The 9 Most Scenic Ski Resorts to Put on Your Winter Bucket List
When the winter season rolls around, those who are savvy to cold weather sports can finally break out their skates, skis, and snowsuits for a few long months of activities. When it comes to the most popular winter sports across the globe, some of the most favored winter sports include alpine snowboarding, alpine skiing, ice hockey, and figure skating.
For those people who love skiing, there are a plethora of options when choosing a place to hit the slopes. Whether you have a high level of skill on the slopes or you’re a first-timer, you will definitely want to expand your options and visit a variety of beautiful hills for great chalets, breathtaking views, and challenging slopes.
If you’re looking for some new places to explore this winter season with your skis, consider traveling a little bit outside of your comfort zone and city. There are mountains all over the world to be explored, and hitting a new hill is a great way to challenge yourself both mentally and physically.
These are the 10 most scenic ski resorts to put on your winter bucket list:
Alpbach was once named the most beautiful village in all of Austria, which is quite the vote of confidence considering the natural beauty of the entire country. There isn’t one specific thing that makes the village so beautiful; everything about its quiet, scenic streets make it look like something straight out of a snow globe.
The impressive Alps line up in the background, and dark green forest lines are brushed with light snow. The cabins themselves are unique to the area, in that they are uniform in their architecture, each presenting well-maintained wooden architecture and wraparound balconies.
Much of the area includes smaller mountains and ideal flats for beginning skiers, but there are some areas for experts to enjoy including routes around the Wiedersberger Horn. Enjoy miles of mountains for as far as the eye can see, and take advantage of the numerous clear days thanks to the Alpbach’s location on a sunny plateau.
If you want to feel immersed in the mountains, then you’ll certainly want to consider this resort as your next stop for a scenic ski trip. Wengen is not easy to get to, but visitors will immediately be able to enjoy breathtaking views as they make their way thousands of feet above sea level via cogwheel or cable car.
Wengen was one of the first villages ever built specifically for skiing purposes, and guests can enjoy the historic charm and Victorian-era homes and cottages that still stand today. Majestic views include those of the Eigen mountain, or “mordwand” (wall of death), as well as Lauterbrunnen Valley and Grindelwald, both among the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland.
If you’re looking for a relaxing ski trip to enjoy the views, you’ll certainly be getting the best of both worlds in Wengen. While the difficulty of the mountain range is not very high, visitors can travel via cogwheel and cable cars to experience a few different slopes and views in the area.
With more than 105mi of varied ski slopes to enjoy and 22mi of ski routes, it’s no wonder that ski fanatics enjoy visiting this popular resort. It is located in a medieval village that includes quaint, cozy pubs and cobblestone streets. The charming village itself is enough to bring in visitors, but the history and beauty of the chalets are not the only things that offer stunning views.
This resort is home to the world-famous ski run known as the “Streif.” Surrounded by clear skies and mountains for days, the Streif is a ski run that includes all of the elements of a classic downhill ski slope. Not for the inexperienced, this run includes steep slopes, incredibly high jumps, curves, bumps, and even uphill sections to challenge the most experienced of skiers.
Every January, thousands of visitors come to participate in and watch the historic Hahnenkamm race down the Streif. The slope is made more icy with added water and becomes even harder to manage in the chilly weather conditions, but those who make it down have the pleasure of being regarded as some of the best skiers in the world.
For those of all skill levels who are looking for a more relaxed ski trip, hit the slopes any time of the year. Breathtaking views of the surrounding summits of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range are enough to take your breath away on a clear, sunny day.
Megève is a well-known skiing resort located in the Alps of Southeastern France. This resort is an ideal location for those looking for majestic scenes, both on the mountains and within the charming village itself. Whether you’re exploring in the daytime or at nighttime, the village is a sight to be seen and a place to be experienced any time of the year.
The rustic city has a charm unlike any other, with well-maintained chalets lining the cobblestone streets, bustling markets, and boutiques and perfect street views of the surrounding mountains. The holidays are an extra-special time to visit, with string lights hanging from house to house, giant Christmas trees in the center, and lots to see and do in the Christmas markets throughout the day.
When it comes to hitting the slopes, there are all kinds of terrains to choose from to suit your skill level. Explore snow parks, downhill runs, cross country trails, and more, that could be perfect for a couple’s getaway or a full-family adventure. Take some time to enjoy the surrounding mountaintops, clear skies, and idyllic views of the village below.
Situated on the Italian side of the Monte Bianco tunnel, Courmayeur is one of the top ski resorts to visit thanks to impressive service, breathtaking views, and a quaint village. At the center of this village are shops, boutiques, pubs, and more. With car-free streets that allow visitors to take in the picture-perfect sights without a care.
Once you’re ready to hit the slopes, you’ll be able to enjoy skiing for all ages and levels, with intermediates having the widest range of choices for runs. High-level skiers will especially appreciate the off-piste terrain opportunities for heli-skiing.
