Where are the best places in the world to go skiing? From the incredible Portes du Soleil ski area in France to the Dolomites ski area in Italy, there really are some incredible ski areas in the world. Our ski experts are here to help you select the ideal ski area for your groups needs. Whether you are looking for extensive ski terrain or perhaps one with the finest scenery we can help. Here’s our pick of the biggest and best ski areas in the world. These world-class ski resorts are not only good places to go skiing, they deliver a 5-star experience off the slopes too. We take into consideration après ski, on and off-piste skiing, accommodation, restaurants and mountain views. Take a look at the most highly regarded ski resorts on the planet!
1. Three Valleys, France
The Three Valleys is the largest ski area in the world. Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens are just three of the eight world-class ski resorts packed into this one ski area. It’s a great choice if your ski party is made up of different skiing personalities and levels. Families can try out sledging, hang gliding and snowmobile rides in Courchevel, while more advanced skiers can take on the challenging black runs of Val Thorens. After a long day on the slopes of Méribel, head to popular restaurant Aux Petits Oignons for restorative French cuisine.
2. Portes du Soleil, France
Portes du Soleil literally means ‘doors of the sun’ and has some of the top ski resorts in the world. Many popular ski resorts such as Avoriaz and Morzine are situated here. The ski area hosts a popular annual free concert, ‘Rock the Pistes’. You’ll enjoy some of the best French and international pop and rock here. Avoriaz is a car-free resort, so while here you may find yourself hitching a lift on a horse-drawn sledge. One of the highlights of the Portes du Soleil ski calendar, is the day-long circuit that criss-crosses the valley between France and Switzerland. For thrill seekers, the region is home to La Chavanette, also known as La Mur Suisse, or ‘The Swiss Wall’.
3. Espace Killy, France
One of the biggest ski areas in the world, the Espace Killy has two ski resorts Tignes and Val d’Isère. Both offer excellent skiing that’s naturally linked so there’s no need to waste valuable snow time on lifts or connecting trails. Thanks to its high altitude, the area has one of the longest seasons in the Alps, running from November to May. The terrain is incredibly varied with two glaciers, nine slalom courses and 300km of ski runs. If you fancy a break from the piste, head to La Folie Douce, a quirky on-mountain bar popular for its large open terrace and open air cabaret shows.
4. Paradiski, France
One of the biggest ski areas in the world, Paradiski is in the Tarentaise valley. This ski area includes the ski resorts Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry. The ski area is home to 425km of piste, with plenty of variety for even the most experienced skier. Skiing is possible up to an altitude of 3250m, ensuring good snow conditions throughout the season. The Paradiski area is also home to the engineering phenomenon that is the Vanoise Express, a double-decker, pylon-free cable car that links Les Arcs and La Plagne.
5. Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites ski area is one of the most best places to ski in the world. The ski area is made up of 12 ski resorts with over 1,200km of pistes between them, backed by the most jaw-dropping of landscapes. The Dolomites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its pale mountains and unique rock formations.
One of the main draws to the area is the Sella Ronda circuit. This circular loop offers 26km of scenic skiing around the Sella Massif area and makes for a fantastic ski day. For adventurous off-piste skiers, the Marmolada glacier is a big attraction. The descents off the Sella Massif over Piz Boè are unlike anything you’ll have experienced elsewhere. The Dolomiti region is known for its gourmet food, so make sure to build in time for long lunches in the sunshine. Notable resorts here include Cortina, Colfosco, Corvara, San Cassiano and Madonna. The interlinked nature of the ski area, along with a good local bus system, makes it easy to explore this vast area.
6. Aosta Valley, Italy
The Aosta Valley ski area is home to three of Europe’s highest peaks: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. These towering mountains offer high-altitude skiing, snow-sure slopes and provide a stunning backdrop to any ski day.
The key ski resorts making up this fantastic ski area in Italy are Cervinia, Champoluc, Courmayeur, Gressoney, La Thuile and Pila. You’ll find a wide variety of skiing, with opportunities for all abilities. Beginners and families will love La Thuile. There are plenty of easy runs here and a dedicated children’s ski area. For intermediates, Champoluc and Courmayeur are great all-rounders with a good mix of slopes and plenty of bars and restaurants. For more advanced skiers, we recommend Gressoney, which is the home of Italian off-piste skiing and has some great challenges to tackle.
