1) Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Towering mountains make for the best skiing in North America and the biggest vertical drop. Whistler’s charming village offers everything a skier/snowboarder could crave and the “mega mountain” has more runs, more snow, more terrain parks and more square mileage than almost any other resort on the continent.
2) Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
Chamonix has consistently ranked among the elite since hosting the world’s first winter Olympic Games in 1924. The resort is located at the foot of Mont-Blanc (15,771ft) and is known around the world for giving birth to “extreme skiing”. The slopes are steep and the mountains are big and at 13.1 miles, Chamonix also boasts one of the world’s longest runs (Vallee Blanche).
3. Aspen, Colorado
Favoured by the rich and famous, Aspen has a tendency to get slightly expensive but this resort accommodates all by featuring excellent terrain for all skier levels. For the experts, there are hundreds of acres accessible off the backside but there are superb groomed intermediate runs as well.
4. Zermatt, Switzerland
A peaceful village thanks to its car-free environment is nestled in the shadow of the impressive Matterhorn Mountain (14,693ft) and receives huge snowfalls due to its altitude at 5,276ft. This picturesque resort holds the world’s second biggest lift-served vertical drop and is king in a country jam packed with ski towns, offering some of the best (and most expensive) skiing in the world.
5. Banff/Lake Louise, Canada
A small town located in the heart of Canada’s Banff National Park, this ski resort is an incredibly scenic one with three different ski areas – Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. The international atmosphere and incredible views make Banff a must-visit.
6. Kitzbuhel, Austria
Perhaps lesser known than its Austrian sister St. Anton which holds the crown for “Europe’s liveliest ski resort”, Kitzbuhel is considered the “Pearl of the Alps”. Skiing began in the 700 year old village in the winter of 1892 and the resort now offers a blend of everything from beginner to advanced runs. The cobblestone streets and horse drawn sleighs means Kitzbuhel has also been known as one of the more romantic ski getaways in Europe.
7. Stowe, Vermont
A quaint New England ski village caters more towards a family crowd and is one of the most picturesque on the map. It is amongst a mere handful of American resorts that have a lift-link to another resort. The village may go to sleep early but with over 90 shops and 60 restaurants there is plenty to keep its visitors occupied.
8. Vail, Colorado
As the largest single ski area in the United States, Vail offers roughly 5,300 acres of skiable terrain but also much more; with its art galleries, hockey, snowmobiling and museums, there is something for everyone.
9. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Often referred to as the most beautiful ski resort in the world, Italy’s finest ski resort followed the likes of Chamonix, hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1956. It is a stylish place to be with traffic-less streets and incredible scenery.
10. Niesko, Japan
This up-and-coming ski resort has a lot going for it thanks to constant storms blowing in from Siberia. This means the mountains on the Japanese island of Hokkaido are known to have some of the most consistently fresh and soft powder in the world.