Winter may bring with it colder temperatures and shorter days, but there’s no need to feel blue.
After all, it also brings the festive season, holidays and, the ski season !
Of course, there are some seriously amazing ski resorts on offer around the world, especially in Europe, the USA and Canada, whether you’re hitting the slopes for the very first time or looking for somewhere new to put your skills to the test.
However, the sheer amount of choice can be somewhat overwhelming, especially as most offer breathtaking backdrops, a wide array of pistes and of course, exceptional après–ski.
To help you narrow down your options, we’ve revealed our top picks of the world’s best ski resorts, including the best time to go…
You can also check out our guide on finding cheap ski holidays for more inspiration.
1. Meribel, France
Located in the French Alps’ Tarentaise Valley, Meribel offers a touch of extra glamour thanks to its luxury hotels, upmarket shops and chic après–ski hotspots.
With over 600km of pistes the resort caters to everyone from beginners to skiing experts, while the weather promises plenty of sunshine, and great snow conditions.
Oh, and if you want to take in the seriously spectacular views, then head to Mont Du Vallon at the top, which sits at a height of 2,952m overlooking the breathtaking landscape.
Ski pass price: Approx €300 (£273) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: If you want to avoid the crowds, then January is a safe bet. The pistes are relatively quiet as most people are back at work or school, but the weather is still cold and makes for excellent snow conditions.
Cheap flights: Chambéry is the closest airport and you can find cheap flights from £77 on Skyscanner , but flights aren’t particularly regular. However nearby Grenoble, approx two hours away, has plenty more routes on offer – and you can get cheap seats from £24.49 on easyJet .
2. Cervinia, Italy
Nestled in the Valle d’Aosta in northwest Italy, this resort is renowned for its beautiful snow-capped mountains, breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, vibrant nightlife and wide array of hotels and restaurants catering to every budget.
The pistes tend to be more suited to beginner and intermediate skiiers, but the resort has plenty of slopes connecting it to nearby Swiss resort Zermatt that’s ideal for those after a bit more of a challenge.
Ski pass price: Approx €204 (£186) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: The best season in Cervinia tends to be from the end of December through to the beginning of April – and the snow is so good you can sometimes even enjoy morning skiing in the summer months too!
Cheap flights: The nearest airport is Turin Caselle, and you can find return flights from as little as £48 with Cheapflights.co.uk .
3. Revelstoke, Canada
While Revelstoke does offer pistes for beginners, the resort tends to be tailored more to intermediate and advanced skiiers thanks to the wide array of terrain and steep slopes on offer.
During the peak season you can expect deep powder snow that offers ideal conditions for an impressive array of winter sports, while the spring brings a whole new terrain with glaciers and alpine bowls that make for a showstopping backdrop.
If you’re after something particularly special, then it’s worth taking one of the Heli skiing trips up to the Selkirk and Monashee mountains – expect spectacular views and an experience unlike any other.
Ski pass price: Approx $569 (£355) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: December to February tends to be the best time if you’re after deep powder snow.
Cheap flights: Calgary and Vancouver are your best bets if you’re travelling from the UK, as they’re the closest international airports to Revelstoke which you can easily reach from the UK. For example, Expedia has return flights to Calgary from £301 , while Cheapflights.co.uk has returns to Vancouver available from £217 .
4. Courchevel, France
Part of the Three Valleys, Courchevel offers over 600km of pistes and 162 lifts, so there’s something for everyone from beginners to advanced skiiers.
However it’s particularly great for first-timers, if only because of the abundance of green pistes (the easiest) and ski schools to get you up and running.
It’s not just on the slopes where Courchevel has a wide range of holiday options. The resort is actually made up of a whole host of small villages – so you could be unwinding in the peaceful and charming Le Praz, or splurging on a luxury chalet in the glamorous Courchevel 1850.
Ski pass price: Approx €256.00 (£233) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: From December to March the snow conditions tend to be great – although it’s worth noting that the resort can be extremely busy during February as the French school holidays take place. For quieter pistes it’s worth visiting in January.
Cheap flights: The nearest main airports are Chambery and Grenoble. easyJet has flights to Grenoble from £24.49 , including UK airport departures such as Liverpool, Birmingham, London and Bristol. Meanwhile, you can find returns to Chambery from £64 on Skyscanner .
