Is there anything better than feeling the sun on your face while crunching through perfect, powdery snow? Whether it’s an adventurous winter sports trip, or a chance to also soak up the winter festivities in one of the best places to ski (or snowboard!) around the world.
The ultimate chic adventure holiday, taking to the slopes for a stylish skiing or snowboarding trip is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
But if you’re not a natural snow-bunny, don’t worry. There are a plethora of places around the world offering fantastic ski (and aprés-ski!) for a variety of levels.
So whether you’re a total beginner wanting to learn how to glide over the glistening snow, or a complete pro keen to whizz down a black run there’s a perfect spot for you on our list.
The best ski resorts for every skier
Best for beginners
For beginners, the most important thing is finding somewhere with great teachers on tap and a variety of decent nursery slopes (these are beginner slopes).
Additionally you should look for free/beginner ski passes as you’re unlikely to want to ski for the entire day so may not end up utilising the standard passes (which can be expensive).
For best ski resorts try Cortina
A beautiful spot just a couple of hours drive from Venice, you will find Cortina at the base of the stunning Dolomites.
There are plenty of calm, nursery slopes and a variety of spots to enjoy some off-piste food and drink too.
If you get sick of skiing but still want to enjoy the natural beauty of the Italian Alps, there are plenty of well-marked walking trails through the UNESCO World Heritage recognised Dolomites.
Check for hotels in Cortina
For best ski resorts try Tignes, France
Not only does Tignes offer a beautiful setting in the French Alps nestled in-between the peaks of Grande Motte and La Grande Casse, but the resort is also next door to the famous Val D’Isere.
Although, arguably, not as pretty as its neighbour, Tignes offers some of the best snow around. And is perfect for beginners with a noted ski-school at its heart.
The school even offers female-only classes, perfect if you are keen to perfect your skills with a group of like minded women.
Check for hotels in Tignes
Best for experts
No nursery slopes allowed when you are a pro-skier!
You can take your pick of resorts when you need a bit more of a challenge, and these snow-spots should test your skiing mettle.
For best ski resorts try Zermatt, Switzerland
A spectacular resort with incredibly challenging on and off-piste action make Zermatt perfect for the more experienced skier.
It’s long been a popular snow-sports destination thanks to an extensive ski area of 360km of pistes, high-altitude slopes and stand-out views of the Matterhorn.
The season stretches nicely too, so you can enjoy top snow from November to April. A truly luxurious resort, it’s home to the stunning Omnia Hotel, where you can even book a stay at your own penthouse apartment with a sauna, jacuzzi and floor to ceiling windows.
Check for hotels in Zermatt
For best ski resorts try Whistler, Canada
With high bowls and deep couloirs, Whistler has long attracted the most dedicated of skiers and snowboarders.
The resort has excellent snow all season which, combined with the amazing run of bowls at the top of the mountain which are easily accessible. But if you want a doubly challenging ski, hike up to the Flute Bowl which you can only get to on foot.
And both the Couloir and Cirque runs are steep and narrow, giving you an extra challenge on your way down.
Check for hotels in Whistler
For best ski resorts try St Anton, Austria
With hair-raisingly steep slopes, St Anton is your place.
Grab a gondola, cable car and lift up to the Valluga Bowl at the top of the mountain and enjoy exhilarating runs, and off-piste action. If you want to reach the very top, the Valluga-2, you have to take an official mountain guide with you, such is its precariousness.
This is a resort for experts, and adrenaline junkies!
Check for hotels in St Anton am Arlberg
Best for aprés-ski
Ideally, you want something that isn’t too intense, and offers a little more than just skiing too.
It’s all well and good spending your days on the slopes, but when the cable cars take you back to reality at the end of the day you need something… more.
Which is where the importance of finding somewhere with great aprés-ski comes in. Whether it’s great nightlife, delicious alpine food with fabulous views or somewhere to spend your cash, these places will wow you.
For best ski resorts try Méribel, France
One of the prettiest resorts, Méribel has a prime location at the centre of the Trois-Vallées.
After a tough day skiing, hit La Folie Douce (near the Saulire Express mid-station) for a couple of hours of dancing.
When that ends around 5pm, head to Rond-Point where you can enjoy a glass of wine or two with some live music to accompany it.
Check for hotels in Meribel
For best ski resorts try Verbier, Switzerland
If you want to burn a hole in your pocket, Verbier will certainly help you out.
A short hop from Geneva airport, you can hit the slopes within a few hours of leaving the UK. This means you can get the activities out of the way even quicker to enjoy some of the top quality aprés.
Pub Mont Fort and the Farinet Bar are both great places to enjoy a drink or two, and The Fer à Cheval offers great value dinner too.
Check for hotels in Verbier
Images used here under a Creative Commons licence include by Leo-setä