World's Top Ski Destinations

Posted on 09-Oct-2019 by Administrator

A crisp, cutting breeze, clear blue skies and mountains of snow paint a picture of the halcyon winter wonderland. The wintry months bring not just opportunities for huddling by the fire and building snowmen, but also racing down the mountain slopes on a pair of skis. Skiing is a sport that requires a different brand of daredevilry - one that gives you a high that would rival one of a mountaineer who has scaled a new peak! Fast, risky and adrenaline inducing, the joy of zipping through endless dunes of snow is something only an experienced skier could best describe. Though skiing is a still in its infancy in India, there is a growing number of travellers looking at skiing as an exciting adventure sport and are willing to travel to the best ski destinations in the world.

So whether you’re an amateur who’s never so much as worn ski-gear or a black run aficionado, we have compiled a list of world’s top skiing destinations where you can head out to for a skiing vacation. From the buzzing skiing runs to the relatively less crowded, from the posh and pricey to the ‘hidden from the world’ ski regions, this is our definitive list of the best ski destinations.

Niseko, Japan

Japan might not be the first destination that pops to one’s mind when thinking of ski destinations. However, the Land of the Rising Sun is home to our first skiing destination on the list, Niseko. Niseko is a popular, emerging ski resort town, most-visited and valued by Australians and Asians. Located in the state of Hokkaido, the closest airport is the New Chitose Airport in Sapporo.

Niseko has four skiing fields, namely, Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri, with relatively harsh winter conditions. The ski run here is sober in terms of rashness, but of good quality and long stretches.

Niseko is popular with the international tourists because of the variety in skiing – apart from plain skiing, you can also enjoy cross-country skiing, telemarking, snowboarding and winter hiking. For a snowboarder, this place is a paradise because of the soft powder makes easy surfing and slashing possible. Telemarking is slowly catching a grip here as a newer style of snow activity though.

Niseko is counted in the top 5 resorts of Japan. Naturally, care is taken to provide the best in gondolas and cable chairs for the skiing enthusiasts and tourists frequenting this place. So, even during a blizzard, it is rare that you will be struck with a deadlock. Enough facilities and care units are available to ensure that the skiing is never halted here. And because Niseko is relatively at a lower altitude, you will barely come across whiteouts, which one normally experiences in the higher altitudes of European and North American ski resorts.

And after a tiresome day of skiing, head directly to one of the Onsens. An Onsen is a Japanese hot spring where you can relax and soothe your pulled muscles and aching nerves.

Aspen, Colorado (USA)

Summer or winter, Aspen has something unique to offer everyone. Aspen is a ski resort in the state of Colorado, amidst the pebbly terrains of the Rocky Mountains. For ski enthusiasts, the Aspen Mountain is heaven come winter. Due to the nature of its soil and topography, the mountain is often known as the black-diamond terrain with manifold glades, thuds and drops making skiing that much more adventurous.

In the vicinity, there are four ski mountains - the Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk - apart from skiing and related activities like sleigh rides, snowshoeing, sledding, you can also enjoy mountain biking, hiking, golfing, river rafting and the likes in the summers. This makes Aspen a year-round holiday destination.

Great food and breathtaking scenic views are just some of the perks of visiting Aspen. The closest major city to Aspen is Denver which is a 4 hour drive by car. You can also directly land at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

Whistler, British Columbia (Canada)

Located just north of Vancouver, Whistler is a tiny, fairy tale town home to one of largest ski resorts in North America. To mention the history of this place in brief would mean to sum it up as the efforts of few investors, who had the vision of turning this place into a ski resort for the 1967 Olympics. Even before the Olympics dream was realized (in 2010) the place really took off with the masses and has ever since become famous for skiing in and around Canada.

The beautiful town of Whistler is at the foot of the mountains, which is peculiar for its European-style villages. From December to April, the steep landscapes are typically covered with snow, with temperatures not dipping frequently beyond 0°C. During the summers, temperatures soar till about 20°C. There are plenty of dining and accommodation options in Whistler to choose from.

Of course, skiing is the major activity here, but you can also go cross country hiking, mountain biking and golfing whilst here. Skiers won’t be disappointed with the Whistler-Blackcomb as the variety in terrain simultaneously offers enough doable skiing for freshers as well as pros. Variations in skiing could range from backcountry skiing to cross country skiing to the special Heli skiing.

