Top 5 Skiing Destinations – Skiing is probably the top choice when it comes to winter sports.
Thousands of travelers pick locations around the world to feel the fresh powder, tear down the slopes and fun nights on the town.
There are so many stunning places around the world; many provide top ski conditions but also gourmet dining and luxurious lodgings.
Great ski destinations boast a range of difficulty levels (and Heli Skiing Vacation) so that everyone from the novice skier to the seasoned veteran can find runs to enjoy.
When you’re not on the mountain, you’ll be able to enjoy indulgent spa services and excellent shopping. Go Skiing in Andorra
Here’s some ideas on top Skiing Destinations for the Winter you might like to consider
St. Anton, Austria
This venerated skiing destination is a big part of the sport’s history.
The terrain is challenging, with a high season running from December to April.
Gorgeous St. Anton is popular with the wealthy thanks to the world-class slopes and outstanding accommodations.
Rated the top ski resort in Austria, St. Anton offers some of the steepest slopes for skiing, not a destination for beginners!
Two new lifts have opened in Whistler, which is found in British Columbia north of Vancouver.
This posh destination is home to luxury accommodations like the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
This is North America’s largest ski area, and there are more than 200 miles of ski trails to explore.
Visit between November and May for optimum conditions for alpine skiing and snowboarding.
There’s no better place to ski from January to March than this resort town, located about 100 miles north of Venice.
This area features nearly 100 miles of ski runs in the Dolomites.
Beginners enjoy the slopes at Mietres while those with more advanced skills choose Tofana-Promedes.
Cortina has been named “the most chic winter destination”, the town is packed with amazing antique shops, great food and elegant boutiques.
Lake Tahoe, USA
Located on the state line between California and Nevada, Tahoe boasts 15 outstanding ski resorts.
With six peaks and thousands of acres, Squaw Valley is a perennial favorite.
From Thanksgiving to April’s end, the whole region offers spectacular downhill possibilities.
Lake Tahoe is known for having “epic powder, tight corduroy grommets, raucous terrain parks and endless moguls”.
Acan’t miss destination for any winter sports fan.
This is the home of the iconic Matterhorn, and skiers of all levels will find excellent conditions from November through April in this destination that is 150 miles east of Geneva.
Zermatt has three ski areas with famously long runs.
Zermatt offers world class skiing with stunning views of Switzerland’s highest peak, Mattertal.
The town is well known for being one of the top travel destinations of the Swiss Alps.
Winter Destinations for Some Snow and Sun
Trying to make winter travel plans for a couple or family that fits everyone’s needs can be a little tricky.
Some will have a deep love of snow and others can be the lodge-hating type! Winter destinations that appeal to all tastes are pretty easy to find.
Most will include enough activities on and off the ice as well as busy slopes and other adventures, anything to avoid cabin fever!
Niagara Falls, Canada
Though often thought of as a summertime destination or a honeymooner’s paradise, Niagara Falls has lots to enjoy for families traveling during the winter.
If your children are getting into winter sports, this will be a great destination that will allow downhill and cross-country skiing expeditions as well as plenty of other attractions.
Kids will love Kissing Bridge, a ski area 40 miles from Niagara Falls.
It has 36 downhill slopes and all the necessary equipment can be rented there, making it an easy day trip from your accommodation near the waterfalls.
For cross-country fun, Byrncliff Resort is another option.
When you’re deciding where to stay, you can visit this website for great deals.
When you’re not skiing, take advantage of the Rink at the Brink, the seasonal ice-skating rink overlooking the Horseshoe Falls and show the kids the amazing Disney-themed light displays lit up every evening during the Festival of Lights, which runs from November through February.
Hawaii is a great destination all year, but most travelers choosing the island state do so for the beaches and palm trees — and not for the skiing.
However, if you’ve got people in your party who’d rather ski than sunbathe and others who are adamant they want a warm vacation, Hawaii may fit the bill for both.
The tallest mountain in Hawaii, the volcano Mauna Kea, is tall enough to get snow cover during the winter months.
