It’s not just the slopes that are appealing on a winter getaway. Ski towns around the world have fantastic accommodation, restaurants and off-snow activities for people to enjoy. Each ski town has its charm and culture for visitors to enjoy. Our ski experts have created a guide to the best ski towns in the world.
Chamonix is a stunning ski resort with beautiful scenery and is rich in history. It has kept its traditional alpine feel but also has modern elements too. The French ski resort has cobbled streets, medieval church towers and traditional chalets. If you’re a foodie, the two Michelin star Restaurant Albert 1er is one of the best places to eat in the Alps. As for the après, you are spoilt for choice with many bars and clubs to enjoy. L’Amnesia is Chamonix’s biggest club in town.
The combination of luxury and stunning natural views makes Cortina one of the best ski towns in the world. From the delightful wine bars to the incredible amount of top-class restaurants, the Italian resort has it all. The Michelin-starred Tivoli restaurant is highly regarded throughout the region and serves the best Italian dishes. LP 26 bar is the place to go if you prefer live music, dancing and beer at affordable prices.
Courchevel is split into various towns, but they all offer their own atmosphere and activities. If you love shopping Courchevel 1850 is the place to be and is family-friendly. At Courchevel Moriond it has a traditional aesthetic and is reasonably priced. In Courchevel 1550 it has a quieter vibe but there are plenty of accommodation options. Then there’s Courchevel Le Praz which has the most character and has a lot to visit. On top of this, Courchevel has the most Michelin starred restaurants in the Alps, we recommend Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc for perfectly crafted cuisine.
A ski resort steeped in history, Kitzbühel is one of Austria’s most famous ski resorts. It’s the home of the Hahnenkamm downhill, which is considered the hardest ski race on the alpine World Cup circuit. Each winner has a gondola named after them, so keep an eye out for what lift you get. The ski town itself has kept its cobbled streets and traditional alpine chalets. KITZnBAR serves unique dishes for the mountain. Enjoy rooftop sushi or fresh lobster at the restaurant.
The beautiful natural scenery alone makes Banff one of the best ski towns in the world. Located in the Banff National Park, the ski town is surrounded by nature’s beauty. The town itself has a relaxed atmosphere and there are plenty of fantastic accommodation options. A popular restaurant is the Fairmont Chateau serves incredible Swiss and Italian cuisine. If you’re looking for a nice bar, Fairmont’s Lakeview Lounge has a brilliant view of Lake Louise from its terrace.
Another Austrian ski resort that has made our best ski towns in the world is Lech. Part of the huge Arlberg ski area, Lech is a top-class winter destination. It’s a small ski town with top class accommodation and stunning mountain range views. Griggeler Stuba is a restaurant that has dishes served by award-winning chef Thorsten Probost, food of the highest quality. Fun fact, Lech was the location for scenes in Chalet Girl and Bridget Jones films.
If you want a lively après experience Mayrhofen is one of the best ski towns in the world. There are many bars with great atmospheres and dedicated nights to enjoy. From Pilzbar’s Umbrella bar to the Harakiri bar there are a lot of places to enjoy a drink. In addition, there are great restaurants in the area too with Wirtshaus Zum Griena, rumoured to be Mayrhofen’s oldest restaurant, serving traditional Austrian food. There’s a fantastic choice of ski accommodation too for different price points.
Panorama is a delightful ski town with a welcoming atmosphere for tourists. The Canadian ski resort has spectacular views to admire from the town and brilliant luxury accommodation options. It is also home to Canada’s largest on-mountain hot pools. A great way to relax after a day on the slopes. There are fantastic restaurants to visit too. We recommend trying the award-winning menu at the Earl Grey Lodge. In addition, there are brilliant bars with different vibes. The Crazy Horse Saloon and Glacier Night Club are popular nightlife spots.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz takes luxury to another level. The rich and famous regularly visit this ski resort because of its top-class shops, accommodation, bars and restaurants. On top of this, it’s surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and forests. Michelin starred restaurant Talvo, is a must-visit if you love food. Alpina Bar is a great spot to enjoy a deserved drink looking at the spectacular views of the Engadine valley.
One of the most famous and popular ski resorts in the USA is Vail. No wonder it’s so popular when it delivers in so many areas. It has the best range of accommodation in the Rockies and an impressive amount of food options too. You can head to the base of Golden Peak to visit the Larkspur restaurant that serves first-class American cuisine and has an extensive wine list. Garfinkels is the place to be for après ski with a great atmosphere and live music.
Verbier is another Swiss ski resort on our best ski towns in the world list. Its world-class skiing is backed up by its fantastic accommodation, après and restaurant options. The town has a traditional alpine feel but with a modern twist. For incredible fine dining, you can book the La Channe restaurant. Top service and delicious food. Le Rouge is a very popular nightlife spot with live music and regular events throughout the season.
A ski resort that’s on many people’s bucket lists is Whistler. The Canadian ski resort has incredible skiing and a fantastic atmosphere in the town. Its fantastic snow record and beautiful views make it a true winter wonderland. Araxi is a modern Italian restaurant in town that serves delicious seafood and Pacific Rim dishes. Merlin’s bar is the place to be for live music. Local rock band The Hairfarmers regularly play the venue and are a real treat to watch.
To find out more about the best ski towns in the world, please call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.