For lovers of snow, colder, crisper weather and the chance to don some skis or snowboards, winter is a magical time of year. Heading to some far off land where you can experience remote mountain ranges, or staying local and flying to the nearest ski resort in America, can be the ideal vacation for many. But with so many destinations, how can you decide where to visit? Below are the best places to snowboard and the best places to ski.
Europe has many ski resorts. From Italy to Slovakia, to Spain and France, you’ll be overwhelmed by the choice available to you. Pick from lavish resorts and small, quaint cabins, and indulge in a selection of winter sports.
Slovakia is a fantastic destination for lovers of winter sports. Jasna Nizke Tatry, located in the Low Tatras mountains, has a broad selection of winter activities. Choose from dog sledding, natural thermal springs, snowshoeing and, not forgetting, 50km of ski runs. A mesmerizing location for families or individuals looking for the best places to ski.
France is the go-to place for those seeking the best places to snowboard and ski. With many resorts to choose from and a large selection of beautiful towns, a trip to any of the following would make a wonderful vacation. La Clusaz is one of the closest ski resorts to Geneva airport, and its vibrant community can keep all tourists entertained and in awe. In La Clusaz, choose from ice driving, ice skating, and even ski biking.
If you are desperate for a break from the snow, a visit to the Ax-Les-Thermes in the French Pyrenees can help replenish you after a hard day of skiing and snowboarding.
America is a diverse country, with landscapes changing from state to state. There are, of course, many great destinations for ski lovers, meaning families who cannot leave the U.S are able to enjoy a snowy break on your home turf.
Utah is home to some of the powder capitals in the world – Alta and Snowbird have plentiful and frequent snow, making them some of the best places to ski. However, you should note that snowboarding is banned on Alta’s slopes, although it is allowed in Snowbird. You can make a day of skiing, with a self-service restaurant and coffee shop at the summit of Snowbird. Here, you can witness spectacular views while eating lunch.
Wyoming is home for expert skiers. Jackson Hole offers one of the most signature runs when it comes to skiing, with Corbet’s Couloir being a must for thrill seekers and professional skiers or snowboarders. While Jackson Hole is an excellent location for experts, if you are a novice when it comes to such winter sports, there is terrain for beginners.
Japan is blessed with some of the most wintery landscapes. While many flock to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, for those looking for the best places to ski and snowboard, heading to Hokkaido, Sapporo or Nagano can be ideal.
Nagano is home to one of Japan’s oldest and largest ski resorts, Nozawa Onsen. This popular ski resort is perfect for skiers and boarders of all levels, from learners to experts. For families after a vacation full of exhilarating winter sports, Nozawa Onsen offers English-speaking instructors.
Hokkaido offers beautiful slopes, with ski resort Rusutsu spreading across three mountains. Experts can ski through tree runs and backcountry, while there are trails for beginners. What’s more, kids can enjoy tubing and snowmobiling, and after a day of skiing or snowboarding, everyone can relax and unwind in the onsen.
Do you fancy skiing in New Zealand? If so, this far-flung country has much to offer you. Spectacular scenery is in abundance throughout New Zealand, and the country has world-class terrain, too. What’s more, if your budget can handle it, you can venture off-piste and experience a more rugged New Zealand.
Canterbury, a popular region in New Zealand’s South Island, has plenty of snow-capped mountains and a variety of resorts for skiers and boarders to excite them. Mt Hutt is home to some of the best snow conditions in New Zealand, but be sure to check the weather conditions as it can be prone to strong winds. For powder-lovers, though, Craigieburn is considered one of the best places to ski due to its Kiwi authenticity. Craigieburn is a challenging ski field, making it ideal for experts.
Whakapapa is a ski resort with a difference. How many people can brag that they have skied down an active volcano? Mt Ruapehu’s huge ski field will keep skiers and boarders entertained, and when you’re done, its sister, Turoa, offers the longest vertical run in New Zealand.