Note that there is no ski resort here, and instead of lifts, skiers will need to drive in with a four-wheel drive and bring their own equipment.
Skiing at such a high altitude is also very strenuous.
And, of course for the rest of the party, there’s a beach just down the mountain.
Taos, New Mexico
Explore the Southwest as well as skiing with a trip to Taos, one of New Mexico’s most interesting cities.
Though Taos may be more famous for its long-established artists’ colony and the architecture of the many buildings found on the National Register of Historic Places, it also has some good skiing in easy driving distance.
There are four ski resorts in the Taos area, providing skiing opportunities for all experience levels of skiers.
The resorts are about 20 miles from the center of Taos.
While your ski-happy family members are enjoying the slopes, stay in Taos to experience the art museums, make some art yourself or explore some of the historical places in the area, such as the adobe church at Picuris Pueblo.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Long beloved by the world’s top skiers, a wintertime visit to Jackson Hole may be a dream come true for the snow-lovers in your family.
But, in addition to all of the buzz over the powder and pistes, Jackson Hole also has quite a bit to do for non-skiers.
For example, check out the world-class spas at the many resorts nearby.
Go on a wildlife safari, try your hand at dog sledding, ride in a horse-pulled sleigh at the National Elk Refuge, visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art, take in a music show or a play, or, well, learn to ski.
The West Coast has a lot of great skiing, but when people think of Portland, Ore., they usually imagine rain — and not snow.
And, that’s fair: The City of Roses gets more than 35 inches of rain every year.
However, basing your family in Portland for your next vacation will get your favorite skiers near the Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort.
It takes about an hour-and-a-half to drive to Mount Hood from the downtown, so your group can enjoy the snowfall in the mornings and come back to the city in the evenings.
When off the slope, travelers enjoy exploring Portland’s neighborhoods, visiting the Portland Art Museum and going to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, especially with kids.
Behind Every Successful Ski Resort
The progress of our world relies heavily on bold claims so, hold-on-to-your-hats because I am about to make one.
Just as it is undeniably true that behind every successful man lies a powerful woman, (don’t even try to dispute that as a throng of angry women shall descend upon you), such a valiant assertion can also be made about Chamonix in France.
While Chamonix’s masculine pacey-peaks are a huge draw for those who love all things fast and furious, the key secret to Chamonix’s success lies with one white- woman-wonder:
La Dame Blanche.
While friends, family and locals alike know her as The White Lady, she is more formally known as the
Mont Blanc Mountain
Majestically standing as the queen of the Alps, soaring to a staggering 4,810m, she impressively wields her domain like a woman shoe-scavenging during the sale season.
Little did I know that I was about to come face to face with her take-no-prisoners mantra when I decided to scale her perilous pistes.
My expert guide, Sebastian, had pre-warned me that this would be no easy feat but, with adrenalin searing through my veins and a somewhat misguided confidence I signed on the dotted line, (and you think I am joking!)…
With Sebastian at the helm we embarked upon the classic Gouter Route, starting our journey with a cable-car ride from Les Houches and a tramway to Nid d’Aigle.
Our climb continued on in this leisurely fashion as we crunched along the soft terrain, breathing in the crisp alpine air…
…Sorry to lull you into a false slumber there!
Unfortunately, this gentle climb met a rather untimely demise. Instead, facing us was a five-hour trek of muscle-aching exertion to reach the Gouter refuge.
Adding further insult to injury, our treacherous trek was being captured on film, (ever worthy of Candid Camera, perhaps the pearly lining to our snow-coated cloud!)
On the second day, further scrambling, clambering and crawling were in order to traverse the now far-reaching glacial grounds.
With crampons and ice axe supporting us like a much-needed crutch, the goal of reaching the snow-hazed summit fuelled us on.
After a slow ascent over Bosses ridge, our highest hurdle, we finally reached the tip of the iceberg, the top of the peak and the end of our journey.
True, no comparisons to Neil Armstrong can be made here but one must always celebrate their own little victories.
As the sun shimmered across the soft folds of Chamonix’s undulating valley, we admired the breath-taking views from the peak of Chamonix’s power: La Dame Blanche’s icy throne.
