Ski season is in full swing and what better way to begin a new year than by booking a fantastic ski trip? There are numerous ski resorts all over the world competing for your snow bunny aspirations, but we’ve done all the hard work for you, rounding up the top resorts — so grab your boots, your skis and get ready for an adventure!
Incredible scenery meets world-class skiing in Italy. For Dolomites skiing in South Tyrol, look no further than the incomparable Kronplatz Ski Resort. Three separate ski areas each offer their own special twist on the sport, but all three promise the perfect postcard view of towering white mountains. They are the Plan de Corones-Kronplatz, Speikboden, and Klausberg. With a whopping 192 kilometres of ski slopes, there are more than 50 ski lift facilities here. From beginners to adrenaline-pumping seekers, the resort itself boasts runs that range from “flat as a board” to “resembling the descent into Hell.” Now how’s that for a description?
Here in the gorgeous Puster Valley, a day on the slopes offers everything you could wish for in an alpine skiing holiday. With 32 state-of-the-art lifts, and lots of pistes catering to all abilities, you really cannot go wrong. The resort’s professional piste groomers make sure you will enjoy excellent ski conditions throughout the season. All skiers need to recharge, and Kronplatz does just that, while also delighting the palette with a variety of dining experiences. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at 1,600 metres above sea level before embarking on your thrill-fueled day of skiing. Then later on, indulge in exquisite wine tastings and enjoy local cheese specialties. Hotel Petrus gives you direct access to Kronplatz and is a great option for your home base. After a fun day of skiing, relax in one of their stylish and comfortable rooms, complete with a breakfast buffet, and full-service wellness area including indoor/outdoor pool, a relaxation pool, saunas and gym.
A snow-sure location and perfectly groomed slopes are available all winter long at this famous location. With 38 km of slopes and eight modern lifts, you will ascend quickly, then take the mountain down at your own speed. Snowboarders and freestylers who seek an adrenaline-pumping time will also have their day in the sun. And for beginners, a top-shelf ski school awaits to convert one and all to this great winter sport. Après-ski, enjoy six excellent restaurants serving up tasty meals — among them, the Sonklarhutte, voted the “Most Beautiful Ski Hut of the Year” in 2014. And if you’re still feeling energetic after your meal, check out South Tyrol’s longest toboggan run.
This mountain has 34 km of ski runs and is one of the best ski resorts for beginners and professionals. A ski school with over 40 instructors will ensure you will not be left in the snow dust — there are even special courses for the little ones! Experience the Klausbergflitzer, the longest Alpine roller coaster in Italy, where parents can ride with the kids on its long descent.
When the ski day is done, head to the warm, wood-paneled inn for delicious Alpine cuisine worthy of royalty. Live music can also be enjoyed in the evenings, as well as an after-dinner drink at the Hexenkessel Pub.
Just a few minutes’ drive north of Quebec City is Stoneham. With three terrain parks, Quebec’s only Olympic half-pipe and great night skiing, this popular ski resort checks the boxes for many an avid skier. Forty-two trails spread over three mountains will cater to every category of skier. Discover the best skiing and snowboarding Quebec has to offer in the way of the well-renowned Park XL 418. It offers its own brand of challenges with various jumps, stair modules, rails, and more.
The intermediate park will improve your jib and jump skills on medium and large rails, while beginners have their own area at the Intro Park. Then get your après-ski on at Le Quarte-Foyers, a must-try experience after a long day tackling the slopes. Later, hop into one (or both!) of the free hot tubs in the Arctic Spa Zone to get the last remaining kinks out, soothe those ski legs and get ready for round deux! Or, if your desires crave something different, try your hand at snowshoeing, geocaching and ice skating. Nearby is Monsieur Jean L'hôte particulier. Just 25 minutes’ drive from Stoneham, this suite hotel offers a king-size bed, kitchen area and heated floors in every room. Unwind in your room, or relax in the open hall with a piano, open-plan workspace, library and board games. Concierge service and Wi-Fi throughout the property makes this a great place to hang your hat after a long day on the slopes.
