10 of the world’s top-notch ski destinations

From Alberta to Queenstown, we’ve found some of the grandest ski resorts that the globe has to offer

Each mountain is as unique as the thrill seekers that board them. Expert skiers, we’ve located helicopters. Snow bunnies, we’ve discovered the world’s classiest spas. Boarders who only shred to the sickest beats, we’ve found the liveliest, snowiest weeklong music festival ever. We’re going off-piste, snow goers—and we’re inviting you to come along!

Expedia’s first annual Snow Boots Report is out now—it’s your definitive guide to snow sports and après ski around the world—to celebrate we’re sharing everything you need to know about 10 of the world’s top ski destinations around the world. Keen to stay closer to home? Check out 8 U.S. ski destinations that are worth visiting here.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler Blackcomb is the Moby Dick of all North American ski resorts—this behemoth has a skiable vertical of 5,280 feet, which is like descending four Empire State buildings. Uh-huh, and Whistler’s Coca-Cola Tube Park offers over 1,000 feet of tubing glee with seven lanes and a conveyor lift return. Surrounding hotels and restaurants echo the ski resort’s grandeur. The Four Seasons Resort, located in Whistler Village, boasts a helicopter excursion to the enchanting ice sculptures of Canada’s largest, southernmost ice caps. The Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar’s has a “Trophy Wife” vodka cocktail that’ll couple elegantly with a dozen Black Pearl oysters. Helicopters and oysters—need we say more?

  • Lifts: 37
  • Trails: 200
  • Skiable Acres: 8,171
  • Average Annual Snowfall Inches: 461
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

 Zermatt Ski Resort, Zermatt, Switzerland


The Matterhorn—no, we’re not talking Disneyland. We’re talking the jewel of the Swiss Alps—the iconic mountain that towers above the Zermatt Ski Resort. There’s no place on the resort to escape the Matterhorn’s mesmerizing tractor beam—not that you’ll want to, of course! In fact, from the top of Zermatt’s slopes, you’ll be able to look the craggy Matterhorn right in the eye. When ski exhaustion sets in, you can marvel at the Matterhorn from your luxury alpine-modern room at the Europe Hotel & Spa, conveniently located within a 5-minute walk of the historic Mountaineers Cemetery and St. Mauritius Church.

  • Lifts: 52
  • Trails: 224
  • Skiable Acres: 105
  • Average Annual Snowfall Inches: 103
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay. These three Alberta resorts consist of almost 8,000 skiable acres and 30 feet of pow-pow annual. Skiers and snowboarders travel from across the globe to shred the powdery trails stashed within these Canadian Rockies. Daredevils, does an ice axe sound interesting to you? Swap out your snow boots for a pair of crampons (think ninja stars that you strap to the soles of your hiking boots) and go ice climbing. If scaling the walls of glaciers sounds a tad grueling, perhaps a trip to the mineral-rich waters at Banff Upper Hot Springs is in order. The Willow Steam Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel (known as Canada’s legendary “Castle in the Rockies”) has an array of services to rejuvenate your tired muscles. Namaste!

  • Lifts: 26
  • Trails: 334
  • Skiable Acres: 7,748
  • Average Annual Snowfall Inches: 360
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

The Remarkables Ski Field, Queenstown, New Zealand

A reasonably small ski resort with unfathomable scenery! Freestylers will dig the three giant terrain parks, and first-timers will find the ski terrain friendly. When the family is famished, you’ll want to grab everyone a “Ferg Deluxe” from Queenstown’s famed Fergburger. If you want a deeply immersive experience of the moon, stars, and mountains (minus the cheeseburgers), make your way to the Onsen Hot Pools. Relax in a cedar-lined pool at lit by Japanese lanterns until the sun goes down.

  • Lifts: 6
  • Trails: 20
  • Skiable Acres: 7,748
  • Average Annual Snowfall Inches: 544
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: September

Gulmarg Ski Resort, Kashmir, India


Expert skiers, we’ve found your off-piste paradise! At Gulmarg, the trails are infinite because you’re paving them. In fact, diehard powder hounds can heli-ski the Pir Panjal range! After outrunning an avalanche or three, curb your craving for dim sum at Cloves, an all-day diner at The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa. Looking for enlightenment? Take a walk through the countryside to the Baba Reshi Shrine, where many locals gather to pray and fill their mind with the positivity the shrine reflects.

