Top Ten Places to Go Skiing this Winter

Winter has officially arrived. Although this blustery season graces us all with chapped lips, frostbitten appendages and runny noses, there are tons of ways to enjoy the snowy weather of winter. One of the best ways to get out and enjoy the fresh powder is to head to the mountains.

Get your snow pants and jackets out, and prep those skis, because it is the perfect time to hit the slopes. There are so many places all over the world to enjoy this winter sport, so we’ve compiled a list of the top ten places to go skiing this winter for your convenience.

1. Zermatt, Switzerland

mountain hoist for skiers

No list of top skiing destinations would be complete without a Swiss mountain resort. The famous Matterhorn looms majestically over the town, offering views and inspiration to slide down those steep slopes. Preserving the natural scenery is clearly one of Zermatt’s priorities, as you will only find electric cars in the town. There are three Swiss ski fields and two Italian ones just across the border, all within easy reach. When it’s time to thaw out at the end of the day, your options are definitely not limited. The hardest decision will be where to dine! We all tend to associate Switzerland with winter and winter. But you know what? Switzerland is beautiful in summer too, and here are the top 3 places to visit.

2. Aspen, Colorado, United States

The United States’ Centennial State is renowned for its natural landscape. In the summer, mountain biking and hiking are among the most popular activities. Once that first flake of snow flutters down to the ground, people from all over the world flock to this skier’s haven. There are several mountains to choose from, so there is a ski field for everyone, no matter their level of expertise. What’s even more convenient is that a lift ticket is good for access on all four mountains in the nearby region. But wait, it gets even better! There is a free shuttle service to transport snow bunnies back and forth between each of the mountains. Life really can’t get much better.

3. Queenstown and Wanaka, New Zealand

skiers on new zealands coronet peak

The tiny country of New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud, has rightfully earned its spot on the list. Don’t let the country’s small size fool you! Visiting Kiwi land is like jumping inside a postcard. The ski fields of the South Island offer incredible views of the snow-capped Southern Alps, unlike any other place. The treacherous journey up the mountain is often an adventure in itself. After the day is over, be sure to unwind in the town’s lively nightlife scene, right next to Lake Wakatipu and the fabulous scenery of the Remarkables. And they are just that, remarkable.

4. Ski Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sandy desert, blazing sun and consistently sky-high temperatures may not produce ideal skiing conditions. However, Ski Dubai has defied the laws of nature and created an indoor ski resort at the Mall of Emirates (unsurprisingly one of the largest malls in the world), right smack in the middle of an arid desert landscape. What makes this a top place to go skiing this winter? An escape to a warm destination in the middle of winter is sometimes what you really need. If you want to hit the beach on your winter location, but don’t want to miss out on shredding the slopes completely, Dubai is the place to get the best of both worlds. No need to pack your bulky snow gear, as everything from equipment to glove to coats to goggles are available for the day. The best part? It’s climate controlled. While it may not be the biggest ski field you’ve ever seen, you can always count on year-round, consistent conditions.

5. Chamonix, France

male skier moving down in snow powder

If you’re afraid of heights, stay far away from this top alpine skiing destination. Extreme skiing was invented in this mountain town, and it never fails to attract snow-loving adrenaline junkies. There are eleven different ski fields with lifts that go way up into the clouds. Although it is not an amateur friendly location, there is still something for everyone in this town. If the slopes intimidate you, stick to shopping, dining or drinking. Forget looking both ways when you cross the street; there are no cars in the whole town. The only thing to be cautious of is the extreme skiing ahead of you!

6. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Yet another carless ski town, Cortina d’Ampezzo is nestled in amongst the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the northeastern part of the country. Experience extremes of both high and low budgets here, with the combination of upscale and budget resorts and restaurants. The social vibes on the streets keep the slops from becoming too crowded, which is always a plus for those not who are not fans of slaloming. There are several ski areas throughout the region, but the free shuttle service makes getting around easy. You will find mountains for beginners, intermediates and experts alike.

7. Niseko, Japan

ski runs in hokkaido

Japan usually brings sushi and anime cartoons to mind. However, this Asian island is also home to a top ski destination. Niseko is located near four different mountains which average 590 inches of fresh powder every year. Huge bright lights are on every mountain, making it a prime spot for night skiing fans. At the end of the day, snow bunnies can take a dip in the bountiful hot springs in the area to soothe those achy muscles (and bums!) and chilled bones.

8. Kitzuhel, Austria

For those in search of extreme scenery minus the extreme sports, this location is for you. It’s no surprise that the Alps offer some of the best ski terrain in the world, and Kitzuhel has received global recognition for its Hahnenkamm race course. Trails on the slopes are long and free of peril, making it a favorite for the intermediate crowd. The seemingly endless number of trails and gondolas ensure you never meet boredom on your trip, and once you tire of the snow, head to town to enjoy the lively nightlife.

9. Park City, Utah, United States

fresh powder

To neglect Park City on a top ten ski destination list would be a crime. The US Ski Team practices here for a reason. There are tons of ski fields in the area with options for all skill levels, along with a free bus service between each mountain. The vibes of the city rival the quality of its ski fields. If the skiing wasn’t so phenomenal, it would be nearly impossible to peel yourself away from the town. There is a huge arts and music scene, and Park City is also the location of January’s Sundance Film Festival.

10. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

The areas of Whistler and Backcomb join forces to create a huge winter wonderland in Canada. This location is home to the steepest of the steep and the longest of the long. There’s tons of snow, vertical drops and terrain parks. Ski hard, party hard is the motto of Whistler itself. For those in search of a quieter environment, head to one of the many easily accessibly outlying villages.

No matter where you decide to go this winter, one thing is certain. If you visit one of these top ten ski destinations, you will undoubtedly find some of the best conditions, scenery and overall experience possible.

Oh, and try not to catch a cold. Here are some tips to help you get through the winter months with your health intact.

Where is your favorite ski destination?

About the author

Alexandra Sheehan

Alex is a self-proclaimed nomad, having lived in three different countries over the past two years. When she isn’t cooking or traveling, you can find Alex curled up with a book, at the gym, or cheering on her favorite football team.

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