There are plenty of scenic ski resorts, and half the fun of these kinds of trips is getting to the top of a powdery white mountain, seeing the view for miles around. However, some resorts are exceptionally beautiful, and skiers specifically visit them because of their breathtaking views. Here are just a few resorts where you will look forward to the ride on the chairlift.
Wengen – Switzerland
The chocolate box villages of Switzerland make for a perfect ski holiday backdrop, and Wengen is particularly idyllic with its wooden chalets perched along the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Because it’s a car-free resort; Wengen is reached via a cog railway which offers spectacular views along the way, and this means there are no roads or traffic jams to spoil the scenery. Arriving in this way allows you to truly enjoy the natural beauty of the area, and to get into the mood for spending time in nature.
Wengen is also a great year-round destination, and when the snow melts visitors come to see the blooming meadows, clear sparkling lakes, and traditional Swiss cultural activities.
Deer Valley – Utah, USA
Close to Utah’s vast shimmering salt lakes, you’ll find the Deer Valley ski resorts which make the most of the natural beauty of the Wasatch Range. The resort is known as one of the finest in the USA, and has hosted events for the Winter Olympics, as well as welcoming many discerning skiers from around December until April. The ban on snowboarding, and the exclusivity of the resort, ensures that there are uncrowded slopes where you can enjoy the view.
In addition to skiing you can enjoy:
- Hikes and historic tours
- Snowmobile trails
- Dog sledding
- Sleigh rides
- NASTAR ski racing
This allows you to enjoy the wide open spaces around the area, and means there’s plenty to do when you finally tire of the scenic piste skiing.
Niseko – Japan
With low temperatures and low humidity; Niseko gets great snow conditions, with powdery, sparkling slopes. It’s a popular ski destination for those who are seeking long, not too steep runs, but the view from Mount Yotei makes the trip worth it. One of the main attractions are the steaming thermal baths which make for perfect aprés-ski, and you can lie back and enjoy the view from your rock pool surrounded by thick snow.
Chamonix – France
A season in the Alps is essential for any enthusiastic skier, and Chamonix has some of the most challenging runs and Europe’s highest summit with Mont Blanc reaching 4810 metres. Chamonix’s charming town centre has pedestrianised streets, with cobblestone town squares and chic pavement cafés, with the aprés-ski rivalling the surrounding resorts. However, the best of the area is seen from the comfort of your stairlift, with sweeping mountain landscapes. If you have a thirst for adventure then you can enjoy ice climbing, canyoning, and many other extreme sports that make the most of the unusual rock formations.
Heavenly – California, USA
Most of us associate California with sunshine and sandy beaches, but there are also excellent skiing opportunities, and Heavenly offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe. Straddling the California and Nevada border, there are both lake and desert views from various points up the mountain. There are long, wide slopes for beginners, and excellent conditions throughout the resort that draw in plenty of more advanced skiers too. One of the best ways to take in a view of the area is on the Blue Streak zip line, which allows you to travel at speeds of over 50 miles per hour, 160 feet above the lake; truly a unique way to see the mountains.
Courmayeur – Italy
Close to the border with France; Courmayeur has unique limestone peaks that have a greyish, pink tinge in the sunshine. Once the powdery snow falls, you can enjoy dozens of trails in the shadow of Mount Bianco, from gentle beginner’s slopes to dramatic steep runs. The town itself has a traditional Italian style, with cosy restaurants and plenty of wine being poured in the evening. You can also explore the winding, cobblestoned streets, and soak up the atmosphere when you are off the slopes.
Choosing a ski resort isn’t just about the facilities or the prestige of the resort. The natural beauty of the area can really play a big part in helping you enjoy your trip, and therefore you will want to choose a beautiful, unspoiled area for your snowy activities. By choosing one of these resorts you can be sure that there’s plenty to do when you are sick of skiing, and that the aprés-ski is enjoyed against a spectacular backdrop that will make for excellent photos.
Juliet Martin is writing in a freelance basis for a Chaletline, a ski chalet specialist. They offer one of the widest selections of Ski Chalets in Europe and the USA.