With the ski season in full swing and snow dusting the world’s mountain ranges, there’s an incredible array of impressive snow-capped vistas to be seen. Science and travel expert National Geographic keeps a close eye on the top ski resorts and lodges each year and has compiled its top ten list for snow lovers to marvel over.
Canada’s oldest national park, Banff is a picturesque delight that delivers the opportunity for both fast-paced skiing fun and perfectly pristine tranquillity too. The park itself attracts over 4 million visitors annually making it Alberta’s most visited tourist attraction.
Perhaps Canada’s most well known resort, Whistler welcomes its winter warriors with open arms as it lets them blaze a trail down its vast and incredibly well-groomed pistes. With miles of varied runs which will test the most experienced skier along with the relative beginner, Whistler really can offer something fun and challenging for everyone.
Standing proud right next to Whistler, Blackcomb Mountain offers an equally appealing set of runs that will take skiers or any level and put them through their paces. Not only is Blackcomb stunning to look on, it also benefits from a surfeit of superb accommodation and dining options down at its base.
There’s never been a better time to visit Whistler/Blackcomb as the two peaks are linked by the technological wonder that is the Peak-2-Peak gondola.
Park City, Utah
A mere 34 miles east of Utah’s Salt Lake City lies Park City, the state’s best skiing resort. Drawing its history from the great mining operations that once criss-crossed that whole region, aerial trams were converted to chairlifts and Park City turned into a ski holiday sensation. Park City even played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics, securing it as one of the USA’s top resorts.
Zermatt has managed to secure itself as the premier skiing spot in Switzerland. No easy task in a country that is mostly mountainous and has evolved the creation of skiing resorts to almost an art form!
Chamonix, Mont Blanc
France’s skiing history is long and distinguished thanks to its continual investment in the concentration of outstanding resorts dotted along the country’s alpine region. Chamonix is among the best of them, with a great capacity for other winter sports besides skiing and snowboarding such as mountain climbing, ice climbing and mountain paragliding.
Dubbed “The Pearl of the Alps, Austria’s Kitzbuhel is home to over 100 years of skiing history. As such it has grown to become an internationally renowned ski resort that offers visitors literally hundreds of miles of pristine Alpine and cross-country skiing.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Situated just an hour’s drive outside of Montreal, Mont Tremblant is one of Canada’s smaller but just as popular ski resorts. With 94 runs spread across four different slopes, there’ll be no shortage of exploration to cram into a couple of weeks skiing.
Nestled into the wondrous vista of the Italian Dolomites, Cortina is as pretty as a postcard with some serious ski run action to match. With its old world charm, the town itself is a delight to explore and it has been the host of several Winter Olympics.
The slopes were also the site of the filming of the classic ski sequence in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only where Roger Moore was chased downhill by the black-clad motorcycle machine-gunners!
A resort known for its sophistication, Aspen in Colorado has a wide variety of challenging slopes and an equally impressive array of apres-ski options to keep you entertained and relaxed after a hard day conquering the mountain!