From legendary resorts like Aspen and Vail to quieter, more remote locales like Zermatt and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in the world. And it’s not hard to see why. The adrenaline rush of carving down a mountain at breakneck speed or traversing vast expanses of snow-covered terrain leaves you feeling mentally and physically exhilarating. With so many different destinations worldwide and each with its own culture and charm, how do you decide which ski resort is best for you? Here are ten of our favorite places to ski around the globe:
Whistler Blackcomb, B.C., Canada
Whistler Blackcomb is a ski resort in British Columbia, Canada. It’s the largest ski area in North America and has the highest vertical drop (2,440 m) of any ski area in North America. The resort is located north of Vancouver in the Coast Mountains near Whistler village.
The name “Whistler” was given by George Mercer Dawson during his travels through British Columbia in 1866-67 as he searched for gold and mineral deposits; he named it after his friend John Work who had accompanied him on his previous trip through this region in 1859-60
Located in the Swiss Alps, Verbier is a ski resort with a reputation for off-piste skiing. It’s not just about the powder; Verbier also has one of the best après ski scenes in Europe, with countless bars and clubs to choose from at night. The variety of accommodation options available makes it an ideal base for any kind of holidaymaker–whether you’re looking for luxury or something more affordable, there are plenty of places to stay here.
Vail is the largest ski resort in the United States and is also home to more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. Six peaks make up Vail Mountain: West Vail (the highest at 10,622 feet), Blue Sky Basin (9,337 feet), Lionshead (9,010 feet), Mid-Vail (8,400 feet), East Vail (7,819 feet), and Jane’s Basin (7,180 feet). All six are interconnected by lifts that run from early morning until late afternoon every day of the week except Christmas Day or when there is heavy snowfall.
The town has plenty of restaurants and shops where you can find souvenirs from your ski trip and other essentials like sunscreen and ski gear rentals if needed!
Gudauri is a ski resort located in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, a country that borders Russia and Azerbaijan. Located at an elevation of 2000m (6600 feet), Gudauri offers some of the highest skiing in Europe, with runs going up to 2300m (7500 feet). The vertical drop is 700m (2300 feet) from top to bottom.
The resort has been popular among Russian skiers since it opened in 2006; however, tourism numbers have declined significantly due to political tensions between Russia and Georgia since 2008.
Zermatt is a village in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. The village is located above the tree line, at 1,620 meters (5,310 ft) above sea level, and it’s home to some of the most incredible skiing available on earth.
The Matterhorn mountain sits at just over 4,000 meters high and towers over Zermatt like an imposing king looking down on his subjects below him. You may have seen this famous peak before – it’s been featured in many films, including James Bond: For Your Eyes Only (1981), Cliffhanger (1993), and Mission Impossible III (2006).
People worldwide know Stowe for its stunning views of Mount Mansfield and the surrounding mountains. It’s also home to more than 50 trails and 5,000 vertical feet of skiing terrain. The mountain has a beginner area on one side, an intermediate area on another side, and an advanced area on its third side–and there are plenty of lifts that access each section so you can switch back and forth if you want to challenge yourself further with each run down the hill!
Aspen/Snowmass Village, CO
Aspen/Snowmass Village is the largest ski resort in Colorado, offering over 5,300 acres of terrain. It has a vertical drop of 4,500 feet and is known for its high base elevation (at 8,200 feet), making it a great destination if you want to get away from colder climates and experience some spring skiing–or even summer skiing! The resort also hosts some of the best events on the circuit: Aspen/Snowmass hosts both FIS World Cup Skiing Events and X Games every year.
Breckenridge and Keystone, Colorado
Breckenridge and Keystone are a pair of ski resorts in Summit County, Colorado. Each has its own mountain village and offers something different for skiers and snowboarders. Breckenridge is the oldest ski resort in Colorado, opening in 1963; it’s also known for being one of the best places to learn how to ski or snowboard at beginner-friendly slopes. Keystone has the largest terrain park on any resort in North America–it has more than 80 features, including rails, boxes, jumps, and bumps–and is home to some famous events like World Cup Speed Skiing Championships.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is the perfect destination for beginners, intermediates and experts alike. With so much snow and sunshine (the highest average annual snowfall in Europe), this ski area has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to learn how to ski or improve your technique, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is an ideal place for families as well.
Chamonix Mont Blanc, France
Chamonix is a great place to learn to ski. It’s got a variety of terrain for all levels and many ski schools, restaurants, and bars. There are also several hotels and resorts in the area, so you can stay there if you want to make it your home base while exploring other regions nearby.
Skiing is a great way to experience the world. You can visit some of the most beautiful places on earth while enjoying good exercise and nature. The best part about this sport is that there are so many different types of mountains around the globe where you can go skiing. From small towns in Colorado to huge resorts in Whistler, Canada, plenty of options are available for everyone who enjoys this activity!