34 Best Places In The World To Ski

Surfers have long been portrayed as nomadic wanderers that scour the seven seas to chase the ultimate wave, but do many perceive skiers in the same vein? They certainly should, after all, great powder blankets mountains all over the world, and snow hounds readily grasp the opportunity to experience different terrains, environments, and cultures while indulging in a sport that gets their hearts racing and faces beaming with joy. There are so many reasons why people love skiing, from the chance to enjoy the fresh, clean mountain air, to the sensation of feeling like they are flying, from challenging themselves physically to hanging out with family and friends after being active together. It's also a great way to see different parts of the world, especially since there are more than 6,000 ski resorts dotted around the planet. 

While skiers are clearly spoiled for choice, some destinations stand out, whether it's for their beauty, size, facilities, novelty, or the overall experience they provide for visitors. While the list below isn't exhaustive, with plenty more ski resorts around this little blue speck worth visiting, it's a great place to start when thinking of the next place you might want to gear up and hit the slopes. It also promises a great geographical spread, sure to stoke the wanderlust in any reader that can't wait for their next winter adventure.


A resort near Salt Lake City, with travel time from the city's airport to the mountain only about one hour, this is place is a big draw for skiing purists because snowboarders are prohibited from the slopes. Snow is a given at this resort, with a whopping 903 inches recorded during the 2022-2023 season, more than double the powder in the season one year earlier. Two bases serve Alta, Albion and Wildcat, the former suited to beginners and adults with kids in tow (it's where to find the ski school), the latter more likely to appeal to those that are confident on their skis.


The biggest ski expanse in Scandinavia is located about an eight-hour drive northwest of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The stats at this destination are certainly entertaining reading, with more than 40 ski lifts, almost 90 runs that run the gamut from beginner to extreme expert, and a vertical drop of 2,900 feet. Three ski areas are easily accessible from Åre — the main village, with the tallest peaks and the most challenging runs, Björnen, which is more geared toward families, and the sister terrains of Tegefjäll and Duved, the quietest of the three options, with complimentary shuttle buses linking them all. In addition to fabulous downhill, expect plenty of cross-country skiing trails.

Aspen Snowmass

If variety is the spice of life, then skiers that yearn for a little kick in their adventure should consider heading to this slice of Colorado. This vast web of four mountains will guarantee that powder hounds never get bored, and the most recent season was a smash hit, with more than 350 inches of snow. Aspen Mountain is the most convenient to its eponymous town, accessed by the Silver Queen Gondola from the core of Aspen, a hamlet with fine lodging, boutiques, and dining. Of the other mountains, children will enjoy the tame terrain and terrain parks of Buttermilk, while Aspen Highlands offers more challenging runs, and Snowmass is a mammoth beast, with all types of landscape on view.

Banff Sunshine Village

At Sunshine Village in the province of Alberta, visitors can ski on three mountains in the core of the Canadian Rockies. Located due west of Calgary, and a short drive from the town of Banff, the resort also sits close to the border with British Columbia, with some runs crisscrossing between the two, adding a little bit of travel trivia to the downhill drives. Skiers and snowboarders like the 3,300 acres of terrain, the huge terrain park, the 30 or so feet of fluffy white stuff, and the super-long winter season. You can expect about seven months of snowy bliss here, from November all the way to American Memorial Day, a time when many in the U.S. are dreaming of barbecues and beaches!


Think of skiing in Europe, and the countries of Austria, France, and Switzerland come to mind, but not Bulgaria. And yet this mountain in Eastern Europe is a huge draw for skiers on the continent, most notably for its affordability. A single-day lift ticket costs 90 Bulgarian Lev (about $50), with the price getting cheaper for multiple days (and students always pay less). Compared to other resorts on this list, the terrain might seem like an afterthought, with 18 runs in total, but there is a good mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes for visitors to tackle. The resort is also convenient for international travelers, located about two hours from Sofia International Airport.


