Top 10 skiing destinations in the world
Sloping off in Zermatt
Picturesque Zermatt is one the top 10 skiing destinations in the world with its excellent pistes, abundant snowfall and car-free cobbled streets. Ski the 13km run from Klein Matterhorn, and catch breathtaking views of the Matterhorn mountain before an après-ski glass of Glühwein, hot spiced wine.
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Ski in style at Courmayeur
On the other side of Mont Blanc from Chamonix, France, is the Italian Valle d'Aosta village, Courmayeur. Swoop down 4,000m-high peaks or cross the border to Chamonix's alpine terrain. Courmayeur's cobbled piazzas and slate roofs offer scenic views while gourmet restaurants, fashion stores and the nightly passeggiata (stroll) satisfy après-skiers.
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The scenic Tyrolean village of Söll, 100km from Salzburg, offers 250km of trails in the huge SkiWelt area plus night skiing, an illuminated 3.5km toboggan run and snowshoe walks. At night, order fondue in rustic restaurants or a cocktail in the popular Whisky Mühle bar.
For good-value skiing, Arinsal in southern Andorra offers an expansive ski area and family-friendly skiing, with 65km of scenic wooded runs, lively bars and good-value restaurants. Visit nearby Andorra la Vella for tax-free shopping and try Arinsal's water fountains for the purest water in Andorra.
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Cool skiing in Colorado
Within two hours of Denver are some of the USA's best Rocky Mountain resorts. High-altitude Breckenridge, a 150-year-old mining town, offers 240km of pistes including the challenging Psychopath for expert skiers. Breckenridge has one of the USA's biggest snowboard parks, over 100 restaurants and excellent shopping.
East Coast US skiing
In Vermont is the lively east-coast New England resort, Killington. Beginners love the Snowshed's gentle slopes: advanced skiers enjoy the Double Dipper while three terrain parks keep boarders happy. By night, choose from relaxed restaurants to live bands at the legendary Wobbly Barn.
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The 2010 Winter Olympics site Whistler Blackcomb, 1½ hours from Vancouver, has over 200 trails and abundant snow. Experts love the Symphony Amphitheatre runs while family-friendly attractions include the Big Easy Terrain Park. Car-free Whistler Village has over 300 shops and restaurants from upmarket Fairmont Whistler to traditional steakhouses.
Enjoy day-trip skiing from Tokyo: it's 77 minutes by shinkansen (bullet train) to the Niigata Prefecture ski resorts like Gala Yuzawa. Its integrated train station provides direct gondola access to the mountains, terrain parks and the advance Super Swan run. For après-ski, book a therapeutic Japanese bath at the Gala No-Yu Spa.
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Bariloche ski season
From Buenos Aires, skiers head to Bariloche's Cerro Catedral, with 2,964 acres of groomed and powder runs. Take the Nubes lift for views of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the Andes mountains - lucky skiers may spot the condor. Fill up on Argentine steak in chalet-style refugios and enjoy Bariloche's lively nightlife and shopping.
Ski New Zealand
New Zealand's South Island is renowned for its skiing. Wanaka, about 90 minutes from Queenstown, offers four resorts, popular for their snowfall, powder and varied terrain. Boarders and freestylers flock to high-altitude Cardrona's snowparks while Treble Cone's vast ski area is a haven for advanced skiers.