The World's Greatest Winter Sports Destinations
Christmas is rapidly approaching and that means holiday time. Most of us here in Australia and New Zealand will be heading out to our favourite camping spots, firing up the barbeque and getting ready for some well-deserved relaxation time in the summer sun.
For our cousins over in Europe, however, Christmas time means one thing - snow! And as much as we love the summer, we can't help but dream about what it must be like to spend Christmas in the Alps with oodles of Gluhwein and chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
That's why, this week, we've been looking around the world for the most magical winter retreats and sporting destinations we can find. If you're thinking about taking a trip this winter, these fantastic locations have some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.
Strap on your snowshoes, it's going to be a white Christmas!
Cardrona, New Zealand
We couldn't write a snowsports article without mentioning New Zealand. Although ski season continues from late June to early October, you can catch the slopes earlier in the year and still get home in time for Christmas on the beach. It's the perfect holiday plan. There are a host of fantastic ski resorts all over New Zealand, but we picked Cardrona for its strong variety of world-class slopes. No matter your level, you'll find something here you can really enjoy.
If you'd like to explore more exciting activities in both New Zealand and Australia, take a look at our huge range of fantastic tours.
The Ellmau SkiWelt - meaning ski world in German - has everything you want from a winter sports destination. Austria is also exceptionally beautiful around the 25th, with gorgeous Christmas lights and German markets dotted around all the major towns. SkiWelt is great for all abilities and will keep everyone from first-timers to advanced enthusiasts interested.
The UK might not have Europe's best reputation for skiing. However, that’s not the only winter sport that’s caught the world’s imagination. Curling is a sport native to Scotland and is rapidly gaining popularity thanks to its inclusion in the Winter Olympics. Explore the home of this fantastic sport with a tour of the Glencoe Highlands. You’ll also have the chance to hit the slopes at one of Scotland’s five ski resorts.
As lovely as Ellmau is, Courchevel in France remains the king of ski destinations in the Alps. With over 600 kilometres of slopes and just as many lifts, it's the world's largest alpine ski domain. It's the perfect place if you want a diverse ski or snowboard experience that allows a true sense of freedom. The resort is spread across five separate villages that you can explore at your leisure. Look out for the top-tier dining options, too.
High up in the rocky mountains, Aspen is one of the world's most famous ski resorts, attracting A-listers from around the world. It's not just glitz and glamour, though. The four-mountain range that makes up this skiing paradise offers even the weariest alpine explorer something to get excited about. Aspen might be on the pricey side, but there's a tonne of packages out there that will make the trip a little bit easier on the wallet.