Adventurers have long held New Zealand in high regard. This island nation is, after all, home of the bungee jump and jet boat, and many activities are centered around Queenstown, on the South Island, a destination sitting on a glacial lake and surrounded by mountains (some of which featured in the "Lord of the Rings" movies). Close to Queenstown, Cardrona pulls in the adventure crowd thanks to its location, though its metrics also help — it has a vertical rise of almost 2,000 feet, and gets more than 100 inches of snow per year. The 1,100 acres of terrain splits itself fairly evenly between beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert, while plenty of dining options can keep visitors of all abilities fully fueled.

Catedral Alta Patagonia

A well-developed ski mountain in Southern Argentina, this resort sits near the town of Bariloche. It's a stunning part of the world, a scattering of visually arresting peaks of the Andes Mountains in the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Visitors will find plenty of lodging options, with several hotels by the mountain, and even more in Bariloche. Skiers need not be super proficient, with a mix of skill levels assuaged by the various runs, and there's a ski school on hand for those that want to learn or brush up on their turns and stops. The winter season here occurs during the Northern Hemisphere summer, great news for skiers that can't wait the better part of a year to get back on the slopes.


A valley with a number of great resorts, this piece of France is a winter wonderland, with skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoe trails, and even ice climbing listed as some of the attractions during the calendar's colder months. Small, quaint villages dot the landscape, among them is Servoz, with a Baroque church that is hundreds of years old and a yearly sheep fair in the fall. The area doesn't rest on its laurels, with new ski infrastructure added in 2022, including new gondolas, and upgraded dining. There are at least five resorts in the valley, and all snow fanatics will find something to their liking.

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Runs for all levels are the draw in the Italian Dolomites at this resort, which was one of the sites of the 1956 Olympic Winter Games, and which will also co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics. Visitors board 36 lifts throughout the day to get to the top of 86 runs that test all skill levels, and then whizz along 120 kilometers (or about 75 miles) of skiing surface. While snow does fall here, the resort doesn't take any chances and makes the vast majority of the powder that blankets the slopes. Expert skiers and boarders will look to ride the baker's dozen of challenging runs, including one that features a terrifying gradient of 62%.


The amount of terrain at this beloved French destination is bewildering. Courchevel lift tickets give visitors access to three different valleys, 25 peaks, and seven resorts, with 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles) of runs, with 180 good for beginners and intermediates, and a little less than that perfect for skiing pros. Kids and novice adults can learn the ropes at the ski school and on gentle slopes, while non-skiers can head to the zip line. The terrain varies from open high peaks to passages flanked by towering fir trees, and nearby villages allow for exploration off-piste. Snow is a given thanks for the comprehensive snow-making infrastructure that is in place.


This Turkish resort has 41 slopes, and more than one-third of the terrain is suitable for beginners, so skiers of all levels can enjoy the runs. While the mountain tops out at almost 4,000 meters above sea level, the skiing kicks off from 3,400 meters at its highest point, and slopes are generally open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One slope does offer night skiing on weekend nights, opening until 8 p.m. for snow bunnies that don't want the fun to stop. The resort sits in the heart of Turkey, closer to Antalya than to Istanbul.


The premier ski area of Germany features 60 kilometers of runs, split between two mountains and open from November through April. Garmisch-Classic, one of the pair, is home to two-thirds of the slopes, and has special kids' lifts, a playground, a carousel, and is better suited to family outings. It's here where travelers can easily find ski instruction, and practice their moves on languid slopes. At the lofty Zugspitze resort, where the altitude tops out at 2,700 meters above sea level (almost 9,000 feet), the runs are much more difficult, and after completing them, skiers can retire to some polished restaurants and alpine huts for rest and nourishment.