  • Lifts: 5
  • Trails: Virtually infinite
  • Skiable Acres: 3
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): 550
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

Ski Livigno, Livigno, Italy


Good snow comes to those who wait. It’s a bit of a trek to get to this remote valley on the Swiss border, but Livigno’s snow-sure terrain and speedy, high-tech chairlifts will make up for your travels. When in Italy, pizza is always a good idea, but the steaks at Ristorante La Pioda are simply a must-have. Feel up for a few nightcaps? Daphne’s Pub is a cozy place to make friendly conversation with the locals of Livigno, and when you’re ready to say “ciao” to your new friends, the staff at Hotel Posta will be ready to welcome you home. Hotel Posta takes pride in caring for their travelers’ every need, meaning ultimate tranquility for you. Cheers!

  • Lifts: 31
  • Trails: 78
  • Skiable Acres: 115
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): 97
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

Mayrhofen-Hippach Ski Area, Mayrhofen, Austria

Let’s get luxurious, snow lovers! Welcome to Mayrhofen-Hippach in Tirol. Situated in the scenic Zillertal Valley and the Tux Alps, Mayrhofen’s striking peaks provide the perfect backdrop to your ski adventure. How does a wellness hotel that celebrates the “high art of hospitality” sound to you? The Elisabeth Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the slopes, and it boasts stylish romance and relaxation. Even a brief stroll through the hotel’s spa area will trigger relaxed shoulders and easy breathing. Around in early April? Do not, we repeat, do not miss the Snowbombing music festival—think Coachella but in snow.

  • Lifts: 57
  • Trails: 54
  • Skiable Acres: 365
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): 92
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: March

Ski Mountain Park, São Roque, Brazil

Okay, so, let’s get this out of the way now: this park does not actually have any snow. That’s correct, ski park sans the pow-pow. Instead, Ski Mountain Park in São Roque offers the experience of skiing and snowboarding only on a giant artificial slope made of polyethylene “rugs.” Other snow-less attractions include ecological iceless skating and rug and slide tobogganing. The palms of Hotel Villa Rossa, a hotel known for its lush surroundings and superior gastronomy, is only two and a half miles from Ski Mountain Park. Did we mention the wine? The production of wine has been going on in São Roque since the mid-seventeenth century, so this region of Brazil knows its grapes. Take the Wine Route tour to experience what São Roque has to offer your taste buds.

  • Lifts: 1
  • Trails: 1
  • Skiable Acres: N/A
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): N/A
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: January

Portillo Ski Resort, Los Andes, Región de Valparaíso, Chile

Nestled into the High Andes, the steep slopes of Portillo Ski Resort are a playground for advanced skiers and snowboarders. This ski-in, ski-out resort awards its travelers with stupendous views and ultimate seclusion. Accommodations are limited at the Portillo, so if you want a fancy fourposter, its best to find lodging in Los Andes (about an hour drive from the resort). The Inca Hoteles is cozy and modern, and its just twenty minutes from Enjoy Santiago, one of Los Andes’ finest casinos. Not much of a gambler? Get over to Museo Arqueologico de Los Andes to see a collection of shrunken heads and other fascinating archaeological finds.

  • Lifts: 14
  • Trails: 35
  • Skiable Acres: 1235
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): 260
  • Best Time to Go: Mid-June-August

Tiffindell Ski & Alpine Resort, Barkly East, South Africa

Boarders seeking an off-the-beaten path experience will love South Africa’s Tiffindell Ski & Alpine Resort. Slopes are immaculately groomed and ready to be carved during the winter months of June, July, and August. You might be in South Africa’s backcountry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lodge-it in luxury. Each room at the Tenahead Mountain Lodge in Rhodes boasts a fireplace and a claw-footed tub. Oh, and bibliophiles will need to fan themselves when they step foot in lodge’s library. Tenahead’s restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stay infinitely if it suits your fancy. Happy trails, adventurers!

  • Lifts: 5
  • Trails: 2
  • Skiable Acres: 15
  • Average Annual Snowfall (Inches): No Data
  • Best Month to Save on Your Hotel: July

For more inspiration, check out the Expedia Collection on all things snow.

Where will your next ski adventure take you?

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Sarah Waffle Gavin

Sarah Gavin is Expedia’s Vice President of Global Communications, overseeing a team around the world that focus on telling travel’s great stories. Her passion lies in bringing people together through the shared experiences and mind-broadening phenomenon of travel – while revealing all the tips and tricks to getting the best value on vacation. Part foodie, part tech geek, part mom, part traveler, Sarah loves a mini staycation with her husband, as much as a power shop through New York. Her family trips are treasured above all else, and when she's not sitting poolside in Mexico with the kids, she hangs her hat in the burbs of Seattle, Washington at the intersection of travel, technology, and motherhood.

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