It’s Snow Joke: These Really Are The Top 5 Winter Destinations
Yes, it really is that time of the year already. The sun has packed its bags and moved on until next year, and your swimming costumes and flip-flops have been flung to the back of a wardrobe. But that means one thing. It’s time to get your coat on, strap on your skis and enjoy the plethora of amazing winter snow destinations.
Across the world there are some amazing snow holidays for both beginners and pros, with plenty going on both on piste and off. With the winter months fast approaching, here is our guide to the best winter snow destinations…
A statue of Ilanaaq lies at the very top of Whistler Mountain, a reminder of the 2010 Olympics which saw the world’s best athletes take to the slopes just outside Vancouver. It’s the ultimate inspiration to try your hand at a range of extreme sports at a truly awesome resort.
It’s one of the most reliable regions in North America, always with good snow cover, and brings skiers from all over the planet. There are over 200 trails at the resort that stretch as high at 2,285m.
Val d’Isere, France
Popular amongst British tourists, a holiday to Val d’Isere is one of excitement, thrills, and at the same time relaxation. The alpine lodges can’t be matched even from a sun lounger and pool in Miami, with the comforts of a warm fire and cocoa completely incomparable.
On the snow it has Olympic standard runs and are the same slopes triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy grew up on. Early December is peak time for the region, with thousands of enthusiasts taking to the slopes during the day and partying into the night.
Not far from Mont Blanc and 50 minutes from Geneva, the town is one of the most family friendly resorts in the whole of the Alps and is lively most of the year round in both the hotels and the village.
There are dozens of great value restaurants throughout the town with much of the centre based around the church. The nightlife gets livelier towards neighbouring La Clusaz, but that’s of course if you can make it that far after sampling the 220km area of snow to ski.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Close to the Austrian border, Corina d’Ampezzo is one of Italy’s finest resorts and was host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, not to mention James Bond during 1981 movie For Your Eyes Only.
Roger Moore spent a good amount of time in the area during filming, with 007 staying at the five-star Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel which has been welcoming skiers – and secret agents – for over 100 years. Unlike many ski-towns there is plenty more to do with an array of museums and galleries which has works from a number of illustrious Italian artists.
It’s a great destination for amateur skiers and guarantees snow coverage from December to April making it the perfect winter getaway.
The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo, which also puts it in a great location to explore other stunning parts of the country if you want a break from the snow, and the region it’s in is also infamous for its cross-country skiing, taking you through some dramatic landscapes.
Going slightly off-piste if you pardon the metaphor, Geilo in Norway is one of the more unusual destinations to enjoy a spot of skiing but one of the best resorts for families and beginners. Generally a bit quieter than the likes of Val d’Isere or Avoriaz in France, lift queues are minimal and you’ll have plenty of space on the slopes to practice.
The season begins in October and runs through to late April and has a number of centres and resorts with everything from alpine to cross-country to tobogganing available.
The town itself is fairly small, but has a few shops and bars and restaurants to keep you entertained, and you’ll generally have a relaxed and care-free getaway in the town around 155 miles to the west of Oslo.