It’s official – sweater weather it is here. Christmas is definitely the highlight of the cold season but what other things do we love about winter? Mulled wine, ice skating, hot chocolate, skiing and snowboarding right? Prepare a hot chocolate, wrap up in a cosy blanket and check out the top 10 “hottest” ski resorts you should visit this winter.
1. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France)
- one of the oldest ski resorts in the world – opened in 1760
- hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924
- perfect for winter sports and mountaineering
- highlights: steep sided valleys, glaciers and rocky spires.
- family friendly (the ski areas of Vormaine, Planards, Savoy, Tourchet, Chosalets, Poya, Les Houches, Balme Vallorcine are suitable for children and beginners as well as for more experiences skiers) but also suitable for adventurous and experienced skiers (ski area of Grands Montets).
2. Portes du Soleil (France)
- one of the largest ski regions in the world- the ski pistes are spread across 555 – 650 square kilometres
- It unites ski resorts from two different countries: Switzerland and France
- It has 285 pistes (31 Green Pistes, 122 Blue Pistes, 100 Red Pistes, 32 Black Pistes)
- The “capital” of the ski region is Morzine – a ski resort and an alpine town which is family friendly but it also offers a diverse nightlife.
3. Val d’Isere (France)
- very popular among Britons
- it is linked to the ski region of Tignes and together they form a ski area of 300 km of pistes
- it has 94 lifts
- suitable for all levels
- opened from November until May
- the village is situated at 1850 metres above sea level
- the slopes get up to 3400 metres altitude.
4. Bansko (Bulgaria)
- the most modern ski resort in Bulgaria
- 160 km away from the capital city, Sofia.
- easy to get to by car
- ski resort and historic city
- the city is located at 925 metres altitude
- the ski area is located at 2000-2600 metres altitude
- suitable for all skiers
5. Zermatt (Switzerland)
- on of the highest ski resorts in the world – 3900 metres altitude.
- the longest piste is 17 kilometres long
- suitable for all levels
- it offers 400 kilometres of ski pistes which run through the woods and by the lakes
- it has a wide variety of restaurants which offer traditional mealsPhoto credit: Planetxau/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)
6. Cortina D’Ampezzo (Italy)
- 1200 kilometres of ski pistes
- 460 lifts
- 12 ski resorts
- 24 snow parks located at up to 3269 metres altitude
- ideal conditions for winter sports
- beautiful views
7. St Anton am Arlberg (Austria)
- rated as one of the best ski resorts in the Alps
- located in one of Europe’s snowiest area
- St Anton is not only a great place for ski – you will fall in love with the town that seems to be stolen from a book
- 97 lifts
- 340km of pistes
- 200km of off-piste itineraries
8. Baqueira Beret (Spain)
- known as one of the best ski resorts in the Spanish Pyrenees
- the Spanish royals ski here
- 1500 metres altitude
- family friendly but it also has routes for expert skiers
9. Jackson Hole (USA)
- ranked as the best ski resort in North America
- the steep slopes and gorgeous landscapes would make any expert skier jealous
- some of the steepest slopes in America
- it also has a few pistes for beginners and intermediates
10. Mammoth Mountain (USA)
- spectacular location: sunny California
- 28 lifts
- 2 gondolas
- great for all levels (25% of the ski surface is for beginners, 40% for intermediate level and 35% for advanced skiers)
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