Eight of the Best Ski Resorts in the World

Chamonix, France

At the foot of the Mont Blanc (White Mountain) at an altitude of 1,035 meters, Chamonix is one of the most popular winter sports resorts in France. For skiers and snowboarders trying to find haven, this must be it, with Vallée Blanche which runs down from below Mont Blanc du Tacul and the Aiguille du Midi to form a 12-mile run that is among Europe’s longest trails. Another reason to be here is the great French food and the warm village atmosphere.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

In the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy, Veneto province, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a renowned ski resort known for its wide and sunny valley but also for attracting celebrities of all types. It’s not a cheap place but if you can afford it I’m sure you’ll enjoy those 52 lifts and 87 miles of groomed runs. As for the apres-ski and nightlife, or the Italian cuisine, you probably know how good they are.

Courchevel, France

Another great place in France and famous for being the largest ski resort in the world, is Courchevel in the Savoie region of the French Alps and part of Les Trois Vallées (the Three Valleys). But the whole area is also famous for having some of the most difficult black runs in the world. The highest place, Courchevel 1850 (which is actually only 1771m high) is the fourth of the villages that form Courchevel and is famous for the great restaurants and the Olympic ski-jumping venue.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Ranking among the most exclusive and expensive ski resorts in the world, Gstaad is Switzerland’s finest chalet village that attracted not only international playboys, royalty and movie stars, but also rich skiers and snowboarders who afforded a ride in the Swiss Alps. The hotels are luxurious and offer excellent services, the intimate restaurants serve great food and the nightlife is great. Need more? There are 155 miles (250km) of downhill slopes and 70 chairlifts and gondolas, to serve you. Satisfied?

Lech and Zurs, Austria

Some of Austria’s finest, Lech is a small mountain village full of character that preserved its original flavor, while Zurs is a refined high altitude village. Both are famous for being skier’s stronghold with meticulously groomed (110 km long) slopes that are served by 34 lifts. Many celebrities have spent their winter vacations in the Lech and Zurs area which is why, along with the fairytale scenery, it became so popular.

Vail, Colorado

A year round resort for outdoor activities, Vail in Colorado is a great destination unless you go skiing in Europe. Located at the base of Vail Ski Resort there are 174 trails and seven bowls that you can enjoy, all being serviced by 30 lifts. Don’t think you need to know more about the atmosphere, because Vail is a Tyrolean-style village, sister city of St. Moritz, from Switzerland.

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

Famous for the largest vertical drop (5,280 feet) in the world, Whistler Blackcomb in Canada, is a bustling village with more than 7,000 skiable acres of extensive terrain covered with a lot of good snow, during winters. These days Whistler Blackcomb is famous for two things : incredible nightlife and the fact that in 2010 it will host some of the Olympic Winter Games.

Big Sky Resort, Montana

In southwestern Montana in Gallatin County, US, the Big Sky Resort is the country’s biggest terrain available for skiing and snowboarding with more than 3,600 acres that will make every snow lover, happy. Three mountains with lots of snow and 17 lift lines so short that they are basically non existent, this is both the place for the experts and for the newbies.

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