Hit the Slopes: 5 of the Best Ski Trip Locations
Barring an unexpected return of The Beast from the East, if you’re interested in skiing this winter you’re probably going to have to look outside of Ireland. There’s an almost limitless array of resorts around the world to choose from, so if you’re snowed under with choice, we’ve picked out five of our favourite locations to give you some ski inspiration.
St. Anton, Austria
Not really one for a family holiday, this hugely popular Austrian resort is ideal for slightly more advanced skiers and those who like their après ski. Easily reachable by train from a number of international airports, St. Anton has almost 200 miles of pistes serviced by 97 lifts. And if you somehow run out of snow, there’s a huge selection of varied and extremely challenging off-piste areas too – although these should only be attempted by experts. Once you’ve retired from the slopes, St. Aton really comes into its own. The town is home to a selection of lively bars and clubs filled to the brim with seasoned partiers from across the world. You’ll stop in for a few steins of your favourite local brew, and before you know it you’re dancing on the tables and belting out karaoke with a new best friend you only met a few hours before.
Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
When it comes to skiing in North America, Whistler is the first name on many people’s list. Around 2m tourists a year flock to the vast resort north of Vancouver, with visitors ranging from total beginners to old pros. The two main mountains here are connected by the Peak2Peak gondola, which travels the 4.4km between them in just 11 minutes at 436m above the ground. With some truly jaw-dropping views, this is one ski lift that’s a memorable experience in and of itself. Thanks to its hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler is also home to a varied range of winter attractions including a thrilling Tube Park, dog sledding and helicopter rides to name but a few.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
If you’re looking for a truly spectacular setting, this Italian jewel has few rivals. Set among the marvellous limestone landscape of the Dolomites, Cortina d’Amprezzo is perfect if you’re looking for a resort where the slopes are a little more laidback. In fact, many of the Italian visitors come for the shopping and people watching rather than the snow. And make no mistake, this resort is a fashion lover’s paradise. The town is jam-packed with some seriously stylish people and enough designer boutiques to keep you occupied for hours – even if your shopping is just of the window variety.
Another less hectic option, this delightful village in the French Alps revels in its hidden gem status. You won’t find hordes of adrenalin junkies here, but what you will discover is a charming resort with bags of old school charm and lashings of Gallic glamour. The slopes here are perfect for beginner and intermediate skiers, and when you want to sooth your tired limbs, Megeve has a selection of world-class spas, featuring all the relaxing treatment options skied-out visitors could need. Once sufficiently relaxed, you’ll also definitely want to check out the food scene here; the town rejoices in a mouth-watering array of waistline-worrying French cuisine options. Luckily, you can work it all off on the slopes the next day.
Finland may not be the first country you think of when it comes to a ski holiday, but if you want something truly off the beaten track, this unspoilt resort is a once in a lifetime experience. Situated in snowy Lapland, the town of Yllas boasts the longest ski slopes in the country, underneath crystal clear skies illuminated by the magical glow of the Northern Lights. As well as excellent downhill options, Yllas also caters to more adventurous types, with miles of cross-country trails and husky and snowmobile tours. For a fully Finnish experience, stay in a traditional log cabin and curl up at the end of the day in front of a roaring fire. Bliss.
Ready to Hit the Slopes?
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