Travel around the world and discover some of the top ski resorts and most delightful alpine villages in the northern hemisphere. From charming Wild West ski villages in the Colorado Rockies to the panoramic mountain ranges of Europe, the ideal winter holiday destination is just a plane ticket away.
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7 of the Best Ski Holiday Destinations to Book for a Winter Vacation
- Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
- Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
- Verbier, Switzerland
- Soelden, Austria
- Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada
- Telluride, Colorado
- Alpe d’Huez, France
- In Conclusion
Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
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Lake Tahoe is a beautiful scenic lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range between California and Nevada. The lake's eastern shore brushes up against the municipal boundary of Carson City, the capital of Nevada. The Lake area is known for its dramatic scenery and world-class ski resorts, attracting skiers of all levels from around the world. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest snow resort in either state, while the picturesque Squaw Valley ski resort once played host to the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
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Niseko is one of the top-rated ski resorts in Japan, located on the northern island of Hokkaido. The resort area surrounds the imposing and insurmountable Mount Yotei, an active volcano with an appearance similar to the iconic Mount Fuji. Niseko is divided into four separate ski resorts, Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and An’nupuri, which are connected via a gondola.
The resort's terrain is divided almost equally between beginner, intermediate and expert levels, so skiers of all levels will find plenty of courses here. Niseko is famous for its heavy snowfall and quality powder snow that lasts for a long ski season.
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The very picture of an alpine village, Verbier is set among the Swiss Alps, the settlement terraced into the mountain's slope like a holiday greeting card. Verbier's ski area encompasses the great Mount Fort, which offers panoramic views of the nearby alpine range including the iconic Matterhorn, the tallest mountain among the Swiss Alps. Verbier is known for its backcountry skiing, also known as 'off-piste', which is skiing away from the marked and prepared runs - the powderhound's equivalent to offroading.
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In winter, the quaint mountain village of Soelden is arguably Austria's most popular tourist destination. The resort offers multiples hills, with three soaring peaks reaching 3,000 meters above sea level and spectacular views of the surrounding Alps from their viewing platforms. Soelden's popularity increased when it was chosen as the set for the 2015 James Bond blockbuster, 'Spectre'. Visitors can check out the set at Ice Q Restaurant, which was 'Hoffler Klinik' in the film, and the very Hollywood-eque Bond museum called 007 Elements, located on Mount Gaislachkogl and accessible only by gondola.
Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada
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Blue Mountain is beautiful all year round with a huge variety of activities on offer, but is best enjoyed in winter when the slopes fill up with natural snow and the village comes alive. The area's other winter activities include sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skating and further out, Georgian Hills Vineyard wine tastings, winter caving expeditions and a Nordic hot springs experience at The Scandinave Spa. Blue Mountain is the preferred winter retreat for those in Toronto, and AUC Tours offers daily shuttles up to the Blue Mountain area.
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The charming, all-American town of Telluride was named the best ski town in the USA by the esteemed Conde Nast Traveler, who called it 'authentic' and 'unpretentious'. Something that's hard to find among the rows of identical condos and big box, brand name stores lining most of the region's ski resort towns. Telluride is lauded for its high-altitude slopes and wide, open runs, which give the resort's vast range an exclusive feel, free of crowds. The town is surrounded by dozens of mountains, of which a handful are groomed for ski slopes. The tallest is the impressive Mount Palmyra which rises 4000 meters above sea level.
Alpe d’Huez, France
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Located on the Western Alps, Alpe d'Huez is the premier downhill skiing destination in France. The resort is one of the largest in the world, its expansive alpine skiing terrain encompassing nearly 250 kilometers of runs, including the Sarenne expert-level run which, at 16 kilometers in length, is the world's longest. Black diamond skiers flock to Alpe d'Huez for its off-piste opportunities and high-altitude runs, but the resort also boasts gentle, man-made slopes for beginners.
Can't decide where to go this winter? This bespoke list of the perfect ski and snowboarding destinations complete with cozy chalets, soaring mountain peaks and gorgeous alpine views aims to help you narrow it down and get packing.