Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
Welcome to the realm of the best ski resorts on the planet, where winter dreams take shape in breathtaking landscapes. From slopes in Aspen to mountains in France, these resorts offer more than just remarkable runs.
Whether you’re a seasoned skier seeking the steepest chutes or a family looking for gentle slopes and après-ski delights, this list of 14 of the world’s best ski resorts will have you booking your next ski adventure.
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado, USA
One of America’s most popular ski resorts is Aspen Snowmass which consists of 5,500 acres spread across Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Buttermilk, the smallest of the four, is known for hosting the Winter X-Games, which brings some of the world’s top skiers to the slopes every year.
For experienced skiers and snowboarders, Aspen Mountain, with its steep terrain and slopes rated black and double-black, is the perfect outdoor adrenaline-pumping playground that offers incredible views of the mountains and the surrounding area.
But even for non-experienced skiers, Aspen is also home to slopes for newcomers who are looking to kickstart their skiing journey the right way.
Chamonix in France is home to Europe’s tallest peak—Mont Blanc—which stands at a whopping 4,807 meters and offers Chamonix some of the best skiing conditions on the planet. With several different areas to choose from, Chamonix has a selection of expert runs with impressive height differentials, cross-country trails for cross-country skiers, and beginner slopes for those working on their skiing technique.
Cerro Catedral, Patagonia, Argentina
Cerro Catedral in Southern Argentina is home to the tallest mountains on Earth outside of the Himalayas. Named after the region’s cathedral-spire mountain peaks, Cerro Catedral has breathtaking scenery—including views across Lake Nahuel Huapi—and blankets of snow that last from June through to October.
With 3,000 skiable acres, miles of life-accessed backcountry terrain, and a dedicated terrain park for freestyle skiers, Cerro Catedral is a top choice for all skiing enthusiasts.
Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy
Cortina D’Ampezzo was once only frequented by avid Italian skiers—that was until it hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, which transformed the resort into one of the world’s top skiing destinations practically overnight.
Three dozen ski lifts carry skiers to the nearby mountain peaks, where they can spend the day on the snowfields before skiing down the runs to get back into town. And with slopes suitable for all experience levels, bobsled runs, and Olympic ice rinks, it probably comes as no surprise that Cortina D’Ampezzo is an ideal winter wonderland that has been drawing in visitors for decades.
Courchevel makes up one-third of the Three Valleys in France (which we cover shortly), but it deserves its own mention. With 600 kilometers of interconnected ski runs, ten summits that reach heights over 2,500 meters, and 60 lifts taking skiers up the mountains, Courchevel is any skier’s dream destination.
Japan is home to four interlinked ski resorts that come together to form Niseko United—an area with outstanding, varied terrain, with slopes that span down the side of a volcano.
With groomed trails and wooded glades to snow parks and steep chutes, Niseko really has it all, making it one of the world’s top ski destinations for those in search of powder. And don’t worry, Niseko isn’t just for experienced skiers, as the area rates over two-thirds of its trails suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers!
Snowbird, Utah, USA
Another popular American ski resort is Snowbird in Utah which boasts the most vertical terrain of all of Utah’s ski mountains. Snowbird is a favorite amongst expert skiers—and any skier for that matter—as it’s home to 4,700 acres of skiable terrain, 2,500 of which are suitable for beginners.
Plus, if you get bored at Snowbird (which is impossible), you can ski over to the slopes of Alta, as the resorts are connected with skiable trails.
St. Anton, Austria
Nestled in the Austrian Alps is St.Anton—a ski paradise with snow-cloaked mountains and quaint ski villages to match. Renowned as a haven for avid skiers and snowboarders, St.Anton and its legendary slopes offer challenging terrain, deep powder, and true alpine adventure.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps has a legacy that dates back to the 19th century. This luxurious ski resort, with its pristine slopes and panoramic views of the Engadin Valley, is the place to be for those who enjoy impeccable ski conditions as well as high-end boutiques, Michelin-starred restaurants, and lavish spas.
Three Valleys, France
The Three Valleys, or Les 3 Vallées, is the world’s largest ski resort ranking it as a top skiing destination for those who love nothing more than carving their way down a slope. Comprising of three resorts—Courchevel, Meribel, and Val Thorens—Three Valleys is an unparalleled skiing destination with a variety of runs to suit all skill levels. From gentle slopes for beginners to expert-only black runs, Three Valleys transports you into a winter wonderland jam-packed with adventure and adrenaline.
Vail Mountain Resort, Colorado, USA
Colorado’s—and one of the world’s—biggest ski resorts, Vail Mountain, has enough terrain to keep even the most avid of skiers busy all day long. Known for its 5,289 skiable acres and 31 ski lifts, Vail Mountain, with its well-groomed runs, luxury hotels, upscale restaurants, and alpine stores, really is one of the best ski resorts that planet Earth has to offer.
Valle Nevado, Chile
Over in the Chilean Andres lies Valle Nevado, whose lifts and trails connect it to El Colorado and La Parva to form the Tres Valles. Valle Nevado’s 2,200 acres of ski terrain, along with its 14 lifts and reliable snow conditions, are what draw skiers to its slopes each and every year—the views also play a big part.
Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb is the largest winter sports area in North America, with 200 runs, 37 lifts, and peak-to-peak gondolas that join two of its mountain tops. Whistler’s outstanding terrain and diverse parks make it a popular choice for serious skiers, freestyle skiers, and even families with young children, as there really is enough snow to go around.
Whether you practice jumps at the Nintendo Terrain Park, take in the views of the Pacific Ocean, or pamper yourself in the resort village, a trip to Whistler is guaranteed to be nothing short of amazing.
Switzerland is home to many incredible ski resorts, and Zermatt is no exception. With the highest winter sports area and the greatest vertical drop in Switzerland, Zermatt is a place that skiers dream of.
And the area is now home to the world’s highest ski lift. Carrying 2,000 skiers up 3,883 meters of altitude an hour, the ski lift takes you all the way to the Matterhorn Glacier, which is home to year-round skiing conditions for those who just can’t get enough.
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