Fabulous Swiss alpine skiing at this area in the Jungfrau region lets visitors enjoy two valleys, with more than 200 kilometers of runs, spread generously across three mountains. This is the realm of the iconic Eiger mountain, and skiers and snowboarders can hit the laconic, or lacerating, slopes of areas like Kleine Scheidegg or Männlichen. The terrain park at Grindelwald-First features a half-pipe that allows tricksters to get some giant air, while a zip line lets visitors enjoy a really elevated vista over the sublime scenery.


A valley that sits at the feet of the soaring Northern Japan Alps, a range that tops out at 3,000 meters above sea level, this is where the 1998 Winter Olympics took place, commonly referred to as Nagano after the name of the prefecture here. Choices are plentiful, with 10 resorts that form an orderly line along the valley, and where slopes range from simple, easy declines to expansive runs where skiers can bump and bounce along for extended periods. Among the choices are White Resort Hakuba Sanosaka, where all runs are for beginners and intermediates, and Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort, with almost a third of slopes earmarked for experts.


The name of this Lake Tahoe ski resort says it all, and visitors to the mountain that is less than five hours from San Francisco will agree. The size of the ski empire here has long been a draw, with almost 5,000 acres of terrain spread among 97 trails, some easy and great for taking your time to enjoy the scenery, others challenging drops that will get the quads burning. The vertical descent of 3,500 feet is equally impressive, with skiers also able to ski in both California and Nevada on select runs. Seasoned skiers will head for the more rugged locations of Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon, while a wealth of backcountry land will push them even harder.


This Austrian city is synonymous with skiing, having hosted the Winter Olympics twice in just over a decade — in 1964 and in 1976. Today, visitors arriving here have their pick of ski resorts, with nine of them forming a consortium known as the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck. An easy start is Seegrube, a mountain that can be reached in less than 30 minutes from the city center, a peak with striking city views and home to the Nordkette resort, which has a terrain park and some runs with gradients hitting a sizzling 70%. A longer transfer is required to get to Kühtai, the highest ski destination in the country, while Stubai Glacier, set at 3,000 meters above sea level, offers glacier skiing at its best.

Jackson Hole

Kids aged three and above can learn to ski and snowboard at this Wyoming mountain, with expert instruction once a week for either three weeks or nine weeks, delivered over six hours, and prices starting at $475. From here, the programs progress with the age groups, focusing on the finessing of skills while consistently reinforcing the need for safety on the slopes. Learners that want to get a better handle on tricks can enroll in the Evolution option, which covers free-styling and tackling the terrain of big mountains. In the last season, the mountain, which features 131 runs, enjoyed great conditions, with almost 600 inches falling at the higher elevations.


One of the earliest places in the world to hold downhill ski races, this Austrian town continues to lure fans of snow and hosts the famous Hahnenkamm races each January as a continuation of this rich tradition. According to some accounts, the late 19th century was when the first Alpine ski contest was held here, run on the Kitbühler Horn peak, a springboard for the skiing that grips this town from December through April each year. The quaint village at the base has fine shopping, eating, lodging, and nightlife, and is the anchor for the mountain, which has more than 210 kilometers of runs, in excess of half of them suitable for beginners, and a vertical drop of 1,200 meters.

Las Leñas

A resort in the heart of Argentina's Andes mountains, in the wine-rich province of Mendoza, this destination has a season that extends from June through September. The base operation sits at 2,240 meters above sea level, with a top elevation of about 1,200 meters higher. Runs will please skiers and snowboarders of all levels, with 30 trails and a well-developed snowmaking infrastructure that ensure powder hounds will never be wanting for more. Beyond the standard daytime slope-side fun, Las Leñas offers visitors the chance to ski at night, go glamping next to the lagoon, and stay busy in a grand playground, suitable for all ages, with plenty of obstacles and diversions.


Four resorts make up this destination on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the northernmost island in the country's archipelago. Close to the city of Sapporo — famous for its beer among other things — and less than a three-hour drive from the international airport, Niseko is a complex of connected resorts, namely An'nupuri, Hanazono, Hirafu, and Niseko Village. Snow is consistent here, with about 600 inches falling each year, so slopes are always handsomely blanketed in powder. The fine vistas of Mount Yotei complement the diverse terrain, including slopes that bisect tree-lined slopes and large open spaces that are great for turning. A vertical drop of about 1,300 meters, and runs almost evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced, make this a favorite of visitors across Asia.

