Winter is approaching, and that means snow in the mountains. Are you planning that one ultimate trip during the season to enjoy the snow? Why not plan multiple ski vacations to the best destinations? Using HomeExchange.com will save you money and let you stretch your skiing budget. Here are 10 of the best ski destinations in the world to get your planning started!
For many, Aspen is still the quintessential ski town that all other North American ski towns compare themselves to. There are four mountains located within easy reach, each offering different levels of terrain. Beginners will love Buttermilk with its innovative ski school and many green runs, while expert adrenaline seekers can attack Aspen Highlands — the locals’ favorite — with the steepest terrain.
After your fun-filled adventure on the slopes, check out all the museums, art galleries, boutiques, coffeehouses and gourmet restaurants Aspen has to offer.
The birthplace of the phrase “you fall, you die” favored by extreme skiers. Don’t worry, there are less life-threatening options, but Chamonix does have some of the world’s steepest skiing and snowboarding accessible by lifts.
Located in a valley within the Alps, looking up at Mont Blanc, Chamonix is the classic French mountain town with its cobblestone streets and car-free pedestrian zones. It is a real city, offering many activities for non-skiers as well.
Mont Tremblant is one of the first ski areas in North America, opening in 1939. For those looking for a European ambiance in the Americas, this is the perfect spot.
In addition to the 95 ski runs to keep your adrenaline pumping during the day, Mont Tremblant also has other activities to keep you entertained. If you are feeling lucky, visit the Casino de Mont-Tremblant. Looking for relaxation? Try the luxurious Scandinavian baths experience at Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant.
Dry, feathery powder snow — it even has a different sound as you glide over it. That is what the mountains of Utah offer; something every skier or snowboarder should experience. Park City gives visitors multiple resort options, from Park City Mountain Resort located right next to the town, to others within just a few miles. Especially for those skiing purists, Deer Valley does not allow snowboarders. Sorry dudes.
Park City itself is a vibrant, cultural destination. Packed with a hundred restaurants and nightclubs, it has one of the hottest live music scenes in the West. Also, don’t forget Park City serves as host to the world-famous Sundance Film Festival every January.
For the non-skiing visitors of Park City, try winter fly-fishing trips, hot-air ballooning, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, and snow tubing.
Surrounded by the peaks of the Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo is considered the most beautiful ski area in the world. Classically Italian, this is the place to experience la dolce vita, winter style. The skiing areas are a little spread out, so being able to swap cars via HomeExchange.com will help expand your options. Check out the Dolomite Superski Ticket, which gives you access to resorts beyond Cortina d’Ampezzo.
For a great apres ski spot, try the Enoteca Cortina wine bar, where Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor.
Think big, think very, very big. A combination of two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, makes this ski area gargantuan. It has the longest vertical drop, the biggest terrain parks, the most runs, the steepest runs, and the largest skiing area of 8,000+ acres. Imagine skiing a run that is 7 miles long. Whistler is often called the finest skiing area of North America.
The town of Whistler itself is a master planned community specifically developed for the ski area. Needless to say, apres ski options are plentiful. Watch this video: Insider’s Guide to Whistler Village. And don’t worry, Whistler hasn’t forgotten about your kids, check out this video with even more kid-friendly activities.
Owning a home in Whistler BC, a world-renowned ski resort appeals to skiers from around the globe. Over the years we have gotten a multitude of inquiries, and several have resulted in exchanges. My wife and I are happily retired and though our skiing days are behind us, we are very active and LOVE to travel. We love to discover hidden gems and local flavour, so the precise destination of our next exchange adventure is of secondary import; if it sounds interesting, we’ll go! Whether it’s Europe, Australia, North America or anywhere in the world, we simply love to connect with fellow exchangers who are interested in a ski vacation.
For those who are not addicted to the extreme adrenaline scene, the Kitzbuhel ski area is perfect. The main gondola leaves directly from the town, and a large network of lifts and runs will literally allow you to visit neighboring villages without having to remove your skis.
The town of Kitzbuhel gives a romantic feel, featuring narrow, cobbled streets and horse-drawn sleighs; but don’t let that deceive you, at night the bar and club scene comes alive.
Bend is a big town, famous for being an outdoor adventure paradise. Mt. Bachelor is the premier ski area located nearby. A 9,000-foot stratovolcano, it is a vast area, with about 60% devoted to expert runs. Imagine jumping off cornices into a blasted-open summit crater!
While you are in Bend, try to take advantage of all the other winter activities, including sled dog rides, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and even mountain biking.
Bend has a large selection of hip restaurants, and for beer lovers, there are nine microbreweries all within walking distance of each other within downtown. They do call it “Beervana” after all. If that’s still not enough beer for you, there’s the Bend Ale Trail too.
Without HomeExchange, we would not be able to travel nearly as often as we do. We feel so fortunate to have found so many wonderful exchange partners! Because everyone has always been so considerate and generous, we have always had wonderful experiences. Skiing can be an expensive hobby – especially if you have young children and need care or lessons on the mountains. Saving money on where we stayed allowed us to spend our money on experiences and skill building.
The area of the Valais mountains has some of the best ski resorts in the world, and with over 30 ski resorts, the options are endless. The most famous of these is Zermatt, considered the crown jewel of Switzerland’s ski towns. Also be sure to try the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car, with the highest cable car station in Europe.
For epic skiing and an authentic mountain town experience, it’s hard to beat Jackson Hole. Ready to test your skills on the steeps? Try Corbet’s Couloir, called America’s scariest ski slope, with a 20-foot free fall to enter the chute. If that’s not your cup of tea, no worries. There are 1,250 acres of beginner and intermediate slopes, more terrain than many smaller mountains’ total offerings.
The resort is just 12 miles from the town of Jackson, where the Wild West and the 21st century meet. Rub elbows with local cowboys and celebrities alike at the aptly named ‘The Local.’ Also do not forget the world-famous Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are nearby, giving you a lot of opportunities to experience some of the best wildlife and park tours.
Last year we went on a ski holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees thanks to HomeExchange. We exchanged with a family who owns a second home in Panticosa – a really nice ski town, close to the ski runs making it easy not to drive in the whole week! Skiing in Spain was like skiing off-season as there were no crowds and zero queues to the cable cars. We got along very well with our exchange partners and met up with them again in the summer. Since then, my exchange partner, Ana Cristina, started to learn French and I started Spanish so we practice together via Whatsapp! Long live Skiing, HomeExchange, and Whatsapp!