When it comes to planning the perfect vacation, often the first place to come to mind is somewhere tropical with swaying palms. However, sometimes the best vacation is actually somewhere with great snow, hot chocolate and a cozy lodge. Whether you’re an avid skier or snowboarder or you just want to hit some beginner slopes before curling up by a fireplace, there’s a pristine destination for you:
Could it get any more perfect than a visit to the French Alps? From world-class cuisine to stunning landscapes to charming villages, France is a romantic ski destination to get your adrenaline rushing. If you’re serious about skiing, try the Trois Vallees, Paradiski or Tignes Val d’Isere. Or, if you’re just getting started, you might love the Grande Alpes ski area, with plenty of easy and intermediate slopes. One of these ski package holidays is guaranteed to have whatever you’re looking for.
Even better is that a ski getaway to France can easily include stops at other must-see cities, like Paris or Bordeaux. With all the calories you’re burning skiing, you won’t need to feel guilty indulging in all that great French wine and food!
One of our personal favorites, Finland is a great spot to combine skiing with other winter adventures like dog sledding and hunting for the Northern Lights. Cross-country skiers will particularly love the option to ski from cafe to cafe, warming up over hot chocolate or a bowl of soup. Ylas is one of Finland’s oldest ski lodges, and shouldn’t be missed.
Located deep in the arctic of Western Finland, tourists have been coming to Ylas since the 1930s, back when reindeer carriages were still the primary mode of transportation and a hotel meant the spare bedroom in a local’s home. Today the region is comprised of two small villages, Yllasjarvi and Akaslompolo, together boasting a whopping population of around 750 people. Despite its long history with tourism, Yllas remains a bit of a hidden gem, largely unheard of outside of Finland.
Of course, our list for top ski getaways wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our home country.eeriAnd with double-black diamonds steeper than even those in the Alps, experienced skiers won’t want to miss the opportunity to cross a few legendary trails off their bucket list. There is ample skiing across the U.S., but we recommend Utah, Wyoming and Colorado as your base for exploring the best ski trails the country has to offer.
Don’t have much time? We recommend Aspen. Yes, it’s touristy, but the town is absolutely charming as well. When you’re not hitting the slopes, you can enjoy mouth-watering cuisine, shopping at designer boutiques, and otherwise just ambling around the gorgeous town. For more details, this article from the Telegraph is a great guide to skiing around the U.S.
Of course, no list on skiing destinations would be complete without mentioning Austria. Known for its delightful mountain towns, you’ll have plenty of options to hunker down at. And with a ski culture unlike other destinations, there are perfect slopes for all levels. Contrary to popular belief, Austria is a particularly good option if you’re a beginner, as you can find countless renowned ski schools.
With Austria’s rail network, you can easily access multiple top ski locations. Even better, Austria isn’t so far from France, so you could even combine a ski trip to both France and Austria for a truly memorable vacation!