Best Ski Resorts

The greatest skiing on the planet.

Val d'Isere

½ of Espace Killy, Fantastic après, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zermatt

Glacier skiing, high altitude terrain, stunning panor...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Meribel

3 Valleys ski area , Excellent ski schools , Lively a...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

St Anton

Huge Arlberg area, Awesome après ski, Extensive powd...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Non skiers
  • Off-piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Whistler

Largest ski area in North America , Consistently vo...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Families
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Verbier

Vast interlinked 4 Valleys area, Vibrant and varied ...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kitzbuhel

World's most difficult run, Romantic Austrian charm, ...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courchevel

5 star luxury resort, Vast 3 Valleys, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Luxury holiday

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Chamonix

Traditional mountain resort, varied, high altitude t...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

There are smashing places to ski, and then there are the world’s greatest: towns with all the trimmings and mighty linked (often international) ski areas, where you can schuss for miles both on and off the piste.

The quality of skiing’s spectacular, with snow sure mountainsides, fabulous piste grooming and glorious views each way you turn. With something to suit learners, improvers and seasoned pros, these resorts have the best terrain on the planet.

Top 10 Ski Resorts

Val makes up one half of the Espace Killy, putting a whopping 300km of terrain at your twin tips. In the local area, special Slow Zones are dedicated to beginners, with Brit run ski schools like TDC and Progression to lead the way. At the other end of the spectrum you’ll find black graded Olympic legends like Face and mighty moguls on Epaule du Charvet. The Pissaillas Glacier’s fabulously snow sure, with blue and red runs streaming down from over 3000m and holding onto the good stuff longer than anywhere else. Though you could easily spend all week off piste here, with some of the most easily-reached powder on the planet – get a guide to show you Banane and Spatule or ski the deep bowls and trees of Le Grand Vallon. Not stopping at a cracking ski area, this is also where you’ll find insanely good après, with the original Folie Douce rocking every afternoon. The town doesn’t let the side down either: achingly traditional, with wood and stone buildings every which way.

One of the world’s prettiest, choc-box Zermatt’s a real head turner. But it’s the ski area that really commands attention. There are 360km of pistes between this legendary resort and Cervinia, and they cram in some of the finest terrain in the Swiss and Italian Alps - all under the eye of the magnificent Matterhorn. Everything’s groomed to the last degree, from the Gornergrat’s blues (including a fabulous beginner Slow Slope) to the National black from Blauherd – and the Theodul glacier has the highest, most snow sure runs in Europe. When you look beyond the pistes, there’s a whole other world to ski: marked powder trails rule the Stockhorn Mountain, with more streaming down the Rothorn. They total 36km, but with 38 mountain peaks looming overhead, the backcountry prospects are endless.

Claiming the heart of the 3 Valleys, Meribel's surroundings make up the world’s biggest ski area. 600km of all kinds of pistes are covered with the full pass, enough to discover new runs each time you visit. Though this isn’t the only heart Meribel’s stolen: founded and loved by generations of Britons who return year in, year out, the whole place has a fabulously homely feel. If only every home had this kind of back garden - streams of pistes flow through the local area alone, from daring black runs (don’t miss Boisses) to speedy reds, easygoing ZEN zones and fairy-tale pistes for kids. As the lifts close, a tremendous après scene awakens - the legendary Rond Point’s the loudest of them all. And when bed beckons, there’s all manner of accommodation: this is the land of the chalet, and whether yours is shared, private, simple or lavish; you wake to the same incredible ski area every morning.

St Anton has a reputation for cranking up the tempo, when it comes to pistes, when it comes to powder and most definitely when it comes to parties. 350km of groomers connect the mighty Arlberg area, which brings together St Christoph, Stuben, Lech and Zurs. Of the local ones, most blues would be reds in any other resort, with the bulk of reds nearing the black end of the spectrum. That’s not to say beginners should stay at home - this is the place where ski school was born and Alpine techniques developed, and the standards have remained top notch. Though experts will definitely get the most out of the area. Look beyond the corduroy, and 200km of powder runs have some of the deepest snow and steepest descents on the planet: hire a guide for a venture off the Valluga and conquer the legendary Schindler Spitze. At après o’clock, two venues hog the limelight - Mooserwirt and Krazy Kanguruh are some of the oldest, wildest bars in the alps, and have to be experienced if just once…

Whistler’s award cabinet must be fit to bursting by now: freestyle, off piste, snow quality, ski area – it always seems to take home the gong. And with good reason – they’ve crammed in all sorts of ski runs between the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Full valley cruisers like Peak to Creek, short, sharp drops in the Cliff Area and everything in between can be found in the 8181 acres of groomed terrain (which happens to form North America’s biggest ski area). Freestyle skiers will go mad for the Nintendo Terrain Parks, which have every type of feature you could dream of… and then some. That’s before we get to the off piste. Ask a local to show you Million Dollar Ridge for a descent you won’t forget in a hurry.

