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Top 5 Skiing and Snowboarding Destinations of 2016

There's nothing quite like booking a skiing or snowboarding winter holiday. They are a popular choice among all types of traveller, regardless of age and ability, year after year. But with so many snowy mountain-peaked destinations to visit, it can be tricky to choose the perfect destination for you and your family. We've cherry-picked our favourite winter destinations below, perfect for your next holiday abroad in 2016!

Cortina, Italy

Host of the 1956 Olympics and a famous racing town, there is simply no where quite as stunning to ski than Cortina. With scenery of dramatic limestone towers and cliffs, tinged with a pink hue at both dawn and dusk, skiing in Cortina is a jaw-dropping experience - every time.

The pressure of showing of your advanced skiing skills is quite low. Being Italy's most fashionable resort, many visitors to the town are spending their days shopping and lunching rather than hitting the slopes. This means there are no crowds, no queues, and the ski pistes are rarely experiencing heavy traffic. It's an absolute haven if you're looking for a quieter skiing experience.

 

Lech, Austria

With a combination of charm, varied slope difficulty and a constant supply of snow, we can easily see why Austria is a 'hard to beat' long standing favourite among many skiing enthusiasts! Lech is one of the most popular resorts - a quaint old farming village set in a picturesque riverside setting - able to bring in thousands of tourists each year to its snowy slopes. Lech, however, can be a little on the pricey side for those travelling as families, but on the up side the hotels are perfectly located and the lifts are family/child friendly. If you're travelling with little ones, there are kid's ski clubs available as well as an in-house play group.

 

Davos, Switzerland

switzerlandA small Swiss town, Davos has international appeal that has always extended beyond the borders of its own ski slopes and those of the Parsenn ski area that it shares with its neighbour, Klosters. It wasn't originally built as a ski resort and therefore there is limited architectural beauty, but then again, you're not planning to head to Davos to view the blocks of hotels, are you?

The town itself is divided in to two parts - the Davos Platz (most convenient for the majority of hotels and shops) and the Davos Dorf (the best place to access the slopes). If you can't decide between the two, not to worry, as there is a very handy bus service that runs frequently, making it super easy to get from one side of the town to the other.

Anyone planning on booking a holiday here should ensure they check their bank balance beforehand. In general, Switzerland is famous for not being the cheapest of places, especially for a snow sports holiday.

 

Mammoth Mountain, USA

mammoth mountainDon't let the name fool you! Mammoth Mountain is not a mammoth in Alpine terms - end to end it is less than a third of the size of Val d'Isé¨re-Tignes, but in American terms it's a pretty decent size, with more than enough snow to keep most visitors happy.

The mountain can be found above Mammoth Lakes, which is a small woodland-based resort close to Yosemite National Park (although be aware that the local entrance road is closed in winter) and is available to visit all year round. The village itself consists of a carefully arranged series of lodgings, restaurants and shops, although most people stay elsewhere in hotels, condos and houses situated around the vast wooded area of the Lakes - and never go near the mountain itself.

If you choose your location wisely, you can be within walking distance of a wide range of different options. There are multiple different slopes to suit all abilities and the resort has a very impressive snowfall record, so you can be sure to have a great skiing holiday in America!

 

Banff, Canada

banffFor first time visitors, it may be slightly confusing to learn that you can't actually ski in the town itself - the name actually refers to the Banff National Park, which is home to three ski areas (Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise) each one covered by one lift pass. Each one has its own special qualities and attractions, just hop on the free shuttle bus service and make sure you experience all three!

Mount Norquay is considered to be the "œlocal" resort of Banff and Canada's oldest ski area (dating back to 1926), with a serious good mix of runs to try out. The terrain is not as extensive as perhaps Sunshine Village or Lake Louise, but it is perfectly situated just 10 minutes out of town. Norquay is the only place to experience night skiing, alongside being the home to Banff's popular tubing park which has plans for further expansion in the coming months.

Sunshine Village is 20 minutes by car from Banff, a remote resort that boasts some of the highest trails in Canada and an excellent snowfall record. Lake Louise is the largest and most well-known ski area among the "œBig 3" with more than 130 designated trails to explore and terrific back-bowls, it is definitely giving Whistler a run for its money! Enjoy the breath-taking scenery of Bow Valley from 'The Top of the World Express Chair' and experience sights of several hanging glaciers and towering mountain peaks including Mount Allen, Bowlen, Fay and Babel. (Did you know that all of these used to feature on the back of Canada's $20 bank notes!) If you're a beginner, don't panic, you needn't fear of missing out on the sights - each ski lift is catered for all abilities and each chair has the option of an easy route down!

Travel insurance

We hope that you have enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to book your next skiing or snowboarding holiday. Remember that travel insurance is an important addition for all travellers, regardless of your ski and ability, as accidents do sometimes happen.

Ensure that you are protected for medical expenses, cancellation costs as well as damage to your expensive winter sports equipment with Alpha's dedicated Wintersports policy. Visit our Wintersports travel insurance page for more information on what the policy covers and to get your quote today!

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