The closest metropolitan area to Whistler is Vancouver. Driving to Whistler through the Sea to Sky Highway is highly recommended for a sheer driving pleasure through winding, beautiful roads. The route is one of the scenic destinations in Canada and takes around 2 to 2 ½ hours to reach Whistler.

Zermatt, Switzerland

They say a thing of beauty is a joy forever, which perfectly translates into why Zermatt gets repeatedly mentioned whenever ski destinations are mentioned anywhere in the world. Switzerland is known for its beautiful locales, sweeping tulip farms and the iced ridges. In those ascents, lies the Zermatt village - nothing short of a fantasy land.

Zermatt is a popular ski resort in Europe that is frequented by thousands every year, not just for the sports but to experience the sheer lavishness of the village too. Backed by the Matterhorn as its backdrop, the Zermatt is every Swiss skier’s paradise which is open to the ski enthusiasts throughout the year. Mountaineers, skiers and hikers alike flock to Zermatt for their adrenaline rush.

The village of Zermatt is particularly interesting for being car-free. Most of the village is accessible on foot and people mostly cycle or stroll around with the sight of occasional taxis on the road. Most vehicles driven here are on battery, with horse carriages being a major public transport.

Perhaps the only downside to this little paradise village is that it is quite expensive, especially when compared to some of the other locales mentioned on this list.

Cortina, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is Italy’s oldest skiing hotspot and one of the most stylish and frequently visited towns as well. This widely popularized ski resort caters as a second home to some of Italy’s most affluent families. With all the glitz and glamour of highlife in Cortina, this place is a pricey combination of a fashionable, petite village with the backdrop of scenic views.

Cortina has some of the world’s best known skiing locales and topographies with breathtaking views. The extensiveness of Cortina lies in the fact that there is something great in store for every level of skier. 90% of the snow here is well groomed by the officials, and as such offers a fabulous treat for entry-level and intermediate skiers. For the experts, you will find a host of ski runs full of challenges.

Apart from skiing, another major attraction that makes Cortina famous is its food. The place is packed with posh restaurants and cafes serving cuisines of every type. And after satiating your appetite, head to one of the many happening nightspots and clubs.

Kitzbühel, Austria

Kitzbühel is a small town in the picturesque country of Austria, near the famed capital Innsbruck. The backdrop of gorgeous Kitzbühel Alps has made this little, medieval township into a world renowned ski resort. And that’s not all, Kitzbuhel’s ski run is considered to be amongst the most difficult ski runs in the world.

An area covering over 230 square kilometers, Kitzbühel offers some 32 kilometers of ski routes. Around 60 well-groomed ski routes of varied topography and expertise levels can be experienced here, classified into easy, intermediate and difficult levels of skiing. What makes Kitzbühel a world-renowned ski resort is the fact that it sports world-class cableway and lift facilities for the skiers. Compared to the neighbouring Swiss and French Alps, temperatures here are moderate and not so cold. Yet, the place sees consistent snowing for most parts of the year, and that’s why a relatively higher density of tourists and skiers are seen here in comparison to the other European ski resorts. Another attraction of Kitzbühel is the high number of global and local celebrities and sports personalities it welcomes every year.

When not skiing, Kitzbühel offers you ample recreational options with snowboarding, winter hiking, ice skating, sledgingand others to choose from. Typical to this place, you can savor culinary delights in fifty six different idyllic huts and mountain restaurants, en route your skiing runs to relish in authentic Tyrolean cuisine.

Queenstown, New Zealand

There is no particular time of the year when you should go to Queenstown in New Zealand. Every month, every season, every occasion will be near perfect, probably why Queenstown is buzzing with activities all round the year, with some of the most scenic and quaint locales to be found in New Zealand.

Queenstown is flanked by two natural entities, Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps on the periphery of Queenstown. These snowcapped mountains become a playground for the skiing buffs during winter. From snowboarding to skiing, Queenstown has excellent winter sports opportunities through four fantastic, well-groomed ski fields where the slopes are gentle and gradual which is great for first-timers and amateur skiers. You can ice-skate, snowshoe, or take a spin with the snowmobile when not skiing. For the pro adventurous skiers, off-piste skiing and heli-skiing are two options available – the city boasts the biggest heli-ski landscape outside of North America.

