It is here that the reputation of the retreats of the Alps began 150 years ago. The southeastern Swiss mountain town went on to host the Winter Olympics twice (in 1928 an 1948), and is now home to some of Europe’s most exclusive hotels.

1. Courchevel, France

Courchevel, part of France’s Three Valleys area (the largest connected ski area in the world) is one of the most well-rounded entries on this list, fully deserving a spot near the very top. Considered one of the world’s most exclusive alpine destinations, the resort’s extensive lift system ensures unparalleled access to its excellent ski areas, with virtually no queuing even in the busiest of times.

Courchevel also boasts a remarkable number of luxury hotels (including two which have been designated palaces, or “six star” hotels, the only ski resort to host even one such establishment), and no fewer than 7 Michelin starred restaurants, with 11 stars between them.

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About Brody Patterson

Brody has worked as a full time staff writer for Luxatic for over five years, covering luxury news, product releases and in-depth reviews, and specializing in verticals on the website alongside the tech & leisure section, as well as men's fashion, watches and travel. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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