Winter sports are a favorite for many and it is something to consider when traveling for real enthusiasts. Sometimes it can be hard to really figure out where the best slopes are. Whether you are a novice or an expert, these top five locations will increase your interest in the sport. If you are an experiences skier, we recommend getting a weekly pass if you plan to visit any of these destinations. A majority of these locations have amazing lodges to relax and warm up in after a long day of bracing the winter cold. We are here to help you figure out the best places to vacation this winter with five great winter sports destinations from across the globe.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
Aspen has the reputation for being a winter playground and with four mountains to choose from, it’s no wonder why. Aspen could be claimed the snow capital of America! These mountains are called Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Buttermilk and Snowmass are more for beginners, whereas Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are for the more adventurous and daring travelers. There are mountains for everyone here! Skiing season goes from late November until mid-April for most of these mountains. This is a great time for travelers who are interested but may be busy during December and January due to the holidays.
These mountains attract skiers from around the world every year, but skiing is not the only reason people flock to Aspen year round. In addition to the beautiful mountains, Aspen has many other unique experiences dedicated to Colorado. Visiting Aspen in the summer means that you will get to experience the Aspen music festival. Fall visitors get to go to the Saturday Markets. The caves along independence pass are an attraction for hikers as well. The exceptionally brave can visit the Conundrum Hot Springs, clothing optional.
Just a short drive away from Seattle maxing out at four hours, Whistler-Blackcomb is a great destination for snow sports lovers with kids. There are a number of winter sports to try out here. With 475 runs for skiing and snowboarding, ice hockey ponds, tubing hills and zip line experiences, there is always fun to be had. The runs have designated slow family zones for those just starting out. The Big Easy Terrain Garden is great for small children starting out as young as 18 months old.
By many measures it is the largest ski resort in North America and has the greatest uphill lift capacity. Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains. Combined, these mountains offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers combined, receiving 465 inches of snow on average annually. Alpine bowls are for more advanced skiers and snowboarders, so if you are a newbie, stay away!
Les Menuires, France
While skiing is fun, it is not for everyone. A fun winter sport that has an emerging number of participants is snow biking. This just one of the fun alternative winter sports offered at The Resort of Les Menuires in southeast France. Walking around is also not a bore when you are in Les Menuires, the snow capped mountains are a postcard right in front of your eyes. While skiing is still an option, other options such as toboggan runs and snowmobile treks are a plenty. The resort has 48 restaurants, 39 ski lifts and 62 trails.
Don’t feel confident on the slopes? Enjoy a sled ride through the snowy forest on a dog sled. Dog sledding is one of the most up and coming activities in Les Menuries. This may take you a bit of a ways away from the resort, but definitely worth it for the enchanting views. There are many live events and performances to occupy visitors and the nightlife is always full of energy.
Verbier is a village located in south-western Switzerland in the canton of Valais. This village is a holiday resort in the Swiss Alps and is considered one of the best winter sports destinations in the world due to it’s peak conditions and year round snow. This famous Swiss resort is considered paradise for snowboarders and attracts extreme snowboarders from all over the globe. The resort regularly hosts extreme freestyle competitions. If you are a novice, there are guided ski tours with a mountain guide to help you out.
It is apart of the interconnected 4 Vallées, which collectively is the largest ski area in Switzerland and offers 256 miles of ski runs and 92 lifts. Verbier is not a popular place for tourist, it is very laidback, and the townies do not like a lot of commotion. A lot of visitors come from England, and if you are lucky you might even spot a royal!
Dolomites is known for two things, the first is its Italian cuisine and the second is its superb skiing conditions. Sella Rhonda takes skiers from mountain to mountain, so you will be able to experience all the great slopes that Dolomites has to offer in one trip. After a full day of hitting the slopes, you can work up an appetite and all of the villages are full of great restaurants to fill back up your tank.
One of the absolute highlights of Dolomites is the Dolomiti Superski ski carousel: 1 ski pass and more than 1,200 kilometers of slopes with 450 lifts. This is actually one of the world’s largest network of lifts and ski slopes. It combines 12 ski resorts and is totally worth the money! International Snow Festival is an annual event held each year in January, visitors can enjoy a spectacular winter art competition that features hand carved sculptures made exclusively of ice, water and snow.
With all of these great winter sports destinations around the globe, you can have a fun vacation while indulging in one of your favorite hobbies. Even if winter sports are out of your comfort zone, these winter vacation sports have something guaranteed for everyone. With the winter season about us, it is time to get out of your comfort zone and explore the wild world of winter sports at exotic locations.
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