As mentioned earlier, Queenstown is New Zealand’s major adventure destination with a gamut of sports and entertainment activities round the year. You can enjoy fly fishing and cruising on Lake Wakatipu. Cycling, hiking, jet skiing, mountaineering, river boarding, and horseback riding are some of the other activities here. For the not so faint-hearted, you can choose from bungee jumping, parasailing, skydiving and white water rafting to experience sheer adrenaline rush.

Gulmarg, India

Considered to be a hidden-gem for extreme skiing, our very own Gulmarg is one of the finest, unsoiled spots with apt and acute topography seemingly custom made for skiing. Gulmarg is delightfully nestled between the Himalayas, very close to the Line of Control that runs between the two countries, India and Pakistan. The skiing season is from December to March.

At 4000 meters above sea level, Gulmarg has the world’s highest Gondola lift in the world which itself explains why this place is an ultimate destination for a skiing fanatic. At such higher altitudes, the skiers get a lethal combination of varied intense skiing terrains plus, endless ski runs. Only 1% of the entire area is groomed for amateurish skiing, rest 99% is left unpatrolled and should only be given a try if you are an extreme ski junkie.

The USP of Gulmarg is that its less touristy when compared to the ski destinations in Europe. The slopes are not crowded and there are hardly any queues for the skiing activities. But since Gulmarg hasn’t turned into a full-fledged ski resort, you will find less groomed and marked ski runs.

The professional skiing experts may not find top quality skiing equipment here, so it’s best advised to bring your own. To keep the non-local skiers educated on avalanches, a non-profit organization puts up daily bulletins and conducts avalanche courses.


Slovenia is a tiny European nation sandwiched between Croatia. Austria, Hungary and Italy which is renowned for its many lakes, mountains and ski resorts. And while compared to its rather pricier European counterparts, Slovenia offers all of nature’s beauties (not to mention fantastic skiing opportunities) at largely affordable prices. The ski resorts here are smaller and family friendly, perfectly suitable for fresh beginners, children as well as pro-skiers. The major ski resorts here are the Rogla Ski Resort – with specifically designed ski raides aimed at children, the Kanin Ski Resort, the Golte Ski Resort – with a private accommodation available right across the ski slopes, Cerkno Ski Resort, Jasna, the Mariborsko Pohorje Ski Resort and the Kranjska Gora Ski Resort.

It is possible to access multiple slopes in these numerous ski resorts by purchasing a single purchase pass (whether for an individual or family). For those who are complete novices at skiing, Slovenia gives you a gentle beginning, with ski schools as well as ski equipment readily available on rent.

Sochi, Russia

Sochi, also known as Krasnaya Polyana, is a Russian seaside destination that stretches for about 60 urban miles along the eastern shore of the Black Sea and provides 152 kilometers of wide ski slopes. Sochi was the proud host of the 2014 Winter Olympics (held at Rosa Khutor), an event that significantly boosted Sochi as a ski destination. There are four major ski resorts to be found in Sochi, Alpika-Service, Mountain Carousel (Gorky Gorod), Gazprom (Laura) and Rosa Khutor. Gazprom, is the ideal ski destination for beginners with slopes flatter, wider and less steep. Mountain Carousel and Rosa Khutor will be an absolute haven for adrenaline junkies because of its abundance of slopes that will challenge pro-skiers at every turn (literally)! Sochi hosts a number of skiing championships and ski festivals during winter, in addition to specialized ski coaching events,

Sochi has its own Sochi Alder international airport, and most ski resorts are at a comfortable 30-60 minute drive from the airport, there are nine major and renowned hotels and spa resorts in and around the ski resorts, in addition to multiple restaurants and a shopping mall.

Keeping in mind India’s tropical climate, the inclination for travelers to go on a skiing holiday is limited however there is a niche but growing segment of travelers looking to include a ski lesson or two as part of their white winter holiday. Most ski destinations in the world today welcome beginners with open arms. Skiing isn’t just learning a new skill, it is a taste of pure adrenaline when your body zooms past scores of pure white mountains. Velocity and biting cold winds, with your destiny in your two hands, and a new thrill at every curve, skiing can be addictive. Try it out for yourself once and understand why skiers scour the ends of earth for a good old ski ride!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (*)

can't read? refresh