The 7 Best International Ski Resorts and When to Visit Them

Epic trails and pretty alpine views await in Tremblant, Canada
Epic trails and pretty alpine views await in Tremblant, Canada | © Maridav / Alamy Stock Photo

Mountain-minded folk, these world-class resorts around the globe should top your must-visit list. Their status is legendary, their appeal unlimited, and the idea of skiing or snowboarding even one is intoxicating. To ride all seven is off the scale.

Get yourself an Ikon Pass and you can visit all these resorts from two to seven days per season, depending on the tier of pass you buy. So start planning your big trips – the northern hemisphere destinations included here have long seasons that run from December through April, while southern Thredbo typically opens from June to October.

Tremblant, Canada

A Canadian classic, the traffic-free, multicoloured village of Tremblant has an atmosphere as bright as its buildings, and the slopes are super accessible with a surprising number of runs for all levels. The 102 trails all cut through pretty forests, and recent thinning of the dense woods on Versant Nord has created some of the best glade skiing in eastern Canada.

Buy Now Ride Now means that if you purchase your 2022/23 Ikon Pass today you can have spring skiing at Tremblant this season, from 11 April.

Hit Tremblant for some of the best glade skiing in eastern Canada | © Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo

Dolomiti Superski, Italy

Superski by name, super ski by nature. Dolomiti Superski is the largest winter sports destination in the world, with 1,200km (746mi) of slopes spread over 16 resorts. Opt for the full Ikon Pass for maximum time here. While no one’s expecting you to cover all that terrain in one season, it’s a beautiful place to try. Jagged peaks tower above well-groomed runs, and at nearly every turn is a cosy mountain hut serving the finest Italian food.

Dolomiti Superski is the largest winter sports destination on the planet | © Dmitry Rukhlenko - Travel Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

Thredbo, Australia

Want to know how to max out your Ikon Pass? Visit the southern hemisphere during the northern summer and you’ll find winter in full flow. Thredbo in New South Wales, 500km (311mi) southwest of Sydney, has the longest ski and snowboard runs in Australia and a full events calendar, on and off the slopes. Think live music, festivals and feasts, plus old favourites including Top to Bottom, the longest ski race in Australia, which has a sunrise sprint and celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022.

Thredbo has the longest ski and snowboard runs in Australia | Courtesy of Ikon Pass

Chamonix, France

No self-respecting international skier or snowboarder can look themselves in the mirror if they haven’t ridden Chamonix. Without doubt the home of high-Alpine extreme skiing, Chamonix is legendary, and is joining the Ikon Pass for winter 2022/23. It’s a bonafide bucket-list destination. Some of the terrain is seriously steep and deep; but even if you don’t want to scare yourself silly, Chamonix is still worth a visit. The town has a fizzing atmosphere and the Mont Blanc valley, with enough intermediate runs to last a week at least, is seriously spectacular.

There are 56km (35mi) of ski slopes to enjoy in the Chamonix region | Courtesy of Ikon Pass

Niseko United, Japan

Anyone with a sixth sense for snow will track down Niseko, the best-known ski resort in Japan. On the northern island of Hokkaido, the four linked resorts regularly receive more than 15m (49ft) of snow each winter, making it a must-go for powder hounds. Adventure skiers and snowboarders make their pilgrimage to the foothills of Mount Annupuri to lose themselves in the lightest, driest, waist-deep snow on the planet. Plan a five-day trip with the Ikon Base Pass or stay for seven with the Ikon Pass.

Admire Yotei volcano as you take the open-air chair lift to the summit of Annupuri | © Cavan Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt might be dominated by the towering, pointy Matterhorn, but there’s a whole lot more to the resort than a single, albeit iconic, mountain. You’ll find a ski area rich in tradition – expect cog railways and classic pistes – married to a forward-thinking resort with futuristic gondolas and ecoluxe accommodation. It suits intermediate and advanced skiers best; but, regardless of ability, many of Zermatt’s biggest fans love it for the mountain restaurants and après-ski bars. And you’ll never get bored of those Matterhorn views.

Zermatt combines great skiing with stunning scenery and excellent restaurants | © Ali Kabas / Alamy Stock Photo

SkiBig3, Canada

International ski trips don’t tend to be spur of the moment things – they deserve planning and prep, and inevitably generate huge anticipation. So buy your Ikon Pass for winter 2022/23 now and start to ramp up that excitement. Pick the SkiBig3 in Canada and it won’t let you down. The three resorts of Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay sit in Banff National Park and provide next-level nature and fabulous skiing, all within wild, serene and immense surroundings.

Lake Louise is one of three epic ski resorts in Banff National Park | © All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

The 2022/23 Ikon Pass is on sale now, with new pass options from $249 USD. To purchase your pass this spring and make the most of prices and promotions, such as child pass savings and pass holder renewal discounts, visit ikonpass.com

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