These two towering mountains provide the best skiing in North America and will be the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Consistently voted as the “Best North American Ski Resort”, Whistler’s 33.07 square kilometers are now in the running to take the much-disputed title as the “world’s greatest ski resort.” The charming village of Whistler offers everything that the numerous snowboarders and skiers crave: cafes, international stores, and over 100 restaurants.
Aspen’s four mountains are famous for their many slopes, providing hours of fun for all types of skiers, including the many stars who ski them. True adrenaline lovers will adore the more than 70km of bumpy cross-country ski trails.
Located in the heart of the impressive Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the hottest spots for European skiers. Its 140km of skiing areas offer the best mix between the legendary Italian style and the best winter ski services.
Courchevel is located within the Three Valleys of France, which combined create the world’s largest ski resort, composed of 600km of organized and wild trails. It is actually formed by four villages, all boasting gourmet restaurants, and stylish boutiques, as well as astonishing ski trails.
Verbier is one of the premiere “off-piste” resorts worldwide, nesting in the Swiss Alps. Many top skiers have taken advantage of the 202km of slopes, the varied conditions, and the vibrant nightlife. It is one of the only resorts to have a mountain without trails—a great thrill for extreme ski enthusiasts.
Glamorous Gstaad still attracts its fair share of international playboys, royalty and movie stars, amongst others. The funiculars and chairlifts around Gstaad are configured into a system that services the slopes of at least six other resorts scattered over four valleys, allowing access to 250km of downhill slopes.
Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
Located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the famous ski trail Vallée Blanche of Chamonix features one of the world’s longest descents, at 22km. It hosted the first World Winter Olympic Games in 1924 and remains the best playground for extreme snow activities.
Many snow lovers tend to ignore other crowded ski resorts, ranking Zermatt as Switzerland’s top spot. A remarkably peaceful getaway, Zermatt is home to the world’s second largest lift-served vertical drop. With 245km of ski trails and huge snowfalls, thanks to its altitude, this spot is a blessing for both experienced and inexperienced skiers.
At Kitzbuhel, the most famous holiday resort in the Austrian Tyrol, skiing began in the winter of 1892. This is where the famous and maybe one of the toughest races, the Hahnenkamm, takes place.
A hot spot for the young and adventurous, Laax is part of the Alparena Arena, along with another two resorts: Flims and Falera. Its 220km of slopes guarantee hours of skiing in one of the most beautiful spots in the Alps; while the famous club Riders is the best place for après-ski clubbing.