Top 10 Places to Ski in 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017
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Skiing changes yearly. And so too do the best skiing resort rankings across the globe. But planning a ski holiday is by no means an easy task. We’ve picked out our top 10 favourite spots for ski and après-ski – all high-altitude destinations made for the serious skier. So, before you plan your next snowy escapade, take a peek at this guide to discover the top resorts in Europe and beyond…

Skiing changes yearly. And so too do the best skiing resort rankings across the globe. But planning a ski holiday is by no means an easy task. We’ve picked out our top 10 favourite spots for ski and après-ski – all high-altitude destinations made for the serious skier. So, before you plan your next snowy escapade, take a peek at this guide to discover the top resorts in Europe and beyond…

#1. Ischgl, Austria. Best Nightlife in the World and Huge Ski Area


Once a farming village, Ischgl is now popular amongst Brits, largely owing to the quality of its pistes and music. The village’s state-of-the-art Top of the Mountain concerts have seen many A-list celebs, including the likes of Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, to name just a few.  The 2015/16 season’s opening concert was headlined by The Beach Boys, bringing together roughly 24,000 folks to the mid-mountain base of Idalp at 2,400m to admire them in action, whilst the season’s closing gig in April was hosted by rock band Muse. A night owl? We’d recommend The Schatzi, Niki’s Stadl and The Trofana Alm for a night of hardcore revelry after skiing whilst The Hotel Post’s nightclub, The Kuhstall or The Pacha’s nightclub, are perfect late night dancing venues for après-ski partygoers.

#2. Val d’Isere, France. Huge Ski Area, Amazing off-Piste, and Great Nightlife

Oh, how we love Val d’Isere. More Brits get there skiing fix here than anywhere else in the world – and there are some very good reasons why. The French resort provides superb, snow-sure slopes for beginners and expert power hounds alike, thanks to its impressive ski-piste area of 300km and 94 lifts. Val d’Isere is just over two hours from Geneva airport and one and a half from Chambery whilst the village stands at a decent height of 1,850m. The top slopes have an altitude of almost 3,400m, underneath the peak of the Pointe du Montet.  A lot of die-hard skiers accept the challenge of the Face de Bellevarde downhill (or La Face for short), designed for the 1992 Olympics. Some parts of the 915-metre drop have a 63% angle and running it earns bragging rights in the buzzing Val d'Isere après-ski scene.

#3. Lech, Austria. Luxury, High-End and Away from Crowds

Picturesque, snow-sure skiing starts here in Lech. Here, you’ll enjoy one of Austria’s most elite resorts, overlooked by a beautiful 14th century church and river, nestled in the Arlberg valley next to the tiny hamlet of Zurs. The area is wonderful for beginners and experts, as well as snowboarders, with sophisticated après-ski, not to mention outdoor ice bars serving bubbly. But don’t be put off by the resort’s worldwide elegance and exclusivity; ski holidays in Lech are generally comfortable, with friendly architecture and a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking some respite, nightlife or just out-and-out skiing, Lech is a skier’s paradise.

#4. Champoluc, Italy. Escape Crowds without Breaking the Bank

One of the largest skiing areas in Italy, Champoluc is all the rage with skiers, set in the humble Monterosa Italian ski area. It’s a true sanctuary for those wanting to take their skiing and snowboarding off the beaten track. And the best thing? Champoluc is pretty quiet during the week so you can ski on freshly groomed snow pistes in the morning without any carving tracks from fellow skiers in sight, come the afternoon. Known as the hotspot for off-piste skiing, Champoluc is the perfect place for the more adept skier. That said, there are plenty of easily-accessible resources for beginners.

#5. Peisey-Vallandry, France.  Extraordinary Slopes, Gorgeous Scenery and Wonderful Facilities

An authentic, scenic mountain village, Peisey is lined with real farm buildings and a Baroque heritage, and has been popular with skiers since the 1920s. Ideally located in the very centre of Paradiski, both novices and pros can have a lot of snowy fun in Peisey-Vallandry. There are some idyllic chalets in this region, equipped with hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, pools and more. Practically all of them are within 550m of the ski slopes, which offer 29 ski runs, catering to skiers of all capabilities. 

#6. Obergurgl, Austria. Slope Side Luxury for Families, Empty Nesters and 20-30 Somethings Looking for Après-Ski

Dubbed the diamond of the Alps, Obergurgl nestles amidst Tirol’s winter paradise with absolute snow guarantee. With 24 mountain lifts and 110km of pristine ski slopes, this stylish winter resort is ideal for both beginners and real skiing pros alike. Some must-sees during your ski holiday include Top Mountain Star panorama bar which sits at 3,080 metres above sea level (it’s one of Nick’s favourite runs!) and Hohe Mut vantage mountain which oversees the upper Otztal Valley and its rich snow fields. Well known for its top quality hotels and modern, queue-free lift system, it has always been one of Snow Finders’ most popular resorts. There are several events taking place in this area, including the Glacier Run (21st – 22nd July) which involves a night sprint to Top Mountain Star.

#7. Corvara, Italy. Something Different with Amazing Scenery and Food

Tucked in the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites, Corvara is a charming village that’s been enjoyed by British skiers for a long, long time. Well situated on the Sella Ronda circuit, skiers have easy access to the main slopes, with connections to Selva, Val Di Fassa and Arabba as well as the awesome Marmolada glacier. At the foot of the remarkable Mt Sassongher are two mountain passes – the Passo Gardena and Passo Campolongo - where skiers will discover a whole host of boutique shops and cafes together with a few fab après-ski bars. Perfect for skiing back to (and dancing) in your ski boots!

#8. Courchevel, France. One of the Most Exclusive Resorts in the World with Top-Class Restaurants

It’s hard not to admire the well-groomed pistes, efficient lifts and bilingual instructors, all equally skilled at giving moral support and ego-massaging. A winter home of beauty, caviar and extravagance, Courchevel boasts Michelin-starred restaurants and glamorous nightclubs. The resort’s north-facing slopes mean snow conditions are some of the finest in the Three Valley’s entire 600m. Flawlessly-primed pistes that slope into the Courchevel resort are brilliant for beginners whilst the 600km of spotless pistes in the wider Three Valley’s ski will appeal to intermediates and advanced skiers.

#9. Zermatt, Swizerland Snow Sure and Traditional Under the Shadow of the Matterhorn

This skiing resort really is a skier’s nirvana. Boasting a gigantic ski area at a high altitude as well as hair-raising views of Europe’s most renowned peak, it’s easy to see why this stunning resort is a big hit with fans of the slopes. In the cable car, you’ll ride up 3089m of spectacular mountain and admire fabulous views of the Gorner glacier. The quaint village is free of traffic, aside from the horse-drawn carriages, electric carts and charming little streets, peppered with sophisticated boutiques, comfortable bars and delicious chocolate shops. Chalet Mazot is particularly good, situated in the tranquil lodgings of Zermatt and is kitted out with multiple balconies, in addition to outstanding views of the Matterhorn.

#10. Whistler, Canada. Great Ski Area, Vibrant Town, Friendly Locals

With its superb après, top-quality Canadian hotels and generous ski area, Whistler really lives up to its name as one of the world’s greatest ski destinations. Better yet, you won’t find the area haughty or pompous, thanks to the fun, friendly Canadian attitude. As for prices, they’re pretty decent – hotels don’t have the steep price tag of some of the other leading North American destinations. In terms of food and drink, you’ll pay a tad more than other Canadian resorts but it’s still pretty reasonable. 

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