What are the five best ski vacations in the world? There are so many fabulous one to choose from, it is impossible to decide. Why not choose one resort from a different continent, and make a global tour of it? Here is a list from which to start.
1. Andermatt, Switzerland
Skiing was invented in Europe centuries ago as a means of transportation, so it makes sense that it would contain many of the world’s best resorts. Though originally from Norway, Switzerland is the most famous country for skiing. Andermatt is located in the canton of Uri, central Switzerland. With two mountains at an altitude over 9000 feet, it averages over 40 feet of powdery snow per year. Multi-day ski tours through various towns, ice skating, ice climbing, and tobogganing are some of the activities offered here. The town also has many reasonably priced hotels from which to choose.
2. Aspen, Colorado, United States of America
The North American continent contains the greatest number of ski resorts in the world, well over 600, with two-thirds of them in the US. Aspen Colorado is the vacation home for many entertainment and sports celebrities. It consists of four mountains with a shuttle service running among them, a town full of hotels and exclusive shops, and multiple activities such as ice skating and dog sledding. Events such as X-Games and music festivals make this a year-round resort as well. Aspen’s Rocky Mountain location also blesses it with some of the best champagne powder in the world.
3. Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
This resort gets among the greatest amount, and the most powdery, snow in the country due to storms from Siberia. It consists of five resorts, with a ski pass that includes the largest four. Most of the lifts are gondolas, which protect riders from the weather. Besides skiing, there are nearby hot springs to enjoy, and its town boasts Japan’s best ski nightlife.
4. Portillo, Chile, South America
You do not have to put away your skis and snowboards just because winter ends in the northern hemisphere. You can head south of the Equator. Portillo is located about 100 miles from Santiago, and is a prime place for skiers from Europe and North America to train during the summer. While it has terrain for people of all abilities, it also boasts some of the steepest slopes in the world, needing to be serviced by special slingshot lifts. Backcountry skiing is most popular at this resort.
5. Mt. Hutt, New Zealand
Few people think of Oceania as a place to enjoy winter sports, but Australia and New Zealand actually have several resorts. Mt. Hutt is located on New Zealand’s south island, 50 miles west of Christchurch. Usually the first resort to open for ski season in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather promotes great snow conditions. It has a covered magic carpet for beginners, and lots of off-piste skiing for experts. The nearest lodging is in Methven, about a half hour drive away.
So there you have it, a world tour of the best ski vacations (I have omitted Africa, which has few resorts, and Antarctica, which is one HUGE one). While sampling their snow, you can enjoy local cultures and the many different activities they offer. Ski vacations are an excellent way to tour the world!