Admiring the picturesque mountain views and landscapes atop a ski-lift, feeling the cold winds nipping your skin, experiencing the adrenaline rush to start skiing – there’s nothing more exciting than a day on the slopes.
Quickly outgrowing its exclusivity of being an adventure sport for intrepid mountain junkies, skiing has now become a mainstream activity. Moreover, ski resorts around the world have kept up with the increasing demand, adding resorts, entertainment centers and all sorts of outdoor and indoor recreational activities.
So, if you’re a lover of riding down the mountain slopes and wondering where to go, here is a list of places that are world ranked for both off-piste and on-piste activities.
Top Skiing Destinations Around the World For the Adventurer in You
With the jaw-dropping Matterhorn Mountain as their crown jewel, it’s no wonder that Zermatt attracts tourists from all around the world.
Well known for its scenic beauty, Zermatt is an iconic resort renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking. There are 360km of high-altitude trails to explore, some lying at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, so snow here is good for a very long season.
Skiing here is split into four main areas; Gornergrat, Sunnegga, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. And then there are public outdoor rinks for ice-skating and curling, and transport varies from electric taxis to horse-drawn sleighs.
An enchanting Alpine village, the town has plenty of modern touches, like its state-of-the-art lift system and swanky après-ski diversions. Its main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, 5 star hotels, celebrity chef restaurants, and lively bars.
Don’t miss the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car; this is Europe’s highest cable car (3,885m up on the Klein Matterhorn) and offers mesmerising views of the Matterhorn itself.
Snow-capped mountains, sparkling lakes, gushing waterfalls, powdered steeps and inviting restaurants – Whistler’s offerings suit everyone!
The most popular attraction here is Whistler Blackcomb, and why wouldn’t it be? This massive resort is spread over 8,100 acres of land, sees nearly 40 feet of snowfall annually and hosts some of the best ski activities in the world.
Moreover, Whistler is also an ideal vacation spot for mellow travelers. The place hosts impressive museums and art galleries that are filled with beautiful exhibits.
If your checklist of ski resort needs a picture-perfect view, traffic free location and longest downhill run in the world, then Murren is the place for you.
Nestled in the shadows of massive mountains, Murren is also near to Lauber horn – the longest downhill runs on Earth. Known to provide the best skiing experience in Europe, the area also hosts various outdoor activities for tourists.
Chamonix for short, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. At the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, it’s renowned for its skiing.
Situated at the northern side of Mont Blanc, the town of Chamonix is the oldest and most renowned ski destinations in France. The mountain town is bustling with tourists all round the year for its variety of off-piste locations and local cuisines.
The best place here for skiing is the Le Tour resort, which is famous for its skiing options. Its ski route is of 20 km, navigating around and over many crevasses and surrounded by a picturesque view of the Alps.
Year-round cable cars take visitors up to several nearby peaks with panoramic views, including Aiguille du Midi above town, and Pointe Helbronner, across vast glacier fields on the Italian border.
Get the Chamonix Le Pass ski pass or the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass for access to 410 km of slopes in all three countries.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado USA
Named after the hot springs here, Steamboat Springs is a must visit for all adventure junkies and nature lovers. The city is surrounded by beautiful ranches and offers a plethora of outdoor pursuits that entice visitors, however, it is most renowned for its skiing options.
Featuring over 3,000 acres of prime ski land, Steamboat Springs is commonly named as the #1 ski town in the United States. It’s known for world class skiing and snowboarding, and is a great way to experience all the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
Howelsen Hill is Colorado’s oldest continuously operated ski area, since 1915 and is a local favorite. Famous for it’s Olympic history and heritage, Howelsen Hill is offering free skiing on Sunday’s this winter.
Jump over to steamboat.com for ticket rates and mountain updates.
St Anton – Austria
St Anton is an Austrian village in the Tyrolean Alps. It’s known as a gateway to the Arlberg ski region and is often called the “cradle of alpine skiing” for its role in inventing the sport.
The Museum St. Anton am Arlberg chronicles local ski history in a traditional chalet. Lifts and cable cars provide access to the slopes of Valluga and Rendl, and a network of mountain trails with varying terrain branches out from the town.
The historic town has a homely atmosphere, and is reasonable in price. The town is (in)famous for its lively after-ski scene, so if you’re looking for pistes and parties, you’ve come to the right place!
Travel Insurance for Ski Trips
The world is full of powdery mountains and slopes to explore, though skiing is not often included in your basic travel insurance packages. As such, it’s imperative to include it as an optional extra. Usually this comes covered under extras for adventure sports.
You can buy travel insurance online, but make sure that you purchase comprehensive protection beyond the basic loss of baggage, missed flights, and personal accident cover.
Not only should your policy cover you for snow sport related injuries, if you’re traveling with your own equipment as opposed to renting, you should also ensure your gear is insured in case of loss or damage.
The best way to enjoy a hurl down the snowy slope in the Alps is to know that you’re fully covered should anything go awry, even at breath-taking speeds. You don’t want to get out there having purchased travel insurance online and then find out that you’re not covered.
It is absolutely crucial to read the fine print and understand the benefits of your policy – if you’re unsure, call the support / customer service line and ask them if you’re covered for snow sports.