5. Verbier, Switzerland
Thanks to its breathtaking landscape, luxury accommodation and impeccable ski conditions, Verbier has always been a hit with European royals – Prince Andrew even owns a chalet in the Swiss mountains.
Hailed as the main resort of The Four Valleys, Verbier has over 400km of runs, not to mention when you head to the top of the slopes you can get some seriously amazing views of Mont Fort, or even the Matterhorn.
Oh, and if it’s off-piste skiing you’re after, then this is sure to be the place for you – expect everything from scenic runs to rougher terrain if you’re up for a challenge.
Ski pass price: Approx 340CHP (£271) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: Verbier’s ski season is best from the end of November until early May – but January through to March tend to offer some of the best snow conditions.
Cheap flights: Jet2.com offers £25 flights each way to nearby airport Geneva (1hr 50 minute transfer) including UK departures from Birmingham, London Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh.
6. Lech, Austria
Head to Lech and you can expect traditional alpine charm, cosy resorts and world-class skiing.
There’s everything from off-piste skiing to beginner schools, but the runs tend to be ideal for the more intermediate of skiiers.
Then of course there’s the stunning landscape from picturesque rivers to snow-capped mountains, as well as charming buildings from domed churches to bustling markets.
It’s no surprise that the resort was a firm favourite for Princess Diana , who even brought Prince William and Prince Harry for fun-filled winter adventures here.
Ski pass price: Approx €275 (£250) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: The ski season is open from December until April, but like most resorts it’s really January-March where you can make the most of the snow.
Cheap flights: You can easily reach Lech from Zurich – and easyJet has flights to the Swiss city from £26.49 with London Luton or London Gatwick departures. Alternatively, you can fly to nearby airport Friedrichshafen – Expedia offers returns with British Airways from £141 .
7. Bansko, Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s premier ski resort has everything you need for a fun-filled, budget-friendly ski holiday.
Not only can you bag some brilliant accommodation for bargain prices, but even the cost of eating out or making the most of the nightlife is relatively low.
As for the skiing itself, expect beautiful scenery, plenty of runs for everyone from beginners to the more advanced, and fast lifts to the mountains so you can make the most of your time out there.
Ski pass price: Approx 238BGN (£110) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: The snow season in Bansko typically lasts from December to April, on the northern slopes of the mountain.
Cheap flights: The nearest airports are Sofia (2 hours, 20 minute transfer) or Thessaloniki (3-hour transfer). British Airways offers direct flights to both – and you can find flights from £114.
8. Vail, Colorado
One of the largest ski resorts in the world, Vail boasts more than 5,200 acres of ski and snowboard terrain.
What’s particularly great is that it also caters to a wide variety of budgets, whether you’re looking to go all out in a luxury lodge, or want to save the pennies in self-catered chalets.
Simply choose between the resort’s three villages: Lionshead, Vail Village, or Golden Peak.
Oh, and then of course there’s the incredible après ski in the valley’s bustling restaurants and bars.
Ski pass price: Approx $768 (£480) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: Vail’s ski season tends to run from December through to March.
Cheap flights: The nearest airport to Vail is the Eagle County Airport – Skyscanner has flights there from £496 . However Denver (2 hours away) can work out to be more budget-friendly – you can find returns from £345 on Cheapflights.co.uk .
9. Zermatt, Switzerland
With unparalleled views of the Matterhorn and 350km of pistes that also take you into the neighbouring Italian resort of Cervinia, it’s no surprise that Zermatt is a firm favourite with those hoping to hit the slopes.
However it’s worth noting that the resort can be quite expensive, mainly because of its lift pass prices – but it’s not impossible to find accommodation and dining to suit more modest budgets.
For those who are after something alternative to the standard skiing experience, Zermatt has plenty on offer too – think helicopter sightseeing tours including the Matterhorn, or even Heli Skiing for the more daring.
Ski pass price: Approx 380CHP (£302) for an adult 6-day pass. Approx 434CHP (£345) if you also want access to neighbouring Cervinia, Italy.
Best time to go: The ski season is best from late November until the end of April.
Cheap flights: The nearest airport is Sion but if you’re on a budget then your best bet is to fly to Geneva, just under three hours away. Expedia has return flights from as little as £59.60 .
10. Cortina, Italy
Tucked away in the picturesque Dolomites, Cortina is often hailed as one of the world’s prettiest resorts – and no wonder, with its rustic chalets, snow-capped mountains or pristine slopes.