Park City

A winter roller coaster is among the lures of this Utah mainstay, a perfect fun adventure for a parent and child. Located close to Salt Lake City, and divided between two sections — Mountain Village and Canyons Village — the resort hosted a number of competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics. The terrain here presents mammoth possibilities, after all with 7,300 acres of area to ski, Park City is the largest ski resort in the United States. There are over 330 trails for skiers to choose from (just take a minute to think about that number), and the resort uses about 40 snowcats each night to get the mountain in tip-top shape for the morning ski commute.


Located in the Australian state of New South Wales, which is also home to Sydney, this resort has 60% of runs aimed at intermediates. The season here operates from early June to the first couple of days of October each year, and Perisher divvies up its run among seven peaks, among them the ominous-sounding Mount Black Perisher (with a name like this, teenage shredders are sure to want to ride it). The skiing area spreads across almost 3,100 acres, with one run giving skiers and boarders three kilometers of powder time, while cross-country enthusiasts can also explore 100 kilometers of trails.


The longest vertical drop in North America is found here, in British Columbia, at this ski destination that is closer to Calgary than Vancouver. There is much to excite visitors to this mountain retreat, from the bounty of powder, with more than 400 inches a season, to that mind-boggling vertical stat (the drop is 5,620 feet), to the 3,100 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders to explore and conquer. The topography is varied, with large open bowls, wooded runs, and well-groomed pistes where speed is guaranteed. But even with the grand dimensions, there is enough time terrain for beginners to enjoy their time at Revelstoke. The Gothic-sounding name is reason alone to visit.

Ski Portillo

Chile's most famous ski destination has a season that runs during the North American summer, from around our summer solstice through September. The Andes is where to find this ski haunt, with rugged peaks visible all around, though the terrain is as forgiving to beginners as it is challenging to expert skiers and snowboarders. The mountain offers adventurers 1,235 acres of terrain to ski or snowboard, and slopes for beginners and intermediates get thorough groomings each night to ensure they are easy to ride for the next day's excursions. The longest run clocks in at 2.5 kilometers, and with 200 inches of snow per year, slopes are always ready to ride.

SkiStar Hemsedal

A vast Norwegian resort with runs from three mountains, and different areas to keep families entertained, Hemsedal promises a deep season for snow fanatics. There are more than 50 runs to choose from, served by 20 lifts, and some runs extend as long as six kilometers. While carefully groomed trails are all around, open parts of mountain terrain, not worked over by snowcats, lie close by and let thrill-seekers head knee-deep into the unknown. Kids are catered to in many ways, from a special ski fantasy land with winter figures dotted around, to a small terrain park with easy bumps and obstacles that allow youngsters to learn while staying safe.

St. Moritz

This posh Swiss town has a deep skiing history, one of the earliest wellsprings of winter activities in the world, and possesses a number of runs that are considered truly world-class. Skiers can get an early start here, with a lift and gondola making the journey up Corviglia mountain as early at 7.45 a.m. each morning during the season. St. Moritz is where to find four sizeable ski areas, among them Corvatsch, one of the highest peaks in the region, and home to 120 kilometers of runs, as well as a terrain park, a multitude of snowshoes trails, night skiing, all open until late April.


Nordic and snowshoe trails pull in visitors that don't want to just ski or snowboard at this Colorado gem. Runs are accessed from four base areas, and heli-skiing is a huge draw here, with some trips landing on Palmyra Peak, at 13.150 feet above sea level. Telluride has more than 2,000 acres of terrain to explore, with the Galloping Goose the longest run, over five miles in length. Proficient skiers extol the breadth of advanced and expert runs here, more than 40% of the terrain, and a vertical drop of 3,800 feet is complemented by the 280 inches of snow annually.


