From towering peaks and stunning alpine scenery to charming villages, skiing and snowboarding can offer some of the most breathtaking vistas around. Here are some of the best resorts where you’d regret not bringing your camera…
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Although just a tiny village, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a picture-postcard resort that has been featured in films including ‘The Pink Panther’ and the James Bond film, ‘For Your Eyes Only’. The charming architecture and panoramic views of the Italian Alps go hand-in-hand with access to the Dolomiti Super Ski Area and its excellent skiing and boarding opportunities.
Shiga Kogen, Japan
Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest ski resort, with the picturesque scenery created by ice covered trees that line the slopes. The 21 different ski areas that make up the resort all feature the snow blanketed trees as well as 80km of pistes.
The natural hot springs are also a popular spot for skiers who head up to bathe after a day on the slopes, where they can see the Japanese snow monkeys who also love to play in the springs.
The village of Zermatt in Switzerland features houses that date back 500 years nestled into the mountain alongside beautiful churches and chapels, with a no-car policy in the centre of the village. The famous feature of the resort is the Matterhorn Mountain; standing at 4,478m, the Matterhorn will be the centre of celebrations in Zermatt in 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of its first ascent.
As well as stunning views that the resort is renowned for, Zermatt has the added advantage of containing a number of long runs to provide the perfect opportunities to take in the scenery. There’s also a unique way of achieving truly breathtaking views; a heli-skiing tour will drop skiers off to access the highest altitude back-country runs.
Chamonix stands out as one of the most scenic and picturesque French ski resorts, sitting at the foot of the famous Mont Blanc peak. The Vallée Blanche is a popular off-piste run that takes in the stunning mountain scenery and is a must-try for the bravest skiers with a challenging 20km descent. The busy town of Chamonix has a bustling atmosphere, but the centre has an authentic feel with cobbled streets and pretty, old buildings that only add to the charm of the resort.
*Image of Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France via Shutterstock
*Image of Matterhorn peak via Shutterstock