Host to the 1956 Olympics, it offers up some seriously brilliant skiing catering to all levels and a wide array of different winter sports.
But what really sets Cortina apart is the fashion: expect to see some very eye-catching ski ensembles, and if you’re feeling inspired, you can no doubt get the look from one of the resort’s luxurious shops.
Ski pass price: Approx €224 (£203) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: The ski season runs from December through to April, but it’s really until March that you’re likely to get the best snow conditions.
Cheap flights: The nearest airport is Treviso, 2 hour transfer, and Lastminute.com has direct flights from just £58 . Alternatively, Venice airport is just an extra 15 minutes of transfer to Treviso – easyJet has flights from £24.49 .
11. Tignes, France
Thrill-seekers who want to try a whole host of sports as well as skiing will no doubt find a haven in Tignes.
There’s so much on offer, and not just on the slopes: try ice diving in Tignes’ frozen lake, or take in the views during a paragliding experience.
It’s worth noting that Tignes’ villages and accommodation can be quite spread out – so make sure to check the location before you book or you could be in for a bit of a trek to get to all of the action.
Ski pass price: Approx €228 (£207) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: January is the best month to go if you’re after quieter pistes and plenty of snow.
Cheap flights: Chambéry is the closest airport and you can find cheap flights from £77 on Skyscanner , but flights aren’t particularly regular – it’s worth looking into flights to Geneva too.
12. Aspen, Colorado
The Kardashians , Elle Macpherson , Kate Hudson , Jack Nicholson , Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas – the list of celebrities who often hit Aspen during the winter months is endles..
And no wonder – if there’s one resort that’s tailored to a life of luxury, it’s Aspen!
The pristine slopes, breathtaking scenery and seriously glamorous après ski all make for an experience unlike any other.
Unfortunately this does mean that Aspen can make quite a dent in your budget – but if you’re an avid skiier then it’s worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Ski pass price: Approx $564 (£427) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: For skiing, you’ll want to hit the slopes from December to March.
Cheap flights: Skyscanner has flights to Aspen Airport from £553 .
13. Park City, Utah
This mountain enclave has a very impressive winter sports offering – so it’s no surprise that the resort played host to some of the Winter Olympics events back in 2002.
There are over 7300 acres of terrain waiting to be explored by ski, snowboard or even snowmobile. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from other beautiful resorts in the region – definitely try and fit in a day trip to Deer Valley if you can.
Park City also plays host to the Sundance Film Festival, so time your visit well and you could spot a few celebrities too!
Ski pass price: Approx $714 (£540) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: Winter sports enthusiast will want to make the most of the ski season from December through to March.
Cheap flights: Salt Lake City airport is just around a 40-minute drive away, and you can find plenty of cheap and easy flight options from the UK. For example, Virgin Atlantic offers direct flights , or you can find budget-friendly options on Expedia too .
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14. Riksgransen, Sweden
Ideal for off-piste skiiers and snowboarders, Riksgransen has over 40 hills to explore with a terrain that has everything from huge drops to big powder faces.
Never skiied before? There are slopes on offer for beginners – and if you don’t want to take to the piste, there’s plenty to do from husky sledding to snow shoe walking.
The only hiccup is that the weather in Riksgransen can be quite temperamental; when it’s good, it’s fantastic, and when it’s bad, it can leave you having to wait it out before you can get back on the slopes.
Ski pass price: Approx 1700SEK (£161) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: Because of Riksgransen’s volatile weather it’s best to go mid-ski season around February/March, although the season can last as long as May.
Cheap flights: The nearest airport is Kiruna, Sweden and there are some budget-friendly flights on offer. For example, Skyscanner has fares from £141 – but you may face a stopover.
15. Bormio, Italy
Bormio has quite a remote location – airport transfers can be over four hours long – but don’t let that dissuade you.
When you take to the slopes, you’ll be treated to stunning views including picturesque woodland runs, not to mention that you can also nab a ski pass to go exploring nearby St Moritz.
The region boasts some brilliant snow conditions too – most of the pistes face northwest and therefore tend to be covered in powder throughout the whole season.
Ski pass price: Approx €135 (£122) for an adult 6-day pass.
Best time to go: Head between the months of December and March and you should get some ideal snow conditions for your winter escape.
Cheap flights: easyJet offers some great flight and hotel packages to Bormio that are budget-friendly even during peak ski season.
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