It’s always the right time to be thinking about your next trip to the slopes, especially with so many unique resorts to choose from. Whether you’re taking on the pistes for the first time, exploring the backcountry or really just here for the après, we’ve picked our favourite resorts for every type of snow enthusiast.
This purpose-built resort is the spiritual home of ski-in/ski-out accommodation – aka, a convenience dream for families, who don’t feel like cramming everybody (and their equipment) onto a crowded bus every morning and evening. In fact, mums and dads can enjoy total peace of mind thanks to this car-free resort’s great childcare and exciting choice of things to do off the slopes, leaving you free to focus on carving up the piste.
Bansko is the bargain hunting skier’s dream and has long been a favourite thanks to its low-cost equipment hire, lift passes and, maybe most importantly, drinks at après. Touted as Bulgaria’s best mountain, package holidays to Bansko are reasonably priced too, so you can experience the thrill of the slopes with none of the expensive extras.
The unique feature that gives Les Deux Alpes its nickname ‘the upside-down resort’ makes it the best possible destination for beginners. The gentler slopes are at the top of the resort, so skiers who would usually be confined to the nursery slopes at the mountain’s base can take in the epic views whilst perfecting their en-piste technique.
Verbier is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers who make their own rules. Sure, it’s got plenty of slopes to bomb down, but it’s freeriding where the fun really starts. The vast, steep backcountry terrain attracts hardcore snowboarders from across the world, with the areas so close by that multiple descents can be packed into a single day.
The joy of fresh powder as far as the eye can see is rare in many places, but a staple of winter in Niseko. The biggest resort on Japan’s north island Hokkaido, Niseko is one of the world’s snowiest resorts thanks to storms coming straight from Siberia, which for us means an endless supply of untouched snow waiting to be claimed.
The party capital of the skiing world, St Anton is home to legendary après bars the Mooserwirt and the Krazy Kanguruh. Having completed the pilgrimage to these world-famous venues, die-hards can explore the many bars which stay open ‘til the early hours. In daylight, the tough pistes and extreme backcountry conditions attract daring skiers and snowboarders year after year.
The exclusive Courchevel is a favourite of celebrities, royalty and rich Parisians alike, and a bucket list destination for many skiers. With ski runs for every ability, five distinctive villages to explore, and all the premium shops and restaurants you could want to splash your cash in, Courchevel is the destination for a truly premium ski holiday.
Nestled in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains, aka the heli-skiing capital of the world, Whistler is the ideal place to get a real taste of adventure. Boasting an average annual snowfall of 12m (around three times that of most European resorts) and one of North America’s longest vertical drops (1,530 metres), Whistler’s landscape was made for experiencing the rush of heli-skiing.
Snow-sure and bitterly cold in winter, Saas Fee is the place to go in late season. The pistes may only total 140km, but many are hidden from the sun on the north-facing glacier - meaning they stay snow-covered long into March and April. Snow canons on the more sun prone slopes mean that fresh powder is all but guaranteed wherever you go.