Trumping anywhere else for powder terrain and parties, Verbier’s the king of Switzerland’s biggest ski area. The 4 Valleys has a tremendous 412km of pistes – of the lot, just over 40% are graded blue and then you’ve got a pretty even mix of reds and blacks for more advanced skiers. But it’s the off piste that really reigns supreme: Mont Fort garners some of the best snow in the country, and the drops of its backside are the stuff of legend. Verbier’s signature itinerary runs trail in and out of Tortin, with mammoth moguls and deep powder pile ups. Not forgetting the blood-curdling cliffs of Bec des Rosses, which are used to whittle out the winners of the Freeride World Tour. Skiing’s not all that makes Verbier first class though… The après is infectiously hedonistic, with the likes of Fairnet and Farm Club being a big hit with royals and celebs the world over. And at the end of the day, chalets and hotels simply don’t get more luxurious than these.

When Franz Reische skied the Kitzbüheler Horn in 1893 (and in doing so made Austria’s first ski run) he was onto a good thing. These days you’ll find 170km of the good stuff, none more famous than the Streif from the Hahnenkamm races. There’s an even mix of runs for beginners and intermediates throughout, with 24km of blacks and 32km of powder trails for experts. And it’s all wonderfully snowy, thanks to a corking microclimate and state of the art snowmaking. It needn’t end there - get the All Star Card and you’ve access to nine more resorts in the Kitzbüheler Alps. When you’ve skied your socks off, you’re coming home to one of the prettiest mountain towns on earth. Crayola-bright coaching inns house all manner of luxuries: high-fashion boutiques, highly-acclaimed restaurants and high-end spa hotels, finishing a grand day on the hill in sensational style.

Courchevel 1850 gets a lot of airtime for its champagne bars and Chanel-clad clientele, but that doesn't mean the skiing drops off the radar. You’re in the middle of the 3 Valleys, where the world’s biggest collection of linked pistes (totting up to a whopping 600km) feature every type of terrain: full valley descents, wide motorway cruisers, goose-pimpling steeps, you name it. The local slopes are some of the region’s finest for beginners and intermediates - all gorgeously groomed with snow sure, scenic patches higher up and sheltered runs between the trees. And experts are far from forgotten, with the likes of the Grand Couloir and Jockeys in La Praz. Legs may well be begging for some 1850 pampering after all this piste, but if you favour a chilled atmosphere it’s not all show-stopping glam. As you head to the lower hamlets, the pace lessens but the prettiness stays, with 1650 being a preferred base for cheaper family skiing.

What’s Edinburgh Fringe or Glastonbury when you can see the biggest names in comedy and music, then ski some of Austria’s finest terrain. As well as hosting the Altitude and Snowbombing festivals, Mayrhofen has two home mountains with a fabulously mixed bag of terrain. The Ahorn takes things slow, with cruisey blue and red groomers and an awesome igloo bar up top for a spot of scenic downtime. Penken, meanwhile, is a hive of activity – with ribbons of blue, red and black runs as well as ungroomed ski routes and fabulous off piste. This is where you’ll find the fearsome Harakiri, the steepest run in Austria, and the mighty Vans Park with its pro-standard freestyle terrain. Broaden your horizons with the Zillertal pass and the Hintertux comes into play, where the snow sticks around for 365 days of the year.

Host of the first ever Winter Olympics, Cham’s one of the classics. There are FIVE ski areas to explore here, each as terrific as the next – and links to Courmayeur for a taste of Italian terrain. Beginners have four nursery slopes, and the level of tuition’s excellent with lots of Brit run ski schools. Intermediates can ski nearly 90km of blues and reds throughout the whole area, while black pistes bring the total to 175km. Every way you turn the scenery’s spectacular, with the Mont Blanc massif teetering overhead. But you’re only scraping the surface if you stick to the groomers here: the off piste is unparalleled, with Vallee Blanche often voted the best descent of all time - following 20km of glacier snow from the Aiguille du Midi. Flégère’s powder fields are crammed with all kinds of natural jumps, and the Poubelle couloir is unmissable.

All of these resorts have held titles like "best skiing resort" or "top ski resort in Europe", or featured in lists of the top US ski resorts such as "top Colorado ski resorts". Not necessarily the cheapest, nor the most expensive... They're simply the best ski resorts worldwide.

If you want to ski one of the best resorts in a certain country, our Top Ten guides for France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy are just the ticket to finding somewhere that suits your plans - for a stonkingly good ski holiday in one of the nation's finest.


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