It’s that time of year when you could grab those goggles, thermals and skis or a snowboard and travel to one of the thrilling snow sports destinations that the world has to offer. Here at The Insurance Emporium, we get excited about travelling to new places for exciting adventures and from now until around the end of April is ski season in the Northern hemisphere. That’s why we’ve put together this list of destinations for these kinds of magical adventures. Whether you’re a skiing beginner looking to try out your first runs or a seasoned snowboarder, there might be a location in this list to suit you!
Fancy skiing in France?
France is easily the most popular country for snow sports in Europe, which is understandable given the resorts in the Alps. The Tarentaise Valley contains a number of world-class ski areas, including Paradiski, Espace Killy and Les Trois Vallées. These locations are excellent if you’re looking for big mountain skiing or snowboarding and there are slopes for beginners and experts as well as off-piste options. When you’re not indulging in sporting pursuits, the areas also have great après ski scenes. Another renowned French Alpine location is Chamonix, which is situated at the base of Mont Blanc. It’s the oldest ski resort in France and was actually the location of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
Snow aside, skiing holidays in Sweden are known for being really cool. Although people have an expectation that Sweden is more expensive than elsewhere and the mountains are not as tall as the Alps, it tends to have excellent snow sports conditions because it’s so close to the Arctic Circle. Also, because more people across Europe tend to head for the Alps, there is often more space on Sweden’s runs. The biggest Swedish ski resort is Åre, which has pistes for people of all skill levels and plenty of restaurants and bars to visit after your session on the slopes. As well as runs, there is also a strong freestyle scene in the area. Plus, you can enjoy views of the mountains, the town Åre By and the lake Åresjön. When the lake is frozen, it might even be possible to go cross country skiing on it!
When you think of Canada, you likely have images of large mountains and snow in your mind anyway. Unsurprisingly, then, it’s got excellent options for winter sports. The country is home to Whistler, which is just over 75 miles away from Vancouver and the location of North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb. There are slopes for people of all abilities, as well as freestyle areas and a chance to go off-piste. As the location for a number of events at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Whistler area also boasts an Olympic halfpipe and, if you fancy something other than skiing or snowboarding, a chance to try out bobsleigh or skeleton. The majority of Canadian ski resorts are situated in British Columbia and Alberta, with other highlights including the stunningly scenic Banff. If you don’t wish to fly so far, Tremblant in Québec has become one of the most popular ski resorts in Eastern Canada.
The island of Hokkaido, in northern Japan, is known among skiers and snowboarders as the powder capital of the world. Niseko is one of the country’s snowiest locations and is a globally popular area for skiing. As well as having slopes of different sizes and difficulty levels, it’s one of the few places in Japan that offers off-piste skiing. While your winter sports holiday could be an excellent opportunity to experience and learn about Japanese culture, there’s a lot of Western influence in Niseko’s Grand Hirafu resort if you would like some home comforts. Further south, on Japan’s main island of Honshu, there are also plenty of snow sports resorts. In the Nagano prefecture, where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held, you could visit Hakuba if you’re looking for busy nightlife with your skiing or Shiga Kogen if you want somewhere more untouched by foreign snow sports enthusiasts.
’Scot a lot of snow
If you can’t afford to jet off around the globe on a snow sports holiday this year then fear not, there are some amazing slopes right on our doorstep! Nestled amongst picturesque mountain ranges, Scotland boasts a number of great skiing and snowboarding locations for people at various difficulty levels. Close to Aviemore is CairnGorm Mountain, which is Scotland’s most popular resort. Near Fort William is Nevis Range, boasting slopes high up on Scotland’s eighth highest mountain, Aonach Mor. Glencoe Mountain is also not too far away and is popular among experienced skiers. Over in Aberdeenshire is Lecht Ski Centre and Glenshee Ski Centre, which is the largest ski resort in Scotland. It just goes to show that you can get a full skiing or snowboarding experience right here in the UK!
The stunning scenery, the magic of a new place and the thrills of skiing and snowboarding are the reason why so many people go on winter sports holidays every year. For peace of mind, if you are planning one of these trips, you may wish to consider getting travel insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer Winter Sports cover as an Elective Benefit on our travel insurance*. If you think this could help ensure a perfect time on the piste, contact The Insurance Emporium today!
*The Insurance Emporium Travel Insurance is provided by Insure & Go Insurance Services Ltd. and underwritten by MAPFRE ASISTENCIA COMPAÑÍA INTERNACIONAL DE SEGUROS Y REASEGUROS, SOCIEDAD ANONIMA.
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