Top Ten Ski Resorts

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Skiing is a subjective experience depending on your level of comfort on the slopes and the preferred type of run. However some ski resorts around the world stand head and shoulders above the rest by offering the complete package for both hardcore and gentle skiing. Furthermore our top ten list of ski resorts factors in the regularity and quality of the snowfall, the après ski scene and whether the resorts get overly crowded.
1 Whistler, Canada
Whistler, Canada
Whistler Blackcomb is the premier Canadian ski resort, attracting young people from all over the world to its lively blend of skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The Coast Mountains offer amazing fresh powder and Cypress Mountain is the pinnacle for many of the two million annual skiers. Whistler is a truly world-class ski resort and it was host to some of the 2010 Winter Olympics events. A winter ticket gives you access to the Superpipe, the peak 2 peak Gondola and also includes mountain orientation tours.

2 Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe skiers get amazing views of this huge fresh water lake in Nevada as they take on some of the world’s best runs and pistes. The moniker of the largest resort reflects the amazing panoramas that Lake Tahoe offers – it is known as Heavenly Mountain and has 97 runs and 30 lifts. Squaw Valley is the second largest resort with 33 lifts which can accommodate 600,000 skiers annually. Experts will enjoy challenging courses while there is plenty of support for beginners too.

3 San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
San Carlos de Bariloche is to Argentina what Aspen is to America. This magnificent lake district in the Andes Mountains offers upmarket accommodation and the finest skiing in South America. The resort also prides itself on offering the best Patagonian instructors. The most desirable ski centre is the Cerro Cathedral which can transport more than 22,000 skiers per hour up to more than 60 kilometres of ski runs. The Cerro Campanario ski lift costs 40 pesos per trip.

4 Aspen, Colorado
Aspen, Colorado
Aspen and its sister resort of Snowmass Village are the most visited ski resorts in America. Nestled amidst the Rocky Mountains these premium ski resorts cater to tourists with multiple places to hire out equipment, chalets and four and five star hotels as well as excellent bars and restaurants. These facilities are spread across the main resorts of Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands. The resort also offers a special ‘pay as you ski’ Escape Pass which is a good money saver.

5 Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is just one of many amazing ski resorts in the Swiss Alps, and it is particularly alluring for the quality of the chalet accommodation. The skiing is also fast and at times death-defying as you whizz down the Matterhorn Mountain. In terms of the ski scene, Zermatt is one of the most peaceful resorts in the world as it operates a car free policy so that you can enjoy the quaint cobbled streets of this winter wonderland. 

6 Faraya-Mzaar, Lebanon
Faraya-Mzaar, Lebanon
The Middle East may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of skiing but Lebanon can mix it with the big boys. The Faraya-Mzaar resort adds to the impressive reputation of this Arab country whose capital Beirut is known as the Paris of the east. Faraya-Mzaar and Cedar were once considered secret ski resorts but they have massively grown in popularity over the last decade.

7 Chamonix, France
Chamonix, France
The Mont Blanc Grand Massif resort Chamonix is the epitome of French sophistication. All visitors are catered to with accommodation which can be everything from eco-friendly to disability-aware. Chamonix is also at the forefront of the latest technology advances with a dedicated TV channel, ubiquitous webcams and even a new Chamonix app for the iPhone. In an effort to open skiing out to more people Chamonix has even started offering day passes for only two Euros on selected slopes.

8 Banff, Alberta
Banff, Alberta
That Banff is one of the most beautiful towns in Canada is reflected by the fact that this jewel in the Rocky Mountains is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take the gondola high above the town and take your pick of three superlative ski resorts – Ski Norquay, the Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Sunshine Village. Ski Norquay offers one of the steepest pistes in North America, though it is not as reliable for snow as the other two resorts which are at higher altitude.

9 Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont
Vermont is the ski destination of choice for most New Yorkers and residents of the Eastern Seaboard. There are lots of ski resorts in Vermont but the one that people usually tend to pick out is Stowe. This massive mountain is a dead cert for fine, fresh powder in the winter with ski runs as high up as 3,640 feet. Most of the trails are for intermediates, but the other 40 per cent are split fairly evenly between beginner and expert standard.

10 St Anton, Austria
St Anton, Austria
Austria has amazing alpine ski resorts for all budgets, and slopes that are suited to couples or family holidays. St Anton is one of the best, and not only because it gets heavy snow fall which is supplemented by snow guns. Although the pistes can be crowded the lifts are generally hassle-free and there are ski slopes to suit all levels. St Anton also has one of the best après ski scenes in the country.

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