Posted on 13 January 2022
When looking at the best ski resorts in the world, one can only be amazed at the global map stretching from New Zealand to Japan to America and the time-honoured favourites; France and Switzerland. While skiing scenes in the past always targeted elite society, these days, many mainstream ski markets have excelled as popular winter destinations for everyone regardless of class, money, or status.
Ski resorts also take business seriously by constantly upgrading infrastructure and promoting tourism, whether they are all-rounders suiting everyone or catering for niches. For this article, we based our ratings of best ski destinations on several factors, including popularity, après ski, infrastructure investment, snowfall quality, and other activities to keep families entertained off-slope. So, let’s look at where to go to experience top-notch skiing holidays.
Best Ski Resorts in the World
1: Courchevel in France
Sitting in Tarentaise Valley of Eastern France, Courchevel comprises four different villages; traditional and pretty 1300, quiet 1550, laid-back 1650, and the elite and probably best; 1850. With a 2-hour transfer ride from Geneva airport, skiers easily navigate between four resorts. Also, try family activities like chocolate tasting sessions and enjoy up-market brand name shopping. Courchevel is best for international events during winter and off slope activities, including indoor ice skating, helicopter sightseeing mountain tours, speed riding, a cross between paragliding and skiing. Courchevel’s après ski scene also excels through several Michelin star restaurants.
- Top resorts to find Michelin starr restaurants
- Investing in Courchevel real estate
- Courchevel ski resort and area guide
2: St. Anton in Austria
First showing up on the ski scene in 1901, St Anton prestigious reputation gives way to 280 kilometres of terrain, a gruelling endeavour even for hardcore skiers. Skiers also head for various off-piste skiing with more than decent snowfall, although they do employ qualified and local guides. If skiers prefer something more low-key, visit nearby Zurs and Lech resorts, which cater to beginners. The extensive choice on the après ski scene, from lively bars and restaurants to low key dining establishments, makes St Anton a good selection of ski resort.
3: St. Moritz in Switzerland
Having hosted two winter Olympics and numerous alpine championships, St Moritz in Engadin Valley earned stellar reputations for excellence and challenging skiing terrain. With black, backcountry and off-piste runs, experienced skiers adore Diavolezza terrain. Also screaming glamour on every corner, St Moritz claims to be Europe’s first ski resort. The downside of St Moritz; high prices make it one of the world’s most expensive places.
4: Val d’Isère Resort
Upmarket Val d’Isère shines through with traditional alpine vibes. Sitting in South-eastern France, near Vanoise National Park and 5 kilometres from Italy’s border, Val d’Isère ski resort belongs to Espace Killy ski area. This is one of the world’s best skiing destinations with 300 kilometres of pistes, a high-volume gondola, button lifts and tow-ropes. Earning the title as a beautiful ski resort of the world, expect panoramic views and vibrant après ski sessions with local and international cuisine. Family-friendly Val d’Isère features ski schools and off-slope activities, including ice-driving, diving, skating, paragliding, and winter walking.
5: Aspen Ski Resort in the USA
Also, in Colorado, Aspen offers 5,500 acres of terrain, including Buttermilk, the highlands, mountain range and Snowmass. Aspen differs from other places because the ski resort attracts expert skiers with three black ridgelines and backcountry runs. In addition, many American celebrities own ski chalets in Aspen which makes it an exclusive resort. The local saying promotes ditching fashion and dress sense for high elevations, yet Aspen still revolves around brand name skiing, the arts and culture scene, and fine dining restaurants.
6: Whistler Blackcomb in Canada
As North America’s largest winter sports area, Whistler Blackcomb holds Canada’s best resort title, with massive uphill lift capacity. Two mountain terrains, offering up to 200 runs serviced by 35 lifts, attract various winter sports lovers, from snowboarders to expert skiers and freestylers. Also known for family-friendly environments and stunning views, Whistler sits just two hours from the nearest airport, making this ski resort ideal for a quick weekend getaway. Whistler often hosts up to 2 million visitors annually, including 35 accessible, 110 blue, 35 complex, and 20 expert runs. In addition, Whistler hosted the 2010 winter Olympics, therefore, giving testimony to its skiing excellence.
7: Best of Chamonix Mont Blanc
As another ski resort with the best mountain views, Chamonix keeps tidy, alpine appearances making the resort pleasingly aesthetic. Sitting at the junction of France, Italy, and Switzerland, year-round cable cars take skiers to Aiguille du Midi and Pointe Helbronner peaks for even more unbelievable landscapes proving Mother Nature always stands tall and proud. Five million people who visit every year prove this ski resort’s popularity that has hosted skiers from all over the world since the early 1900s. Geneva airport, 75 minutes away, also makes Chamonix ideal for weekend breaks. Four mountain ranges present 152 kilometres of ski runs, but skiers also tap into the Mont Blanc area, with 952 kilometres and 490 pistes.