Like a dollop of whipped cream on top of a molten chocolat chaud, her snow-drift summit was a worth-the-wait indulgent treat.
Back in the warming embrace of my accommodation in Chamonix, I revelled in the secret of Chamonix’s success.
Whilst many have an appetite for Chamonix’s après-ski adventures, the Chamonix bars and Chamonix clubs are notorious amongst the skiing scene, I knew better.
Like a girlfriend who uncovers a secret gift, I smiled smugly knowing who truly held all the keys to Chamonix’s icy kingdom.
Isabella is an enthusiastic traveller with a love of adventure. Having studied History of Art and Italian at university, it has been her lifelong dream to move to Italy to revel in the art, culture and of course the gelato!
Go Skiing in Andorra
Almost entirely mountainous, Andorra is a small state in the middle of Spain and France.
The state is well known as a tax haven and for its low-cost tourism options, especially winter tourism.
The location is particularly attractive for singles and young couples looking for entertainment in duty-free clubs, bars, snowboarding and the wildly popular Andorra skiing.
The capital Andorra la Vella deserves a visit for its excellent selection of duty-free shopping venues.
Just outside the center, there is the Caldea spa at Escalades-Engordany that offers visitors a splendid array of baths, treatments, and pools.
Andorra is fast moving up the market and it offers visitors beautiful entertainment ski spots with excellent beginner, intermediate and advanced terrains.
Vallnord Arcalis and Pal-Arinsal
The Vallnord ski area covers about 56 miles of excellent slopes featuring top-notch ski conditions.
Located in the western region of the country, Pal-Arinsal is a resort offering high-speed lifts and gondolas connecting neighboring resorts.
The Arinsal is a ski-in, ski-out resort where you ski from your hotel without even having to take the lift.
Arinsal offers visitors four black runs, seven green runs, 15 blue runs and 16 red runs that are perfect for the intermediate and beginner skiers out there.
The resort is also home to free-riders, snowboarders, and visitors looking to take in the Andorra nightlife.
Arcalis is a favorite spot for nature lovers with beautiful valleys, dramatic gorges and lots of forest cover – in combination with great snow conditions.
The resort is home to seven green runs, six blue rungs, two black runs and 10 red runs, which is a good selection for the beginner and intermediate skier.
Apart from having one of the longest beginners run in Andorra as well as a great ski school, your kids will fall in love with the Arcalis Family Park that offers them teddy bear mascots and rides.
Grandvalira Soldeu and El Tarter
The Grandvalira is Andorra’s largest ski area with a massive 30 ski resorts that cover just over 130 miles of piste and the first official resort outside of the Alps to offer visitors more than 130 miles of ski runs.
The area has 66 lifts that include 29 high-speed detachable quads and six-seater chairlifts, gondolas, giving the area the capability of handling over 100,000 skiers an hour.
The largest ski areas are Soldeu and El Tarter, which are small villages that offer you direct access to the slopes.
Both villages give you access to 16 green runs, 19 black runs, 42 red runs and 51 blue runs, meaning that they are the ideal spots for the beginner, intermediate and advanced skier.
The resorts also offer visitors a great selection of ski schools, nurseries and snow gardens with El Tarter hosting the El Tarter Snowpark – a great place for the snowboarder and the kids’ snow circuit.
Facilities in El Tarter and Soldeu offer you a huge range of nightlife and accommodation options featuring self-catering apartments and hotels.
Pas de la Casa Grandvalira
Pas de la Casa is the party town known for its high-quality nightlife – also earning the nickname “Ibiza on Snow.”
Also, the resort is suitable to all types of budgets and, of course, gives you access to the fantastic Grandvalira.
Located in the far west Grandvalira area, Pas is perfect for intermediate skiing with enough options to challenge skiers both on and off the piste .
Plus, it offers skiers two-star apartments for the budget conscious and four-star accommodation in case you would like to pamper yourself with a little luxury.
(photo credit: TRAILSOURCE.COM – Denise Mayumi – eguidetravel –SNappa2006 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 —1 – 2 – 3 – 5)