The ski season is upon us, meaning a rush of people wanting to experience the slopes. Whether you’re a beginner, or see yourself as the next Marcel Hirshcer (Google if you’re not in the know), we’ve got the best destinations for you this 2019.
We found that #banff was used almost 2 million times in 2018 (on Instagram), and it’s really no surprise, as this place is incredible! Situated in the heart of Banff national park, surrounded by stunning snowy Canadian Rockies (this is where most of the resorts are) not forgetting Lake Louise (one of the most photographed places in North America) it boasts perhaps the most stunning views you’ll ever see.
The resorts are easy to get to, just an hour and a half drive from Calgary airport. And there’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn every morning to ensure your spot on the shuttle bus (it’s not like reserving a sun lounger), once one fills up another bus is readily on hand to take you to the ski lift.
There are 3 resorts within Banff. Banff Sunshine (our personal favourite) which is renowned for having the best snow. Lake Louise- described as the ‘friendly giant’ of Canadian Skiing (ideal for beginners). And lastly Norquay- based in a more secluded areas of the Canadian Rockies. There are a number of companies who will provide a pass granting access to all three mountains plus free transportation, so make sure you do your research so you get to try everything!
Downtown Banff provides a taste of traditional Canadian hospitality whatever your budget, with a range of bars and restaurants, even occasional live music. During the day the town is reasonably quiet, however don’t be fooled…at night it comes alive and the bars become crowded with skiers unwinding after a long day on the slopes.
According to our research #whistler was used almost 1.8 million times in 2018. Again, this picturesque resort is situated in Canada (West Coast), equipped with over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, unbelievable terrain parks and over 200 marked trails.
This resort is worlds apart from other North American Resorts. It now has a more European vibe, having transitioned from a mountain for the locals to an internationally loved skiing destination over the years. However, some traditions have remained, from delicious warm waffles oozing with milk chocolate served at the top of the mountain, to Whistler’s signature mouth-watering margarita cocktails served in the resort (don’t ski and drink) …this is like no other skiing destination!
Now, we aren’t all gifted when it comes to skiing - for many of us it’s a challenge just to stay upright, and that’s totally fine. But if you feel like you want to improve then there’s the Ski and Snowboard School. These aren’t just any old instructors…they’re world famous, so you know you are in the best possible hands!
And if you still aren’t convinced by those steep mountains, but want to see the incredible views, then why not explore Whistler’s mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers and forests on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola 360 Experience. Be warned this is not for the faint of heart (however a skiing holiday may not be for you, if you’re scared of heights) it’s high…very high. It’s open summer and winter and offers a number of extras. It takes wine and dine to a whole other level (literally), offering an intimate dinner in your personal pod. If you’re an adrenaline junkie why not try the special glass-bottom gondola for a birds-eye view of the stunning scenery…you’ll never have felt so high.
Whenever you hear the word skiing, nine times out of ten Aspen is also mentioned. The hashtag alone was mentioned almost 1.2 million times in 2018. It’s a destination loved by celebrities, with its glamourous town and tricky runs, however there isn’t just one Aspen. The resort has four different ski areas, all connected by a shuttle bus service (which is free).
The ski areas all cater for different abilities apart from Snowmass, which has so much terrain that there’s something for everyone. Ajax and Highlands are known to be adventurous and challenging, so if you’re a newbie to skiing, then avoid…you don’t want to bail on that rail.
Aspen has a number of bars and restaurants all varying in price, so after a long day on the slopes why not grab a drink (remember that drinking at altitude will affect you differently, so don’t overdo it) and exchange stories with fellow skiers about your conquests on the mountains.
If you fancy staying within Europe, then Chamonix might just be the one for you. This resort has a range of ski areas all with their own merits, all catering to different abilities. For beginners Tourchet ski area provides amazing terrain to build up confidence, and for you more experienced skiers, Balme Vallorcine ski area will give you the perfect opportunity to show off your skills.
If you fancy a break from skiing, why not go on a husky ride. It’s so much more than just sledding, learn first hand how to steer and take care of your dog team. These gorgeous canines are made for this weather, and love nothing more than to run through the snow…trust us, it’ll be the best €76 you’ve ever spent.
During the day why not explore the town; indulge in a shopping extravaganza, visit quaint French tea rooms, even visit a wellness spa at the foot of Mont Blanc to recharge your batteries. Après ski, enjoy the cinema, casino, restaurants and bars. There are just so many options to choose from. The food up for grabs covers an international spectrum including culinary delights from the Savoie area, including a cheese fondue…seriously is there anything better than melted cheese?
When it comes to skiing, the choices of destination are endless. These resorts cater to all abilities so no matter how good you are, there’ll be a slope for you, to learn more click here!
We care about your safety when skiing and urge you choose the slopes that match your level of experience. There’s no point going on extreme terrain if this is your first-time skiing…it will end your trip in tears…trust us, we know. There’s a number of dry slopes in the UK and ski schools in resorts that will help you with the basics, these are the best opportunities to learn so take advantage of it!
We provide affordable skiing travel insurance for all abilities, including cover for extreme ski activities like heli-skiing and ski racing (again, know your limits). Skiing without insurance is an absolute no no! Protect yourself from the harsh conditions on the mountains. Click here for more information!
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