The winter period can be somewhat daunting if you’re stuck in a place that has little to offer in terms of outdoor activities. What’s the fun in having time off work when you’re stuck inside the house due to a lack of things to do in your local area?
If skiing is your thing, then you may want to consider one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world as your next holiday destination.
Whether you’re a dedicated mountaineer, an enthusiastic snowboarder, or a sucker for all things wellness, these resorts guarantee an unforgettable holiday experience for the whole family. If you’re on in search of inspiration for your next winter getaway and you want somewhere with stunning scenery, then take a look at these exquisite resorts.
1. Avoriaz, France
Referring to Avoriaz as a mere ski resort wouldn’t really do it justice – it’s so much more than that. The right term might be something along the lines of “leisure resort,” seeing as it offers activities beyond skiing and other winter sports. During the summer months, tourists flock to Avoriaz and the Morzine community to hike, mountain bike, or enjoy a round of golf with spectacular views of the surrounding beautiful mountain range. The Aquariaz, a stunning water park that opened its doors in 2012, has become a major attraction, and sports a large variety of tropical plants and trees for an exotic experience throughout the whole year.
2. Cortina d’Ampezo, Italy
The scenic town of Cortina d’Ampezzo has established itself as one of the most popular destinations for international jet setters, and it’s not hard to understand the attraction. This ski resort offers its guests a well-rounded holiday experience the whole family can enjoy. Organized ski tours through the Dolomite Alps will take you past icy waterfalls, picturesque mountain farms, and breath-taking views of the Lagazuoi. Youngsters who crave a little more adventure will have a blast ice-karting their way down a track specifically designed for this new winter sport trend. The evenings invite leisurely strolls through Cortina to visit the many shops and museums before getting dolled up for the nearest après-ski party.
3. Lake Louise, Canada
Located in the Banff National Park in Alberta, the Lake Louise Ski Resort is equipped with one of the largest terrain parks in Western Canada, and a large learning area for adults and kids alike. If you’re not all that confident about your skiing skills just yet, you can book private lessons or join a group while the kids spend a day of fun and games at the resort’s daycare center. The resort offers excellent summer and winter deals and a whole list of exciting activities, such as a sightseeing Gondola trip that takes you over the Canadian Rockies – keep your eyes peeled for Grizzly bears!
4. Meribel, France
The Meribel ski resort’s extensive slopes cater to all levels of experience, thus making it a family friendly winter sport destination. The Olympic Centre is open throughout the entire year and is equipped with all the features necessary to make your holiday memorable, and above all, relaxing. Whether you’re looking to take up a new activity such as rock climbing or ice-skating, pamper yourself in the spa area, or just keep the kids entertained on the water slide, it’s all possible here. Book one of the many traditional wooden chalets to capture the cosy spirit of the French Alps.
5. Wengen, Switzerland
If you have always pictured yourself spending the cold winter months in a charming little mountain village, book your holiday to Wengen now. This is a car-free resort that can be reached via rail or gondola. It is extremely popular for its “Swiss Snow Kids Village,” where children (above 3 years of age) are invited to spend the day playing games, learning how to ski, and taking turns on the snow carousel while their parents brave the adult slopes.
6. Morzine, France
If you’re looking for a ski resort with real character, Morzine is it. Around 650 kilometers (about 400 miles) of ski slopes guarantee an active winter holiday, and once the snow has melted away, the beautiful landscape turns into a natural paradise for all those who are looking to spend their summers hiking through its dense forests and along the river gorge. Settle into one of the luxurious chalets with views of Lake Geneva to the north, and the Mont Blanc alpine range to the south, and you will return home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
7. Val D’isere, France
When even the totally un-sporty but Absolutely Fabulous Edina and Patsy take to a winter skiing resort, you know it is hip and happening – and that is most certainly the case with Val D’Isére. At only five kilometers (3 miles) from the Italian border and that of the Vanoise National Park, it has been cited as the “Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World.” The majority of the resort is made up of chalet-style houses and hotels, all of which are illuminated with mesmerizing light fixtures bathing the snowy streets in a warm, welcoming glow.
8. Zermatt, Switzerland
In Zermatt, winter sports are possible all year long in the highest ski resort in Europe. Surrounded by the Pennine Alps and offering 360km (about 220 miles) of skiing and snowboarding opportunities along Klein Matterhorn, Schwarzsee, Gornergrat and Sunnega, Zermatt is one of the most popular winter sport destinations in Switzerland. Like some of the other ski resorts mentioned on this list, Zermatt prohibits the use of combustion-engine cars, and runs almost entirely on battery-driven transport to ensure a smog-free view of the Matterhorn.
9. Niseko, Japan
When we think of countries famous for its ski resorts, Japan doesn’t immediately spring to mind; but as it turns out, the Abuta District in Hokkaido attracts skiing enthusiasts from around the world. Made up of four resorts, a variety of groomed slopes, tree runs, obstacle parks, and the largest lit area for night-skiing in Japan, Niseko guarantees an exciting holiday stay. To round off the experience, book yourself into one of the site’s beautiful lodges decorated in Japanese or Western style.
10. Alpbach, Austria
The Tyrolean Mountains and their traditional farm and guesthouses are absolutely enchanting during the height of the winter months. When the entire area is covered in crunchy, white snow, it’s difficult not to feel as though you have just stepped onto the scene of a romantic Christmas movie. Alpbach may be one of the smaller ski resorts on this list, but it has more than plenty to offer, including at least 18km (11 miles) of black runs, great walking tracks leading past wonderful waterfalls, and traditional mountain restaurants where you can kick back with a beer and a delicious helping of Käiserschmarn.