Visitors will want to enjoy views from the Skyway Monte Bianco -- a cable car that attaches Courmayeur and Chamonix. The car turns an entire 360 degrees for a full view of the mountainous skyline. Your skiing travels begin atop a sunny plateau right above the town, with ideal views of the village as well as more than a dozen of the highest peaks in Europe. Be sure to have your camera ready at all times; there are dreamy views at every turn.
As an extra bonus for experienced skiers and scenic masterpiece seekers, visitors can also take the Skyway train to Punta Helbronner at 3,462 meters. From here, enjoy access to the well-known Vallee Blanche glacier run, a 12.5mi slope down to Chamonix.
If you’re a well-travelled skier across parts of the Unites States and Western Europe, then you might consider adding Japan to your list of scenic ski locales to explore. Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Niesko sits on the slopes of Mt. Niesko-An’nupuri and is a rock’s throw away from the dormant Mt. Yotei volcano.
Niesko is known for offering both alpine skiing and tree skiing, and tree skiers will love the views of the silver-birch trees along their trails. The low temperatures and humidity are a huge component of the quality powder Niesko receives every year, and visitors can expect up to 49+ feet of snow every winter season.
Take in whimsical views from a variety of angles, and keep your eye on the impressive size of the dormant volcano as you head down the mountain side. Guests can enjoy interlinked ski resorts for even more views, with options to visit Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niesko Village, and An’nupuri.
Take your skiing adventures to a whole new level at the scenic ski resort in Zermatt, Switzerland. Skiers who visit here will be pleased to know that although this location might be one of the pricier options, the views and powder are totally worth every penny.
Zermatt is known as the highest ski resort in Europe, and boasts 223 miles of breathtaking slopes. With varying levels of difficulty, there is a perfect take-off point for every level with views that are equally impressive no matter where your run starts.
Those who want to take in views from the highest of the high can take the ski lift up to the Klein Matterhorn, which sits at 12,739 feet above sea level. Up in the clouds, visitors can enjoy the scenic views of 13,123-foot-tall Alps, as well as the Matterhorn.
On your way up or down, don’t forget to make a few stops at the restaurants and lounges along the way. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains while you enjoy a well-deserved meal or drink, or stop at the Champagne Bar on the Sunnegga slope, where you can sip on some bubbly and enjoy views of the Matterhorn and Zermatt.
A quaint igloo village on Rotenboden is located 8,946 feet above sea level and offers a unique experience and views you won’t get anywhere else. Enjoy a city of igloos that are recreated every year by international artists, along with a glass of white igloo mulled wine. Everywhere you turn in Zermatt, there are scenic views and delicious meals to be had.
Another of the most scenic ski resorts that are not accessible by car, Mürren is a pristine area visitors must reach by cable car. While it might be inconvenient for packing all of your bags, equipment and skiing safety gear, the lack of accessibility is what helps visitors to feel like they’re escaping the real world and entering into a historic, snow-covered, winter wonderland.
The resort itself is car-free, which gives the visitors the opportunity to move about the area freely. Mürren sits on a sunny plateau at 5,413 feet and can’t help but show off breathtaking views from its spot in the Jungfrau ski area.
There are 27 runs in total to enjoy, with options for beginner, intermediate, and expert skiers. Views from both the village and the slopes themselves are straight off of a postcard, with visitors getting full views of the Eiger, the Jungfrau, and the Mönch.
Wooden chalets dance all down the mountainside, covered in windows and wraparound balconies that allow the village to be a bustling hub of laughter, chatter, music, and delicious smells. Whether you’re looking for scenic views of cozy, closely-built chalets and a charming village, or you want the crisp photos among bright mountaintops, you’re sure to get both on a sunny day in Mürren.
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, ITALY
There is a reason why there have been so many skiing competitions located at this resort, and ski-lovers everywhere are constantly visiting to feel the same rush that the top athletes in the world have been able to enjoy.
As host of numerous ski races including the Nordic Skiing Championships, Cortina d’Ampezzo has made a name for itself both in hospitality and quality ski slopes.
The surrounding scenery in this area is among the best. The natural beauty is unmatched and includes prominent mountains, deep green valleys, bright blue skies, and budding wildlife. Skiers are able to enjoy three different mountain ranges, each with its own unique views, and each connected by a ski bus that is free to use for all visitors.
Whether you’re there for the skiing, the shopping, the socializing, or the food, this ski resort is a must-visit location for avid ski visitors everywhere.
If your winter bucket list needs some new ideas, consider visiting these ski resorts located all over the world. Each of these locations boasts varying levels of slope difficulty, quality powder all season long, and unbeatable views from the very top of the mountains, all the way down to the villages.
If you’re looking for views that you can’t find anywhere else, consider these 9 most scenic ski resorts for your bucket list and don’t forget to bring along your camera.