Another Colorado crusher, this town emulates the feeling of Europe, with German architecture and streets primed for pedestrians. There are more than 5,000 acres open for skiers and boarders during the season, split between the front of the mountain, bowls on the back, and an area called Blue Sky Basin. Vail really is pitched at skiers that aren't intimidated by the slopes, with more than half of its grounds labeled advanced or expert. Of the 195 trails, which receive a sumptuous 350 inches of powder a year, the run with the biggest bang for the buck is the four-mile Riva Ridge. Vail's vertical comes in at 3,450 feet, with the top reaching 11,570 feet above sea level.


Look forward to great après-ski at this pricey French resort located between Geneva in Switzerland, and Turin in Italy. Here is where skier and boarders tip their glass with a local beer or hot chocolate, sip Champagne from the country's finest vineyards, and rest their weary muscles in a pool or sauna. The destination is also known for its lively nightlife, from great parties to live music at venues in town. Even ski restaurants like Le Folie Douce put on shows and sets by DJs, illustrating how the slopes aren't the only place to have fun here. The skiing might not thrill like other destinations around the world — it has 186 miles of runs, with almost 60% of them for beginners — but it's just part of the overall fun experience.

Valle Nevado

A recent business deal between this Chilean resort and Mountain Capital Partners, which operates mountains in America's West, will bring investments over the next few years to this South American destination. The season runs from June through September, and given its proximity to Santiago — it can be reached from Chile's capital in less than two hours — it's a big draw for weekenders. Trails are available for all skill levels, split among different sections of the peaks, and there are also freestyle areas for anyone keen to brush up on their jumps and tricks. Heli-skiing is popular here, with trips climbing to 13,000 feet above sea level, and vertical drops of 5,000 not unheard of.


A ski resort on the North Island of New Zealand, and pronounced "Fa-ka-pa-pa," this destination comprises terrain that is a vestige of extinct volcanoes. Skiers will be descending over old lava fields, skirting the cusps of former volcanic craters, and peering out eye-to-eye with the cloud line on this ski field at Mount Ruapehu. Visitors have more than 1,350 acres at their disposal, from easy slopes for fresh graduates of the onsite Happy Valley ski school, to challenging, speedy chutes, and two-thirds of the land here is dedicated to intermediates and advanced powder hounds.

Whistler Blackcomb

Hugely popular with visitors from Vancouver, these twin peaks set next to each other are pulls for their consistent snow and well-developed lodging and support infrastructure, with a pedestrian village and accommodations that allow ski-in/ski-out. The season starts in the middle of November, and the early days are typified by thinner crowds, better pricing, and sometimes up to eight feet of snow. Skiing here usually runs until sometime in May, and the warmer weather might bring slushier conditions, but the opportunity to enjoy a restorative drink on a pleasant, sun-soaked terrace, is a joy to behold.

Yong Pyong

There is much less terrain at this resort in South Korea — a total acreage of about 270 — than at many resorts on this list, but the ski destination has runs for all levels. There are 28 slopes in total, and more than half will sate beginners and intermediates, among them the intermediate run Rainbow Paradise, which stretches 5.6 kilometers in length. This isn't the domain of mammoth peaks, with 700 meters above sea level more in line with what to expect, though skiing is available from November to late March or so. At other times of the year, Yong Pyong is popular for hiking and golf.


The Matterhorn, with its pointed apex that almost appears like the finely shaped top of a pyramid, is one of the most iconic mountains in the world. Visitors can see its distinctive profile from the slopes of this Swiss ski resort. Runs are split among three staging areas, Zermatt, Cervinia, and Matterhorn, with more than 700 kilometers of space combined. Sixty percent of the runs are intermediate, but whatever the skier's proficiency or the slope chosen, the views are guaranteed to be outstanding, and the snow is always on the mountains thanks to the handsome snow-making capacity.