Winter can be daunting if you’re in a place with limited offerings for outdoor activities. What’s the fun in having a holiday break if you’re just at home since there’s nothing to do in your local area? So, if skiing is your thing, you may want to consider a ski break to some of the world’s most stunning resorts. Whether you’re an expert skier or an enthusiastic learner, here are the must-see destinations perfect for ski breaks.
#1 Hokkaido, Japan
While Japan may be best renowned for its majestic temples, peaceful shrines, rich culture, and stunning nature, it’s also a top destination for a ski break. Hokkaido’s ski resorts are renowned among local skiers and winter sports fans worldwide. The popularity of Hokkaido as a top ski destination is due to its incredible snow quality, thanks to its favourable climate and a range of unique courses.
Sapporo is an ideal base for your ski break in Hokkaido. It’s only an hour’s drive from the top ski resorts and has several accommodation options. Staying in Sapporo also allows you to explore Hokkaido’s top attractions, including a day trip to charming historical towns like Otaru. The historic town is home to an ancient whiskey factory and has picturesque alleyways lined with fantastic restaurants serving fresh and delectable seafood. When you’re ready to rest your legs after spending the day at the ski resort, visit an onsen, an all-natural hot spring and a traditional bathing facility. You’ll find several onsens only a short drive from Sapporo. Soak up all the minerals and indulge in a sumptuous buffet lunch between dips.
#2 Verbier, Switzerland
According to experts in ski holiday SNO, Verbier is one of the world’s most popular ski resorts for good reasons – it’s incredibly photogenic and home to charming villages with chalet-style buildings with wooden roofs. Even though it’s renowned for its many luxurious shops, fancy restaurants and hotels, the historic ski village has managed to maintain its natural charm. If you’re searching for ideas on where to go for your next ski break, Verbier is the best choice.
Boasting over 400 kilometres of ski runs, Verbier has a reputation for being one of the world’s best skiing spots. It’s part of the 4 Vallées, the largest ski area in Switzerland. While beginners can find several runs to hone their skills, the fantastic off-piste skiing and black runs are the biggest draws for celebrities and jet setters to the resort. Thanks to Verbier’s high location, it offers excellent skiing conditions. Verbier also has ski cannons that the resort can use when necessary. You will also find several ski passes. Aside from skiing, take the time to explore the centre of Verbier, a fantastic spot for scenic walks and is home to excellent shops, cafes, and restaurants. The dining scene of Verbier is also outstanding. You’ll find all kinds of eateries, from Michelin-star establishments to restaurant hotels.
#3 Colorado, United States
Skiing and snowboarding in Colorado is an incredible experience. It boasts some of the largest ski resorts in the United States, making it a top destination for a ski break. The sheer variety of ski resorts and the breathtaking views of the majestic Rocky Mountains allow for an even more fantastic skiing adventure. The ski resorts of Colorado are over 3,000 metres, so drink plenty of water to avoid altitude sickness. If you don’t mind the splurge, consider staying in a luxury hotel with upscale amenities and fantastic restaurants. Some hotels offer a helicopter ride to the peak for an incredible ski descent.
One of Colorado’s hidden gems is the Arapahoe Basin, also called A-basin. It’s in Summit County and is renowned for its excellent slopes. While it may be small, it certainly packs a punch, with most of its slopes catering to advanced skiers and snowboarders. But do not let the slopes intimidate you. If you end up on a very steep trail, you can easily access intermediate groomers leading to a chairlift. Colorado is also an ideal destination for a ski holiday with the kids. It has several family-friendly ski resorts like the Keystone Ski Resort and Aspen Snowmass. These resorts have slopes perfect for beginners and offer ski lessons to first timers and those who want to hone their skills.
#4 St Anton, Austria
If you are an avid skier, you have most likely heard about St Anton. It has a reputation for being a steep and challenging resort, attracting experienced skiers looking for thrill and challenges. But there are many other reasons why St Anton attracts skiers worldwide. With many luxury hotels to enjoy, you’re sure to discover something here for all. St Anton lies on the Tyrolean side of the Arlberg pass, separating Tyrol and the Vorarlberg. The Arlberg tunnel and the surrounding mountain ranges ensure all-weather access in both directions. St Anton’s ski areas are split into two sections on each side of the valley at the resort, directly accessible from the village.
For advanced skiers, you will find thrilling descents by the Kapall and Valluga lifts. Some are unmarked, like the Mattun run, with magnificent snow conditions and slopes not too steep that even intermediates can tackle them. But it’s worth noting that many of St Anton’s red and blue runs are steeper than the average ski resort.
#5 Val-d’Isère, France
Val-d’Isère is a picturesque French ski resort, considered one of the must-see destinations for incredible ski breaks. It offers something for skiers of all levels, allowing for an unforgettable ski holiday with your loved ones. The high-altitude skiing of Val-d’Isère offers reliable snow conditions from December to May, giving you access to fantastic ski areas.
Val d’Isere offers the perfect setting to learn skiing. Unlike other ski resorts, nursery slopes in Val d’Isere are at the top of the mountain. Since day one, skiers of all levels will be welcomed by incredible views from Isere Valley towards the majestic Mont Blanc. If you want to find the most suitable terrain for your level, consider taking ski lessons. The skilled ski instructors of Val d’Isere know the ski area at the back of their hands and can help you look for the best slopes to hone your skills.