There is so much more to a ski resort that just skiing. Be it the dramatic vistas, the daunting slopes, the powdered snow, or the crisp cold air numbing your cheeks, nothing beats spending a day on the snowy slopes. And then there are the majestic mountains – there is something so regal and fascinating about these timeless pinnacles that there’s no better way to know them than romancing their slopes. Here are 10 amazing Ski Towns from around the world that every mountain lover needs to visit.
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
For a country brimming with an arsenal of ski resorts, Zermatt emerges as one of the toppers. Nestled along the shadows of the Matterhorn Mountain – one of the most-photographed mountains in the world, skiing down the silken slopes of Zermatt is a dream come true for snow-sport lovers. All this, with the baffling Matterhorn in the backdrop!
2. Girdwood, Alaska
Renowned as one of Alaska’s premier ski towns, Girdwood was originally known as “Glacier City”, and boasts of a history as a former gold-mining town. This incredible ski resort sits at the foot of the famous Chugach Mountains, about 40 miles south of Anchorage, with its laid-back ambience as intact as ever.
3. Chamonix, France
Sitting in a valley at the foothills of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, Chamonix is a small French town that ranks high when it comes to skiing. Chamonix is notably known as the birthplace of extreme skiing, offering world-class, lift-accessed steep skiing and ultimate snowboarding. So if you like your mountains big, and slopes sharp, Chamonix is your temple.
4. Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman is your no-frills, adventure capital siting amidst the Northern Rockies, Montana, and is coveted for its laid-back feel, and for two of the wildest mountains of America – Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate; whether you’re looking for something low-cost or high-end, Bozeman in Montana has plenty to offer.
5. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
If you’re looking for a peak that is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also less-crowded as per European standards, Cortina d’Ampezzo is where you need to roll. Perched amidst the mighty Dolomite peaks rising dramatically in Northern Italy, Cortina is an upscale resort town where along with some serious skiing, one can also soak in a slice of quintessential Italy – the culture, the quaint, cobbled town, and of course, the jaw-dropping scenery of the Dolomites.
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6. Telluride, Colorado
When you’re looking for the best skiing destination in North America, you’re basically looking for Telluride, Colorado. Unrelentingly scenic and secluded, Telluride is also one of North America’s highest ski resorts, soaring at a height of over 8,000 feet. Reputed for its excellent steeps, bumps, cruisers, bowls, and beginner terrains, Telluride has something epic to offer for every type of skier.
7. Whistler, British Columbia
A colossal ski resort located along the slopes of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler is hands down, one of the finest ski resorts in all of North America. What’s more, this mega mountain boasts of massive amount of snow, some of the longest vertical drops, more terrain, more runs, and sharper steeps than arguably any other ski resort on the continent.
8. Banff, Canada
Tucked away in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, along Banff National Park’s south-eastern border, the surreal ski town of Banff gives out a charming Swiss skiing village feel. In fact, Banff National Park is home to three of the planets most stunning ski resorts – Mt Norquay, Lake Louise, and Sunshine Village, often referred to as “The Big 3”. Each of these have their own extraordinary qualities, with plenty of steeps, bowls, terrain parks, and chutes to explore.
9. Aspen, Colorado
If there’s one ski resort that every other North American ski resort aspires to be like, it’s got be Aspen ski town, in Colorado. It’s amazing how Aspen manages to be both old-school as well as trendy, both at the same time. Studded with galleries, gourmet restaurants, and boutiques, here’s where you’ll spot celebs and Olympic athletes taking a stroll or simply being themselves. With four premier ski areas in the vicinity that caters to all levels of skiing, Aspen is your one-stop skiing destination in North America.
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10. Niseko, Japan
The king of ski resorts in Asia, Niseko, Japan is renowned for having the lightest and most consistent powder snow on Earth. Located on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the Niseko-Annupuri Mountains experiences constant snow; with the deep snow making it way too enticing and irresistible for ski buffs. Furthermore, the remarkable backcountry, vast ski runs, and the off-piste terrains add to the charm of this exceptional Japanese ski resort.