7. Milky Way, Italy
The Milky Way ski area sits on the French-Italian border and boasts over 400km of pistes between a number of linked ski resorts. The ski area played host to the 2006 Winter Olympics which brought investment and speedier lifts to the area.
Key ski resorts in the Milky Way include Claviere, Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere. As with other ski areas in Italy, each ski resort brings something different to the table. Claviere is the oldest, most traditional of the resorts and a family-friendly option which caters for beginners. Sauze d’Oulx is a great choice for those looking for a lively atmosphere and a wide choice of bars. For keen skiers looking to make the most of the large ski area, we recommend basing yourself in Sestriére. This high-altitude resort is well-suited to intermediates and experts and is an excellent base to explore the Milky Way.
8. Val d’Isère, France
Ski area: 300km
Perhaps one of the most famous ski towns, Val d’Isère is regarded as one of the best ski resorts in the world among avid skiers. With an incredible 300km of terrain across the Espace Killy ski area, there is plenty to get stuck into during a week on these sought-after slopes. Tuck into snow-sure runs that unfold from an incredible altitude of 3,000m all the way down into the town. Snow-sure glaciers and incredible off-piste also add to the winter playground at your doorstep.
Off the slopes, taste some of the best local French cuisines with a wide variety of excellent restaurants on the mountain and in the main village. On top of that is a fantastic choice of 5-star hotels and chalet services too. Val d’Isere is a truly impressive winter holiday for all skiers. Enjoy exploring the resort’s bars and restaurants, including the famous Dick’s Tea Bar, which has been welcoming skiers since 1979.
9. Whistler, Canada
Ski area: 200km
Famed as one of the top places to ski in the world, Whistler ski resort is home to 200km of pistes across an epic winter playground. This ski resort has everything you want and is on many people’s bucket lists. The skiing here is truly world-class, made up of picturesque tree routes, high open powder bowls and numerous snow parks. As one of the world’s best ski resorts, you can expect an unbeatable choice of epic runs. Try the Big Bang and Couloir Extreme, which offer seriously steep double-black diamond terrain. Explore the ridges and bowls dotted around Whistler Mountain.
This Canadian ski resort has incredible views too. Whether you’re admiring neighbouring Blackcomb mountain or the beautiful Lake Alta, you’ll love the breath-taking surroundings. If you’re a foodie, conclude your day on the mountain with an evening spent feasting on international gourmet cuisine. Araxi is one of the best restaurants in town serving the best seafood and Pacific Rim dishes. We also recommend the Oyster Bar.
10. Verbier, Switzerland
Ski area: 202km
Verbier is one of the best places for glitz, glamour and a tremendous choice of both on and off-piste skiing. Home to a huge choice of itinerary runs (marked off-piste areas), thrill-seeking skiers can indulge in one epic descent after another as they cruise between the legendary mogul field of Tortin, the iconic face of Mont Fort and the 3 metre wide snow runnel of Col des Mines. Days on the mountain conclude with evenings indulging in the resort’s delicious restaurants, live music at the famous Le Farinet or an evening at the A-Listers’ favourite spot at Farm Club.
11. St. Anton, Austria
Ski area: 300km
St. Anton is the home of the famous Arlberg ski area, which comprises a mighty 300km of slopes. One of the best ski resorts in the world for its backcountry terrain, St. Anton is the perfect place to go if you are looking to hire a guide and explore some serious powdery routes. Discover the the Valluga mountain, including the Schindler Spitze, which descends 1,200m down into the village of Stuben. St. Anton has plenty of post-ski fun, from slopeside drinks at The MooserWirt to traditional, hearty dinners at Haus Schindler.
12. Courchevel, France
Ski area: 600km
Comprised of four separate villages and part of the Three Valleys ski area, Courchevel takes skiing to the next level. The resort has access to an epic 600km making it the biggest ski area in the world. The piste map has something for all levels of skier and snowboarders, from cruisy blues to challenging black runs. If you’re looking for an incredible off-piste experience head over to 1650 or neighbouring ski resort Val Thorens, for the best powder pockets. Plus, with the skiable terrain reaching all the way up to 3,000m, you can expect snow-sure conditions.