French ski resorts are in a class all of their own. The Les 3 Vallées together make up the largest ski area in the world! Not to bore you with numbers, but you cannot deny that 600 km of pistes with 328 downhill skiing pistes, 183 ski lifts, 120 km of cross-country tracks and 35,000 hectares of nature gets your blood pumping, just a little bit? Even better, a single ski pass gives you access to all of it. For you snowboarders, there are some fearsome off-piste snowparks; a veritable playground for you to explore the powder. And when the natural snow gets thin (as it tends to do sometimes) not to worry! Three Valleys has the best artificial snow-making facilities on the planet. Six separate resorts, all interconnected, ensure you get a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding options:
Meribel – This resort offers the best nightlife and puts you in the heart of the Three Valleys. You cannot go wrong here with challenging off-pistes, huge drop-offs, moguls and ski-runs.
Courchevel – It’s the most exclusive resort in France, and you can choose from a wide array of activities including off-piste skiing, mogul runs and vertical black runs. The après-ski scene is not bad, either!
La Tania – Known as a family resort thanks to its wide, gentle pistes, there are off-pistes here as well, with adrenaline-inducing drop-offs and huge bowls. Their après-ski will keep the entire family happy.
Les Menuires – Perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, this resort has great red and blue runs. It is also family-friendly, with lots of activities for the kids.
Val Thorens – Europe’s highest ski resort! Above 3,000 meters high to be exact. Here you can enjoy some off-piste fun, a central snow park and great nightlife.
St Martin de Belleville – This is the small, quiet resort of the bunch. Great for expert skiers and snowboarders who like the crowds a bit thinner.
Niseko can arguably be considered the powder capital of the world, and rightly so. Located on northern Japan’s Hokaido Island, it has some of the top ski resorts in the country, and is a bustling playground for ski and snowboard enthusiasts the world over. Here you will find incredible long trails, tree runs and large powder bowls. If you are an experienced skier, take in the thrill of going off-piste, something uncommon in Japan, as there are gates that will lead you out from many resorts into the backcountry. Niseko also offers plenty of après-ski indulgence. With trendy bars and restaurants ranging from casual to elegant, relax in style with the most delectable food. Then when the mood strikes, check out the island’s hot springs onsen bathing, an authentic Japanese tradition. Additionally, the Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu is the largest ski resort in Niseko; if you want to be in the heart of ski central in Japan, this is it. With a large site that consistently has fresh powder, this ski resort never fails to deliver. There are a variety of courses available, offering different views of vistas and you will never want for spectacular scenery. The resort caters to more advanced skiers as well as beginners, as they offer classes throughout the season. Are you a beginner? Not to worry, there are gondolas to take you up in elevation for great views of nature, before bringing you back down to shop, eat and drink. And when the sun goes down, the fun continues with a few hip spots such as the jazzy Bar Gyu (also known as The Fridge Door).
With 2,500 metres of Alpine goodness, the French Alps await you! This is France’s 5th largest linked ski area, where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, on piste or freeride, cross country skiing, a ski touring trail and Nordic skiing. Something to suit every wintery taste! Your winter adventure starts on snowy boulevards — with a total of 203 runs and 86 ski lifts, experience the mountain’s natural contours and try your hand at freestyling. The Flaine and Grand Massif offer every possible variety of terrain. Beginners will love Flaine, with three magic carpet lifts and an epic gondola lift serving 3 dedicated beginner’s areas. Intermediate skiers can indulge in 14 km of blue run on the edge of the Sixt-fer- à-Cheval nature reserve. From the top of Les Grandes Platières, take in breathtaking panoramic views over Mont Blanc before hitting the Serpentine run, known for hosting many major ski races. The peace and serenity of cross country skiing is alive and well here and something to be enjoyed for those at all ski levels. Two and a half kilometres of marked blue trail guide you for both skating and classic-style cross country skiing. After it’s all said and done for the day, unwind with the resort’s many varied restaurants and bars offering entertainment, concerts and themed evenings.
January is the perfect time of year to book an unforgettable skiing holiday. Whether you choose to stay in Europe or venture to the farther reaches of North America and Asia, there are plenty of snow-sure locations perfect for beginners and professionals.
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