Best ski resorts for 22/23 season
Nothing says winter quite like a blanket of fresh snow on the ground, and as the cold nights start to draw in and frosty mornings promise a winter wonderland of beauty, many of us are thinking about getting out on the slopes and making the most of the white stuff. Whether you’re an experienced skier or fancy trying it for the first time, and whether you’re taking the family or prefer to ski solo or with friends, there’s a wide choice in resorts that offer the perfect base for a ski holiday.
The Alps have been a favourite with snow sport enthusiasts for a long time, and there’s no denying they have some of the best ski villages in the world. But if you want to travel further afield, there are a host of interesting ski resorts waiting to be discovered. Here’s our pick of the best ski resorts for this winter season.
The highest winter sports area in the Alps, Zermatt sits beneath the mighty Matterhorn mountain, and the scenery alone is a good enough reason to visit. This is a well-established ski resort and the centre has high-quality restaurants, shops and bars. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re new to skiing as Zermatt has some of the best ski schools and snowboarding lessons in Europe, with great amenities and tutors. For experienced skiers, Zermatt’s incredible 3900 metre drop is a must, and Zermatt also has the world’s highest 3S cableway, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride. Even if you’re not into skiing this is an incredible place to visit – for those non-skiers in your party, the hiking and sledging here offer a lot of outdoor fun, as does the après ski.
Courchevel is often the choice for experienced skiers who like a touch of discovery to their ski slopes. There are four glaciers and 600 kilometres of interconnected ski runs covering ten peaks, making this a contained world of snow sports. It’s also popular with families as it has plenty of ski schools and provides magnetic safety vests for children on its lifts. Although Courchevel is one resort, it’s spread over five separate ski villages, giving you a welcome choice of where to base yourself. Courchevel 1850 is the largest village and it’s where you’ll find luxury accommodation and fine dining – perfect for a special ski trip. Otherwise, you can pick a more modest option and still avail of its world-class slopes, and those of its neighbours in the Trios Vallees, the world’s largest ski area.
Keystone Resort, Colorado, USA
Colorado has an excellent choice in ski resorts. While the big hitters like Aspen Snowmass are the most popular options and where you’ll find restaurants, shops and a ski town, Keystone offers a more interesting experience. If you have a family, it’s perfect as it has kids play areas, free gear wagons for hauling equipment and kids’ stuff around, and lessons especially for children. It’s also where you can go night skiing. Until 8pm on weekends, you can get out on the slopes for a night time experience when the snow sparkles under the moonlight and the scenery is pure magic.
Now that Japan has finally opened its borders to tourists, we can start planning our trip out to this intriguing country. If you like skiing, you can experience a much quieter and more novel ski holiday than you’ll find in Europe or the US. For a start Rusutsu has the deepest snow you’re likely to find in any ski resort, and the slopes here offer great versatility – whatever your level of experience, you can find a trail that suits you. If you’re looking for a bustling resort and the chance to party after a day on the slopes, this isn’t it. But if you want a ski resort that offers stunning views with the solitude to ski in peace, Rusutsu is a top choice.
Just two hour’s drive from Oslo, Hafjell is one of the child-friendliest ski resorts in the world. It has three nursery slopes where children over the age of three can learn to ski or just have fun playing in the snow. But it’s not just for kids. Hafjell has 33 slopes ranging in ability levels, so while newbies can take lessons on the beginner slopes, experienced skiers can get out and enjoy the full extent of the Norwegian scenery. The resort is established, but Hafjell has recently added on-mountain accommodation and slope side cafes, bars and restaurants, meaning you can stay, eat, and drink closer to the action. Hafjell is also where you’ll find the most well-connected cross-country trails in Norway, so if you fancy full days out on the snow, this is the one for you.
If you’re heading to the slopes this winter make sure to pack a Switched On Winter Sports policy! With our specialist cover you get a 24/7 emergency medical helpline, protection for hired or owned equipment, ski packs and piste closure as well as cover for off piste skiing or boarding (within the resort boundaries). Find out more here.