Whether you are a seasoned winter sports enthusiast, or perhaps just beginning to contemplate your first expedition to the snow, there are lots of factors that are going to influence your choice of winter sports destination. Will it be Southern Hemisphere or Northern Hemisphere? Are you travelling by yourself, in a small group, or in a large group? How long can allocate to your holiday? Are you looking for budget or luxury? Will it be a package holiday or are you going to arrange everything independently? It is a big checklist to work through, but one of the key considerations to have in your mind as you are considering all of the different options is to think about which snowfields that you would actually like to visit. There is lots of variation between the various snow fields around the world, each with their own specialties and points of interest, but in this article we share with you some of our favourites.
Val D’Isere and neighbouring Tignes combine to create the enormous ski fields known as Espace Killy. Tignes is a purpose built ski town, but Val D’Isere has a much more traditional mountain village feel – well, a very glamorous mountain village feel. Party on the slopes at Le Folie Douce – lots of fun.
The slopes of Austria are perfect if you are looking for some challenging, high Alpine terrain then Austria could well be what you are looking for. The resort of Ischgl is known for its high energy nightlife (as well as its skiing). They have big parties here to mark the opening and the closing of the season – concerts featuring big name international artists.
Perhaps one of the more expensive skiing destinations in the world, Switzerland delivers everything that you could hope for in a winter sports getaway. Laax is particularly popular with freestyle skiers, but offers good conditions for all standards of skiing. Close to Zurich, a lot of locals will drive up to Laax for a weekend of partying in the snow – there are lots of live music venues here that guarantee a vibrant nightlife.
Whistler Blackcomb ski field is enormous, boasting over 200 marked trails across it’s 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes. The season at Whistler runs from November to May. Whistler is located in the Coast Mountains and is easily accessible from Vancouver. Whistler has two main mountains serviced by a base village. The village is effectively a pedestrian-only village, with all the amenities required within easy walking distance.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Probably the best snow fields in the Southern Hemisphere, Queenstown (on the South island of New Zealand) has four top quality ski fields within easy reach of the small town. The Queenstown ski season runs from June to October and the ski fields cater for skiers and snow boarders of all levels of ability. The terrain of the ski fields is primarily open and treeless.
*Image of Val D’Isere via Shutterstock
*Image of New Zealand’s Coronet Peak in Queenstown via Shutterstock