When it comes to skiing there are a wide range of different countries that each try to claim they are the best in the world. Some are better for alpine, others are better for off piste, and some are just good all-rounders.
Today we are going to take a look at 5 of the best countries for skiing in the world. We will be awarding points for how good the skiing is, but we will also be looking for affordability and ease of access.
The undisputed champion of the world of skiing is undoubtedly France. Its many resorts are easily accessible and are the most popular European winter holiday destination in the world.
The Alps are some of the most stunning mountains you will ever be able to lay your eyes on. Their sharp and dominating peaks are beautifully interlaced with numerous evergreen trees. There are spectacular slopes that are fully serviced by several ski lifts in most resorts. There are also some spectacular off-piste options for those who don’t like to spend their times on slopes jam packed with other skiers.
The facilities at each and every resort are spectacular and you will not find it hard to locate everyday essentials or find a good restaurant or bar to relax at after a hard day of hitting the slopes.
France has some of the best snow in the world, on some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, and most resorts are easily accessible. As you might imagine this means it’s going to be in high demand, and it's going to be expensive.
As such our only issue with the more well known French resorts, is the price. Food and drink at many slope-side restaurants can be incredibly expensive, even by ski resort standards.
However this being said, it's clearly worth the money for many people, and attracts more and more visitors from all over the world each year.
The 4 Valleys area of Switzerland is one of the most beautiful ski destinations in the world. It has everything you could possibly need in a skiing destination, and much more.
We love Switzerland because of it's pure, almost unrivaled beauty that is usually soaked in glorious iridescent sun most of the season. The numerous well marked, well-maintained slopes and runs are sure to entertain and challenge skiers of all abilities. For those that like to live a little more dangerously, there are several exciting and exhilarating potential off piste options that may entice you. Switzerland has some of the best off-piste in the whole of the alps.
Verbier along with Zermatt are undoubtedly the most popular resorts in all of Switzerland, and are visited by a cross section of people from well-heeled to the “sleeping on a friends sofa” ski bum . Its world-class nightlife is full of trendy bars and clubs that stay open way into the early hours of the morning and are a big draw.
It has over Verbiers 100 lifts, provide access to well over 400KM of runs – many of which have spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
If you are looking to get some of the stunning beauty of the swiss alps, but at a fraction of the cost – then Italy could be just the destination you are looking for.
Many of the slopes here are not as extreme as the ones you will find in the large Swiss resorts and are generally more open and not as scary. But unless you are looking to do some very intense runs, Italy will not disappoint.
Nothing can beat a wonderful Italian lunch on the slopes the problem for many is leaving the restaurant and going skiing again!
Cervinia is one of the most popular ski resorts in Italy, and it's very reasonably priced. The runs are expertly groomed and the snow is to die for. If you haven’t checked it out yet we recommend you do – it’s worthy of anyone’s consideration especially as it is linked to Zermatt in Switzerland so you can cross the border on skis……..and you don’t need your passport!
With a country the size of the United States, it should not be surprising that it has made our top 5 list. It has numerous destinations all over the country to suit skiers of all abilities and experience levels.
If you are kind of skier that craves continuous vertical, then you should check out Jackson Hole. It's stunning and regular snow, combined with several exciting runs make it a perfect choice for a weekend away.
Or perhaps you are looking for something a little more luxurious? Then you should check out Vail or Beaver Creek. It’s not as extreme and vertical as Jackson Hole but its surrounded by some of the finer things in life. Gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, and very easy access make it a winning combination in our book.
But if you are just getting into skiing and need something a little bit less extreme, then there are plenty of other destinations in the USA for you. Why not check out Aspen Snowmass or Winter Park. They receive rave reviews and should be the perfect place for beginners or rusty intermediates to get their skills up to scratch.
Japan is one of the world's most underrated ski destinations. It has countless miles of pristine slopes all of which are meticulously maintained by the various resorts that litter this mountainous nation.
It has some of the best powder skiing in the world, and should seriously be considered by anyone that loves their powder. They get a whopping 10 to 18 meters of snow each season. If that doesn’t entice you, then we don’t know what will!
Most of the ski resorts are located on the two most northerly islands which are much colder than some of the southern islands of the country. One of the best bits about skiing in japan is just how easy it is to get to the resorts. Jump on one of their Shinkansen bullet trains and you will be zooming along to your destination at over 200mph.
Sipping back on some hot sake after a day on the slopes is one of life’s little pleasures that any skier worth their salt should experience at least once in their lives.