To ski or not to ski–where should you go?
For those that love the snow or even those that enjoy limited time with the white stuff, skiing is a common denominator. Whether it is downhill skiing or cross-country, snapping on the boots and winter gear is the popular winter activity across the planet.
Of course, there are some countries that were just made for skiing but we also now have the emergence of countries (Romania, for example–one of my favorite places) you wouldn’t expect to have a ski resort. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular destinations along with some unique options that are definitely worth considering.
Not many people realize that France actually hosted the first ever Winter Olympic Games back in 1924 and they have one of the most famous resorts in Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Here, you will enjoy some classic runs and daunting slopes as well as some easier ones intended for the beginner. Yours truly actually learned to ski in Serre Chavalier in southeaster France. I loved the instruction that I received and the amenities in the resort.
Be advised that the French have a very aggressive style of teaching but it isn’t intimidating at all. My ski lessons were so good that I was actually skiing Red Moguls on my third day. Of course, the Kir Royales also added the necessary liquid courage I needed.
This location on the Western side of the United States, Colorado has around 26 world-class ski resorts to choose from. The most popular resorts are found in Vail and Aspen where the skiing is considered some of the best in the world. Because Colorado boasts a diverse geographic terrain, from mountains, canyons and arid deserts, the resorts throughout offer more than skiing. Hiking, ice skating, snow mobile rides are among some of the extra curricular activities one can enjoy. Also, there are art galleries, spectacular shopping and amazing dining experiences available.
This is probably one of the first countries that one thinks of when “skiing” is mentioned, and for good reason. Firstly, the majority of the resorts are available all-year round, although the ski season is still limited. However, because of the higher altitude the ski season tends to go a little longer in the spring months. Secondly, you will be skiing with some of the most beautiful scenery on planet earth. Thirdly, for experienced skiers, it is easy to find some challenging runs but there are also well-powered bunny hills for beginners.
St. Moritz is the most upscale of the resorts in Switzerland. It plays host to royal polo matches, the world’s most affluent and the hottest celebrities. People watching is one of the popular sports at the resort.
Continuing on the theme of obvious choices, Austria provides a charming option with many different skiing villages that allow you to not only ski but also immerse yourself into the culture of the country. Ice-skating, sleigh rides, snowshoe adventures, and more can be found in many Austrian resorts.
Although most people associate Spain with sun, sand and sea, it actually offers skiing locations too. In addition to high-quality slopes at La Molina, they also have new technology when it comes to the lifts and equipment.
Of course, Stowe in Vermont, Banff National Park in Canada, as well as the Whistler in British Columbia, are also great ski resorts. In fact, Whistler was the setting for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. But Italy and Argentina are destinations that are worth trying too. Wherever you choose to go, be safe and have a good time!
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Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. is co-Founder of World Footprints, a social impact travel storytelling content hub she runs with her husband, Ian, that has been recognized as Best Social Impact Travel Media Company by CEO Monthly. She is an award-winning travel and business journalist, global public speaker, and 3-time TEDx speaker. Tonya regularly shares her insights on career transitions, DEIA in travel and the transformative power of travel to audiences all over the world. Recognized as Black Travel Journalists of the Year—an honor she shares with Ian, Tonya contributes her time and leadership to several boards and commissions in the travel community including SATW, The Explorers Club (DC), North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) and JourneyWoman. Tonya recently was been appointed to the Maryland Tourism Development Board by Gov. Wes Moore.