8: Verbier in Switzerland
Sitting in southwest Switzerland close to France and Italy’s border, Verbier, the gateway to the four valleys ski area, features stunning Matterhorn views and excellent skiing on Mont Gele. Expect fine dining and upmarket shopping from Upmarket Verbier since the ski resort often hosts rich celebrities and royalty from around the world. In addition, Verbier attracts experienced skiers through steep terrain and the Mont Fort Glacier vertical run. Choose from four destinations for ski chalets or apartments and enjoy 412 kilometres of slopes, of which 107 caters for beginners. Verbier does well with infrastructure since the resort taps into 67 lifts carrying more than 85,000 skiers an hour through the ski season lasting from November to April.
9: Family-Friendly Morzine in France
This delightful ski resort belongs to Portes du Soleil ski area, in the Haute-Savoie department of south-eastern France. With panoramic mountain views and an altitude of 1000 meters, modern ski facilities sit aside various decent bars and restaurants for excellent après ski sessions after the slopes. Morzine offers seven green runs, 23 blue trails, 26 red runs and eight black trails, and over 200 kilometres of downhill and cross country runs. Sixty-seven ski lifts service just over 255,000 skiers per hour. Off slope activities include night skiing, ice hockey, bowling, snowmobiling, swimming, and skating. Morzine also promotes festive spirits by hosting quaint Christmas markets.
10: Zermatt Resort – The Best in the Swiss Alps
Zermatt taps into the Swiss Alps highest ski area with beautiful mountain backdrops and the most significant vertical drop. Also offering access to Matterhorn glacier offering year-round skiing, skiers enjoy 350 kilometres of slopes accessed by smooth and efficient world-class lifts. From Matterhorn glacier into Zermatt, a 25-kilometre-long run attracts hardcore skiers, while Zermatt snow park attracts snowboarding fans. However, Zermatt shines through more for skiing experience than anything else because of the off-piste, 178-kilometre route to Chamonix in the French Alps.
11: Cortina D’Ampezzo in Italy
Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy’s most beautiful ski resort, hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, boosting the town to international fame. As well as promoting upmarket vibes, skiers tap into 400 kilometres of runs, accessed by just over 30 lifts, and when coming off the slopes, enjoy ice-skating rinks and bobsleigh runs. Cortina d’ampezzo attracts jet-set Italians through après ski scenes and shopping choices. However, many runs accommodate beginner and intermediate skiers, with only 13% targeting experience.
12: Niseko in Japan
This ski area includes numerous villages known as United, An’nupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. Collectively, they offer various skiing opportunities at the foot of a dormant volcano, including snow parks, backcountry runs, tree skiing, and groomed trails. Known for powder snow quality and low temperatures, this challenging ski session satisfies those who like adrenaline runs. Despite this, family-friendly Niseko still caters to beginners and off slope activities, including hot spring spas and heli-skiing.
13: Park City Mountains and Canyons in the USA
In 2015, Park canyons and resorts combined to form Utah’s second-largest ski resort offering more than 7,000 meters of terrain. Although the two bases still sit far apart, a gondola links them. The Canyons section stands out for experienced skiers who enjoy all amenities, snowy destinations should, while the park’s section sits nearer the slopes at the mountain base. Over ten years, investors pumped more than 50 million USD into Park city; hence skiers expect the best in American skiing.
14: Hakuba in Japan
The Japanese Alps is home to two-part Hakuba that accommodate all skiers from beginners to experienced Hakuba 47 attracts snowboarders with decent parks. At the same time, Goryu, connected to the first via ski passes, excels in night-time skiing and attracts beginners. Two other reasons Hakuba attracts skiers are family friendly vibes. Hence, the resort gets busy during school breaks. Hakuba also stayed true to authentic Japanese vibes, so newcomers get to experience two holidays within one.
15: Jackson Mountain Resort in the USA
This ski resort averages 40 feet of snow, offering decent sessions for beginners to experienced skiers, although most runs cater for the latter. Parents enrol their kids into ski camp or sign up for private and group lessons, while adult groups hire guides who takes them through backcountry and off-piste runs. Jackson perfectly accommodates snowboarders and hosts various events to occupy time off the slopes throughout the season. Two terrain parks and four stash parks add value to multiple skiing terrains, making this an all-rounder.
More About Best Ski Resorts
Skiing Areas in France: So, as you can see, some of the best ski resorts in the world sit in France, and this article discusses the ski areas they tap into. Seven of the world’s and Europe’s best ski areas are in France, so there are many resorts, all of which need careful navigating to make most of your time on the slopes, and this article gives lots of helpful information on the best ski resorts.