Best Ski Destinations in the World

Skiing is one of the most popular hobbies and pastimes in the world. There are many who take their big annual vacations in the form of skiing holidays. For such devoted fans, here is a list of the best spots to indulge in this thrilling hobby.
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Best ski destinations in the world
Did You Know?
Primitive forms of skiing were invented in Scandinavia more than 5,000 years ago!
Skiing is a famous thrill all over the world, and why not! The glorious mountainous vistas, the magically white snow, the adrenaline-pumping stunts, and most importantly, fantastic memories with your loved ones! Who would reject that?

This exciting activity needs some very precise atmospheric conditions, which are, fortunately, abundantly found in the Northern Hemisphere. Europe and North America have a majority of the best and most popular skiing destinations. The Alps, surrounded by a plethora of beguiling cuisines and flaunting an endless series of challenging and thrilling ski slopes, are one of the most frequently visited holiday destinations in the world. European ski resorts, centered around the stunning Alpine region, are one of the most visited tourist sites in the world, and are considered among the very best ski destinations.

This popularity means that skiing has now become a worthwhile cause for a trip, and not just a suffix to a vacation. Here's the best places where you can quench your thirst for this―literally―chilling thrill.

NOTE: The locations have been listed randomly, not according to any 'rank'.

Top 10 Ski Vacation Spots in the World

Jackson Hole

jackson hole

Jackson Hole is located in Wyoming, close to its border with Idaho. Its snowfall pattern had always been excellent for skiing; the inhibiting factor was the lack of infrastructure. Thankfully, of late, many vital facilities have opened up at this fantastic location, turning it into a bustling ski resort. More than 4,000 feet of vertical slopes, which contain challenging and famous chutes such as the Corbet's Couloir, make it a very popular skiing site.

This resort enjoys excellent air support―better than most other ski resorts in the US! This can only be a good thing, because this resort thrives on the element of mortal danger ever-present on its runs. It's also prized due to its placid, country surroundings, which allow visitors to extend their vacation past a skiing-only holiday.

Zermatt

zermatt

The whole of Switzerland is littered with unbelievable ski resorts, but Zermatt takes the cake thanks to one giant advantage―the Matterhorn. This legendary and deadly peak has dominated the dreams of mountaineers ever since its discovery. It has taken the lives of many, but the mission to conquer it never stops.

As to the skiing itself, Zermatt is home to one of the most variable skiing zones, with large, flat plains being accompanied by drops of more than 7,000 feet. It is situated close to the Italian border, and is a haven for mountaineers, vacationers, and skiers alike.

Alta-Snowbird

alta-snowbird

Located in the Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Alta and especially Snowbird have become wildly popular ski resorts. Just like Jackson Hole, Snowbird offers huge verticals, and a fantastic ski lift. The natural snowfall pattern here is also extremely well-suited to skiing. Apart from skiing, it is also renowned for the picturesque beauty of its surroundings.

The ski hotel at Snowbird, Cliff Lodge, is a famous facility, and according to forbes.com, is an excellent example of the heights a modest hotel can reach if the right designer is given free rein.

Whistler Blackcomb

whistler

This British Columbian wonder is an evergreen favorite among skiers. It consistently ranks very high in surveys of various facilities, and not without due reason. This cavernous facility is spread over an area of more than 8,000 acres, and receives more than 400 inches of snowfall on average. This is considered the very best ski destination in the world by many, including the popular magazine Freeskier, which has awarded it the top spot for eight years in a row! Thanks to the extreme location of Canada, the skiing season here lasts for much longer than in the U.S., an important factor in its popularity.

Aspen

aspen

The mountain town of Aspen, Colorado, is well-known as a skiers' paradise. The skiing complex of Aspen is spread over 4 mountains. Due to it being an urbanized community, it is much easily accessible than many other spots on this list. It also means that accommodation and such concerns are much more easily catered for. It hosts the X Games, and has been ranked in the very highest spots for a very long time.

Wanaka

wanaka

Situated in the ridiculously beautiful New Zealand, Wanaka, situated close to the eponymous lake, has quickly emerged as a global skiing hotspot. One of its major USPs is being situated in the Southern Hemisphere, due to which the winter here coincides with the Northern summer. This allows diehard skiing enthusiasts to fulfill their desire when it is bright and sunny back home. Many of its courses are quite challenging, and are not suitable for beginners. A glittering jewel in the crown of the alluring land of New Zealand!

Mont Tremblant

mont tremblant

Situated in the French-dominated Quebec province of Canada, Mont Tremblant is a little slice of the European Alps nestled in the Canadian wilderness. The resort has sometimes been criticized for becoming a bit garish, but the hamlet of Tremblant is still a lovely place to be. Its skiing facilities are world-class, but it has gained more repute as an idyllic vacation spot. For the enthusiastic skier, though, many challenging courses await.

Squaw Valley

squaw

Competing with the numerous ski resorts on the West Coast of the U.S. isn't easy, but this fantastic facility, situated close to Lake Tahoe, makes it look easy! Combined with the Alpine Meadows, Squaw rivals Whistler for its expanse. With 8 peaks to go with the expansive plains, the Squaw-Alpine Meadows combo comes out a winner.

Unfortunately, its proximity to the urban area of San Francisco means that it is usually crowded and has been commercialized. So, while it may not be the perfect day out for the mad skier, it is ideal for a day with the whole family!

Innsbruck

innsbruck

Innsbruck, situated in the heart of the Austrian Alps, is the perfect gateway to Europe's best skiing destinations. It is a versatile facility, with all skill levels well catered for, and is renowned as one of the best Europe has to offer.

Two of its most famed runs are the Hafelekarrinne, which is one of the steepest in Europe, and Patscherkofel, which is designed around an Olympic-grade downhill run. Its strategic and picturesque location has led to it hosting two Winter Olympics, in 1964 and 1976.

Chamonix

chamonix

This French delight is undoubtedly one of the very best ski destinations you can find! Its dangerous courses are a treat for experts. It doesn't have much in store for someone taking baby steps in skiing, but it is the ultimate destination for an enthusiastic, trained skier. It is situated very close to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, which has added to its illustrious sheen in the skiing world.

These were the best, most demanding, and most rewarding ski facilities in the world. If you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of winter just so that you can start planning skiing holidays, hope this list will be of use to you. If you haven't caught the bug yet, what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of skis and make the reservations!
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Published: February 10, 2014
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