Off the slopes, Courchevel has the most Michelin-star restaurants in the Alps. All of the villages can certainly hold their own when it comes to offering a sumptuous selection of dining choices. Indulge in Savoyard cuisine at La Cabane des Bûcherons, or try three Michelin-starred cuisine at Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc. Courchevel is pure class.
13. Méribel, France
Ski area: 300km
Méribel is a firm favourite as one of the best places to ski in the world. This ski resort draw skiers in with its attractive chalet-style town and incredible 600km of ski terrain. Situated in the middle of the Three Valleys ski area, groups can feel safe in the assurance that they are staying in the heart of the action. This ski resort has two fantastic snow parks, plus plenty of nursery runs to cater for beginners. Not forgetting the huge choice of advanced slopes; there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. Mixed-ability groups can split off for a day’s skiing that everyone can enjoy, and then reconvene at one of the resort’s lively après bars such as Le Rond Point.
Well known for hosting infamous parties complete with free-flowing toffee vodka and brilliant live music. There are plenty of activities off the mountain to keep non-skiers entertained, such as ice climbing, skidooing and snow hiking. Alternatively, those with tired legs from skiing can also retreat to the resort’s swimming pool, spa or bowling alley for a little well-earned rest and relaxation.
14. Zermatt, Switzerland
Ski area: 360km
The iconic view of the Matterhorn alone makes Zermatt one of the best places in the world to go skiing. The Swiss ski resort boasts access to 360km of pistes in the Zermatt-Cervina area, surrounded by an incredible mountain backdrop like no other. Add to that the superb off-piste opportunities too, Zermatt’s choice of skiing is spectacular. Once you’ve hung your ski boots up for the day, there’s plenty of evening activities to enjoy. There’s a great selection of traditional Swiss shops to browse, as well as delightful places to eat too. It doesn’t stop there. Enjoy the buzzing Zermatt après scene with a great selection of bars and clubs. It’s true Swiss bliss!
15. Lech, Austria
Ski area: 303km
Lech is known as one of the most luxurious ski resorts in the world and is frequently visited by many famous faces and the occasional Royal Family member. The Austrian ski resort has a collection of top-class family-run hotels and traditional chalets, provided with top 5-star service. It also has access to some of the finest ski slopes you will set your ski edges on. Linked to the lively St. Anton, the Arlberg ski area has an impressive 303km of groomed pistes to explore. On powder days, you can get access to the world’s best lift-served off-piste, making it easy to get to the freshest snow on the mountain. This top-class ski resort is one of the best places in the world to go skiing.
16. Aspen, USA
Ski area: 461km
Aspen delivers on and off the slopes with a touch of class. Explore America’s largest ski area with an incredible 461km of groomed pistes covering four different mountains; Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. There’s so much varied terrain to discover! If you love food you’re in for a treat, this world-class ski resort has lots of different cuisines to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi or traditional mountain food; the choice is unrivalled for a ski resort. It’s not only one of the best places in the world to go skiing, if you want some retail therapy on your travels, look no further. Gucci, Prada and Luis Vuitton all have stores in the area. Aspen takes luxury skiing to the next level!
17. Cortina, Italy
Ski area: 1,000km
For the views alone, Cortina is one of the best places in the world to go skiing. At every turn, there’s a jaw-dropping view to take in when you’re skiing in Cortina. The backdrop of the beautiful Dolomites accompanies the impressive 1,000km of pistes in the Dolomiti Superski area. Italy is known for its delicious cuisine and Cortina is no exception! The village has plenty of Michelin-star restaurants and cosy wine bars for that all-important downtime off the slopes. Stay in glorious 5-star hotels and enjoy the peak of Italian hospitality.
18. Andermatt, Switzerland
Ski area: 181km
Andermatt’s snow record is very good, which is why many freeride skiers flock to the Swiss ski resort. The varied terrain and powder pockets is a big draw to professional freeride skiers. The on-piste is fantastic too, with something for all skiing abilities. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, Andermatt has around 20 different restaurants to choose from. They serve traditional Swiss fayre, Italian delicacies, tapas feasts and much more. It’s no surprise Andermatt is considered one of the best places in the world to go skiing.
Tempted by one of our selection of the top places to ski in the world? Enquire online today or give us a call to speak to a ski expert.