This winter sport consists of people moving around using thin, long and flat runners called skis. These are attached to the shoes, and are swung back and forth to essentially cut and glide through the snow. Some people may partake in skiing just to get from point A to point B. Some may undertake it competitively as well – there are a variety of types, including cross-country and downhill.
And of course, where there is competition there are rankings. We are here to present to you 5 of the coolest (get it?) skiing countries in the world!
Skiing Destination No.1: Austria
There are myriad reasons to choose Austria as your skiing destination. For starters, the Austrian Alps remain topped with a thick layer of snow throughout most of the year, which guarantees you a large window to visit – oftentimes, the snow season runs well into spring. And there are even areas like the Hintertux Glacier, that have snow all year round! And if that’s not all, most ski resorts have top-class snow-making facilities, so that’s an added bonus to make sure you have an enjoyable trip.
Austria is also home to 7,213 kilometres’ worth of ski slopes. This means that there’s truly quantity along with that quality they bring! Millions of Euros per year go into maintaining and upgrading these ski slopes. So much so that there are more than 2,500 ski lifts across the country! They also have some of the very best Winter Sport infrastructure because of this, and the added connectivity ensures professionalism and safety. Austria has large ski resorts and areas such as Skicircus (one of the top 10 biggest ski resorts in the world!) and Arlberg. These bring forth the luxury of skiing on a different slope every day, without losing the charm of variety. Alternatively, cosier and smaller slopes such as Salzberg’s Sankt Johann may be more up your alley. Either way, Austria’s ski sloped are sure to excite!
Our Second Pick: Canada
Canadian weather is known to be cold, while the folks’ warmth and hospitality bring the homely heat. The kind of pleasant experience you have in Canada may largely be due to the politeness and overall experienced touch that Canadian ski instructors bring. The country’s long winters and picture-perfect surroundings also help to earn it a spot on many a tourist’s snow-clad adventure.
Apart from these open spaces being a treat to the eyes, Canada has also been host to two separate Winter Olympic games. British Columbia also has the largest ski resort in the whole North American region, Whistler Blackcomb. Much of the nation is filled with mountains, and the most accessible (and also most famous) ones are located in the western states of British Columbia and Alberta, as well as the Eastern states of Quebec and Ontario. Some of Alberta’s ski slopes are located in a national park – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay are all located in Banff National Park, and are quite well-known with the crowd. This means that along with a good ski session, the view of a luscious, woodsy surrounding is inevitable!
The Third Skiing Paradise: Switzerland
‘Switzerland’ and ‘snow’ seem to be synonymous in our heads. The country is prided on its vast expanse of cushiony, white snow. It is well taken-care of, and its services are professionally renowned. Most of the Swiss resorts have beginner-friendly courses that are managed on special easy-cruising slopes. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, the Swiss Alps are beautiful and welcoming enough to call home. Swiss mountains are aplenty, with variations in snow depth and mountain height.
Whilst there are some who prefer their own feet being the ones to cut through freshly fallen snow, others enjoy seasoned tracks that have been worked and treaded on. Resorts such as Zermatt (which contains the world’s highest 3S cableway, and is open 365 days a year) and St. Moritz (which is so professionally acclaimed that it’s hosted the Winter Olympics twice!) are crowd favourites, and are also the two best Swiss skiing (and winter sporting in general) picks.
Snow Wonderland No. 4: France
France is one of Europe’s most prized skiing destinations. The French-Italian border is home to The Alps’ highest peak – Mont Blanc. Skiing on this part of the Alps is widely encouraged, and the northernmost area of Les Portes du Soleil is home to more than 11 resorts. Out of these, Avorias (“the capital of snowboarding”) and resorts in Morzine are said to be some of the best. Moving down south to the base of Mont Blanc, you can find the commune of Chamonix, an age-old original skiing favourite of Europeans.
This then begs the question – when do we actually visit France if we want to ski? Well, it’s really quite unpredictable, but many recommend avoiding the Christmas-New Year rush, as this time entails both French and foreign crowds. Early January to February is a good time to visit, yet the days are relatively shorter and the weather is much colder – however, the human traffic and expenses are both relatively lesser.
Although the French Alps offer the widest range of skiing facilities in the whole of Europe, there are also other mountain ranges in France that may be worth the visit: Vosges, the Massif Central and the Jura are three such areas with fully equipped (cross-country and downhill) ski slopes.
5th But Not Least: USA
With how huge the USA is, it’s hard not to find ski paradise. Many of the World’s best ski resorts lie in this country, with Colorado and Utah being major hotspots. Sundance Mountain Resort and Snowbasin in Utah, as well as Colorado’s Telluride and Buttermilk are the cream of USA’s skiing cake. The resorts on the Rocky Mountains (closer to the West Coast) are also reckoned to be world-class.
The high altitude of these mountains (and most US slopes) are great for skiing. This is because they are usually covered with finer, powdery snow rather than the concentrated clumps, which are found at the foot of the mountain ranges. The slopes are also usually sunny, and at these high altitudes, a tan is guaranteed. Make sure you apply a freakishly large amount of sunscreen if you want to look recognisable at the end! The plus-side to this is that the weather is largely pleasant, as compared to Europe’s much harsher cold air. Here in the USA, over 300 days of sunshine are here to greet you. And as with everything in this nation, food and drink portions are largely-sized as well. Of course,especially after a good ski workout which is quite inviting
So Where Will You Go Next?
Overall, there are many places one can go to if they wish to ski. The activity is exhilarating, and is just the right balance between workout and leisure. No sweat, wind in your hair, and a swift glide in your feet. It could be possible that your own country, or a neighbouring one does partake in the activity. If you’re in South Asia, India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir is a great place to start!
Some may feel that the thrill of cutting through snow must be experienced the true-blooded European way. If this is you, you could travel to any of the countries on this list and be blown away! The best part here is wherver you want to go, Visa2Fly can help get you there safely!